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Linux serves up at Wimbledon

Linux serves up at Wimbledon

Fast emerging as an alternative to Microsoft's dominant Windows software - the Wimbledon tennis tournament will be relying heavily on the operating system Linux during the two weeks of the championship, reports BBC Online.

Following a pilot project by IBM in 2003, both the internal computer network at the All-England Club and the public-facing website, has been converted to the open source operating system.

IBM's support of the championships in 2003 proved highly successful, with the official web site registering a record 27 million visits - a year on year increase of 75 per cent.

Mark McMurrugh, Wimbledon project director for IBM, says Linux was first used during the tournament in 1999 and since then, more and more of the infrastructure has been converted, as it gives more computer power to cope with peak visiting hours on the tournament website.

Marking 15 years as official supplier of Information Technology and consultancy to The All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC),this year IBM has unveiled a range of innovative developments designed to enhance the tennis championship.

They include new solutions that will offer players, broadcasters and fans, on-demand access to the best possible tournament information and statistics.

Now, as well as noting who was serving and where the ball landed in the court, the courtside data collators can see how it was returned, the kind of shot used, how a point was won or lost and whether it was due to a forced or unforced error.

"We collect these statistics because people have asked for the information, whether that's a player or because commentators find it useful," says Mr McMurrugh.

Commentators are fed a screen full of statistics that they can call on to make graphics during TV coverage and to help viewers understand what is happening during a match.

Other new solutions that will be in use at Wimbledon this year include; an on-site pilot of live match action streaming to wireless devices, immediate courtside image uploading over wireless for professional photographers and a new state-of-the-art CRM (Customer Relationship Management) solution to improve player information handling.

"IBM's involvement with Wimbledon is one of the world's most enduring and high profile sports technology relationships," said Mark McMurrugh, Wimbledon project director, IBM.

“Sustained innovation is essential to that relationship.”

Sources: BBC Online, Linux Insider

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