Ever the open source enthusiast, IBM has partnered with three of the biggest Linux distributors, Red Hat, Novell and Canonical, to build what it's calling the "Windows-Free desktop" by next year. Big Blue made the announcement Tuesday at Linuxworld, according to InformationWeek.
The computers will come preloaded with Linux and IBM's Open Collaboration Client, which includes Lotus Notes, Symphony and Sametime, the story says. All three Linux distributors have committed, along with IBM, to providing hardware partners for the project. Local vendors will apply their own brands to the machines, SYS-CON reports, and will provide additional software and applications.
The first Windows-free PC debuted in Eastern Europe earlier this year. VDEL's OpenReferent was widely accepted in Russia, where the Russian Post "dropped Microsoft for as much as 35 percent savings," according to SYS-CON.
Local vendors and developers will also be able to create custom applications for their Windows-free PCs using Lotus Expeditor, an Eclipse-based development framework. But IBM VP Bob Sutor reminded developers at LinuxWorld that they shouldn't try to copy Windows. "That's not where the usability action is," he said.