IBM Expands Support for Linux

New RS/6000, ThinkPad, Software and Partner Offerings

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NEW YORK - 12 Jun 2000: -- IBM today strengthened its commitment to Linux by announcing several new hardware and software offerings and a broad set of initiatives to help its developer and reseller Partners develop and install Linux solutions for customers worldwide. These initiatives include:

- ThinkPad notebooks pre-configured with Caldera OpenLinux;

- SuSE Linux support for IBM RS/6000 servers;

- new and enhanced versions of the popular WebSphere Application Server for Linux, and a special offering for small businesses with key e-business software available at significant cost savings;

- a set of partner initiatives to support development of Linux applications and provide Linux training, education and certification for IBM's 90,000 resellers, and solution providers.

IBM also announced that it has the Linux operating system up-and-running on its next generation POWER 4 microprocessor, due out next year.

"Marketplace momentum for Linux is growing because of its universal appeal which brings with it the potential for huge innovation across the industry, much as we saw with the Internet five years ago," said Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice president technology and strategy, IBM Enterprise Systems Group. "With these offerings, IBM is affirming its support for Linux and enlisting the support of its partners to increase Linux penetration among businesses of all sizes."

"Development activity around Linux has been steadily growing and customers are beginning to see the virtues of building their IT infrastructures on a platform that is completely open and scaleable across all servers," said Janet Waxman, director, systems and storage distribution channels, International Data Corporation. "Tangible, programmatic support from major vendors is the key to success for Linux, and the concrete steps IBM is taking today will help transform Linux from an upstart operating system into a platform of choice for developers and solution providers."

Counted among IBM's partners are more than 45,000 independent software vendors (ISVs) and some 45,000 resellers and solution providers who will benefit directly from the IBM offerings. IBM is making an incremental investment of several million dollars in a variety of Linux support programs for developers, while offering resellers and solution providers a broad array of Linux education and training that will lead to certification and help them sell Linux solutions to customers. Linux is the industry's fastest-growing operating system.

"Linux solutions represent a fast growing opportunity for both IBM and our partners," said Buell Duncan, general manager, IBM Global Business Partners. "With its promise of application ubiquity, Linux gives our partners and IBM another opportunity to work together to create e-business solutions that benefit ourselves and our mutual customers."

ThinkPad and RS/6000
IBM will now offer its ThinkPad A20m and T20 models pre-configured with Caldera OpenLinux eDesktop 2.4. With the Linux pre-load, models ranging from an affordable desktop alternative to a thin and light notebook will offer a balance of performance and portability. The pre-load is ideal for software developers and IT professionals as it will dramatically cut the time needed to setup and tune the systems. The Linux pre-load will be available beginning in the third quarter, when IBM, with third-party companies, also plans to begin certifying multiple Linux distributors to aid customers in using Linux on ThinkPad -- including SuSE, Red Hat, TurboLinux and Caldera. In September 1999, IBM became the first notebook vendor on Red Hat's hardware compatibility list.

In addition, SuSE Linux for RS/6000 has been tested and certified on RS/6000 B50 rack mountable servers for service providers, the 43P Model 150 entry servers and workstations and F-50 deskside servers for departments and small organizations. Support for other RS/6000 products will be added later in the year. SuSE Linux runs a wide range of applications for the business, service provider, and scientific and technical markets including Web and application serving a wide array of network services.

In other server related Linux news, IBM plans to offer Linux on AS/400, opening a new stream of e-business applications that complement AS/400 strength as a leading integrated core business data transaction server for mid-market customers.

WebSphere and IBM Small Business Solution
The IBM WebSphere software platform now supports Linux applications ranging from simple Web publishing through enterprise-scale transaction processing. The Standard and Advanced Editions of WebSphere Version 3.0.2 include tightly integrated business Web content development tools and Web site management capabilities for Linux development, deployment and integration with other e-business systems.

IBM also announced the new Small Business Pack for Linux -- a promotional offering of industry-leading IBM Middleware at a suggested retail price of only $499. With the new software, small and growing companies can realize significant cost savings while benefiting from middleware technologies for implementing e-business applications, such as messaging and collaboration, Web application serving, and managing e-business data. The offering includes DB2 Universal Database, Lotus Domino Application Server and WebSphere, Standard Edition and is available through December 13, 2000. According to IDC, 48 percent of all Linux installations support organizations of fewer than 100 employees.

Application Development Support, Training & Certification
Application development support under IBM's PartnerWorld for Developers program includes additional resources assigned to IBM Solution Partnership Centers worldwide, including further technical support and consultancy for startups using the Linux operating system. IBM Solution Partnership Centers are in 15 locations worldwide and offer state-of-the-art resources for IBM developer partners to port and validate their code on Linux platforms including Red Hat, SuSE, TurboLinux and Caldera. On-site at the SPCs, a staff of experts is also being made available to support developers in their Linux activities.

IBM is also adding new content to the Linux Zone on developerWorks (www.ibm.com/developerWorks) -- a free on-line resource providing Linux developers with credible and reliable content from both IBM and industry-leading sources. Content includes industry news, guides, how-tos, hints and tips as well as free downloads and the latest Java technology on Linux.

In addition, IBM is expanding its strategic e-business certification initiative to include open industry standard certifications, including that from the Linux Professional Institute, within IBM's newly available Solution Technologist role. These new roles and supporting education enable Partners to enhance their Linux skills and establish credibility with customers and prospects. As part of IBM's e-business certification program, partners can take advantage of co-marketing and create business relations with other highly qualified partners. Linux courseware is available through new 'distance' learning modules -- including satellite -- to allow candidates to effectively prepare for the testing associated with this new role without leaving their office.

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