IBM to return to PC sector

IBM signs partnership with Austrian and Polish distributors to build Linux-based low-cost desktops aimed at Russian market

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By  Quintin Smith Published  March 7, 2008

IBM announced today that means that it will re-enter the PC market, through a new partnership with distributors VDEL and LX Polska, in Austria and Poland, respectively.

The new line of IBM PCs will be known as Open Referent, and will run Red Hat’s Enterprise Linux Desktop instead of Microsoft Windows, as well as IBM’s Lotus Symphony word processing software, which uses the Open Document Format, and Lotus Notes.

IBM say the Open Referent PCs will cut the price of buying a desktop PC by half, and that key Russian organizations including the Ministry of Defense, Alfa Bank, and the airline Aeroflot have all requested an open-source PC.

Oleg Churko, Director of Research Institute for Information Security, Minsk, said: “Taking into account the unmatched security offered by the Linux platform, it will set a new standard for document management. We are also very happy the IBM is again taking the lead in offering full solutions based on open source, while mounting a real challenge to Microsoft in this arena."

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