Debian and business: HP making big money out of free Debian GNU/Linux

HP few months ago announced its support services for Debian, because as Jeffrey Wade, worldwide marketing manager at HP’s Open Source and Linux Organization, explained:

We’ve had a number of customers continuing to ask us to have broader support for Debian. [Linux customers requested the Debian support, after wondering if they could get] a better value with a distribution that doesn’t require a subscription fee and subsequent renewals for that subscription.

money andy warhol

As recently reported by InternetNews HP in fiscal year 2006 $25 million in hardware sales in the EMEA area were directly related to HP’s Debian support.

Hewlett-Packard is known to be a Linux Foundation supporter, as said Christine Martino, vice president, Open Source and Linux Organization of HP:

HP has been a long-time member of both OSDL and FSG, and is proud to continue supporting the advancement of Linux and open source as a founding Board member of the Linux Foundation.

HP is also an important Debian’s developer partner, and sponsors many other open source projects, but despite of all this HP is not even listed in the top ten business contributors in the now famous final report on the economic impact of FLOSS.

HP was already supporting both Novell and Red Hat distros, and Wade commenting the somehow unexpected extremely good results due to Debian support said:

Every additional distribution that we pick up is a big investment in testing and support which is a challenge from the service side. When we decided to do Debian, we had to figure out what the opportunity was and what sales we would generate.
This information exceeds what we were expecting to see.

As reported by Sean Wilson, IBM has also come on board the Debian support services bandwagon with their French partner Alcôve in order to to provide Debian support for their IBM Global Linux Support Line.

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