IBM's e-Business group later this year will release a series of PC and minicomputer-based hardware, software, and services packages intended to spur Web development and electronic commerce.
Along with IntelliStation and ThinkPad workstations, Netfinity servers, and the bundles of Web development, design, and related software and services, IBM's plans centre on the AS/400 platform, according to company officials.
The bundles, which will include IBM and third-party software, will feature a heavy emphasis on Java, according to officials.
Meanwhile, several mostly Asian financial institutions have joined IBM in an alliance to build and standardise electronic commerce and banking services.
The Interactive Financial Services (IFS) alliance, as the group is called, will use IBM's global network as the platform for a range of electronic services for both business and consumers, according to a spokesman.
The alliance includes Visa International, St George Bank, Royal Bank of Canada, ABN Amro, Bank of Western Australia, Infomas Group of Indonesia and Kookmin Bank in South Korea.
The goal of the group is to set up an open platform for developing compatible services, the IBM spokesman said.
The group expects customers using the platform to access bank services such as balance enquiries, fund transfers and electronic bill payments, he added.