IBM has announced a further extension of its support for open source software with a list of eight new "initiatives" that will push the software model into new regions of IT.

The company said at LinuxWorld yesterday that it would look push open source software into client-side middleware, development tools, Web application servers, data servers, systems management, hardware, grid computing and IBM research projects.

IBM was one of the first hardware companies to support Linux as a mainstream hardware operating system, the company trumpeted, saying it hoped to take a similar leadership role in the new areas.

IBM's development tools strategy will be run through the Eclipse platform; the Apache Derby and its own free IBM DB2 Express-C databases will be the foundation for its open source data server work.

Other open source projects include Eclipse's Rich Client Platform for hosting cross-platform applications; Apache Software's Geronimo open source Java application server project; the Aperi open source storage project; and hardware projects; and the Open Grid Services Architecture and Globus Alliance for grid computing.

IBM's open source head, Scott Handy, characterised the company's move as "bold and aggressive."

In addition to these eight areas of focus, IBM also said it would integrate its Cell BE processor - which extends IBM's 64-bit Power chip architecture - into the Linux kernel.

IBM also is working with Red Hat to provide a more secure version of Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5.