International Business Machines Corp. said on Thursday that a
leading Japanese convenience store chain will install more than
15,000 IBM computers running Linux to allow for Web access in
stores, in the largest commercial use of the alternative operating
system to date.
"This is the largest commercial Linux rollout ever," said IBM
vice president of marketing John Callies.
Convenience store chain Lawson Inc. will have two IBM eServer
xSeries server computers at each store to provide information from
the Web and communications satellites. Customers will be able to
download music, movies and other Web multimedia at Lawson's more
than 7,500 stores.
The Linux operating system, which is freely available to
programmers, is considered to be a distant threat to the Windows
operating system sold by Microsoft Corp.
According to market forecasts released by market research firm
International Data Corp. earlier this week, shipments of the Linux
operating system are expected to jump 144.4 percent to 41,200 units
in Japan this year.
This 2.4-fold increase would give Linux a 7.8 percent share of
the overall server operating system market in 2000, compared to a
4.0 percent share the previous year, IDC Japan said.
Windows NT shipments are expected to decline 5.1 percent to
323,600 units, while shipments of Windows 2000, which just debuted
in February, are forecast to total 97,100 units.