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IBM pledges 1 bln dollars for Linux, open source innovation

IBM said Tuesday it plans to invest 1 billion U.S. dollars in Linux, a freely available open source operating system that competes with Microsoft's Windows, and open source technologies in a bid to adapt its Power Systems servers to handle big data and cloud computing applications in the post-PC era.

IBM has long been one of the biggest backers of Linux, and the amount equals a pledge the U.S. company made in 2000 to support the technology.

"Many companies are struggling to manage big data and cloud computing using commodity servers based on decades-old, PC-era technology. These servers are quickly overrun by data which triggers the purchase of more servers, creating un-sustainable server sprawl," IBM Vice President of Power Development Brad McCredie said in a statement.

"The era of big data calls for a new approach to IT systems; one that is open, customizable, and designed from the ground up to handle big data and cloud workloads," McCredie said.

IBM said it opened a Linux center in Beijing in May and will now establish another in Montpellier, France. Additional centers are located in New York and Austin, Texas.

"The new center is among a growing network of centers around the world where software developers can build and deploy new applications for big data, cloud, mobile and social business computing on open technology building blocks using Linux and the latest IBM POWER7+ processor technology," the company said.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said IBM's investments are welcomed by the Linux community.

"The last time IBM committed one billion dollars to Linux, it helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed," Zemlin said. "We look forward to seeing how the Power platform can bring about further innovation on Linux, and how companies and developers can work together to get the most out of this open architecture."

[Source: Xinhua, Washington, 17Sep13]

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