"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
"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
"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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