OK, we're looking forward to when this happens: IBM is readying a free cloud service where developers can test applications designed for deployment on its PowerSystems server hardware.
IBM announced the plans at LinuxCon 2013, and while there's no firm timeline attached, it sounds promising:
To serve the growing number of developers, Business Partners and clients interested in running Linux on Power Systems, IBM is expanding its Power Systems cloud for development. The no-charge cloud service is ramping up its infrastructure to provide more businesses the ability to prototype, build, port, and test Linux applications on the Power platform as well as applications built for AIX and IBM i.
The expansion is part of a plan announced by IBM to spend $US1 billion on developing new Linux-based options for its PowerSystems server hardware. IBM made a similar investment back in 2001, but there's one key difference here: the emphasis is firmly on using Linux on PowerSystems machines, rather than more broadly.
Presumably one goal here is to boost sales of PowerSystems gear. On the most recent Asia-Pacific figures from Gartner, IBM was ranked third in terms of shipments, but was number one in terms of revenue.