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IBM’s big push at Linux World is to announce new programs to help customers dump Window NT and move straight to Linux. IBM’s logic is that by the end of 2004, Microsoft will discontinue support for the Windows NT operating system and discontinue the availability of security patches, which will require up to two million customers to develop a migration strategy.

The message is crystal clear, IBM wants to intercept the jump up to Windows 2003, and bring all those customers to Linux. IBM says that Linux is gaining popularity in government, retail, finance and manufacturing because of its reliability and low cost and it anticipates an increase in customer migrations this year.

IBM has put in place a series of programs for business partners that includes free Linux education, tutorials and customer scenarios that illustrate typical migrations including pre-tested workloads, which will enable IBM’s partners to know which system to quote to offer sufficient performance.

Part and parcel of this service will be a move to Move2Lotus program offering messaging and collaboration products, to replace Microsoft Exchange running on Windows NT and the Migrate Now! offering including DB2 Universal database to replace Microsoft SQL Server complete with the DB2 Migration Toolkit, Tivoli systems management tools and Linux-based Websphere.

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News IS is a weekly newsletter published by Rethink Research, a London-based publishing and consulting firm. News IS covers the news announcements, business transactions and financial statements of the top 150 or so IT vendors, along with other news of interest to the modern senior IT manager working within data centre technologies. Subscription details here.

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