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IBM today announced the Linux Digital Studio Solution, IBM's first complete Linux-based solution for the media and entertainment industry. The package represents a comprehensive suite of IBM workstations, servers, storage and services all designed to support animators, special effects wizards and digital media producers as their work increasingly takes advantage of Linux.


The solution would enable a studio, for example, to animate a scene on the IBM IntelliStation M Pro workstation, complete rendering on the shot with the Server xSeries, store the data on one of several IBM TotalStorage products and technologies, obtain advice, consulting and support from IBM Global Services, and secure financing for all these products and services from IBM Global Finance. All components of the solution work together and are optimised for Linux.


Threshold Entertainment has plans to deploy the IBM Linux Digital Studio Solution. "Deploying Linux is an investment of resources and an act of faith and will that requires the support of a one-stop technology supplier, and we have confidence in IBM as we move in that direction," says Larry Kasanoff, chairman and CEO of Threshold Entertainment. Threshold's franchises include the "Mortal Kombat" feature films, web site, and television series. Special effects credits by Threshold Digital Research Labs include "The Faculty," "I Know What You Did Last Summer," "Scary Movie," and "The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas."


Linux offers numerous advantages for digital media producers. Animation and special effects require substantial processing horsepower to crunch the motion, lighting, textures, colour, shapes, camera angles, and physics of the scene, and Linux occupies fewer processing resources and overhead than many other operating systems, which can result in significant performance advantages. The source code is essentially free, studios can modify it themselves, and it runs on lower-cost, standard hardware than UNIX-based variants.


"From our work with leaders in the entertainment and digital content creation industries helping them to create, manage, and distribute digital objects, our customers are telling us they want several key production elements. These are speed, support and simplicity and as a result, more and more producers are embracing Linux because it matches their needs," said Steve Canepa, IBM vice president of marketing and strategy for the media and entertainment industry. "IBM recognises the value of Linux and is rallying its entire product line around it. Very few industries have a more obvious need for Linux solutions, we believe Linux will help content creators communicate better across departments and companies leading to new efficiencies."


"Studios are tired of troubleshooting problems where their workstation vendor and their server company point fingers at each other," says Doug Oathout, IBM director of IntelliStation marketing. "IBM has a long record of providing end-to-end solutions, especially for the digital content creation space, and the IBM Linux Digital Studio software and hardware package allows higher system availability and greatly reduces the effort to manage and support workgroups."


IBM works closely with the open-source community and will invest $1 billion in Linux initiatives this year. Linux is the revolutionary open-source operating system that offers a high level of reliability and is being adopted in many corporate and industry settings. According to industry analyst IDC: Linux is the fastest growing server environment operating system, and will have 38% of the market by the year 2004.



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About IBM

IBM is the world's largest information technology company, with 80 years of leadership in helping businesses innovate. IBM is helping media and entertainment companies worldwide take advantage of the business opportunities made possible by digital technology.

The IBM IntelliStation M Pro leads the workstation industry in performance, sweeping top honors in Linux and other benchmarks for the third straight year. Major IntelliStation customers include Sony Pictures Imageworks, Warner Brothers, Threshold Entertainment, and the School of Cinema-Television at the University of Southern California. The eServer* xSeries** 330 is IBM's most commonly used server in the rendering applications of digital media producers. The industry's most powerful 1U
(1.75") thin server features a revolutionary new cable chaining design that eliminates 70 percent of connections and more than 80 meters of cables per rack. IBM TotalStorage Solutions recognised as an innovator for its contributions to hard disk drive and storage technology, are optimised for the rigors of e-business, featuring integrated, modular technologies, such as: disk, tape and optical storage media, powerful processors, and rich software. And, lastly IBM Global Services and Finance, the world's largest information technology services provider, integrates IBM's broad range of capabilities -- services, hardware, software and research -- to help companies of all sizes realise the full value of information technology.

For more information, visit: http://www.ibm.com/services/media

* * IBM is a trademark or registered trademark of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States or other countries or both. All other trademarks are properties of their respective companies.



About IBM PCD

A leader in terms of performance, technology and service, IBM's Personal Computing Division (PCD) designs, manufactures, markets and finances industry-standard personal computers for individuals and businesses of all sizes throughout all sectors of activity. PCD's award winning PC line up has been recognised for its quality, design, ease-of-use, performance, manageability, durability and reliability



Media Contacts:

Claire Berry
PR Manager, IBM PCD UK and Ireland
Tel: 0207 202 3090
claire_berry@uk.ibm.com

Ghezala Beg/Joanna Lane
Brodeur Worldwide
(On behalf of IBM)
Tel: 01753 790700
gbeg/jlane@uk.brodeur.com
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