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SRO: Will IBM Eclipse Sun?

May 03, 2000, 19:39 (1 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Ed Sperling)

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"It appears that Microsoft wasn't the only target on IBM's radar screen when it decided to adopt Linux and tie together all of its platforms. A little birdy very close to the company informs me that Microsoft was an afterthought. The real target was Sun."

"If ever there was a company with a legacy problem, IBM is it. Because it basically pioneered the development of mainframes and PCs, and added RISC systems and minicomputers along the way, each OS was developed from scratch on its own, with no thought about making everything work together. There's a reason that IBM is the leader in middleware. It has to be. None of its platforms is compatible, and none of the projects it launched in an effort to make everything work together (Systems Application Architecture, Office vision LAN, and the Computer Desktop Environment) ever made it out the door. But when Linux came knocking, IBM saw a big opportunity."

"For one thing, Linux could be made to run on every IBM platform. But equally as important in Big Blue's strategy is the realization that if Linux gains enough momentum, it will derail Sun's position with Solaris and level the playing field in Unix servers. At that point, it's merely a question of choosing your hardware, and IBM can throw a big array of Linux servers at any business problem-everything from a mainframe to a Netfinity PC using standard Intel components."

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