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LinuxWorld.com: IBM goes one-on-one in clever TV ads

Jan 23, 2002, 04:30 (14 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Joe Barr)
"IBM puts a full-court press on someone in its latest series of metaphor-laden TV ads, which features "Linux" and "IBM solutions" playing round ball. In these ads, the game of basketball stands for competition, no doubt. The question in my mind is whether that competition is a battle of the big guys in the center position -- IBM and Microsoft -- or if I am reading too much into them, and the competition in question is nothing more than that between any enterprise doing business on the Internet and 3v1l hax0rs.

The team in blue -- that would be IBM -- is called Infrastructure . The good guys feature players named PC, Firewall, Middleware, Mainframe, and a newcomer named Linux. The bad guys -- dressed in black, naturally -- are a team called Crash, which consists of players named Downtime, Virus, Hacker, Spike, and Spam.

It would be entirely natural and fitting for IBM to use free software in general, and Linux in particular, to take shots at its one-time protege. It hasn't been that many years since Microsoft first felt brave enough to stab its benefactor/partner in the back, as Microsoft did during the OS/2 saga. And fewer still since Redmond demanded that IBM drop the competing operating system from its product line by refusing to grant IBM a preload license for Windows 95 until 15 minutes prior to its launch, and raising the price for the license by 700 percent when they did grant it. There is no doubt IBM owes Microsoft a couple of intentional fouls, and maybe a technical or two as well."

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