O’Reilly Conference: An Interview with Simon Phipps, IBM’s XML and Java Evangelist

[ Thanks to S.Ramaswamy for this link.

Even though he lives in England, IBM’s Chief XML and Java
Evangelist Simon Phipps is at the center of Big Blue’s strategizing
with cutting-edge technologies.
Yet when he’s asked to
speak–to deliver, for example, the keynote “Why the Web Works” at
O’Reilly’s upcoming Conference on Java–he usually doesn’t limit
himself to talking about IBM strategy and products. It’s not that
he won’t discuss the company’s Java-Linux initiatives or IBM’s
relationship with Sun Microsystems. He simply prefers probing
larger Internet trends.”

“As a preface to his keynote address, O’Reilly asked Mr. Phipps
to talk about IBM’s late-breaking developments with Java and Sun,
and the connections IBM sees between Java, XML, and the Web’s

“Houston: Why are Java and Linux so strategically important to

“Phipps: Do you remember back in the mid-to-late 1990s when
there was a lot of talk about which browser was going to be the
king, whether it was going to be Internet Explorer or Netscape? IBM
took the position back then that the browser was irrelevant. What
we’re seeing today is a similar war with operating systems. We see
Windows 2000 coming out; we see an attempt to defend Solaris; we
see a lot of interest in Linux. IBM’s message today is that the
operating system wars are irrelevant, too. It’s all about the

“The step we’ve taken in focusing on Linux is more to say, “This
is a good operating system, why don’t we use it?” rather than about
saying, “Let’s make an attack in the operating system wars.” In the
future we’ll all look back and wonder what all the fuss was about
with Solaris and Windows. In five years most people probably won’t
know what operating system they’re running. They won’t care. They
won’t know which vendor made it, and it won’t be an issue anymore
than browsers are really an issue today.”