IBM is stepping up its support for Linux by preloading its Intel servers with three different versions of the operating system.n
Jay Bretzmann, manager of strategy for IBM's Netfinity servers said the product would now ship Caldera, TurboLinux or Red Hat.
Typically IBM lets computer retailers decide on their operating systems, but now it feels that by pre-installing the product it will help establish the operating system in the hearts and minds of users.
"We want to increase the use of Linux across our server line," Bretzmann said." Only eight percent of IBM's servers are shipped with Linux, but it is hoped to increase this to 20 percent in the long term."
Direct sales were more common with Linux servers than other operating systems, he said. Strategy Partners strategy analyst Clive Longbottom said IBM needed to encourage the development on Linux as a means to discourage dependence on Microsoft.
"They see it as part of an overall Unix strategy, they hope if they can get Linux in at the lower end companies will buy Monterey when they upgrade," Longbottom said.
"However I get worried about the way IBM are pushing different operating systems. They have NT, Linux, AIX and about six other systems. It is almost as they are touting different operating systems for different slices of the market. However the market does not really work that way, people want systems that go right across the board."