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February 18, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM Corp is the latest commercial giant to jump on the Linux bandwagon. Maybe Corel, Informix, Sybase, Oracle, Sun, Dell, SGI, Lotus and HP were already there, but IBM being what it is, the decision is likely to be read as sudden new credibility for the open source operating system. The new alliance will see IBM’s Netfinity Servers, PC300 commercial desktops, IntelliStations and ThinkPads running Official Red Hat Linux from Red Hat Software Inc being sold through IBM business partners. Unfortunately for the Windows Refund enthusiasts, Linux won’t be the only OS pre- installed on the machines; Windows NT will be there as well. Perhaps wanting to placate Microsoft, IBM downplayed the announcement, saying Linux is one of several operating systems it offers on bare bones Netfinity boxes. IBM spokesperson Kathleen Kenney did say that scientific labs and internet service providers (ISPs) had been asking the company specifically for Linux. She also pointed out that the deal includes a service and development agreement. IBM and Red Hat, whose headquarters are only five miles away from IBM’s complex in Raleigh, North Carolina, will build a joint lab and will collaborate to optimize Big Blue hardware for Linux. It all sounds very neighborly. As Kenney put it, We’ll have folks going back and forth.

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