At LinuxWorld in San Francisco this week, IBM launched a pilot program, based at the University of Portland's school of engineering, which allows any developer to remotely access systems running IBM's Power architecture hardware. Open source developers can test their software against the platform and host applications on a repository managed by the university.
Big Blue is looking to extend the program into other markets by forming additional academic alliances. Dwight Tausz, director of business development for Linux on Power at IBM, said that a university in Asia-Pacific had already been selected as a base for the region and details would be announced soon.
Tausz would not confirm whether the university was located in Australia. IBM is already working closely with a number of Australian universities to encourage Linux kernel development activities within computer science faculties.
The university scheme is one of a number of initiatives IBM hopes to use to stimulate interest in its RISC-based Power processors, which are well regarded technically but haven't yet attracted the broad-based market acceptance seen by Intel and AMD. Other schemes include a 'virtual loaner' program which gives registered ISVS use of a range of hardware systems via remote access. That program was also been extended to the Power architecture this week.
Angus Kidman travelled to LinuxWorld as a guest of IBM.