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Culture

Japanese firms latch on to Linux

Major Japanese computer companies are increasingly amenable to offering Linux, indicating that the operating system will compete with Microsoft's Windows.

Japanese computer makers and software developers are increasingly turning to Linux as it gains popularity in the U.S. and worldwide.

NEC announced yesterday in Japan that it plans to begin offering support services for Linux, according to the Nikkei Industrial Daily.

One will be an installation service, the other will support server configuration.

Also, Itochu Techno-Science Corporation in May will begin offering Linux on Sun Microsystems' Unix servers, the newspaper reported.

Justsystem, a company which develops a popular Japanese word processing program, announced Tuesday it will offer, in July, ATOK for Linux, a program for Japanese-language input, according to the Nihon Keizai Shimbun, a major Japanese business daily.

It will also start selling a Linux version of its Java software for the Ichitaro word processing program.

Another developer will modify Hitachi notebook PCs to run the Linux operating system, the report said.

The newspaper said the Hitachi machines will be the first in Japan from a major computer maker to come with Linux preinstalled.

Major Japanese computer firms are increasingly amenable to offering Linux, indicating that the operating system will compete with Microsoft's Windows, according to the report.