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IBM offers free development tools in Russia

The move is part of a broader push for greater use of open standards-based applications worldwide.

IBM on Friday announced steps aimed at beefing up open standards-based software development in Russia. The company plans to offer developers, architects and students free downloads of several of its software-building programs at a special Web site, which will also house trial code, tutorials, technical forums and other educational pointers.

Some industry analysts predict that Russia's population of developers will expand by 40 percent by 2008. As part of a broader push to step up global development of open standards-based applications, IBM's free offerings are designed to help those developers build such applications more easily while picking up skills in Linux, Java and other technologies, the company said in a statement.