"John M. Thompson, a 32-year IBM veteran, has been at the center
of IBM's software revival. Thompson, an understated executive
compared to flashier software rivals, has quietly turned IBM's
software business into one of IBM's three biggest growth centers
after operating at a loss four years ago. Thompson was instrumental
in helping IBM carve out its first dedicated software organization
five years ago, one that had an image and direction separate from
its proprietary hardware platforms; not an easy chore given what
those hardware platforms have traditionally meant to IBM's overall
core strategies. Thompson sat down with InfoWorld's Executive News
Editor Martin LaMonica and Editor at Large Ed Scannell to discuss
the top issues facing IBM's software organization and its
"InfoWorld: How does last week's Linux announcement fit in with
your Java strategy?"
"Thompson: First, we believe Linux is going to grow and it
is going to be an important operating system that we will enable on
all platforms. Two, we will fully exploit [Linux] with all of our
middleware and system services, as well as all of the functionality
that I talked about in this application architecture. We think that
Linux can be the Unix platform that users develop for."
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