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Linux Vendors & IBM join on ‘Microsoft-Free’ PCs

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images_23.jpgIBM and Linux operating system distributors Red Hat, Novell and Canonical/Ubuntu are to join forces with their hardware partners to create “Microsoft-free personal computing choices.”

Within the agreement, PC makers will be able to sell the bundled software with their desktop products. These software bundles are expected to be ready next year. With IBM’s 10 years experience of supporting Linux, the company now sees the right conditions to work towards a desktop Linux push. This will include shifting market forces, adoption of Microsoft’s Vista desktop operating system and increasing demands for other choices to pick from amongst the expensive Windows and Office licensing.
Jeff S. Smith, Vice President of open source and Linux middleware for IBM’s Software Group, said, “It’s no big secret that the client side of the IT environment is one of the last bastions of proprietary technology, disproportionately dominated by one vendor. We have long believed that helping to bring openness and choice to the client desktop is one of the next things to explode in this whole march for Linux.”
Smith would not provide the name of any hardware vendor who has signed on this initiative, however desktop Linux is more profitable for a vendor, and it is better equipped with lower cost hardware.
Michael Silver, Gartner analyst, says this does not represent the first time for a Linux desktop push. He said that Windows is not a huge cost when you get it on a new PC and that the annual cost to get supported version could end up charging you more then what you’re paying for windows.

He goes on to say that the bigger problem is that most organizations still need windows to run 80 percent of their programmers. Adding Linux forces them to transfer the programes off windows or pay for services to run them on Windows, eliminating the proposition.
“And that does not even address Access database apps or Excel Macros, which may not run on Linux or which may require significant migration costs of their own,” Silver said.

By IT News staff reporter

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