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HP gives schools a break

Firm offers freebies and discounts to academic institutions, as it chases a slice of the already-crowded educational market.

Hewlett-Packard launched a discount program on Tuesday for institutions of higher learning.

Under the Campus Investment Program, universities and colleges that use HP workstations and servers can get the company's Unix operating system, HP-UX 11i, free.

The company, based in Palo Alto, Calif., is also offering discounts of up to 45 percent on various software products, including its clustering software, HP Serviceguard.

Academic institutions can receive free updates of software packages purchased once and also perpetual licenses, which do not require yearly renewal. Systems registered under the program will be eligible for special discounts on support services.

Technology companies have for some time been targeting the education market, an area researcher IDC predicts will grow to $9.5 billion by 2006.

The popularity enjoyed by Linux among researchers and students is being exploited by companies such as Red Hat and SuSE Linux to sell their desktop and server software products at a discounted price.