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IBM brings Sametime IM to Linux

With Sametime 7.5 due later this summer, IBM will release a Linux client. Sametime Linux server due first half 2007.

IBM said on Monday that it will provide Linux versions of its Sametime instant messaging client and server. With the release of Sametime 7.5 later this summer, IBM will offer a version that runs on Linux desktops. In the first half of next year, IBM plans to introduce the Sametime server on Linux.

IBM has developed the Linux editions as a result of customer interest, said David Marshak, senior product manager for real-time collaboration. "One of the key questions to implementing a Linux desktop is whether the applications are there," he said. With Sametime 7.5, IBM has rewritten the client around the Eclipse Rich Client open-source software, which will allow third parties to write plug-ins that work with instant messaging. For example, a mapping plug-in can show a person's location. Sametime 7.5 will also allow people to use instant messaging from Microsoft Office applications.