IBM is targeting Europe with a four-year, $200m initiative to push Linux into the region.
The plan includes establishing seven Linux development centres in the UK, Germany, France, Poland and Hungary, plus setting up alliances with Linux-based partners. Customers will also gain access to 600 of IBM's Linux hardware and software specialists.
The first partners will be Logix, which has exclusive distribution rights to Red Hat Linux France and Belgium, and SuSE Linux, the European Linux vendor which markets a version of the open source operating system for IBM's S/390 platform.
Mike Lawrie, an IBM general manager in Europe, said: "IBM will dramatically speed up the process [of] getting Linux applications on Linux-ready servers into the marketplace during the second half of 2000."
IBM has been heavily promoting Linux for servers used to run websites and has been working with Intel to help developers move applications to the operating system. The company will also provide more of its software, including WebSphere, Lotus Domino and DB2 to Linux developers.
Separately, Big Blue has won a $1bn, 15-year IT outsourcing deal from German engineering company, mg Technologies. Based in Frankfurt, mg employs 40,000 people and builds industrial equipment, components and systems and produces chemicals and materials.
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