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IBM Promises $1B Investment In Linux Development

timothy posted about a year ago | from the donate-I-mean-invest dept.

The Almighty Buck 109

itwbennett writes with a link to a story you'll need to mentally upgrade from "expected to" to "just happened" about IBM's $1 billion dollar investment in Linux officially announced Tuesday morning at LinuxCon (the WSJ broke the story yesterday), by IBM VP Brad McCredie. IBM, says the linked article, will use all that money "to promote Linux development as it tries to adapt Power mainframes and servers to handle cloud and big data applications in distributed computing environments. The investment will fund Linux application development programs for IBM's Power servers and also be used to expand a cloud service where developers can write and test applications for Power servers before deployment. It will also facilitate software development around IBM's new Power8 chips, which will go into servers next year." It's not the only time that IBM has recently tossed around the B-word, and as Nick Kolakowski notes at Slash BI, it's also not the first time IBM has put that much money into Linux.

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AND THE MONEY GOING TO WHOM ?? TO WHERE ?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873509)

Back to IBM !!

Re:AND THE MONEY GOING TO WHOM ?? TO WHERE ?? (1)

jellomizer (103300) | about a year ago | (#44873761)

But it would be enough to get more IBM Exceptions put in the GPL 4.0

Linux is developed by corps not hobbyists (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44875483)

As I said yesterday in comments regarding the article about Linus falling out of the top 100 code contributors list ...

Linux is primarily developed by corporations or government entities, directly or through subsidies, and not the more romantic hobbyist developer contributing his/her personal time.

Re: Linux is developed by corps not hobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876073)

Linux is developed by these hobbyists now receiving money from corporations...

Re: Linux is developed by corps not hobbyists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876441)

Linux is developed by these hobbyists now receiving money from corporations...

When you are paid you are a pro, not a hobbyist. And you most likely will be taking directions.

Re: Linux is developed by corps not hobbyists (3, Interesting)

HiThere (15173) | about a year ago | (#44877201)

Time is significant. Linux was originally developed mainly by hobbyists. After awhile a few corporations started subsidizing development, first by donations of equipment, and later by actually hiring people to ensure that it would run on their hardware. The people they tended to hire were those who were already acknowledged as experienced and talented.

Currently there are still a few pure hobbyists, but most developers have commercial subsidy, or are employed by some corportion or other. (I'm including, e.g., Red Hat.) There are multiple reasons. One is that a greater proportion of currently developing programmers are less into systems work. Another is that the system has become significantly more complex. (Most of the low-hanging fruit has already been picked.) Etc.

OTOH, do note that new distros are still being created. But also note that they tend to be created by forking an existing popular distro. The system is currently too complex for one person, and probably for one team of people, to manage a complete general purpose distro, like Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, or Suse. Slackware seems to be a counter example to this claim, but I don't know it well enough to know that it actually is.

Also, to be accepted as a kernel developer, you need to have a track record. And that takes time and effort. There are still some specialized areas that a person can use to break in (keeping documentation current is probably still such a place), but it's a lot more difficult than it used to be, because there are so many people submitting patches. It's much easier to do that if you have someone already accepted to vouch for you, and also to lead you through the process. And, as stated, most of those are currently people paid to work on the system as their job.

So, yes, it has developed into a system largely developed by people employed by corporations. And many of them are, indeed, the same people who started out doing this as a hobby.

Re: Linux is developed by corps not hobbyists (2)

WuphonsReach (684551) | about a year ago | (#44877659)

OTOH, do note that new distros are still being created. But also note that they tend to be created by forking an existing popular distro. The system is currently too complex for one person, and probably for one team of people, to manage a complete general purpose distro, like Debian, Ubuntu, Red Hat, or Suse. Slackware seems to be a counter example to this claim, but I don't know it well enough to know that it actually is.

List of Linux distros [wikipedia.org]

Looks like it breaks down by package manager as: Debian (apt), RPM-based (yum), Pacman-based, Gentoo (portage), Slackware. Then there are the handful of oddballs which are probably those without a package manager and require you to install everything from source?

Re:AND THE MONEY GOING TO WHOM ?? TO WHERE ?? (1)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#44877315)

Well, some, yes, but that is beside the point. I rather think they are doing it because there are likely to be more Linux sys. admins available than AIX. So, in that sense, some the money would be going to people who support Linux thus increasing the pool of Linux admins. Surely that is preferable, yes?

Damn (1)

StripedCow (776465) | about a year ago | (#44873531)

I just moved to FreeBSD.

Re:Damn (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874209)

At least you don't need to keep changing your sysadmin scripts because of massive userland changes that seem to be in flux in Linux distros.

Re:Damn (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44874713)

That too supports POWER

one BILLION... (3, Informative)

epiphani (254981) | about a year ago | (#44873539)

To sell more power chips. Nothing to see here, please move along.

Re:one BILLION... (3, Interesting)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44873933)

But are they then replacing AIX w/ Linux? It would be indeed interesting if that were the case

Re:one BILLION... (2)

MightyMartian (840721) | about a year ago | (#44873987)

I've had the feeling that's been in the cards for a decade now. Migration would take a long time, but IBM is a long-view kind of company.

VMs (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44874759)

It would seem to me that in newer POWER iron, they could just install Linux, and for backwards compatibility, run AIX on KVM/Qemu. That would support any legacy software that they need to support, while they can work on getting as much Lintel software ported to Power Linux.

Re:VMs (2)

bws111 (1216812) | about a year ago | (#44875153)

No need to do that, they can just run Linux and AIX in separate LPARs if so desired.

Re:one BILLION... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873945)

As ESR said in his opus The Cathedral and the Bizarre, Linux is only free if your time has no value. Clearly IBM's time, and chip business, has lots of value. A billion dollar's worth apparently.

Re:one BILLION... (2)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#44874063)

As ESR said in his opus The Cathedral and the Bizarre, Linux is only free if your time has no value. Clearly IBM's time, and chip business, has lots of value. A billion dollar's worth apparently.

That's Bazar, not Bizarre. And the statement is true for just the narrow interpretation of "free", which is to say, "as in beer". ESR is a bit of a self important douche, by the way, but that's just my own take on the guy.

Re:one BILLION... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874799)

That's Bazaar, not Bazar.

stupid AC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875091)

what the hell does this have to do with the king of the elephants?!

Re:stupid AC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875587)

Wasn't that Babar?

Re:stupid AC! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876001)

That's Babar

Re:one BILLION... (1)

erikkemperman (252014) | about a year ago | (#44876557)

Ouch, Muphry's law [wikipedia.org] , I stand corrected.

Re:one BILLION... (1)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#44875155)

It's not the hardware, despite the ridiculous costs. It's for the 'MIPS' charges on their mainframes.

Re:one BILLION... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875871)

Considering that the bulk of this would be applicable to other CPUs, including X86 and ARM, it's still a bit of a big deal.

They're doing it to sell more of their CPUs, etc.- more power to them. Not everyone's motivated by altruism- not by a long shot.

About time.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873573)

They had better be investing this money in kernel developer time, or in driver support dev time.

I'd hate to see this promise just go towards funding their own internal work.

Oh, nevermind, read their article. Guess I'm not surprised >_

Alternative Investment Strategies (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873617)

I think they should spend their time (and ultimately money) on more intelligent installations, documentation, and that abomination of a support website.

$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (3, Interesting)

kcbnac (854015) | about a year ago | (#44873631)

The phrase '$1 Billion' gets people to sit up and notice.

But most of this work won't benefit the Linux community and software at large, at least directly. It will be ancillary improvements; where something gets re-written/improved/fixed due to issues on the POWER architecture that happen to benefit everyone else too. Hopefully these are many and useful.

Still, any investment shows that Linux is Serious Business.

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873815)

...where something gets re-written/improved/fixed...

/patented

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (0)

ClassicASP (1791116) | about a year ago | (#44873941)

I agree. Big spoken numbers seem to be a trend going on. I was taking a bike ride through a gated neighborhood with larger homes the other day and right out on the lawn was the for-sale sign with the broker name: "Trillionaire Assets".

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (2)

Savage-Rabbit (308260) | about a year ago | (#44874385)

The phrase '$1 Billion' gets people to sit up and notice.

But most of this work won't benefit the Linux community and software at large, at least directly. It will be ancillary improvements; where something gets re-written/improved/fixed due to issues on the POWER architecture that happen to benefit everyone else too.

This is work that ensures there are usable alternatives to Intel based equipment. I would have thought that benefits the Linux community at large directly ... unless one is most at home in a x86-64 monoculture :-)

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (2)

Patch86 (1465427) | about a year ago | (#44874571)

Everyone in open source land contributes (whether the voluntary time or money sort) to the bits that matter to them. There aren't many voluntary devs out there working on software that they don't really use.

IBM spending $1b on Linux development is great news. The fact that it'll be spent on those aspects of Linux development that matter most to IBM is hardly a shocker.

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44874803)

IBM should take a fresh drive in popularizing the Power architecture, like they did in the 90s. Re-introduce Power based workstations, and have an entire lineup of counterparts to Wintel boxes that exist out there - from Power based workstations right up to POWER based servers. All running Linux.

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (1)

shadowknot (853491) | about a year ago | (#44875621)

I'd like that, even though I'm a zLinux sysadmin and we have guys who exclusively admin our pSeries boxes (all running AIX right now) I'd love a Power-based workstation running Linux for my desk!

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876749)

PPC is almost dead, they are light years behind x86 in 2013. Business want value and no manager is going to buy a PPC based big boxen unless they are tied in to the platform. The concept of workstation is dead, though. The power from generic x86 machines off the shelf craps all over the old workstation concept, which were nothing more than glorified PCs with bigger buses allowing for more RAM and multi-core processing.

Re:$1 Billion Towards THEIR OWN ARCHITECTURE. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875895)

Big deal about it being direct improvements- who CARES so long as they're improvements?

Who Cares? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873679)

No one but a complete moron would even use a P-series POS let alone run linux on it.

Re:Who Cares? (4, Informative)

Minwee (522556) | about a year ago | (#44873733)

$18 Billion in sales [ibm.com] would seem to suggest otherwise.

Re:Who Cares? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875655)

You've obviously never worked in the financial sector. We have pSeries servers alongside our z10 EC12 mainframe and other wintel servers that all work together to get the job done. Not everything can be done on a big x86-based cluster as effectively as it can on the setup most financial orgs have with a mixture.

Suckers (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873685)

A bunch of dumb kids will work on open source software thinking that they're going to help the world, when in reality they're just lining IBM's pockets.

Since the article mentions Big Data. Do you think the NSA uses open source packages to surveil us? I bet they do. And I'm sure tons of large corporations do as well. I wonder how Richard Stallman feels about that. It's all good right? Much better than honest people using closed-source software like Word to do honest work, right?

Re:Suckers (5, Insightful)

jedidiah (1196) | about a year ago | (#44873837)

As long as no one can just take their ball and go home BSD style, then EVERYONE benefits. That's equality.

The "bitch mentality" of sabotaging others is really not necessary or appropriate.

Re:Suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874227)

Umm.....not if all the development is in the ppc64 branch.

Re:Suckers (1)

Gavagai80 (1275204) | about a year ago | (#44876195)

It's not as if any hobbyist "dumb kids" are working on ppc64.

Re:Suckers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876651)

You'll likely benefit indirectly from this investment if you, say, have a bank account. Financial companies use pSeries and zLinux almost exclusively over distributed x86-based systems, so when you see an improvement in transaction times at the ATM you can send IBM a thank you card!

Re:Suckers (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#44878019)

Depends on the nature of the development in the ppc64 branch. If it's in the core instead of the arch/dir, then you gain from it.

Nothing already contributed can be taken away ... (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44875599)

As long as no one can just take their ball and go home BSD style ...

Wrong. With BSD you can go but you have to leave your ball, you are free to get a new ball and keep it to yourself though. Nothing already contributed can be taken away, you just stop contributing. The BSD community does not lose a single line of code.

Re:Nothing already contributed can be taken away . (1)

Svartalf (2997) | about a year ago | (#44878033)

You're presuming that $1Bln put into FreeBSD work is going to EVER be contributed back. That's NOT a foregone conclusion, perpenso.

Re:Nothing already contributed can be taken away . (1)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44880659)

You're presuming that $1Bln put into FreeBSD work is going to EVER be contributed back. That's NOT a foregone conclusion, perpenso.

Like Google's modifications to Linux that are not contributed back because they are only used internally, not shipped to others, and are considered a trade secret by Google?

Does it cost them anything? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873691)

I wonder if this is an accounting trick. Lay off all their developers, and then hire them back as contractors at a lower rate to sell Power8 systems.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873929)

As a developer at IBM for 10+ years, doing Linux and PowerPC for a large portion of that time. I am wondering why I am laid off and working for HP now. One hand does not know what the other is doing it seems.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874563)

The main skillset of the CEO's at IBM since Akers has been politics.

Its no wonder that the press releases always say one thing, while the guys on the ground see something different.

The way I read the release is that IBM is going to hire people in France to support linux, while laying off people in the US doing AIX and Linux work.

The $1B is just the amount of money they were going to be spending on support anyway.

US gov't policy responsible ? (2)

perpenso (1613749) | about a year ago | (#44875759)

The way I read the release is that IBM is going to hire people in France to support linux, while laying off people in the US doing AIX and Linux work.

There is also the gov't policy angle. The US gov't wants to tax foreign profits. So companies like Apple and IBM have a lot of money overseas that they don't know what to do with. Spending what they earn overseas in an overseas development effort avoids these additional taxes.

The US gov't basically seems to be encouraging IBM to shut down US development and move it overseas. Sure its an unintended consequence but many gov't failings stem from the unintended consequences of good intentioned policy.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44874691)

Wow, that sucks!

But honestly, if IBM made Linux the native OS of POWER, replacing AIX, it would be a shot in the arm for Linux. Particularly if at some point, they reintroduce Power workstations, running Linux. Just like in the 80s & 90s, where the OS was tweaked and tied to the hardware for Unixstations, it would be the same thing here, even if IBM were to open up the device drivers. In such a case, one would have Linux running right out of the box, unlike on x64s, where it has to be tweaked before it runs, since it's the native OS. Hopefully, IBM could expand the line and re-introduce a wide range of POWER and Power based servers & workstations running Linux, and covering the whole spectrum.

I'd love to see Power & MIPS make a comeback - it's depressing to see x64 and ARM owning it all.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (1)

Rob Y. (110975) | about a year ago | (#44875051)

In case you haven't noticed, the marketplace for 'workstations' has changed drastically since the 90's. The hardware is now a cheap commodity, and for most uses, the software is irrelevant - i.e. all you need is a web browser, and possibly an office suite. All of which can be provided by either Windows or Linux on cheap HP or Asus hardware.

Sure, there's still a small market for movie effects production and publication-grade desktop graphics. But hardly one worth introducing a whole new hardware line to tap. Especially one that's incompatible with whatever legacy apps are still out there. Linux + WINE handles that better than a new Power Workstation would.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (2)

Nerdfest (867930) | about a year ago | (#44875189)

Hardware is cheap specifically because it stopped being from IBM in the 80's.

Re:Does it cost them anything? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about a year ago | (#44875493)

Amen!

Re:Does it cost them anything? (3, Interesting)

roc97007 (608802) | about a year ago | (#44875891)

As a developer at IBM for 10+ years, doing Linux and PowerPC for a large portion of that time. I am wondering why I am laid off and working for HP now. One hand does not know what the other is doing it seems.

My experience at IBM was that often, not only does one hand not wash the other, but one hand is actively arm-wrestling the other. You can bet that the AIX group is plotting the overthrow of this upstart Linux thing, and the AS/400 group is plotting the demise of this microcomputer flash-in-the-pan thing, and the Z-series group is plotting the comeback of 3179's on the desktop.

Wow! (4, Insightful)

LifesABeach (234436) | about a year ago | (#44873759)

Well, if you're in IBM-India, that's great!

Cloud/Mainframes are dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44873767)

Our era is about nodes and p2p.

Re:Cloud/Mainframes are dead (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874139)

Being modded down on /. is a always a guarantee my ramblings will being proven true before the end of the decade and usually much before that.

It happens every time. I might consider registering some day to keep tabs of all occurrences.

Already invested 1 Billion (1)

chevelleSS (594683) | about a year ago | (#44873821)

IBM invest 1 Billion in linux 10 years ago? news.cnet.com/2100-1001-249750.html

Ack.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874003)

OS/2 Warp flashback......

osFree (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44874565)

Actually, there is an FOSS OS that harks back to OS/2 called osFree. Essentially, it's the L4 microkernel, on top of which sits the relevant 'personalities' that are to be supported, be it Presentation Manager or even win 32 or win16. If that project can get to the point where the Presentation Manager personality is binary compatible w/ OS/2 on x86, and source compatible w/ OS/2 on Power, it would be a great achievement.

If any of the other companies make Power based microprocessors, then someone could possibly do a BeBox like thing to support osFree on a Power based box.

They did this before, and the horror, the horror (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874145)

Hmm, well if one looks back at certain IBM projects, like the FAA upgrade, didn't they spend about a billion in today's dolalrs and came up with like nada, or nothing usable?

IBM works on the principle that it's better to hire 1,000 program managers with IQ's of 60 to manage 5,000 programmers of IQ 80, than to maybe hire five smart people. Sometimes works, often not so much.

itword vs WSJ (4, Informative)

bored (40072) | about a year ago | (#44874187)

The people at itworld are less IBM literate than the WSJ, because they keep repeating "POWER mainframe".

Repeat after me, POWER is _NOT_ IBM's mainframe line. The mainframe line is the zSeries and runs on proprietary processors clocked at 5.5Ghz. POWER processors are in the pSeries and iSeries machines.

Now, that said, in many ways the high end pSeries stuff is better than the mainframe hardware, but in no way is it considered "mainframe" grade to the IBM sales guys.

All that said, RHEL and SLES both run on pSeries and zSeries machines.

Re:itword vs WSJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44879573)

Umm... common hardware between 'p', 'i', and 'z' lines... just a matter of what microcode and OS you load.

Re:itword vs WSJ (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880033)

Not, really sure why i.m replying.... I know IBM wanted to converge everything a few years back, but I don't believe they have made much headway with the z.

So.. which power processor is in the ec12 again?

I have a zseries and power hardware, while they do share things, there is more in common between the power hardware and the xseries.

If the zec12 cpu shares anything with the POWER7/8 cores its limited to functional unit layouts rather than the decoders/etc. Everything else from core counts, cache sizes, levels etc is different.

Re:itword vs WSJ (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44880307)

No, you're confused.

pSeries and iSeries are the same architecture (and you can run iOS and AIX workloads on the same machine in LPAR/DLPAR).

zSeries is a totally different architecture, they have talks at Hotchips most years talking about architectural improvements they make to zC and POWER, why would they have separate talks if they were the same architecture?

Also they have POWER Application offload servers as part of their mainframe offerings, those wouldn't be necessary if z was POWER.

Retain your lawyers now (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874349)

The last time IBM invested $1 billion in Linux, SCO began suing the entire world.

Re:Retain your lawyers now (1)

sk999 (846068) | about a year ago | (#44877107)

From SCO's original lawsuit:
---
94. Over time, IBM made a very substantial financing commitment to improperly put SCO’s confidential and proprietary information into Linux, the free operating system. On or about May 21, 2001 IBM Vice President Richard Michos, stated in an interview to Independent Newspapers, New Zealand, inter alia:

        “IBM will put US $1 billion this year into Linux, the free operating system.

        IBM wants to be part of the community that makes Linux successful. It has a development team that works on improvements to the Linux kernel, or source code. This includes programmers who work in the company’s Linux technology center, working on making the company’s technology Linux-compatible.”

That team of IBM programmers is improperly extracting and using SCO’s UNIX technology from the same building that was previously the UNIX technology center.
---

Linus (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874441)

I hope part of that $1B will be used to buy Mr. Torvalds a license for a good backup program... ;)

Re:Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875105)

Inform yourself. His data was backed up. The delay was because he wanted to investigate the cause of the drive failure.

Re:Linus (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875477)

Why would he back up his data when he can just ftp it up to the internet, and let the whole world mirror it?

Re:Linus (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875773)

No need, the one he's using [git-scm.com] is free.

Re:Linus (1, Funny)

gtall (79522) | about a year ago | (#44877377)

Nah, I'd rather see a realtime interpreter for the boy.

Linus: You stupid motherfucking, shit-eating bastard, I vomit on your code!!

Translation Linus: You are misguided and I can help you fix your code to become a better person!!

Re:Linus (2)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44877965)

Why would he need a license to use the free software he was already using? The "Linus doesn't back up his data!" bullshit is a myth. His data was backed up. In fact, he uses the most powerful and useful data integrity and replication software on the planet [git-scm.com] , which he himself designed. The delay was an intentional decision, and was the result of him wanting to investigate the failure more thoroughly.

Expensive migration (3, Interesting)

CHK6 (583097) | about a year ago | (#44874577)

Where will the $1 billion go? To a large extent, on facilities and personnel to help Power users move to Linux. One new center in Montpellier, France, will be set up for that purpose, McCredie says.

When they say large extent, what exactly does that mean? Like $800 million for the land and development of a shiny new building, $100 million for Power servers, and $900K for salaried personnel? Leaving $100K to hire 10 India engineers to work feverishly on the Linux code?

Re:Expensive migration (2)

HtR (240250) | about a year ago | (#44876173)

If they use the remaining $99 million for advertising, it might actually work.

Re:Expensive migration (1)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44876815)

Since when do Indian engineers work on Linux code? Isn't it developed by Linus' team - all IBM would have to do would be to handle the Power/POWER ports, as well as getting standard Linux software ported to the platform. Otherwise, the kernel comes from Linus, the userland from GNU (unless IBM chooses to put AIX userland on top of Linux), the X11/Wayland from X.org, KDE from the KDE guys & so on

Re:Expensive migration (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876841)

and coming in under budget - kudos!

bah (0)

WindBourne (631190) | about a year ago | (#44874597)

I used to believe in IBM, but no more. In my mind, they are a trash company.

They're going to get in trouble with SCO! (0)

sandbagger (654585) | about a year ago | (#44874655)

Hahaha. Just had to say it.

IDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874735)

Maybe IBM could develop an acceptable Integrated Development Environment then programmers wouldn't be so put off developing for Linux.

I don't want to start a flame war... But, Microsoft knows how to deliver a quality development environment... These days, I can't say much more positive about MS but their development environment is quite good. Now, if Linux could achieve the same level of quality with their development environment then Linux would have a real chance.

Re:IDE... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44875209)

JetBrains is making a C++ IDE. You may begin drooling now.

Linux user for 15 years. One thing MS IDE is nice (1)

raymorris (2726007) | about a year ago | (#44876293)

Agreed. I've used Linux for fifteen years and very rarely use anything else on hardware I own. One of the few things MS does better is their IDE. Visual Studio is excellent. Their programming languages may be excrement, but the IDE is excellent.

Re:Linux user for 15 years. One thing MS IDE is ni (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | about a year ago | (#44877153)

In fact the reason everyone loves .NET development is down to the IDE. I just had to write an admin tool in C#, and after a short time using it, it was clear the productivity gains from the IDE were huge

The language is a bit crappy all in all, but I wouldn't even consider it if it didn't have the autocomplete, intellisense, refactoring and codegen features, anyone without any knowledge of C# can write C# code using Visual Studio... which is not a huge endorsement, but it shows just how easy it is made to be.

Now I'm back to the back-end C++ system, and I am actually missing the helpfulness of the IDE. I can;t see why Microsoft couldn't have spent all that effort on the C# stuff on adding the same features to a proper language. I just hope someone else can manage it better. A C++ IDE on Linux that was as good to use as C# on Windows would make developers jump platform.

Re:Linux user for 15 years. One thing MS IDE is ni (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44877613)

Because of a mysterious Windows 7 crash that somehow corrupted some of the Visual Studio debugger files (along with a lot of other things -- ouch, funny what happens when windows runs out of virtual memory during the night while supposedly asleep -- whatever happened to hibernate anyway?) I've started using windbg. I think this may be MS's best program. Studio's kind of annoying in many ways.

Re:IDE... (1)

Zero__Kelvin (151819) | about a year ago | (#44878005)

"Maybe IBM could develop an acceptable Integrated Development Environment then programmers wouldn't be so put off developing for Linux."

You're kidding, right. Real Programmers(tm) know that a properly configured Linux setup is one of the most powerful development environments on the planet.

"I don't want to start a flame war... But, Microsoft knows how to deliver a quality development environment... "

EPIC FAIL, and on so many levels.

(plus one Info8mative) (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44874821)

practical puRPoses

Hot topic? (1)

deviated_prevert (1146403) | about a year ago | (#44875125)

I just wonder if IBM is also working on low power (as in wattage). This seems to be the focus of server development at HP. Sure both IBM and HP are investing heavily in getting their gear to run the Linux kernel because in doing so they avail themselves of intelligent coders who are not churned out from the Microsoft's C# mills in colleges. They actually get individuals who think in processes at a lower level and have studied computer science not the world of computing according to Microsoft.

IBM has been rather secretive about their server chips lately, I would not at all be surprised if this move to ramp up server and work station software development is not rapidly followed with announcements of 64 bit low power chip designs with cache numbers that blow everybody else out of the water.

HP has bet the farm on low power Moonshot servers largely designed for clustered Linux applications. Interesting times ahead as HP and Dell are tied into and rely completely upon others for chips. IBM has spent heavily to avoid becoming another Intel bitch dog slave and just perhaps they are up to something revolutionary again.

INTERESTING times ahead!

What? (1)

neurovish (315867) | about a year ago | (#44876385)

$1B for Linux on Power architecture? Are they just looking for a tax writeoff? Is it cheaper than updating AIX?

Re:What? (2)

unixisc (2429386) | about a year ago | (#44876659)

AIX would have to be maintained, re-written & all that; w/ Linux, they have the standard kernel that they just pull from out there, whose Power port exists. Then they take that, then all the programs that they need running on top of it, be it BusyBox or GNU or whatever, and then things like KDE or GNUSTEP. The good thing is that IBM can stop having to maintain an in-house team of programmers skilled in an OS that has increasingly limited use, and instead leverage the popularity of Linux and get that whole ecosystem ported to the POWER platforms.

Finally a Linux COBOL compiler? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44876785)

Will any of that $1B finally get IBM to port their COBOL compiler to Linux? People have asked for it since the 1990s, and IBM has steadfastly ignored them. Their compiler works on AIX and OS/2, so it should be fairly easy to port. Now, a COBOL parsing front-end that integrated into LLVM would be a dream come true. How much would it cost to take their AIX code's front-end and port it to LLVM?

Sour grapes from the 1990s (1)

TheGoodNamesWereGone (1844118) | about a year ago | (#44877515)

Grumble grumble mutter mutter bitch bitch... Back in the days of OS/2 it'd have been refreshing to see IBM put that much into its *own OS*. Today though, as a Linux user, it's a good thing.

Linux would be dead 15 years ago (0)

tyrione (134248) | about a year ago | (#44877683)

without the > $15 Billion invested by corporations to keep the project afloat. Be grateful.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44878297)

That's only $27 in decimal. Big whoop. What next? A free mouse pad for Linus?

Winners and loosers? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44878305)

So, who does this help and who does this hurt. Recent developments in Linux have left the traditional players flat-footed. Will this favor new players over Red Hat?

Linux on power... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44879601)

Linux on Power is very nice. Mostly what this means is that the /arch/powerpc and /arch/s390 directories are going to get more love (perhaps also the /arch/mips directory), but for most users using either arm or intel processors, this may not do a lot. I have a power processor in my PS3, and I wish it were as powerful as my old 1.8GHz Pentium IV, but its not. Its my only experience with power processors, but still valuable knowledge. When someone mentions "Power Processor" I get fond recollections of my Timex Sinclair 1000 from 1983. I don't want one as a server, but if IBM wants to sell them I suppose it can. It won't hurt having them tinker with the /arch/powerpc and /arch/s390 directories, so long as they don't mess with the /arch/x86_64 and /arch/x86 directories, I will be happy.

Again? (1)

the_arrow (171557) | about a year ago | (#44881979)

Didn't they do that some years ago already? And having an ad campaign where they spray-painted sidewalks (and was fined for the "graffiti" [cnet.com] ).

But it's not about Power at all! (1)

TheRealHocusLocus (2319802) | about a year ago | (#44882183)

It's about power consumption. These new Power8 chips may be clever but due to a shortfall of imagination and planning by Silicon Valley investors (and American corporations in general) in the latter part of the 20th century and the beginning of the 21st... these things are pretty 'steampunk'.

Of every 100 chips coming off the assembly line, roughly 37 will be powered by coal, 30 from natural gas. There is no real future in this.

Only 7 chips will get their power from Hydroelectricity, a percent point we would never want or be able to increase since it disrupts ecosystems and watersheds way beyond anything renewable utopians would admit to.

Only 3 chips will be wind powered, at a federally subsidized cost usually double that of other sources, the actual power supplied by wind turbine equipment amortized over 40 years that actually lasts less than 10.

19 chips will be nuclear powered, the method that most befits their advanced nature and hefty real-world consumption needs. Unfortunately the number is declining as the light water reactor plants are retiring after 30 years of (practically) perfect service.

Not ONE of these hundred chips will be completely solar powered despite an obscene amount of research and development that completely ignores the fact that no practical land based solar solution will ever scale, or exist without natural gas plant hidden just over the ridge.

Long before these 100 Power8 chips reach the end of their practical lifespan, the cost of non-renewable energy sources will start to climb as the natural gas 'glut' tapers off and cost of extraction increases exponentially.

Only if IBM and other corporations come together for the purpose of creating a true revolution in Power, such as ensuring development of molten salt reactor designs within a reasonable time frame for grid electricity and industrial heat generation... might these $ billions help the human race in ways that can save us,

Otherwise these 100 Power8 chips might become interesting trinkets found in the silicon rich dust of a failed civilization, taken by nomadic peoples for use as jewelry and adornment.

Energy from Thorium
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lG1YjDdI_c8 [youtube.com]

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