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"Microsoft Can't Ignore Linux's Double-Digit Growth Forever," Says IBM Executive

IBM & Red Hat To Chase ISVs

In a deal similar to one it already has with Novell, IBM is now joining hands with market leader Red Hat to push Linux into emerging markets such as China, India, Russia and Korea without overlooking the established markets.

The alliance, which started with a pilot in Europe earlier this year, is cast as an anti-Microsoft software- capturing migration play.

Todd Chase, the head of IBM's Innovation Centers, believes the move will cause Microsoft, protective of its developer base, to blink. "They can't ignore Linux' double-digit growth forever," he said.

The pair, which aims to capitalize on the backing given to open source by governments in China, Brazil and Massachusetts, is supposed to give developers the resources to port and certify their applications on IBM software and hardware and Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

Those IBM platforms may tend to favor its Power machines. IBM says it has enabled 1,300 ISV apps on Linux on Power and expects to grow that number by 200 new programs a quarter.

IBM says it will open the doors of 15 of its 25 Innovation Centers around the world and make servers, software tools, expertise, training and implementation services freely available to ISVs who register as business partners. It is also introducing 29 new Linux tutorials on developerWorks. Red Hat is supposed to provide software and do training at the centers.

IBM says the developerWorks community has created 6,500 Linux applications since 2003 and Chase said 10% of the software produced by his Innovations Centers is for Linux these days. That translated into 400 programs last year, a figure already passed this year.

The centers tapped are divided 50-50 between the developing world and established markets and include sites in China, India, Korea, Japan, Australia, Russia, Holland, the US, the UK, Germany and France.

IBM has poured $250 million into its Innovation Centers over the last 10 years. Chase said there was no money changing hands between IBM and Red Hat.


This report is based on a story that appeared originally in ClientServerNews (http://www.clientservernews.com/).

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