" IBM shares gained 3/4 to 224 1/2 a day ahead of
the pay date for its 2-for-1 stock split and after
wire services reported a deal is set to be
announced Tuesday in which Big Blue will partner
with Pacific HiTech to bundle the Linux free
operating system with IBM's (IBM: news, msgs)
best-selling database software for computer
servers. Pacific HiTech is one of many upstart
companies selling juiced-up versions of the free
Linux software code.
In another step pushing Linux ever closer to
becoming a mainstream operating system, the deal
is seen as turning up the heat on Microsoft, whose
Windows competes with Linux to provide the basic operating
systems to large computers. See full story."
"Linux gets push with IBM alliance
Last Update: 3:50 AM ET May 25, 1999
NEW YORK (AP) -- Veering ever farther into the mainstream, the Linux
operating system will now be bundled with IBM's best-selling database
software for computer servers.
The deal with Pacific HiTech, one of many upstart companies selling
juiced-up versions of the free Linux software code, was to be announced
As part of the agreement, IBM (IBM: news, msgs)
will provide 24-hour telephone support for
customers who buy its DB2 Universal Database
software along with Pacific HiTech's TurboLinux.
The companies also agreed to collaborate on
making future editions of IBM server software,
often referred to as "middleware," and TurboLinux
work more smoothly together.
For now, Linux poses only a marginal threat to the
Microsoft's Windows NT as the No. 1 software
platform for the big servers that run computer
But an affiliation with DB2, which recently eclipsed
Oracle8 as the top database application for those
machines, marks another level of legitimacy for
Linux, which is a fan favorite among software
developers, but relatively new to the business
"It takes more than just an operating system to run a computing
environment effectively," said John B. Jones Jr., an industry analyst for
Salomon Smith Barney, noting surveys showing that data processing is a
top priority among server operators.
"In the Linux space, the No. 1 prerequisite is database software, and IBM
has the No. 1 position in the database market," he said, referring to
Tuesday's deal as "one more incremental benefit to the people who are
considering using Linux."
The Linux code, developed by Linus Torvalds in the early 1990s when he
was a student in Finland, is best known for being a system that rarely
Linux began gaining notice last fall with major technology companies such
as Intel, IBM, Netscape, and Oracle buying a stake in Red Hat, a leading
vendor of the software, based in Durham, N.C.
In 1998, the Linux server market grew by 212 percent with more than
500,000 copies shipped, according to International Data Corporation, an
industry research firm.
The basic code, continually updated in consultation with an enthusiastic
community of programmers, is still given away for free over the Internet or
can be bought at stores for as little as $30.
Enhanced versions such as TurboLinux can sell for about $200.
No pricing for the DB2-TurboLinux was disclosed. DB2 typically sells for
about $8,000 per copy.
Pacific HiTech, based in San Francisco, shipped about 1 million units of
TurboLinux last year, but mostly in Asia."