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Internet Week: Big Players Won't Dim Linux Bulbs; IBM Can't 'Hijack Linux'

Feb 08, 2001, 18:42 (7 Talkback[s])

"Last week, someone from Gartner Group made a similar prediction about Linux and IBM ['Has IBM Hijacked Linux?']. I've heard rumblings before, back when Red Hat and VA Research stormed onto the scene. What makes this different is that Big Blue is becoming formal in its Linux use. Not only is there a new IBM Linux Technology Center in Austin, Texas, but Big Blue is proposing to merge its AIX with Linux, to be dubbed AIXL. This has some Linux proponents nervous, because a single corporate vendor would then have its hooks deep into the Linux OS. The worry is that with this advantageous position, Big Blue would dominate the marketplace and threaten Linux's freedom."

"Frankly, that's not possible in the near term, if ever. ... Even if a player like Microsoft released a distribution (Black Hat Linux?) with its full marketing power, it would stand little chance of dominating the Linux market or endangering the freedom of open source development. That's because no one on the corporate dark side controls the kernel development--Linux's heart and soul."

"The IBM situation is different because that's just what it's proposing: direct involvement with kernel development, albeit a new kernel. But no one has said AIXL would supplant other distributions. I don't see how that would be possible under the open source model except by mob opinion, in which case opposing viewpoints are moot. ... Barring any hidden profitability goals (and I'm hoping someone in the OS community has floated this already), the more development IBM does for Linux and open source in general, the better."

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