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Mainframe big boy Big Blue tries to drum up new biz via Linux

This IBM move for those not 'dyed-in-the-wool' users – analyst

Big Blue is attempting to drum up new mainframe business with the launch of its LinuxOne machine.

IBM has teamed up with Ubuntu outift Canonical to build two versions of a mainframe running Ubuntu Linux.

The new mainframe comes in an "Emperor" version – which runs on the IBM z13 – and the smaller "Rockhopper", designed for “entry level” use.

Dale Vile, analyst at Freeform Dynamics, said IBM is trying to reach out to new audiences with the products. "This is creating new business that is more palatable to people who are not dyed-in-the-wool mainframe shops. It is helping to lose the image of complexity and proprietary," he said.

IBM has been desperately trying to re-invent itself in an attempt to revive its falling profits, which recently shrank for the thirteenth consecutive quarter.

IBM's quarterly net income of $3.45bn (£2.2bn) was 16.3 per cent lower than in the year-ago period.

According to its annual report, IBM reckons its mainframes process 75 per cent of "the world's business data".

In January 2015 it also launched the z13 mainframe, built "for the mobile era". The z13 system was the result of a billion-dollar investment and five years of development, it said. ®

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