IBM has promised to increase its support for open source software development, working with the open source community to improve the development of general Linux kernel functionality.
The company also promised to expand its Linux focus around virtualisation, Cell processor technologies and security.
"IBM is going to be as bold and aggressive with open source as we are with Linux, more broadly and permanently transforming our company with the open movement," said Scott Handy, vice president of Linux and open source at IBM.
In addition Big Blue unveiled eight key open source initiatives "beyond Linux " which it claims are designed to accelerate the adoption of open standards. The new disciplines focusing on open source business opportunities include:
- Client-side Middleware - Supporting the Eclipse Rich Client Platform project for hosting cross-platform applications
- Development Tools - Built on Eclipse, a universal open integration platform of frameworks and exemplary tools
- Web Application Servers - Based on Apache open source projects like Geronimo
- Data Servers - Building on the open source Apache Derby and no-licence fee IBM DB2 Express-C
- Systems Management - Including the open source Aperi project
- Open Hardware Architectures - Community-driven collaborative innovation with Power.org and Blade.org
- Grid Computing - Expanded support for Open Grid Services Architecture and the Globus Alliance
- Business Consulting and Technology Services - Enabling customers to innovate with open source-based solutions and development models
The market opportunity for Linux approached nearly $7bn in overall revenue, growing some 35 per cent in 2005, according to recently published research from Gartner.
A further boost from the platform comes from Evans Data Corporation which estimates that Linux is expected to surpass Windows in 2007 as an operating system for which developers write applications.
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