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2003 May 08 14:55

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For context, I remember in the early 90s seeing hyper aggressive commando
squad type IBM sales guys "taking on" DEC at a customer site.

At that point (pre-internet and ".com" boom), PCs and LANs were still not
taken all that seriously.

(remember the presenter's joke about SNA?)

> 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.

I was slightly surprised when the presenter at the meeting said that IBM's
Linux stuff was initially generating more hardware sales than software and
services (he then stated that they are now about even, or hardware
revenues are less then Linux software/services revenues).

IBM has been attempting to reposition itself as a enterprise services
company for several years.

> 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.

I don't totally disagree, but see above about increased sales of
mainframes and actual market numbers for PC sales.

>for most applications, a powerful PC or a cluster of PC's are
> simply more cost effective.

The presenter at the meeting said that IBM is selling billions of dollars
of "big iron" that run NT/Linux on OS partitions. I've heard old mainframe
sysadmns that talk about running 25+ NT/Linux OS instances/partitions on
one mainframe.

I take such generalized revenue numbers with a grain of salt, but it looks
like serious business.

>i believe the ESS 5 phone switch uses the
> x86 architecture for its control store.

sorry, never heard of it. :)

> 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.

If they can catch the evolutionary wave of an emerging paradigm that has
high adaptive value, it could ensure success in the market.

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



> On Thu 08 May 03,  9:15 AM, Eric D. Pierce
> 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.

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