Linux and IBM Provide Open Alternative to Windows Desktop

By December 05, 2008

While Windows machines have been able to run open source software for quite some time, hardware support interfered with efficiency and performance for daily use. This includes Linux applications using virtualization software. As reported yesterday, IBM is supporting Linux as a "Tier One" operating system alongside their AIX, i5/OS and z/OS operating systems. This means equal support for the Unix-like software as for the several that IBM makes internally. For corporate users, IBM supports Linux for servers and storage hardware, with in depth resources for implementation and migration from Unix or Windows. IBM has released an entirely Microsoft-free virtual desktop - operating system and office applications that run on a central server that can be accessed by the user on a client desktop unit which requires no processors or hard drive. According to the Wall Street Journal, pricing for the Virtual Linux Desktop is somewhere between $59 and $289 per user, and currently available. When considering hardware requirements and maintenance of Microsoft's OS, Office Suite and other factors, the savings are considerable - as much as $800 per person.

Back in August at LinuxWorld, IBM announced a cooperation with several different Linux vendors, indirectly alienating Microsoft and its Windows operating system. Altering its Lotus Foundations suite to run on Ubuntu, Red Hat and Novell SUSE, it effectively created an open software alternative for the desktop. DailyTech reported less user friendliness in previous Linux transition software packages, despite decent reception of other open source technology projects, such as OpenOffice or Mozilla Firefox. This package was estimated to be ready for shipping in 2009.

IBM and Linux's partnership has been developing to increased integration and mutual support. This may not be enough to convince consumers to switch. Reports project that corporate customers may reject a system that stores information centrally instead of on individual computing units.

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