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IBM moves Java into Linux territory

Big Blue beats Sun to the punch with deals bringing Java to Caldera Systems, Red Hat and TurboLinux's Linux operating systems.

Sun Microsystems and IBM are continuing to wage their war over Java, but have moved the campaign to the partnership front.

On December 7, 1999, Sun announced plans to ship Java 2 Platform, Standard Edition for Linux in the first quarter. On Monday, IBM beat Sun to the punch with deals bringing Java to Caldera Systems, Red Hat and TurboLinux' Linux operating systems.

Under these agreements, each of the three companies will licence and distribute IBM's Java Runtime engine, Java Virtual Machine (JVM), and the IBM Developer Kit for Linux, Java Technology Edition. All the companies intend on shipping product by mid-February. IBM launched Java as a public beta in June of last year. Each of the companies will be shipping the IBM Java package with the next edition of their flagship server versions.

For example, Red Hat will be sending it out in the world around February 14, as part of its next Linux Enterprise Edition. Caldera, in the meantime, will be releasing the Java package as part of Caldera's first e-business Linux server, OpenLinux eServer 2.3, at New York City's LinuxWorld Expo on February 2.

In its bundle, Caldera also will include IBM's VisualAge for Java and WebSphere Application Server Standard Edition, V2.03, for Linux. TurboLinux, with essentially the same package as Red Hat's, will be releasing the Java engine and tools as part of the next edition of its entire product line.

Though the deals all were announced on Monday, an IBM representative claimed they were negotiated separately. All the Linux companies wanted Java, and IBM was able to get it to them first, the spokesman added.

The wheeling and dealing isn't done yet. Sources close to IBM say IBM is likely to sign a Java deal with SuSE, the last of the four major Linux server distributors, shortly.

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