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2003 May 08 11:55

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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?
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Re: [vox] OS/2 and Linux, why has IBM changed?

i think it's a matter of survival rather than good will to mankind.

way back when, IBM was strong and healthy.  they *could* butt heads with
microsoft, but for what purpose?  they were top of their game.  they
followed the old dictum "nobody ever got poor by buying IBM".  they were
on the microsoft band wagon and, more or less, peacefully coexisted.  to
push OS/2 would upset the balance of things.

then IBM became less healthy.  they no longer own the hardware market (i
don't even KNOW anybody with a real IBM manufactured home system
anymore).  they diversified into software applications and became a
competitor with MS.   at the same time, microsoft has played footsy with
other hardware competitors that have, historically, been IBM's main

in recent years, IBM has become a ship lost at sea.  no focus and no
direction.  it was a company that was dying of attrition.  IBM was
trying to make gains in ecommerce solutions, voice enabled software, web
applications, hardware and uhh...  typewriters.   ;-)  (j/k)

linux provides IBM with a focus.  they prolly recognize that the company
is dying of atrophy.   MS is a peripheral competitor, but one that IBM
knows it can't beat on its own.  the only thing that can beat microsoft
is a free product, which IBM knows it can't provide.

when anybody thought of IBM, they thought of typewriters.  then times
changed.  when anybody thought of IBM, they thought of the PC.  then
times changed, and suddenly IBM had no killer product.  nobody uses
typewriters.  nobody owns a REAL IBM PC.  and a company the size of IBM
can't survive selling mainframes these days because mainframes are out
of vogue.  for most applications, a powerful PC or a cluster of PC's are
simply more cost effective.  i believe the ESS 5 phone switch uses the
x86 architecture for its control store.

i think IBM is counting on people thinking of IBM when they think of
linux applications.  which is great for them because linux, for better
or worse, is so far the hot buzzword of the late 90's/early 00's.

i have a feeling this is going to be a high volume thread.   ;-)


On Thu 08 May 03,  9:15 AM, Eric D. Pierce <epierce@surewest.net> opined:
> Per the presentation from IBM, does anyone have any
> observations on why they are so enthusiastic about Linux,
> but they never properly supported or marketed OS/2?
> Conventional wisdom is that top management at IBM never
> intended to let the OS/2 group really "bust loose", and
> OS/2 was even specifically torpedoed by top IBM management
> once its incredible potential became obvious.
> I'm mainly interested in "business philosophy" or
> sociological observations.
> thanks,
> ep

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