"The first time I saw it was late in the first game of
this year's World Series, when the score was something like 7,265
-1 DiamondBacks, and it was wonderful.
I'm talking about the IBM commercial in which the servers in an
enterprise had disappeared. The police had been summoned. A real
mystery. Then comes an IT guy who says, "No -- we moved everything
to one server," to which he points. And the voice-over guy says,
"IBM servers running Linux. They'll save you a bundle."
It was a delight to see a big company advertising Linux. It was
a delight seeing any commercial for computers or software that made
actual sense. (I mean, you Gateway owners: Does it instill
confidence to learn that Ted Waite, who already looks as if he
might be on heavy meds, gets corporate policy from a talking cow?)
That IBM might break from tradition to run advertisements which
give a sense of what the product is and why you might want it was
Unfortunately, IBM's track record in PC operating systems and
applications is not all that we'd hope for; indeed, it's not
anything that one would hope for unless one were in competition
with IBM. From TopView, which was a first attempt at what later
became, more or less, Windows, to what Lotus, once the biggest
maker of PC software, has become, there's little to point to with
Sadly, for the most part IBM's PC software failures were not due
to poor-quality products. Okay, TopView pretty much sucked. But
there are few who know but do not love OS/2; SmartSuite and
Organizer are dandy products; even the woebegone Signature, a
product in which a nifty, menu-driven front end was put on the
excellent but difficult XyWrite, was a good application. The latest
PC-DOS is superior to the latest MS-DOS. These products have all
fallen victim to indecision and a lack of resolve at IBM brought on
by factors including but not limited to infighting in a huge
corporation so complicated that it is not always easy for employees
to know who their supervisors are."
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