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Big Blue sambas Linux centers into Brazil

IBM opens two centers in Sao Paulo devoted to developing the open-source operating system for use in the country's public sector.

IBM, a leading advocate of Linux, has opened two centers devoted to the open-source operating system in Brazil, which could help the software catch on in that part of the world.

The centers in Sao Paulo are intended to help advance an October agreement between the Brazilian government and IBM to develop Linux technology and expertise to benefit the country's public sector, the company said on Thursday.

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Linux, which competes with Microsoft Windows and with Unix, is a Unix-based operating system developed by a global pool of programmers who share software freely under the open-source development process. The OS has had a warm reception from public agencies in the United Kingdom, Russia, China, South Korea, India, and in some parts of the United States.

One of Big Blue's Brazilian locations will house a Linux Integration Center (LIC), which helps customers to tie Linux to IBM software such as its DB2 database and WebSphere e-commerce tool. Other LIC branches are located in Beijing, Singapore, Tokyo, and Boeblingen, Germany.

The other IBM facility in Brazil will be a Linux Technology Center, which employs programmers to work on the operating system. The Brazilian branch's mission will be to train developers in improving the kernel, or the heart, of Linux.