By Vijaya George
Independent software developers, local solution providers and Middle East computer societies will be joining IBM and partners for “Ready for Real Business” Linux event on June 2nd in Bahrain.
The penguin is coming to the Middle East in a big way with the region going to witness its first biggest Linux roadshow. IBM will be hosting the Middle East leg of a global Linux roadshow that will be held in Bahrain. The event titled “Ready for Real Business” is running in all major cities around the world and will see some of the world’s eminent Linux advocates getting together in Manama on June 2, 2002. The event will be supported by IBM’s regional business partners, including Gulf Business Machines (GBM), Saudi Business Machines (SBM), UBM.com in Jordan and Quantech in Lebanon.“IBM is profoundly committed to the open source movement and believes that Linux is already a key platform for e-business,” stated Farid Metwaly, general manager, IBM Middle East, Egypt and Pakistan. “By working with the open source communities, IBM is adding its relevant technologies and expertise to help enhance Linux, define standards and extend it to support more enterprise applications. This roadshow is a great opportunity for the growing community of Linux developers and adopters in the region to get together and share knowledge: to strengthen the commitment of those who have already embraced open source software by bringing them together with their peers who share a common strategy,” he added. IBM, global Linux software vendors, regional business partners as well as a number of guest speakers from local open source and computer societies will come together to share knowledge with the governments and businesses that are implementing the open-source software platform. The event will include case studies of organisations that are using Linux in the region, and provide live demonstrations of integrated Linux solutions especially in the oil sector. It will also demonstrate the Arabisation of Linux project in the region. Solution providers and system integrators who are offering integrated, customised Linux solutions in the Middle East will also be at the event. IBM has been proactive in increasing the profile of Linux, both globally and regionally. Last year, the vendor announced its plans to dedicate nearly $1 billion and 1500 hundred in-house developers to its Linux initiative. It is also a core supporter of the Arabisation project, in conjunction with other Linux user groups and organisations such as the Saudi Linux Group and the King AbdulAziz City for Science and Technology (KACST). For this, it established a large Cairo-based development team to work on Arabising Linux. The team in Egypt is focused on adapting the code that is necessary to make Linux capable of handling Arabic properly, setting standards and putting it into the hands of the open source community.