IBM has launched a programme at LinuxWorld dubbed Chiphopper that offers free support for software vendors considering porting applications designed for Linux on x86 servers to IBM's Power servers and mainframes.
These two server architectures make up roughly 40 per cent of IBM's revenues in the Linux-based server market, according to IBM's vice president for Linux Scott Handy, giving software vendors a sizeable opportunity for additional software sales.
The programme will offer vendors testing software, access to test centres and support, all free of charge.
By offering the free services in combination with access to IBM customers currently running on Power servers and mainframes, IBM aims to double the 6,000 applications currently available on its Linux servers by 2007.
For IBM the increase in the number of applications boosts the appeal of its server lines.
In addition to Chiphopper, IBM also launched two 'Special Interest Areas' for vendors wishing to make Windows or Solaris applications available on Linux.
To reach out to Windows developers, IBM will organise a road show in 40 cities in the US at which developers can get help in porting their applications to Linux.
Especially with Solaris, IBM claims that customers are starting to worry about the future of the operating system owned by Sun Microsystems.
"We believe that the Linux opportunity is significantly bigger than the Solaris opportunity," said Handy. "There is no room for a third operating system on x86 [in addition to Windows and Linux]."
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