IBM wants corporate customers to cut the cord with Microsoft, reports CNET: The tech pioneer is launching a Linux-based collection of virtual desktop applications that run on a server without the need for desktop hardware–or Microsoft software. According to a Dec. 3 report on the Wall Street Journal’s web site, the Linux-based software package, which is available now, runs on a back-office server and is accessible to customers on thin clients. The Virtual Linux Desktop ranges in price from $59 to $289 per user, depending on level of software and service desired, according to the Journal report. IBM estimates the software package could save customers up to $800 per user when compared with the cost of maintaining Microsoft’s Vista operating system, Office suite, and collaboration tools, the newspaper said. IBM is counting on the prevalent economic pressures to help make its "Microsoft-free" suite more appealing. Costs aside, however, customers might not be ready to embrace an environment where their data is stored centrally instead of locally, CNET notes…

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