Major Linux initiative in Europe begins

IBM is expanding its Linux operating system activities in Europe to speed the ability of customers and independent software vendors to transition their applications and systems.

IBM will invest more than $200 million in a series of Linux initiatives in Europe over the next four years — including creation of Linux development centres, alliances with Linux-focused business partners and deployment of about 600 specialised Linux consultants, hardware and software specialists and services professionals.

The development centres will be in Paris and Montpellier in France; Greenock and Hursley in the United Kingdom; Boeblingen in Germany; Warsaw in Poland; and Budapest in Hungary. IBM will provide software and server IT specialists and Linux-ready servers, storage systems and middleware — including Websphere, Lotus Domino and DB2 — to the ISVs to help them develop Linux-based applications. The centres will support application development on all IBM servers.

Key IT industry partners, such as Intel, are already working with IBM in the development centres to ensure cross-industry applicability of emerging Linux applications.

As an example of alliances with Linux focused business partners, IBM will be working with LOGIX, a Value Added Distributor of IBM software and hardware, which has secured exclusive distribution rights to Red Hat’s Enterprise products in France and Belgium.

The Linux community in Europe is also moving to support IBM Linux initiatives. SuSE Linux AG, a developer and distributor of the Linux operating system, is partnering with IBM to bring Linux developments onto the market.