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'Layaway Linux' Makes Its Market Debut
IBM combines WebSphere + Linux+ Power4 chip

(July 9, 2003) - Take IBM’s WebSphere Internet infrastructure software, stir in Linux, and add IBM’s own advanced Power4 microprocessor— widely acknowledged to be at least a generation ahead of competing chips—and what you have is the single software/hardware package that Big Blue believes can and will help companies improve IT performance while simultaneously containing costs.

The announcement from IBM today marks the first time its market-leading WebSphere Application Server will support IBM eServer pSeries and iSeries machines running both Linux and the Power4 microprocessor. In short, it is taking the logical next step in making Linux even easier for companies to adopt and deploy.

"This new packaging of a Linux-based application server is further evidence of how quickly the market for Linux solutions is maturing," says LinuxWorld Magazine editor-in-chief Kevin Bedell.

"It is similar to Microsoft’s decision 10 years ago to bundle Word, Powerpoint, and Excel into an ‘Office Suite,’ Bedell continues. "This new packaging of Linux, WebSphere and low-cost/high-performance hardware provides a similar value proposition for IBM customers wanting a pre-integrated solution," he adds.

Java-based applications running on top of WebSphere Application Server will easily run on the new Power4 architecture running Linux, IBM points out, while Power4 (the first "server on a chip") contains two 1-gigahertz-plus processors and other innovations and helps creates a platform for extending complex Web-based applications across enterprises with levels of performance, openness, and cost-effectiveness unmatched—so IBM claims—by its competitors.

IBM also announced that the WebSphere software will be included in a new offering from IBM Global Financing that will allow qualified US/Canadian customers to defer payments until January 2004 at no charge, or to choose special low financing rates.

"Layaway Linux" makes its debut, in other words.

The program applies to all IBM Software products that are purchased on a one-time charge basis. Contracts in the US must be signed by Sept. 30, and by Sept. 15 in Canada.

"The new WebSphere software advances IBM's distinction as the only company that can support customers' use of Linux across every major server platform," said Tom Inman, Vice President, IBM WebSphere Foundation and Tools.

Whereas Microsoft Windows applications (as Inman didn't say - but might as well have said) can only run on Intel-based servers.

The market, as it always does, will decide.

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SYS-CON's Linux News Desk gathers stories, analysis, and information from around the Linux world and synthesizes them into an easy to digest format for IT/IS managers and other business decision-makers.

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