IBM aims to lower cost of using Linux, Apple PCs
February 12, 2007 Leave a comment
This article contains an announcement that I think may be interesting. The one problem is that I can't actually figure out exactly what it is. From the article:
IBM said on Sunday it will offer an open desktop software system for businesses that puts the cost of managing Apple or Linux computers on a more equal footing with Microsoft's Windows software, improving the economics of Windows alternatives.
The product – which the company calls its “Open Client Offering” – pulls together software IBM has developed in-house and with partners Novell Inc and Red Hat Inc to answer questions over the cost-effectiveness of managing Linux or Apple desktop PCs alongside Windows PCs.
International Business Machines Corp said the new software makes it feasible for big businesses to offer their employees a choice of running Windows, Linux or Apple Macintosh software on desktop PCs, using the same underlying software code. This cuts the costs of managing Linux or Apple relative to Windows.
What I'm unsure of it what “same underlying software code” actually means. Also from the article:
“We worked with the open source community and found a way to write software once that will work regardless of operating system. It will run on Windows, Macintosh or Linux,” said Scott Handy, IBM's vice president of Linux and open source.
As an alternative to Microsoft, IBM will offer its own Open Document Format (ODF) software for tasks like word processing, spreadsheets or presentations, along with Lotus collaboration, instant messaging and blog tools, and the Firefox Web browser, which is the biggest rival to Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
Fantastic that IBM continues to support ODF, but I'm still lost. Is this something based on emulation or Virtualization? A custom selected collection of Java apps or some kind of Java desktop? A slick management tool? After a bit of poking around I found this official IBM presentation, which answers some questions but I'm still not 100% clear. It seems that this is some kind of portal based on Rich Internet Applications, Web Services, the Eclipse framework and J2EE. I look forward to a less marketing driven explanation :) If anyone finds something along these lines (or is familiar with the product), I'd appreciate a pointer.
Linux, IBM, Eclipse, Java