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Free Standards Group Announces Broad ISV Support for Linux Standard Base

Support from Oracle, IBM, VERITAS, Novell, MySQL and Others Signal Growing Momentum for Linux Standard

SAN FRANCISCO, CA -- (MARKET WIRE) -- 03/21/05 -- The Free Standards Group (FSG), a nonprofit organization dedicated to developing and promoting open source software standards, today announced it has raised significant ISV (Independent Software Vendor) support for the Linux Standard Base (LSB) including pledges from industry-leading software vendors such as BakBone Software, IBM, Levanta, Lymeware, MySQL, Novell, Oracle, UGS, VERITAS and others. The FSG also announced it has greatly expanded its member roster with the addition of over a dozen new members.

The LSB helps software vendors target the Linux platform in a cost-effective, low-risk manner. It also helps ISVs funnel their input to the Linux distribution industry, creating a more stable and robust process for both Linux distributors and Linux ISVs. This is crucial for the on-going success for Linux as it simplifies the development and porting of applications by ISVs. By supporting the LSB and LSB-compliant distributions, application vendors can save millions of dollars by utilizing a clear set of standards in their development efforts. Distribution vendor support also ensures Linux will not fork and will continue to be the fastest growing operating system in the industry.

As part of their support, the following vendors have also joined the Free Standards Group as new members: BakBone, Beijing Co-Create Software, Covalent Technologies, Fortify Software, Levanta, Lymeware, Hyperic, MySQL, Novell, Red Flag, Search Cacher, UGS and VERITAS. This greatly expands the Free Standards Group membership roster, especially adding representation from ISVs.

Last year the announcement of LSB 2.0 generated pledges of support from all major Linux distribution and systems vendors including AMD, Conectiva, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, Mandrakesoft, Miracle Linux, Novell's SUSE LINUX, Progeny, Red Flag, Red Hat, Sun Wah Linux, Thizlinux, and Turbolinux. Since that announcement, the Free Standards Group has been actively pursuing ISV support for the standard. This announcement of ISV support naturally follows the availability of a wide range of LSB-compliant Linux distributions.

"BakBone is proud to become a member of the Free Standards Group and we're impressed with the comprehensive support of the Linux Standard Base among Linux vendors," said Andrew Bowles, director worldwide OEM and alliances group, BakBone. "Helping to eliminate barriers to Linux adoption in the enterprise is a key objective for BakBone as evidenced by our own Linux Advantage initiative. Becoming a member of the Free Standards Group will help us build on the TCO and performance advantages of the Linux platform."

"IBM has long been a supporter of the Linux Standard Base," said Scott Handy, vice president, worldwide Linux at IBM. "The LSB and IBM share a common goal: making it easier for ISVs to target the larger multi-platform Linux opportunity. We use the LSB as a key component of our new Chiphopper program for ISVs and believe the LSB provides many key benefits for ISVs and the overall Linux community in general."

"As a leader in open source systems management, Levanta is very pleased to become a member of the Free Standards Group," said Akmal Khan, president and COO of Levanta. "The Linux Standard Base is an extremely important open source initiative. It will help us keep our porting and testing expenses low and gain competitive advantage over other non-LSB certified applications. We look forward to certifying to the standard and continuing to support the LSB."

"The quest is finally over. The holy grail of Linux binary compatibility has been found, and its name is LSB," said Michael Kobar, Chief Technology Officer, Lymeware. "With LSB we are now able to provide our product as a single binary package per platform, and not per distribution. This alone has dramatically reduced our development environment requirements and vastly increased our target market. The ability to deliver a single binary product allows us to support dozens of Linux operating systems without any additional work on our side."

"As the developer of the world's most popular open source database, we know it is crucial to support open source standards," said Marten Mickos, chief executive officer at MySQL. "Our customers are asking for standards-compliant certified software, and by joining the Free Standards Group and supporting the Linux Standard Base, we will be able to support them better."

"Since releasing the first commercial database on Linux in 1998, Oracle has led the industry with our support for Linux," said Wim Coekaerts, director, Linux Kernel Engineering at Oracle. "Oracle believes that only through the support of open standards will Linux truly achieve mass enterprise-class adoption. By working with the FSG and the Linux community at large, we are confident that Linux can continue to be a cost-effective and stable choice for Oracle customers. The LSB is an important industry initiative and we are pleased to see it supported by Linux distributions."

"Novell is proud to support the Linux Standard Base and to become a member of the Free Standards Group," said Jeff Hawkins, vice president, Linux Business Office, at Novell. "As both a Linux distribution vendor and a vendor who develops software that runs on Linux, we see multiple advantages of a well-supported binary standard for Linux. The LSB clearly has the momentum of the industry and is providing a crucial piece of the ongoing success of Linux."

"UGS, an advocate of open standards, is pleased to become a member of the Free Standards Group," said Chris Brosz, vice president of technical operations, UGS. "Our Parasolid® product conforms to the Linux Standard Base providing compatibility across LSB compliant distributions. By joining the FSG, we will continue our support for open standards on the Linux platform."

"VERITAS has been committed to Linux from the beginning," said Mark Bregman, Chief Technology Officer, VERITAS. "Now as a member of the Free Standards Group we are extending our commitments to include support for the Linux Standard Base. We look forward to contributing our feedback to the Linux community and to continuing in our pursuit of making Linux enterprise-ready. The LSB is a critical element to the adoption and long term success of Linux. It helps software vendors like us keep our porting costs low and standardizes interoperability best practices for Linux while reducing complexity for our customers."

"Access to code isn't enough. The combination of open source and open standards provides a true solution for end users," said Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Free Standards Group. "These forward-thinking ISVs have realized their support for the Linux Standard Base will reduce their development and testing costs and provide more choice to their end users. We applaud the support from these software vendors."

The Linux Standard Base specification contains a base set of APIs, libraries and interoperability standards. It also includes test suites, development environments, sample implementations and developer documentation.

The standard is available today from the Free Standard Group's Web site (www.freestandards.org). Developers looking for guidelines on how to build LSB-compliant applications can purchase "Building Applications with the Linux Standard Base," (ISBN 0-13-145695-4) a book published by IBM Press and written by core members of the Linux Standard Base Team.

About the Free Standards Group

The Free Standards Group is an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to accelerating the use and acceptance of free and open source software by developing and promoting standards. Key Free Standards Group projects include the Linux Standard Base (LSB), OpenI18N, LANANA and the new Accessibility Workgroup. Supported by leaders in the IT industry as well as the open source development community, the Free Standards Group fulfills a critical need to have common behavioral specifications, tools and ABIs across Linux platforms. More information on the Free Standards Group is available at www.freestandards.org.

Press Contact:
Amanda McPherson
415-531-0483

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