February 17, 2005 11:35 AM PST

IBM to invest $100 million in Linux push

IBM on Thursday unveiled a plan to spend $100 million over the next three years to build support for Linux into desktop applications for its Workplace software.

The company said the money will go toward support programs designed for independent software vendors, programs for channels and partners, research and development, sales and marketing, and various technology and integration centers.


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IBM's Workplace software is built around its Java-based WebSphere Portal software, which delivers applications and documents from servers to PCs or handheld devices running Windows or Linux. The software can present information in a Web browser that has full graphical capabilities and can be used offline.

IBM said the decision stemmed from the increasing popularity of Linux among its customers. According to the company, the number of customers opting for the Linux platform for applications such as WebSphere Portal, instant messaging and Web-based document sharing saw high double-digit growth in 2004.

"Since customers have been looking for ways to extend the value of Linux to the desktop, IBM felt the time was right to deliver a fully supported Linux client alternative," Ambuj Goyal, IBM's general manager of Workplace, Portal and Collaboration Software, said in a statement.

Big Blue hopes that the new project will result in the development of new and cheaper applications that use Linux and thus will enhance the choices available to its customers.

IBM's Workplace software, designed to compete with Microsoft's market-leading Office bundle, is slated for release in the next quarter.

4 comments

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IBM Linux?
Why don't they just make an IBM Linux distro? It would sure be interesting.
Posted by jcc17 (2 comments )
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interesting
<a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.analogstereo.com/mercedes_e_class_owners_manual.htm" target="_newWindow">http://www.analogstereo.com/mercedes_e_class_owners_manual.htm</a>
Posted by Ubber geek (325 comments )
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Looking much further ahead
Linux has a long and healthy future no matter what anyone says or does, it is not based on a singular business model that may thrive or dive.

It is almost a living thing, if all whole community stopped improving it today, hundreds of hungry students and enthusiasts would pick up on it tomorrow.

Problems that need to be addressed immediately are limited software and mass user adoption, it's great to hear IBM is improving the software problem and the young <a class="jive-link-external" href="http://www.cosmopod.com" target="_newWindow">http://www.cosmopod.com</a> is addressing the other with their revolutionary online desktop that aims to put a Linux desktop in front of everyone in the world for free!! It would be nice to see the IBM get involved supporting this young project.
Posted by iqula (59 comments )
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Hopefully it won't be another OS2 fiasco
I hope they get it right this time. Remember when they spent millions advertising OS2 (the OTHER OS)? Although a great operating system they didn't have the apps to go with it or the developers writing apps people want to use. Some fantastic games in Linux such as 'Mech Warrior', 'Tribes', or 'Sims' might help the OS take off.

R Shelton
Posted by rshelton3000 (26 comments )
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