IBM and Linux distributors Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and RedHat announced today at LinuxWorld that they will be joining forces with their hardware partners to deliver Microsoft-free desktops.
As Lotus vice president Kevin Cavanaugh explains, "The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux. We'll work to unlock the desktop to save our customers money and give freedom of choice by offering this industry-leading solution."
As companies look for more economical alternatives to Windows and Office-based computers, and because Linux is much more profitable for PC vendors, the move towards alternative computing paradigms makes sense for businesses and vendors alike.
Anchoring this new approach is the IBM Open Collaboration Client Solution (IBM OCCS), which includes Lotus Notes, Lotus Symphony (IBM's free productivity suite); the Linux operating system of each distributor; and software applications and installation services from the local partners in each market.
The final product will be branded by the local IT firms that bring it to market. In addition, customers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators have the choice of developing applications using Lotus Expeditor based on the open source Eclipse programming model.
These solutions would be tailored to the needs of customers in specific industries and sectors.
The popularity of IBM OCCS on each Linux variant has grown dramatically in the past year. Thousands of people are working today on OCCS-powered Linux PCs across North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
Canonical, which sells subscription support for Ubuntu, a Linux operating system that scores high marks on usability and "the cool factor," will re-distribute Lotus Symphony via their repositories.
Symphony 1.1 will be available through the Ubuntu repositories by the end of August. General availability will coincide with the Lotus Symphony 1.2 release expected to be available by the end of October 2008.
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