"IBM has set its sights on Microsoft's strongest market-the
small-to-midsize business. That's bad news for the besieged
Microsoft, but it's reasonably good news for businesses with
anywhere from 50 to 1,000 users. In the first week of November,
both IBM and Dell announced servers for about $1,000. These servers
generally come without monitors or keyboards, and are aimed at very
small outfits that are likely still using peer-to-peer
"The hope here is to get such outfits to use dedicated servers.
And as it happens, these dedicated servers are best configured with
Linux. Actually, the servers priced at less than $1,000 don't
include an OS, but IBM has stated it will charge the MSRP for an
installation of either Linux or Windows 2000. Given the
price-conscious nature of this sector, Linux would be the odds-on
favorite, since it typically costs no more than a fifth the price
of Windows 2000."
"Later that same week, IBM announced a bundle of Linux
applications intended for somewhat larger businesses-or perhaps
these would be better described as small businesses that are
predisposed to using the Internet and groupware applications. The
package includes Linux versions of WebSphere, DB2 and Lotus Domino
groupware, and is priced at $490 plus $90 per user. Again, this
price is shot right across Microsoft's bow. While it seems to me it
might be problematic to calculate the actual number of users with
respect to WebSphere, the bundle is clearly wonderfully accessible,
with a 100-user package coming in at a list price under $10,000.
Even adding a relatively beefy server, the price would still be
less than $13,000. And that, my friends, is a pretty cheap entry
into the wonderful world of the Web-and that's just the way IBM
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