According to a Reuters story, IBM is part of an eastern front designed to supply Microsoft-free Linux-based PCs to Russia and perhaps other Eastern European markets.
The boxes have been dubbed “Open Referent” and, according to the wire service, will be built by some unidentified partner of VDEL, an Austrian-based distributor of Red Hat, and LX Polska, a Warsaw-based hardware distributor.
Reuters describes Russia as a green field and a “key battleground between Microsoft and rivals offering open source alternatives.”
It quotes IBM as saying that Open Referent would cut desktop computing costs in half.
IBM told Reuters CIOs at the Russian Ministry of Defense, Aeroflot and the private Alfa Bank had asked for an open source PC.