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Unilever Tosses Its Hat into OSDL

With Linux creator Linus Torvalds now firmly in place at Open Source Development Lab (OSDL), the non-profit group dedicated to Linux development and advancement has now gained the credibility to court big name multinational corporations like consumer product giant Unilever as its newest member.

In fact, Unilever's membership in the open-source group also marks the first non-IT vendor to join the group, whose backers include Computer Associates, Fujitsu, Hitachi, HP, IBM and Intel.

Unilever is already in the midst of its plans to migrate its information technology systems from Unix to Linux on Intel-standard hardware across 80 countries where it operates. Back in January, Unilever was among the list of key clients that IBM paraded before attendees at the LinuxWorldExpo in New York.

At that time, however, Unilever only deployed the open source operating system to run firewalls and domain name services. But its entry into OSDL will surely help to accelerate Linux's deployment as the global enterprise operating environment throughout Unilever.

"OSDL gives us a unique venue where we can work directly with the world's major IT vendors and with the open source development community on an equal basis to participate in the growth of Linux," said Colin Hope-Murray, CTO of the global IT infrastructure group at Unilever.

Earlier this month, Torvalds brought in a top lieutenant, Andrew Morton, to OSDL to help support the open source community by maintaining a stable Linux kernel. Torvalds, who joined OSDL in June after a brief stint with Transmeta, continues to head kernel development.