Feeds

IBM maps out company-wide Linux strategy

It's a key platform, and all the key software will go onto it

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

IBM has just held the first of a series of internal Linux summits to thrash out the company's Linux strategy, according to Joe Barr of LinuxWorld. The summit itself was IBM-only, but Barr managed to get an interview with the IBMer responsible for setting it up, and he seems to have been pretty forthcoming. (Full interview text) Robert LeBlanc is VP of software strategy in the Software Solutions Division, and is also responsible for developing the company's Linux strategy, which means he deals with Linux in all of IBM's units, including hardware, software and services. From what LeBlanc says IBM is both enthusiastic about and committed to Linux. The company is porting all its "key software products to Linux," and is considering supporting more distributions than the four it currently does, Red Hat, Caldera, SuSE and TurboLinux. He reveals that the possibility of IBM doing its own Linux distribution has been considered, but this would appear to be an unlikely move. "We are more worried about making sure that the Linux community doesn't diverge [like Unix]," he says. But he speaks fluent IBM - he says the company isn't going for its own distribution at this point in time. Barr tried him on porting SmartSuite to Linux, but LeBlanc responded only that the possibility was being looked at. He's not quite so good on the preinstall question. He says that IBM's licence agreements with Microsoft don't penalise it for preinstalling a non-Windows OS (we at The Register don't entirely believe him here), but that "contract terms" interfere with the company's ability to preinstall Linux. "We're just trying to make sure that there is no exposure to any of the IBM patents." Translated, this means IBM faces difficulties in putting its IP technology into the open source pot. That explains what went wrong with the Red Hat certification of the ThinkPad 600e, which happened despite the fact there weren't any modem drivers , but LeBlanc says IBM is going to fix that, and that there will be drivers. Beyond that, he says that IBM will do preinstalls, across the whole of the NetFinity and ThinkPad product lines. That means there will be a lot more code coming out of IBM, but he appears to want to play it out gently, with committed individuals within IBM associated with it when it happens. ® Full interview

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

More from The Register

next story
Doctor Who's Flatline: Cool monsters, yes, but utterly limp subplots
We know what the Doctor does, stop going on about it already
Facebook, Apple: LADIES! Why not FREEZE your EGGS? It's on the company!
No biological clockwatching when you work in Silicon Valley
'Cowardly, venomous trolls' threatened with TWO-YEAR sentences for menacing posts
UK government: 'Taking a stand against a baying cyber-mob'
Happiness economics is bollocks. Oh, UK.gov just adopted it? Er ...
Opportunity doesn't knock; it costs us instead
Arab States make play for greater government control of the internet
Nerds told to get lost in last-minute power grab bid at UN meeting
Zippy one-liners, broken promises: Doctor Who on the Orient Express
Series finally hits stride, but Clara's U-turn is baffling
Don't bother telling people if you lose their data, say Euro bods
You read that right – with the proviso that it's encrypted
Apple SILENCES Bose, YANKS headphones from stores
The, er, Beats go on after noise-cancelling spat
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Why cloud backup?
Combining the latest advancements in disk-based backup with secure, integrated, cloud technologies offer organizations fast and assured recovery of their critical enterprise data.
Win a year’s supply of chocolate
There is no techie angle to this competition so we're not going to pretend there is, but everyone loves chocolate so who cares.
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.