IBM Vows To Spend $US1 Billion To Promote An Operating System That Competes With Windows

IBM on Tuesday will announce that it has committed $US1 billion to convince its customers to use Linux, a freely available open source operating system that competes with Windows,
reports The Wall Street Journal’s Don Clark.

This is the second time that IBM coughed up $US1 billion to promote Linux. The first was way back in 2000, when Linux was a fledgling operating system just finding its way into enterprise data centres and beginning to threaten Microsoft.

Microsoft spent years trying to scare customers away from Linux, at one point even saying that Linux violates 235 patents and hinting that enterprises using it could be sued.

But the scare tactics didn’t work and Linux adoption grew, in large part due to IBM’s vote of confidence. There’s hardly an enterprise data center on the planet today that isn’t using Linux and it has become the operating system of choice for the world’s biggest, fastest computers, as well as for huge Internet companies like Google and Facebook.

But Linux has not killed Windows Server. Not even close.

Servers running Linux now command 23% of new server purchases by enterprises, where servers running Microsoft Windows command 49%, according to IDC’s latest quarterly server report.

We’ll see what happens now that IBM will pour another $US1 billion in. IBM will use the money to create a “development cloud,” built with its own Power servers that run on Linux. Customers will be able to use it for free to test Linux applications remotely, reports Clark.

The money will also be spent on IBM’s executive briefing centres where enterprises can do workshops and get demonstrations on Linux Power servers.

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