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IBM Memo Advocates Move To Linux On Internal PCs

In an internal memo that reached the Internet, an IBM Corp. executive challenges company employees to abandon Microsoft operating systems by the end of next year. Such a shift would be a dramatic boost for IBM's efforts to sell its corporate customers software based on the open-source Linux operating system.

The message from IBM's chief information officer, Robert M. Greenberg, says Big Blue's chairman, Samuel Palmisano, had challenged the company's information-technology department, "and indeed all of IBM, to move to a Linux-based desktop before the end of 2005."

"This means replacing productivity, Web access, and viewing tools with open standards-based equivalents," Greenberg wrote to his staff. "You need to have people participate in this project. You'll want people that can bring together the business and technical perspectives from your organization."

The November memo was obtained and published this week by The Inquirer, a British technology news site.

IBM spokeswoman Trink Guarino confirmed Thursday that the memo was legitimate but said it had been taken out of context. She said IBM has "no such plans" to shift to Linux-based PCs.

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