IBM Memo Outlines Linux Desktop Push

IBM officials denied that the company has specific plans to move to the open-source operating system on the desktop, despite a leaked memo outlining a challenge for such a move by 2005.

Theres little surprise that IBM might be pushing the use of the Linux desktop within its walls, and an internal company memo published on the British IT site The Inquirer on Thursday said that Big Blues chief information officer is moving ahead with such a transition.

IBM officials, declining to comment specifically on the memo, said that the company has no definitive plans to switch to the open-source operating system on the desktop. But the leaked memo does appear to be a rallying cry within IBM IT to investigate a switch to Linux.

"Our chairman has challenged the IT organization, and indeed all of IBM, to move to a Linux based desktop before the end of 2005," states the memo from IBM CIO Bob Greenberg, as posted in The Inquirer story. "This means replacing productivity, web access and viewing tools with open standards based equivalents."

The memo goes on to discuss the creation of an Open Desktop project office to lead the effort.

IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino said the company is a proponent of open platforms such as Linux but as a matter of policy does not discuss internal memos.

"Its no secret that were a leading supporter of open systems and open platforms, and were proud of that," Guarino said. "I can tell you that its routine for IBM to challenge its internal IT teams to rigorously test new platforms and technologies inside IBM."

The debate over whether Linux can become a bigger force on the desktop continues to rage. Such notable national and international organizations as the City of Austin, Texas, and the United Kingdoms Office of Government Commerce are considering the use of desktop Linux. Discuss This in the eWEEK Forum