Linux gains foothold in Philippines' market

Q Linux Solutions, Inc., Philippines, realizing the need to have their Linux training courses institutionalized.

New Linux distributor opens shop in Makati

PHILIPPINES (Manilla Bulletin) - As the adoption of Linux becomes more and more widespread, many tech companies are realizing the need to have their Linux training courses institutionalized.

Q Linux Solutions, Inc., a local Linux distributor and advocate, shares the same vision.

In a recent interview during a recent Linux seminar to launch the new company held in Makati City, Q Linux Solutions sales and marketing manager Dennis Santiago said that in the future they aim to offer the Linux training coursewares institutionalized.

"Our goal is to offer Linux courses in a standard academic mode and form via our Open Source Proficiency Center called Q Linux Labs," he said.

The said lab, Santiago said, is dedicated to the promotion of Open Source Technology in the country by providing quality education through seminars, training and support to all Open Source and Linux aspirants and professionals.

As an open source system, Linux is a licensed software distributed for free or for sale, in its binary and source forms. The license allows users to modify and redistribute the software, for free or for sale using the same original open source software.

Starting Aug. 14, Q Linux Labs will kick off its first Linux academic courses at the company office in Makati City.

By offering standard Linux academic courses, Q Linux Solutions hope to attract enterprises that may want to migrate their online operations to a Linux environment.

"We are looking at offering our Internet and e-commerce Linux solutions towards the corporate market as well as Internet service providers (ISPs).

The initiative, he explained, is part of their corporate vision to have enterprises run their mission critical applications on Linux environment.

He added that they aim to provide these market segment with more (technical) support and applications.

With regards to the ISP market, Santiago said they are in the process of inking an agreement with more or less 50 ISPs to provide them with technical support and management service.

Santiago said this means Q Linux will not only be providing technical support to these ISPs, but will also act as their system administrator.

Presently, Mozcom, MindGate and EDSAMail are a few of the local ISPs already operating in the Linux environment, and Santiago expects the number to grow.

This bullish outlook for greater Linux adoption in the country by local ISPs, however, is a view not shared by all.

According to Prof. Pablo Manalastas, a pioneer Linux user from the Ateneo de Manila University's Department of Information Systems and Computer Science, "people are so used to (the) Windows (OS) that it's so hard (for Linux) to get around it."

Santiago, however disspelled this statement, maintaining that prospects for the local Linux market are even brighter, today.

According to the online Linux global counter, the number of registered Linux users in the Philippines, alone, have skyrocketed by as huge as 137 percent.

That's 388 registered users as of April 4, 2000 from last year's 164.

Moreover, the staggering growth has placed the Philippines in second place among its other Linux-using Asian counterparts.

First in rank is Indonesia with a 168-percent growth rate so far, this year.

In a global scale, however, the Philippines only ranks No. 36 among the 197 countries included in the counter. The US is still the top Linux-using country in the world with more than 40,000 registered users this year, or a growth rate of 31 percent.

Santiago said an alliance program which they plan to launch in 30 days with IT consulting firms in the region will further strengthen Linux's foothold in the local market.

"This will get us the footprint to propagate Linux among bigger vendors," he said.