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IBM just announced it will make a $1 billion investment to promote the development of Linux, a leading operating system for cloud and big data deployments in data centers.

According to a media release, IBM also intends launch a new Power Development cloud, and fund a number of open source technology initiatives.

IBM introduced its first Linux-only Power Systems in May of 2012, which now represents over 2,500 open source applications globally. The company intends to support this growing ecosystem, and attract more third party developers to the platform.

IBM currently operates Power Systems centers in locations like Montpellier, France, where developers learn onsite how to deploy applications using open source technologies.

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IBM made the official announcement at LinuxCon in New Orleans. The news comes over a decade since IBM announced it would back Linux, then in the early-stages of development.

Onstage, IBM has stressed that it doesn’t intend to convert all of its existing customers to Linux. Instead, this investment is targeted at bringing new innovation to its cloud computing and analytics customers.

Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, said in a statement, “The last time IBM committed $1 billion to Linux, it helped start a flurry of innovation that has never slowed. We look forward to seeing how the Power platform can bring about further innovation on Linux, and how companies and developers can work together to get the most out of this open architecture.”

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