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NewsForge: IBM and Linux: What's Really Happening

May 21, 2002, 11:00 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols)

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"In February 1999, IBM announced it would support Linux and a partnership with Red Hat. By July of that year, Advanced Communication Design, a developer and OEM of in-store interactive digital audio and video merchandising systems, made history by being one of the first companies to deploy a major, mission critical IBM/Red Hat Linux system. Why? Marco Scibora, ACD's president explained then it was because "Linux is very reliable, and its help resources are extremely fast," and also, "now that Linux has major corporate help support from IBM and other companies, it makes a great environment for customized programs."

"Fast-forward to October 2000: IBM announced it had a grand operating system unification plan for its servers. Its name was Linux, and with the partnership of the four major business Linux distributors, Caldera, Red Hat, SuSE and Turbolinux, IBM made it happen. Today, there's no modern IBM hardware from laptop to mainframe that you can't run Linux on.

"Now it all seems inevitable. IBM and Linux, Linux and IBM. Today, the two go together as closely as Microsoft and Windows. But what is IBM really getting from Linux? How well is the partnership between what was once seen as the stodgiest of all computer companies and the most rebellious of all operating systems actually going beyond the ad campaigns and the constant announcements of new deals...?"

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