John Dvorak writes an interesting article about Linux as a desktop OS – and apparently IBM has a desktop OS based on Linux in the labs somewhere !
I haven’t seen anything like this myself, but there are rumours everywhere about stuff that is supposed to be happening this year within IBM. There were several not very subtle hints about our upcoming strategy in Sam Palmisano’s address to IBM employees in Las Vegas a couple of weeks ago. There were no details given, but the basic suggestion was that this year is the year we come out attacking Microsoft on all fronts with all guns blazing – at an enterprise server level, at an SMB server level, and at a desktop level.
The enterprise and SMB stuff is not terribly new – although the focus to more directly target Microsoft’s strengths is an interesting one – IBM tends to play best in the true enterprise software space – somewhere that Microsoft doesn’t really have much presence. So the obvious suggestion then is targeting their core strengths – MS Office. Plenty of rumours around about this – will be interesting to see how it plays out. The general consensus seems to be that taking on Microsoft directly in their core markets is an unwinnable game (I’m still sore about OS/2 !), so I tend to be a little sceptical myself.
The other core market for Microsoft is of course, the operating system. IBM already offer all our enterprise software products on multiple platforms, including Linux – but the rumours are already starting about IBM’s Linux desktop strategy. Articles like this one from Dvorak only confirm the rumours, but don’t provide any real clue as to what the strategy is going to be.
Naturally both the desktop and the office strategies go hand-in-hand. You can’t convince someone to deploy Linux for the desktop if that means they can’t run Office applications. So finding a suitable replacement Office application is also important. There are some contenders out there, and as I’ve already said, there are plenty of rumours around – so the next 12 months will be extremely interesting.
I’m certainly going to keep my ear-to-the-ground to see if I can pick up any insider info on this strategy.
Something else to think about – there have been rumours circulating within IBM for a while now that the edict from on-high is that by the end of this year (or was that next year ?), IBM’s standard desktop operating system will be Linux – and all employees will be expected to run Linux and not Windows. Now [i]that[/i] I would like to see.
Read [url=http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,4149,1465325,00.asp]Dvorak’s article[/url]