"IBM announced Thursday what it called the biggest ever
commercial use of Linux, inking a deal to outfit a Japanese
convenience chain called Lawson Inc. with more than 15,000 IBM
eServers running the alternative operating system. "We think this
will be the largest Linux installation in the world," said John
Callies, IBM vice president, xSeries servers."
"Callies declined to say which Linux distribution IBM will
pre-load on the Intel-based xSeries systems for Lawson, claiming
that Lawson did not want that information made public. IBM has
partnerships in place with a variety of Linux vendors, including
all of the big four -- Caldera Inc., Red Hat Inc., TurboLinux and
SuSE Inc. But sources close to the deal said Red Hat Linux will be
the Linux distribution that will be pre-loaded on Lawson's
"The Lawson deal is not only significant for IBM, but for
Linux as a whole, said Bill Claybrook, research director for Linux
and open-source software with market researcher Aberdeen Group Inc.
Claybrook said he considered the Lawson win to represent the
largest number of servers sold pre-installed with Linux."