But IBM and the Open Source Development Lab, whose membership includes Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Intel, are beginning a drive to promote Linux as an alternative to Windows on the desktop.
One indication of their more aggressive approach came last week when an IBM executive, Samuel J. Docknevich, delivered a speech at a technology conference outside Boston titled "The Time is Now for Linux on the Desktop."
The Open Source Development Lab a nonprofit organization to advance the use of open source software like Linux is planning a program to encourage corporate adoption of desktop Linux, set to begin in January. "Were going to push a big desktop Linux initiative," Stuart F. Cohen, chief executive of the open source lab, said in a recent interview. "Its clearly something our members want."