Samsung Brings Linux To Line Of Laser Printers

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Samsung last week introduced a new Linux software solution for its entire line of laser printers, signaling yet another show of support for the open-source platform.

Through a development partnership with San Francisco-based Codehost, Samsung laser printers now support a wide distribution of Linux variants including Caldera, Debian, Mandrake, Red Hat, Slackware, SuSE and Turbo Linux.

Samsung laser printers now support a wide distribution of Linux variants.

The Codehost package supports GDI, PCL and PostScript printing systems and includes customer applications to install, configure and manage printers. It covers Samsung's entry-level to high-end laser printers. The technology was introduced at the LinuxWorld Conference and Expo here.

"The good news [in Samsung's announcement is every time another company supports Linux, it just opens the door to making it easier for me to sell it," said Paul Kostick, owner of C-Tech Systems, a Sacramento, Calif.-based solution provider that is opening a new branch office focused exclusively on Linux server sales.

The popularity of the open-source platform stands to boost C-Tech's services business from 5 percent to 10 percent by 2003, Kostick said. Because printer drivers are often written by third parties, increasing support from manufacturers is a good trend from a solution provider's perspective, he said.

Samsung makes a line of monochrome laser printers with output rates ranging from 12 ppm to 21 ppm and estimated street prices of $199 to $799.

Samsung executives were not available for comment. However, in a statement, Chanel O'Connor, Samsung printer product marketing manager, described the move as a tremendous opportunity for the vendor to reach new users, "given the increasing popularity of the Linux operating system."

Paula Rooney contributed to this story.

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