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Asia Linux developer pushes into U.S.

Pacific HiTech, one of Asia's largest Linux developers, introduces the latest version of its flagship product based on the operating system into the United States market.

Pacific HiTech, one of Asia's largest Linux developers, today introduced the latest version of its flagship product based on the operating system into the United States market.

Introduced in Asia last month, Pacific HiTech TurboLinux 3.0 includes Corel WordPerfect for Linux along with more than 700 applications based on Linux, the company claims. Other applications included in the package include Netscape Communicator 4.5, the Apache Web server, Samba 2.0, and the TurboDesk graphical user interface.

Primarily a big player in the Asian computing market, Pacific HiTech needs to establish itself in the U.S. market, analysts and company executives say.

If anything, Pacific HiTech has experience and contacts in the Asian market. The company has more than half of the Japanese Linux market share with an estimated million units distributed in 1998, according to the company's own estimates. By contrast, the company in the United States doesn't have the brand name recognition of Red Hat, Caldera, or SuSE, analysts warn.

Last November, the company opened up offices in China, hoping to take advantage of the expected growth in computer use among China's vast population which is projected to boom in the next few years, with an estimated 10 million computers a year being sold in 2002, the company said.

"While we are far and away Asia's largest Linux company, the U.S. market offers unmatched opportunities," the company's chief executive Cliff Miller said in a statement.

Touting TurboLinux as the only Linux available in English, Japanese, and Chinese, Miller said, "This makes TurboLinux the clear choice for global corporations that need to deploy software on a global scale with a consistent interface and library base."

The company plans to launch two new Linux server products in the U.S. market in March, Miller said.

Priced at $49.95, TurboLinux is available immediately through the company's channel partners, or can be downloaded from the company's TurboLinux Web site.