IBM unveiled more broadline product and training support for the fast-emerging Linux operating system (OS) in New York last week.
Key initiatives included ThinkPad notebooks pre-configured with Caldera OpenLinux; SuSE Linux support for RS/6000 and Netfinity servers; and Linux-enhanced versions of Domino, Websphere and DB2 server software.
The vendor will also widen its PartnerWorld training and accreditation scheme to include Linux certification.
Irving Wladawsky-Berger, vice-president of strategy for the enterprise group at IBM, said: "Linux will do for the operating system what the Internet did for networks. It has tremendous possibility for e-business. This move shows we are serious."
Guiseppe Giuliani, vice-president of IBM business partners EMEA, said the training programme will follow the existing three-tier format: six or seven months to achieve premier-partner status, with less for advanced-level and customer-level.
IBM said with 90,000 VARs, it would be impossible to work with them individually.
Instead the scheme, which starts in July, will be broadcast mainly via satellite and the Web.
IBM also confirmed that pre-production models of its next generation PowerPC4 microprocessor, to be released late next year, already run Linux.
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