The broad deal with Novell comes one day after rival Red Hat said it had reached a deal with IBM to preload its version of Linux on one line of servers.
One day after rival Red Hat Inc. said it had struck a deal with IBM to preload its version of Linux on one line of IBM servers, Novell said Wednesday it had reached a much broader agreement with IBM to pre-install its SuSE Linux Enterprise Server on all IBM server hardware.
IBM will now pre-load SuSE's Linux on all its servers at customer request, including the eServer iSeries, pSeries, xSeries, and zSeries lines, as well as IBM's eServer BladeCenter systems.
"This marks a critical step in making Linux mainstream in the corporate data center," Novell chairman and CEO Jack Messman said in a statement.
Previously, both Red Hat's and SuSE's arrangements with IBM meant that, while customers could custom order Linux with new servers, the operating-system software was actually shipped separately by the Linux distributors for customers to install themselves.
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