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IBM moves Linux beat to Brazil

Big Blue hopes expanded consulting offerings will promote use of the open-source OS.

IBM is taking its love of Linux to South America, introducing consulting services to promote the open-source operating system in Brazil.

IBM's Global Services division on Monday detailed the services it is offering corporations in Brazil that are interested in using Linux on desktop PCs, point-of-sale terminals and other devices. The strategy is part of IBM's larger push to sell Linux-based hardware and services to compete against Microsoft.

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Open Client Desktop services will be sold to companies in the retail, financial and government industries. IBM earlier this year realigned its software and services organizations to sell to corporations along industry lines.

The consulting services are designed to help customers plan and implement strategies to replace existing software with Linux-based alternatives. IBM will work with software from different Linux companies, including Red Hat, Novell and Conectiva, a Latin American Linux distributor.

Brazilian retailer Casas Bahia has already signed on with IBM to install Linux-based registers, which IBM asserts reduced the company's technology costs.

IBM expects companies to use Linux software in call center PCs, ATMs, kiosks and other point-of-sale terminals.

IBM competitor Sun Microsystems is trying to use Linux to sell cheap desktop systems outside of the United States as well. Sun plans to offer a "per-citizen" pricing scheme to developing countries for its Linux desktop and server software.