OSDL axes staffers

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The Open Source Development Labs has axed staffers, in a layoff intended to refocus the operation on its new mission as an advocate for Linux in emerging overseas markets.

The Open Source Development Labs, the US-based Linux consortium that's the professional home of Linus Torvalds, has axed staffers in a layoff intended to refocus the operation on its new mission as an advocate for Linux in emerging overseas markets.

"OSDL has reduced staff in sales, marketing, business development and programming," OSDL spokesperson Jennifer Cloer said in an e-mail statement.

In a subsequent interview, Cloer declined to specify the extent of the downsizing. "We have no official statement on the numbers and are not disclosing specific headcount," she said.

However, she noted that the layoffs predate reports, which first surfaced Monday. "It actually just took place a couple of weeks ago," Cloer said. "The last day for those that left was last Friday [May 20]."

OSDL remains on solid footing, Cloer stressed, added that the group's membership continues to grow.

Rather, the cuts were spurred by OSDL's strategy of putting more emphasis on its efforts at advocating the adoption of Linux by users in rapidly growing emerging markets overseas.

"The Lab's mission has changed in the past year and it has decided to realign its investments accordingly," Cloer's statement said.

That's in keeping with a push OSDL began in early 2004, when it launched a major thrust to get Chinese software vendors to join the group.

OSDL snared its first Chinese vendor, Beijing Co-Create Open Source Software, in January 2004. Beijing Software Testing Center (BSTC), one of China's largest software testing organisation, joined OSDL in March, 2004.

OSDL has also focused heavily on Japan. OSDL's roster of Japanese members includes Fujitsu, Hitachi, IBM Japan, Intel Japan, IP Telecom K.K., Miracle Linux, Mitsubishi, NEC and Toshiba. In early May, Korean software vendor Haansoft signed up.

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