Since all four companies are working with the open source community to produce better versions of Linux, it makes sense to set up a relationship, says Dan Powers, IBM's director of Internet technology. The companies will communicate informally and hold meetings to compare notes and eliminate duplication of work.
The partners will work with the Linux community to address issues important to business users, including scalability, problem isolation, and Non-Uniform Memory-Access capabilities. "We're trying to make Linux more mature," Powers says.
The alliance will help Linux "move up the food chain in the enterprise," says Aberdeen Group analyst Bill Claybrook. He points out that most developers in the open-source community don't have access to the high-end servers used in business, and that the joint effort will provide a new focus on the development of features for business. "That in itself should speed up the movement of Linux into the enterprise."