"Question: There are three times that IBM has turned itself on a
dime to adopt an emerging technology. When the Internet began to
take off, IBM mandated integration across the product portfolio.
When Linux began to be used to make free Web file and print
servers, again IBM made a corporate decision to adopt and support
Linux across all e-servers, middleware and IBM Global Services. Now
IBM's new CEO, Sam Palmisano, has made it clear that IBM will
support Grid Computing across the company.
"In hindsight, the Internet and Linux decisions have certainly
worked out well, but when the decisions were made, the outcome
wasn't so clear. Since you've been at the center of each of these
decisions, this is a good opportunity to ask you, why these three?
What do they all have in common that makes them worth steering an
entire company the size of IBM directly at them?
"Dr. Wladawsky-Berger: If you look at all these three areas: the
Internet, Linux and now Grid Computing, they all started, grew and
became widely adopted in the research communities. The Internet, of
course, started much earlier. But let's say by the early 1990s the
research communities around the world were using it heavily, and
they all started using the World Wide Web around this same