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LinuxWorld.com: IBM's (now) not-so-secret Linux strategy

Nov 07, 2001, 16:02 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)
"Has this coziness with Linux harmed IBM's relationship with Microsoft? Not to hear Frye tell it. Frye describes that relationship as being stronger than ever, saying, "This is not Microsoft versus Linux. This is about choice. What IBM brings to the table is the ability to not give customers a single choice but to find the best choice to meet their problems."

Other things have not changed. IBM still views Linux as a server solution, not as a desktop entity. When I asked a hypothetical question, assuming that the antitrust case results in Microsoft no longer being able to punish or reward vendors for offering other products in standalone or dual-boot configurations, if IBM would begin to preload Linux, he said no, not unless customers demanded it. They just don't see a market for Linux on the desktop, yet. If and when they see demand for Linux on the desktop, Frye says they will find a way to provide it their customers.

IBM still has no interest in offering its own Linux distribution. As Frye put it, 'The Linux business model for IBM is straightforward: We sell the hardware underneath it, we sell the software on top of it, and we sell the services all around it. The fact that we don't sell the thin layer Linux operating system is frankly irrelevant.'"

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