IBM launches $200 million Linux intitiative in Asia Pacific, including new Linux Development Centers

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Tokyo - 30 Aug 2000: - IBM today announced major Linux initiatives aimed at speeding the ability of Asia Pacific customers and key software vendors to increase productivity within the Linux operating environment.

IBM will invest more than $200 million in the Asia Pacific region within the next four years on seven Linux Development Centers, Linux Competency Centers, alliances with Linux-focused business partners, Linux research and development and other programs, along with rapid deployment of more than 300 specialized Linux consultants, hardware and software specialists, researchers, product developers and services professionals.

As a key part of this initiative, IBM announced that it is opening a series of Asia Pacific Linux development centers to help software vendors port their applications to the Linux environment. These centers will be located in Tokyo, Shanghai, Beijing, Taipei, Seoul, Bangalore (which also supports other ASEAN countries), and Sydney. Linux developers can get in contact with these centers and access other Linux resources through the new IBM Linux website for Asia Pacific(

"The Asia Pacific region will see growth in the Linux area as our customers, business partners and government organizations recognize the growing importance of Linux as a key e-business operating system, " said Kakutaro Kitashiro, president of IBM Asia Pacific. "There is tremendous interest today in Linux as the platform of choice for e-business because it provides an affordable solution that can be tailored to meet regional and customer demands.

"With the establishment of these centers and other investments we are making, IBM will aggressively promote Linux applications that will run on our already Linux-enabled servers to help our customers take full advantage of the benefits Linux provides. IBM is a very strong supporter of Linux and we believe our efforts will further the adoption of Linux in the Asia Pacific region."

The centers will be open to all software vendors, from enterprise application leaders to start-ups working on software for embedded technology in wireless devices. The centers will be equipped with Linux-ready servers, storage systems and IBM middleware products, including WebSphere products, Lotus Domino and DB2 Universal Database. At the centers, IBM will support application development on all IBM servers -- Netfinity, AS/400, RS/6000 and S/390, and provide assistance from software and server information technology specialists.

Key parts of the IBM Linux initiative are Japanese and Chinese language versions of developerWorks(, IBM's award-winning comprehensive on-line resource for the developer community. It provides Linux zone, Open source zone, Java, XML, Security, Web architecture zones. The Japanese developerWorks is available today, while the simplified and traditional Chinese versionswill be available in the fourth quarter. IBM also will increase the use of the English developerWorks around the rest of Asia Pacific.

As part of this initiative, IBM is engaged in Linux research and development facilities at its Yamato Software Development Lab. and Tokyo Research Lab. in Japan and China Research Lab.

To strengthen support to Linux developers, IBM also is establishing Linux Competency Centers in Yamato, Beijing, Seoul and Bangalore. These centers will work with the Linux community to develop standards such as Li18nux, Motif Globalization, and GNU Text Tools Unicode support.

The Linux Competency Centers are actively participating and leading the Free Standards Group Li18nux project. AP Linux Competency Center is chairing the Li18nux project and established Linux Globalization specification.

Key industry players, such as Intel, will work with IBM to promote the development of the Linux community in Asia Pacific.

"Intel's focus is on the Internet economy, fueling Internet growth and connecting billions of people through computers, and Linux plays a key role in this effort," said Tom Burns, Director of Internet Solutions Group, Intel Asia Pacific. "IBM's work on the Intel(R) Architecture-based Linux applications is a significant step towards building a strong e-Business environment for the growth of the Internet economy."

TurboLinux, one of the world's largest developers and distributors of the Linux operating system, also is partnering with IBM to bring Linux developments to the Asia Pacific market.

"We are pleased to team up with IBM and look forward to a continued cooperation," said Ted Liu, Vice President, Marketing, Alliance & Business Development, TurboLinux Asia Pacific. "TurboLinux already is preloaded on selected Netfinity models. In addition, we are working on joint promotion of IBM's middleware software such as DB2 and WebSphere. Web and database servers are two of the key growth areas. Here, TurboLinux with our clustering technology and skills can build very powerful systems using IBM's scaleable Netfinity and middleware. We are also actively working with IBM on the largest servers, S/390, as well as the new thin clients, Net Vista. Looking forward, TurboLinux will work with IBM to continue the development of the Linux market."

Establishment of the Asia Pacific centers is part of IBM's strategy to embrace and support Linux throughout its portfolio of e-business software, servers and services. These centers will offer the following services:

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