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IBM Joins Eastern Front Against Microsoft

Lotus Symphony Lent to Another Mission to Rid the World of Windows PCs

IBM is lending at least its ODF-based Lotus Symphony software to another mission to rid the world of Windows PCs.

According to a Reuters story Tuesday, IBM is part of an eastern front designed to supply Microsoft-free Linux-based PCs to Russia and perhaps other Eastern European markets.

The boxes have been dubbed “Open Referent” and, according to the wire service, will be built by some unidentified partner of VDEL, an Austrian-based distributor of Red Hat, and LX Polska, a Warsaw-based hardware distributor. Reuters describes Russia as a green field and a “key battleground between Microsoft and rivals offering open source alternatives.”

It quotes IBM as saying that Open Referent would cut desktop computing costs in half.

IBM told Reuters CIOs at the Russian Ministry of Defense, Aeroflot and the private Alfa Bank had asked for an open source PC.

More Stories By Maureen O'Gara

Maureen O'Gara the most read technology reporter for the past 20 years, is the Cloud Computing and Virtualization News Desk editor of SYS-CON Media. She is the publisher of famous "Billygrams" and the editor-in-chief of "Client/Server News" for more than a decade. One of the most respected technology reporters in the business, Maureen can be reached by email at maureen(at) or paperboy(at), and by phone at 516 759-7025. Twitter: @MaureenOGara

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