"Last week, someone from Gartner Group made a similar prediction
about Linux and IBM ['Has IBM Hijacked Linux?']. I've heard
rumblings before, back when Red Hat and VA Research stormed onto
the scene. What makes this different is that Big Blue is becoming
formal in its Linux use. Not only is there a new IBM Linux
Technology Center in Austin, Texas, but Big Blue is proposing to
merge its AIX with Linux, to be dubbed AIXL. This has some Linux
proponents nervous, because a single corporate vendor would then
have its hooks deep into the Linux OS. The worry is that with this
advantageous position, Big Blue would dominate the marketplace and
threaten Linux's freedom."
"Frankly, that's not possible in the near term, if ever. ...
Even if a player like Microsoft released a distribution (Black Hat
Linux?) with its full marketing power, it would stand little chance
of dominating the Linux market or endangering the freedom of open
source development. That's because no one on the corporate
dark side controls the kernel development--Linux's heart and
"The IBM situation is different because that's just what it's
proposing: direct involvement with kernel development, albeit a new
kernel. But no one has said AIXL would supplant other
distributions. I don't see how that would be possible under the
open source model except by mob opinion, in which case opposing
viewpoints are moot. ... Barring any hidden profitability goals
(and I'm hoping someone in the OS community has floated this
already), the more development IBM does for Linux and open
source in general, the better."
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