Summary: Recalling the real goal of IBM’s Linux-themed marketing and the side effects of this strategy
IBM only embraced the “Linux” brand in order to help sell its own hardware (so expensive that IBM does not publicly advertise the price — one has to call or request a quote online). It is merely an investment , an attempt to shift to Power Systems  all sorts of GNU/Linux or UNIX customers (many still move away from UNIX, e.g. ). When it comes to distributions , IBM’s Power limits those choices somewhat. IBM is increasing hardware choices in some sense, but this happens to concurrently reduce some distribution choices. Then again, some are not fans of the meme that “Linux is about choice” , so to them, IBM’s selfish agenda is irrelevant here. █
Related/contextual items from the news:
At the most recent LinxuCon, IBM announced it will invest $1B in Linux and related open source technologies over the next five years.
In case you haven’t noticed, IBM thinks that getting customers to put their Linux workloads onto Power Systems is going to reverse the sales decline for the platform. That decline has more to do with all flavors of Unix falling out of favor compared to Windows and Linux in the data centers of the world with the exception of very large workloads, usually databases, and the relatively high prices that Unix system vendors charge for their iron.
When Senwes, one of the largest grain handling companies in the southern hemisphere, decided to upgrade its main data centre and disaster recovery site, it was looking for flexibility.
There are hundreds of flavors of Linux, each with their own focus and opinion on how the soup of open source tools should be assembled and maintained into a workable operating system. Choosing one for your desktop can be fun, as you get to try different distributions out without a whole lot of investment. However, when choosing a flavor for the datacenter or cloud hosted environment, you may find yourself stuck with your decision for a long time.
In a famous posting to fedora-devel-list back in 2008, adam Jackson wrote: “If I could only have one thing this year, it would be to eliminate [the meme that ‘linux is about choice’] from the collective consciousness.”