Palmisano: It was the week before
Christmas 1999. We sat around the table at my house: myself, Bill
Zeitler, Irving Wladawsky-Berger, John M. Thompson and Nick
Donofrio. We decided to launch a new business organization in early
January. I told them I wanted to announce at LinuxWorld a year from
then a bunch of enterprises using Linux. I didn't want universities
and supercomputers. I told them I wanted German and Japanese
banks—the most conservative places in the world.
It's still the fastest-growing entry-level server platform by
far. And 15 to 20 percent of our mainframe growth was Linux-based.
But this thing is really about open industry standards. People want
to polarize the debate. It's not about operating systems. To
implement a true computing grid, whether it's a shared grid or your
own internal grid, you need to work in this heterogeneous world. No
one company is going to be able to dictate that the grid will be
.Net [or] the grid will be Solaris.
It's not about what you like. It's about what solves the
problem. The only way this problem will be solved is open industry