Menu
Red Flag Linux may be next on IBM's agenda

Red Flag Linux may be next on IBM's agenda

The next version of Linux that IBM throws its weight behind is likely to be China's Red Flag, IBM said.

The next Linux distribution that IBM throws its weight behind is likely to be China's Red Flag Linux, suggesting that for businesses elsewhere in the world the Linux market will remain a two-horse race for the time being.

IBM wants to give its customers as much choice with Linux as it can, but the cost of porting and testing applications for more than the two leading distributions -- from Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc. -- makes it impractical to widely support a third option, said Adam Jollans, IBM's worldwide marketing and strategy manager for open source.

IBM has around 300 software products. Supporting both Red Hat and Suse Linux effectively doubles the number for which it has to do testing. Adding support for its three main hardware platforms -- x86, and IBM's Power and zSeries -- means IBM has to test 1,800 software products. Adding broad support for a third Linux OS, such as Debian, would take that number to 2,700.

"We're not ready yet to go to another multiple," Jollans said, during a discussion with reporters in Paris on Thursday.

Support from vendors like IBM and Oracle Corp. makes a big difference for the adoption of a Linux distribution. It gives big businesses the confidence that the software will be around and supported for several years to come.

The next distribution that IBM supports widely is likely to be one for the Chinese market, where the leading contender right now is Red Flag Linux, from Red Flag Software, Jollans said.

"We're watching China very closely to see what happens there," he said.

The company will support other distributions today, but typically only for large customers or large installations.

Jollans also addressed a question about why IBM did not release its own Linux distribution several years ago.

"We thought that if IBM was in the market as an 800-pound gorilla, it would have a negative effect on the Linux market. We won't do something that sets us against the community," he said.


Follow Us

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Events

Why experience is the new battleground for partners

Join us for an exclusive webinar, in association with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Technology Services Industry Association (TSIA) and learn about the latest industry insights and how technology services continue to evolve to deliver differentiated value, and how partners can be successful in 2021 and beyond.

Featured

Slideshows

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Hundreds of leaders from the New Zealand IT industry gathered at the Hilton in Auckland on 17 November to celebrate the finest female talent in the Kiwi channel and recognise the winners of the Reseller News Women in ICT Awards (WIICTA) 2020.

The Kiwi channel gathers for the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards

The leading female front runners of the New Zealand ICT industry joined together for the annual Reseller News Women in ICT Awards event at the Hilton in Auckland, during which hundreds of guests celebrated 13 outstanding individuals who won awards, chosen from more than 50 finalists representing over 30 organisations.

Leading female front runners honoured at the 2020 Reseller News Women in ICT Awards
Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners

More than 500 channel leaders gathered in Auckland on 21 October at the ​Reseller News Innovation Awards ​2020 to celebrate the achievements of the New Zealand technology industry's top partners, start-ups, vendors, distributors and individuals.

Channel gathers to celebrate the Reseller News Innovation Awards 2020 winners
Show Comments