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Oracle, Red Hat set up Linux center in Singapore

The $13 million facility will help developers port enterprise apps to open source.

Software makers Oracle and Red Hat are launching a facility in Singapore to promote the development of Linux for businesses, the companies announced Wednesday.

The $13 million Linux Enterprise Applications Porting (LEAP) Center, the first-ever joint facility set up by Oracle and Red Hat, intends to tap the growing popularity of the open-source operating system in the Asia-Pacific region.

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Many countries have been considering migrating their computing set-ups to Linux, hoping to cut costs and reduce dependence on proprietary software. South Korea, for one, has plans to replace 20 percent of its desktop software and 30 percent of its server software with Linux products by 2007. Similarly, China's National Ministry of Railways recently bought 300 copies of server software from Turbolinux, a Japanese firm that develops Linux-based applications.

The Oracle-Red Hat center will provide independent software vendors and system integrators with resources and assistance in developing third-party enterprise applications on Linux.

Market researcher IDC recently predicted that by 2008, Linux servers will rake in $9.7 billion in revenue and account for 29 percent of unit shipments.