IBM to spend US$300 million more on Linux

IBM Corp. announced Wednesday that it is planning to spend another $US300 million on Linux. This is in addition to the $1 billion it has already earmarked for Linux development.

The company will invest an additional $US300 million in global Linux support services over the next three years, Mike Lawrie, IBM's general manager for Europe, Middle East and Africa, said in a keynote speech at the Linux Expo show here in Paris on Wednesday.

The services will help clients install and commission Linux-based electronic commerce systems, and will include support for the migration of electronic commerce systems to Linux, and for the creation of high-availability Linux server clusters to support strategic business applications.

The investment adds to the $US1 billion that IBM said it would allocate to Linux development at the end of last year. Some $US200 million of this will be spent in Europe, Lawrie said.

Linux is the fastest-growing operating system around the globe, said Lawrie, citing a study by International Data Corp. One of the reasons for its global success, he said, is that its roots lie outside the U.S.

The audience was keen to hear how IBM reconciled its position as one of the most prolific producers of patent registrations with its new-found enthusiasm for open-source software. Lawrie, put on the spot, said that the company supported both software patents and open-source, adding that there needed to be a dialog to find an equilibrium between the two.

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