IBM has added support for Linux to its Thinkpad range of
notebook computers as part of its effort to push the open source
operating system further into the enterprise.
Big Blue will offer Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4 operating
system pre-configured on its Thinkpad A20m and T20 models. The
package will be aimed at software developers and IT professionals,
and IBM claims that it will dramatically cut the time needed to set
up and tune the systems.
The company will also begin certifying multiple Linux
distributors including SuSE, Red Hat, TurboLinux and Caldera.
In February, Dell Computer became one of the first notebook
suppliers to include Linux in its hardware when it began offering
Red Hat Linux 6.1 pre-installed on its Latitude CPx and Inspiron
The availability of Linux on IBM's notebooks is the latest move
by the company to install Linux across its platforms. This week it
also announced that SuSE Linux has been tested and certified for
its RS/6000 B50 and 43P Model 150 servers and workstations, and its
F-50 deskside systems for departments and small businesses.
IBM said Linux support for other RS/6000 products will be added
later as well as to its AS/400 systems.
Janet Waxman, an analyst at research firm IDC, said: "Tangible,
programmatic support from major vendors is the key to success for
Linux, and the concrete steps IBM is taking will help transform
Linux from an upstart operating system into a platform of choice
for developers and solution providers."
However, Gartner analyst George Weiss said that Linux has yet to
prove itself in large enterprise deployments. He warned that
fledging software developer enthusiasm, the availability of global
service, support and disaster recovery are significant weaknesses
that need to be overcome before Linux can further penetrate
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