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IBM broadens Turbolinux software pact

Big Blue and the Linux seller announce a broad software pact under which Turbolinux will be allowed to sell IBM's entire software suite.

Turbolinux and IBM will announce a broad software pact Wednesday under which Turbolinux will be allowed to sell IBM's entire software suite.

Turbolinux has been selling IBM's DB2 database software but now will be allowed to sell several other IBM software packages, said Scott Handy, director of Linux solutions marketing at IBM. "We did make the entire portfolio available," though IBM hasn't finished bringing all its software to Linux yet, he said in an interview.

The companies will share revenue when Turbolinux sells IBM software, including Big Blue's WebSphere e-commerce software, Domino collaboration software, Tivoli management software and its small-business suite, said Jerry Greenberg, senior vice president of marketing at Turbolinux.

But as important as the revenue-sharing deal is, more significant are the funds to be spent on joint marketing, sales and distribution, Greenberg said.

The deal is an important part of Turbolinux's effort to compete with leading Linux seller Red Hat as well as Caldera Systems, SuSE and Mandrakesoft. IBM, among the most fervent advocates of the Linux operating system, has a variety of deals with all of these Linux sellers.

"We don't intend for our software to be exclusive," Handy said.

Part of IBM's Linux plan is to bring the operating system to its zSeries mainframes, formerly known as the S/390 line. Turbolinux, Red Hat and SuSE all plan to offer sales, service and support for this version of Linux, and Turbolinux has begun offering the software in its core market, Japan, Greenberg said.

Turbolinux filed in October to hold an initial public offering.