IBM servers running Linux will be used on terminals at a
national convenience store chain in Japan to allow customers to
download music, movies and other multimedia applications.
Lawson, one of Japan's largest local store chains, has placed
the order for 15,200 IBM eServer xSeries servers and will install
two machines supporting store terminals in each of 7600 branches to
begin running in March 2001.
As well as downloading multimedia applications, the terminals
will provide information from internet and satellite feeds. The
terminals are already used to book airline reservations and order
The news follows Monday's news that Tesco will replace its
Dos-based tills with checkouts running Linux, creating a thin
client set-up across the food industry giant's network.
Makoto Takayama, managing director of the new business
division at Lawson, said: "We realised there is no questioning the
rapid growth of Linux and we wanted to take advantage of it. Linux
was our first choice to run these new applications because [it] is
easy to maintain and costs less than other operating systems to
Analysts have said that Lawson's reasons for adopting Linux were
sound, but warned that the long-term cost of the operating system
has yet to be established.
Tony Lock, a senior analyst at Bloor Research, told vnunet.com :
"This is a big shot in the arm for Linux. Having the backing of IBM
has given it a large injection of credibility and Lawson's reasons
for using it for the stated needs are sound."
"However, whilst it is obviously cheap to deploy we don't really
know whether it is cheap or not in the long term. That will depend
on how reliable and easy to maintain it proves to be," he