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IBM sells 15,000 Linux servers to Japanese chain

The computer maker is in a deal to sell 15,000 Linux computers to Lawson, a Japanese convenience store chain, the company plans to announce Thursday.

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IBM has signed a deal to sell 15,000 Linux computers to Lawson, a Japanese convenience store chain, the company announced Thursday.

The servers will be used so customers can download music, movies and other Internet content from terminals in the stores, IBM said in a statement. Lawson currently has Windows computers that let customers buy concert tickets and reserve airline tickets.

Lawson plans to install two of the Intel-based xSeries servers in each of its 7,600 stores throughout Japan. An IBM representative declined to disclose terms of the deal.

IBM will provide installation and maintenance services as part of the deal, an IBM representative said. IBM has a Linux support center in Tokyo.

The computers will use Red Hat Linux, spokesman Melissa London said. Although details haven't been settled, Red Hat expects to earn money from the deal either directly or through providing support services, she said.

In addition, IBM announced two new low-end servers, including the $970 x200 model with an Intel Celeron chip. IBM also released the x220, which can accommodate two CPUs, with a bare-bones price of $1,400.

Both servers can be mounted in a rack, IBM said in the statement.