FreeOS.com: Robert LeBlanc, Vice President, Software Strategy, Software Solutions Division at IBMDec 24, 2000, 18:22 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Prakash Advani)
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"Robert LeBlanc was part of the original team that evaluated Linux, the open source movement and decided that this was where IBM should be. IBM's recently announced billion dollar fund is proof that IBM is serious about Linux. Here, Mr. Robert LeBlanc talks about a variety of issues including the reasons for choosing Linux, the status of Monterey and the release of AIX code into the open source community."
"How and why did IBM decide to support Linux when they already have their own OS?"
"The shift started about two years ago. An internal effort was started and I was also part of this team of 6-7 people. We wanted to know what this thing was and whether we needed yet another OS. We also looked at open source. Open source had far more benefits in terms of process. There was a lot of vigor in the process, lot of value in the process. It was a self-policing environment. If you did good work, you got noticed and got to do more good work. If you didn't pull your weight then you were shunned by the community. We also liked Linux. It was built right from the ground up. A small kernel which was very important as was the ability to add modules. Linux could scale upwards and downwards. The open source model was very good. We saw that Linux as an OS had very strong technical underpinnings. Another point to note was that customers were wanting a more open environment. We had just been through the Internet evolution and we saw the power of the Internet a lot before our competitors did. We were also members of the Apache project. The world did not need another web server, but the world needed a very good web server that could grow and expand. The world did not need another OS, but what the world did need was a common OS that was open source and scalable. We made the decision 18 months ago. We're way ahead of HP and Sun. So it's customer demand and we're giving them what they want."
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