IBM Is Sweetening the Linux Pot

By Steven Vaughan-Nichols  |  Posted 2001-01-15

TurboLinux and IBM have struck a global distribution and support agreement that enables TurboLinux to offer its customers IBMs entire Linux software line.

Specifically, TurboLinux will sell and support such products as DB2, WebSphere, Lotus Domino, Tivoli Framework and IBMs Small Business Suite for Linux. This is not the first such deal, though. IBM made similar arrangements with Red Hat in August and with SuSE in October.

These deals have two purposes, insiders say. One is to push IBM business software into the Linux market. The other is to sweeten the deal for IBMs Linux partners, because some of them have felt that theyre not getting enough for their efforts to bring Linux to IBMs high-end server and mainframe lines.

The new arrangement has its upside, says Scott Handy, IBMs director of Linux Solutions Marketing. He explains that "each deal is unique" and that because "each partner has its own targeted segment," the Linux vendors are "happy to be working with IBM."

IBMs not done wheeling and dealing with its Linux partners, though. Big Blue is in discussions with Caldera about a similar distribution and support deal. IBMs also talking with other Linux companies. While not naming names, Handy indicated that these were not general-purpose Linux distributors, like Debian, but geographically strategic or vertical-specific Linux vendors.

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