IBM has teamed up with other industry majors to develop a version
of the operating system Linux which can be run on Intel processor-based machines. This
effort is named ''Project Trillian'' and was announced a few months ago. The other members
of this project are Hewlett Packard, SGI (formerly Silicon Graphics) -- both IBM rivals --
VA Linux Systems Inc and Cygnus Solutions (both are into solution development for Linux).
These companies will work closely with Intel to enable
Linux to work on Intel''s next generation chip. This processor, code named Merced, features
a 64-bit architecture instead of the 32-bit architecture used by current processors. This
processor is expected to be launched in the middle of next year after considerable delay.
Linux now runs on major processors like Intel and Digital Alpha.
These companies throwing their weight behind Linux is seen
as a major attempt to break Microsoft''s hold on the operating system front. Linux, a
variant of the Unix operating system, has opened discussions about free software, after
its development and major inroads since then in the market.
Linux was developed by a Finnish student Linus Torvald and
distributed free over the net where it picked up features, ironed out its errors (as it
passed from user to user), captured the imagination of the users and has emerged as an
acknowledged rival to Microsoft.