"A huge company with deep pockets, IBM can afford to dabble in
promising technologies. And that is what the International Business
Machines Corp. seemed to be doing throughout much of last year with
Linux, an increasingly popular version of the Unix operating system
that is available free on the Internet."
"IBM dispatched emissaries to speak with members of the Linux
community, a worldwide network of programmers who develop and debug
the code. IBM met with academics, consultants, economists and
venture capitalists to plumb the Linux phenomenon. It made small
investments in a couple of Linux start-ups, and offered Linux on
one line of its computers."
"But last fall, Big Blue suddenly got serious about