IBM Promotes Linux to ISVs

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2005-03-18 Print this article Print

Despite a survey suggesting that Novell users prefer Windows, IBM has plans to encourage enterprise use of Linux.

IBM is looking to drive reluctant, cash-strapped ISVs to embrace Linux with a worldwide initiative to promote development and certification of applications for Novell Inc.s SuSE Linux on IBMs eServer and middleware platforms.

The program, launched this week in conjunction with Novell, of Waltham, Mass., gives interested ISVs access to technical resources, expertise and hands-on tools at nine IBM Innovation Centers across North America, Europe and Asia.

The initiative follows a similar move IBM made last December with Red Hat Inc., of Raleigh, N.C.; it focused on getting European ISVs to consider Linux.

A key impediment to enterprise adoption of Linux is the lack of applications supporting the platform compared with other operating environments such as Windows and Unix. Adding to the pressure to provide a rich application environment for Linux is Microsoft Corp.s effort to woo NetWare users.

Click here to read more about IBMs new SuSE Linux program for ISVs. Microsoft and Quest Software Inc., based in Irvine, Calif., last week said they had migrated more than 1.5 million NetWare users to Windows Server 2003. Microsoft, in Redmond, Wash., launched its NetWare migration program last November, offering incentives to attract NetWare users.

In a potentially worrisome sign for Novell and its SuSE Linux, a survey by The Yankee Group Inc., in Boston, found that 80 percent of Novell users polled said they will migrate from NetWare to Windows by 2006, while 14 percent said they will choose Red Hat Enterprise Linux, said Yankee analyst Laura DiDio.

Read more here about Microsofts move to win NetWare users from Novell. But IBM remains optimistic. Todd Chase, program director for IBMs Innovation Center, in Waltham, said that, to date, more than 6,000 Linux-based applications have been developed on the IBM platform.

Absoft Corp., of Rochester Hills, Mich., recently tested its FORTRAN and C/C++ compilers and debugging development tools for quality assurance on SuSE Linux 8.2 and SuSE Linux 9.0 on Power for pSeries 670 at the IBM Innovation Center in Chicago. "Gaining access to the experts to test mission-critical applications on Linux gives solution providers the confidence they need to deploy Linux strategically in complex customer environments," said Wood Lotz, Absofts CEO.

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Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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