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

“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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