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Microsoft Goes Head-to-Head With IBM 274

Posted by Zonk
from the cue-gunfight-music dept.
conq writes "BusinessWeek has a piece on Microsoft's latest announcements that it is going after large-business computing, a realm that IBM currently has a stronghold on." From the article: "In both cases, the company has fashioned 'enterprise' versions of the products with additional security and collaboration-enabling features for sale to large businesses. Microsoft has spent $20 billion over the past three years on these upgrades, and Ballmer says it will spend $500 million over the next year marketing them to corporations. 'We're unlocking the next wave of growth for Microsoft,' Ballmer predicted during a press conference after his speech." We've previously discussed Microsoft's plans for IBM.
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Microsoft Goes Head-to-Head With IBM

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  • But... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Locke2005 (849178) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:04PM (#14943202)
    Wouldn't that require an operating system that didn't suck?
  • smart investors buy pharma stocks, because Microsoft is gonna need a lot of analgesics!
  • Johnny Come Lately (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ackthpt (218170) * on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:05PM (#14943214) Homepage Journal

    Ok, they threw $20 billion at it and will throw another $500 million at it. But what it is is a mature market, wherein customers have grown weary of the old business model of turning over buckets of money for software and support. Many big buyers are moving along on old, unsupported versions of Office, which they are loathe to upgrade for no reason other than to buy a pile of features they're not convinced they need. Usually the push for upgrades comes from some brash executive who thinks by the seat of his/her pants that it's about time they got into the 21st century (whatever the hell that is really supposed to mean) just before they, themselves pack it in and move along to their next rung up the ladder (with a new line for their resumee: Modernized infrastructure)

    While I was a bit of an IBM hater, back in the 80's, for the attitude their sales people conveyed, I do believe IBM is now a far better company, much wiser and behind the winning hand -- Open Source. Their time in the trenches will serve them well as a the cocky crew from Redmond attempt to strut in like they own the house.

    Considering Microsoft's track record, particularly in the press with all the vulnerabilites, I think they've got a tough sell. Some will be low-hanging fruit, easy to pluck, but others will be much harder to reach. It will be interesting to see how much further.

    Personally, I'm already advising our shop to dump Microsoft. We simply can't afford them anymore.

    • Considering Microsoft's track record, particularly in the press with all the vulnerabilites

      That was close to my thoughts, as well. The other point that I was thinking about was that it seems that MS does not tend to do too well with trying to break into other markets. I know it's a cliche, but it seems that unless a market is tied directly to Windows or Office, they have a very hard time doing much in it. The only market I've heard about them being noticed in, other than those mentioned, is with the XBox
    • Open Source is the future, no matter how much M$ wants to spend to market thier closed systems, someone will eventually come up with an Open Source solution to the same problem(s). Also, don't forget that ALL of Sun's software INCLUDING Solaris is Open Source, Novell now owns SUSE and that's open source. If we could only get IBM to OpenSource DB2 or Oracle to OpenSource thier DBs we would have NO reason to buy from M$. I got to think M$ knows this so they are trying to win via marketing and I think this tim
    • by fermion (181285)
      IBM in the 80's were arrogant assholes, until they got sense beat into them with MS. This was really a matter of changing climates, and did not have so much to do with thier products. The products are generally rock solid and well supported, if you are big enough to get their attention.

      Now, maybe one day MS will be a solutions supplier, but right now all they do is a bit of software. Someone else does the hardware, someone else does the integration, someone else does the process. Let me repeat that. M

  • Giant Heads (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Doc Ruby (173196) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:06PM (#14943234) Homepage Journal
    IBM backed the "Netscape" antitrust case the government won against Microsoft in the 1990s. That decision didn't protect consumers from Microsoft's monopoly abuse so well, but it did protect IBM's Lotus/Notes product line from Outlook/Exchange taking over the Internet. Let's see how well either of them fare, without a Republican government to protect Microsoft and with a real competition between them keeping them too busy to crush the smaller players entering the groupware market, especially on Linux servers. Interoperability is the most likely winner in a multilateral vendor competition.
    • keeping them too busy to crush the smaller players entering the groupware market

      Microsoft happened to score big with Outlook and Exchange because they bolted a calendar and an email program together at the right time. They know that this is a big lock-in point for them. Unfortunately for Microsoft, end-to-end support for integration of the most popular groupware features (email, address book, calendar, tasks, and notes) are rapidly coming together [groupdav.org] in open source offerings [citadel.org], so they've been trying to crea

      • Microsoft is best at locking up a market with its architecure, then convincing everyone in the market they have to buy into it. They're terrible at desiging that architecture to do more than lock in and work for the immediate release. So once everyone's locked in, they coast on momentum. Meanwhile the actual software sucks, and there's constant market demand pressure for others to fill the gap.

        I like Open-Xchange [open-xchange.org], because it is feature-complete (though still somewhat buggy), supports open *DAV interfaces (a
    • Re:Giant Heads (Score:2, Interesting)

      by HappyDrgn (142428)
      Ahem... "without a Republican government to protect Microsoft"...

      What the DOJ did in 2001 is protect a free market by agreeing with a D.C. court of appeals. The court of appeals saw written and verbal testimony by hundreds of economists, that concluded that breaking up Microsoft would not protect consumers, and is counter productive to a free market economy.

      What has been gained from the break up of the big bell? We had over a decade of artificially inflated prices due to "connection fees" th
      • Re:Giant Heads (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Doc Ruby (173196)
        So you're citing the problems with Reagan's breakup of AT&T's monopoly into several noncompeting regional monopolies as the reason the Bush DOJ's "oversight" of Microsoft's monopoly was ineffective? That it's a "dangerous precedent"? The danger is that those two precedents are the blueprints for monopoly "end runs" around stopping the monopoly, by castrating the remedy phase. Which the monopoly's lawyers do in collusion with the politicians behind the media smokescreen of "victory for consumers" and "it
  • Not Quite Yet (Score:5, Interesting)

    by eno2001 (527078) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:06PM (#14943236) Homepage Journal
    This won't work until Microsoft has completely changed Windows to be Unix-like. They are working on it. With each release, they learn their lessons and add backwards implementations of Unix innovations. As long as they continue down that path, they might someday be able to take over the big iron market. But they're not quite there yet.
    • Re:Not Quite Yet (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Frumious Wombat (845680) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:29PM (#14943485)
      Not to pick, but being Unix-centric is not necessary. IBM's biggest systems run variations of the (old,proven,legacy,venerable) Z/OS http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/zseries/zos/ [ibm.com], and their iSeries (formerly AS/400) run i5/OS, http://www-03.ibm.com/servers/eserver/iseries/soft ware/os/i5os.html/ [ibm.com] the successor to OS/400, neither of which is remotely unix-ish. I'll admit that they can run Unix, that the RS/6000s under AIX or Linux/PPC are unicies, or that at least virtual machines running under the primary OS can run Unix, but Unix-compatibility per-se isn't what Microsoft needs to compete against IBM.

      What they need to compete is the high level of handholding, the extensive uptimes, and the absolute reliability and throughput of those IBM OSes. Microsoft will probably make inroads into the small-business market, and the edges of the corporation, but it's going to take more than just new software to displace IBM from the truly big-iron apps. Personally, I think that Sun, HP, and RedHat should be more concerned, as this will threaten the midrange server market.
      • Re:Not Quite Yet (Score:3, Interesting)

        by NighthawkFoo (16928)
        IBM z/OS most certainly is UNIX-ish - that's because it IS a UNIX! Look here for more information. [ibm.com]

        z/OS UNIX System Services is UNIX95, XPG4, and XOpen compliant. What's neat about it is that you get the reliability of a mainframe with the flexibility of a UNIX system. You can have your legacy mainframe applications talk to your modern POSIX-based applications.

        Disclaimer - I work for IBM, specifically within the USS product. That doesn't stop me from thinking it's a nifty product though :)
    • This won't work until Microsoft has completely changed Windows to be Unix-like.

      Why not just buy some flavor of Unix that already has it perfected? A 20 year head-start is difficult to overcome.
      • Re:Not Quite Yet (Score:3, Insightful)

        by arivanov (12034)
        It will have to learn a few lessons a Cisco first.

        They are quite alike. They both tend to trumpet absolutely cretinous marketing claims and beat themselves in the chest senseless screaming repeatedly utterly stupid ideas. Just like a bunch of communists at a party conference. This is where they are similar.

        The difference is in the way they perform a 180 degree turn when the party line changes.

        When the great Cisco Marketing Bubba declares that it is time to admit that WFQ is worthless without having a clasfu
    • This won't work until Microsoft has completely changed Windows to be Unix-like.

      Maybe, but then they'll still be an uncooperative, vendor-lock-in, embrace-and-extend, non-standards-compliant, only-compatible-with-their-own-stuff, expensive-as-hell technology company. With a bad track record for security and stability and a reputation for draconian licensing practices (there's more, but you get the picture).

      Trust 'em? No way.
  • by xxxJonBoyxxx (565205) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:06PM (#14943238)
    I thought they tried this a few years ago with Unisys. Long story short, it was supposed to be a 32-processor version of Windows on Unisys iron. AFAIK it went nowhere. (This was about the time that Unisys was pitching connecting web servers running on mainframes to the Internet.)
  • by dc29A (636871) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:07PM (#14943246)
    They have an iPod killer.
    They have a Google killer.
    They have a Java killer.
    They have an IBM killer.

    Microsoft has a killer for everything!

    Dubya should hire Microsoft to develop a terrorist killer! War on Terror would be victorious!
  • Hmmm (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Otter (3800) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:08PM (#14943256) Journal
    But IBM, with a $90 billion-a-year business of selling technology to businesses, doesn't intimidate easily. Ken Bisconti, vice-president for IBM Lotus Workplace products, calls Ballmer's speech a "thinly-veiled promotion" for the upcoming Windows and Office launches.

    Any sympathy I might have had towards IBM in this confrontation vanished upon reaching the word "Lotus". Save me, Microsoft!!!

    • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Interesting)

      by throx (42621)
      Just posting in support of the parent. As bad as Microsoft is, I'd happily use Outlook/Exchange over Lotus Notes any day of the week. In fact, I'd rather just go without email altogether than use Lotus Notes. It's seriously the worst end-user email product I've ever had the misfortune to have forced onto my desktop.
      • Thats no the market they're going after. They are already in that market.
        They want have have wanted the AS400 type which will never happen.
        Those boxes just work and Microsoft does not have that kind of track record.

        On a side note, I've supported Notes and Exchange and during the Nimda through Spyware years, Notes server was much easier to maintain.
    • Re:Hmmm (Score:2, Informative)

      by the jalapeno (876954)
      It's easy to bash Lotus for their client. I agree that older versions (before R5) were behind Outlook as far as features and usability go, but the current versions of Lotus Notes are much better in many ways when compared to Outlook. Also, the Domino server is leaps and bounds ahead of Exchange...when was the last time you ran an Exchange server in Linux? Domino currently runs very reliably on Linux servers.
      • Re:Hmmm (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Blakey Rat (99501)
        Uh, I'm running version 6.5.1, and it still sucks donkey wang. It sucks MAJOR donkey wang. In what *possible* way is the email component of Notes better than Outlook? The email isn't better, the calendar isn't better, the address book isn't better (and is in fact the exact same as R5, as far as I can tell.) For groupware, Lotus Notes stinks and has always stunk. In fact, while the UI for 6.5.1 has some improvements over R5, it still is at least 5 years behind Outlook (and 10 years behind Entourage for
  • by SEWilco (27983) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:08PM (#14943259) Journal
    "Big Blue Screen of Death"

    Please wait for your airline reservation while critical update download completes.

  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...I say, bring it on, Billy Boy!
    What, Windows doesn't run on mainframes? So sorry, let's talk again when you have at least one heavy-duty operating sytem (like z/OS or Linux). Not to mention the applications to run on it.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      ...I say, bring it on, Billy Boy! What, Windows doesn't run on mainframes? So sorry, let's talk again when you have at least one heavy-duty operating sytem (like z/OS or Linux). Not to mention the applications to run on it.

      You do realize that in some spaces, such as application servers, IBM can't even win in a fair fight until they start *giving away free consulting* from IBM Global Services in order to push the adoption of their software, right?

      As for mainframes... I don't know who is investing in new

      • As for mainframes... I don't know who is investing in new mainframes. All of my customers (government & financial) seem to be going with clusters of blade servers. And who is the No.1 supplier of blade servers - IBM.
      • Clusters of servers... processing and disk space still cost money, though. And MS software is completely unable to be stripped down to only necessary services and still function correctly. They won't get much penetration into markets where the customers actually know what a price to performance ratio is, and demand a good one.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    How's that for a marketing slogan, Mr. Ballmer?

    And I'll even sell it to you for only $100 Million.
    (That's less than your current yearly office furniture budget...)
  • With Windows? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Zo0ok (209803) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:10PM (#14943287) Homepage
    For servers, Windows is a poor system (it is for desktops too, but that is another thing). Most server application / services install themselves everywhere in the system and updates things in the OS/Windows folder (this is particularly true for Microsofts own products). For this reason, if you want stable operations you put just one, or a few server products on each server. Combining development/test/production on the same machine is impossible. This is partly a Windows problem - partly a problem about how applications are built for Windows - both things are equally bad. Who wants to VMWare everything just to not have thousands of servers more or less doing nothing but hosting an OS and a single service?
  • Innovation (Score:5, Funny)

    by metamatic (202216) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:12PM (#14943300) Homepage Journal
    The new features that Ballmer showed off during his speech seemed useful. He showed how, using Microsoft's integrated applications, people can draw capabilities from a number of applications without even paying attention to which one they're using at any given time. That means you could, for example, get a PowerPoint attachment in an e-mail and edit it right in Outlook.

    Oooh, they implemented OLE in Outlook! How 1995 of them.

    • Re:Innovation (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Hiro Antagonist (310179) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:28PM (#14943482) Journal
      To be honest, I can't be the only person who thinks that this sort of functionality is useless and distracting.

      When I want to work with some file that I nominally deal with using a given application, I want to work in the familiar interface of that application. I don't want to screw around with some embedded-editing crap, especially when I need to have the full application installed anyway.

      Likewise, being able to 'edit' files in an email is a horrible misfeature, because it encourages very lazy thinking about where data is stored. Where's the lastest copy of my presentation -- in an email? Is it the copy in my home directory? What about the copy on my keychain drive?

      And, of course, none of this will be 'industry standard', so it will follow Microsoft's usual practice of nearly mandating an all-Microsoft shop...
      • One of my favourite secretaries recently called for help. She was going on a trip but had some last minute work to do on an annual report. She e-mailed it to herself at home, worked on it in the evening and finished. The next day, before she went to the airport she went to mail it back to work... but it was gone.

        Where did it go? Turns out she double clicked it in webmail in IE. It downloaded, opened with Word, she worked on it, saved it, no problem, right? Uh, except it got saved somewhere in no man's
  • Unlikely (Score:4, Informative)

    by The Infidel (708655) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:16PM (#14943340)
    From personal experience working with a large data warehousing company, the anti-M$ 'attitude' is the norm. As my boss once put it:
    If it's development, we run Solaris, if it's serving, we run Linux, if it's graphics, we run Mac, and if its the sales guy's laptop, we run Windows."
    These old-school guys love their unix. I cant see this happening any time soon.
  • by LaughingCoder (914424) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:19PM (#14943368)
    From the article: Microsoft argues that by integrating those user-oriented software packages thoroughly with back-end programs for data storage, communications, and business-process management, it puts companies' ordinary employees, rather than the geeks, at the center of the computing world. "Our innovations facilitate the power of people" in businesses, he said.

    It's true that MS is taking a completely different approach from IBM. MS espouses off-the-shelf software products (theirs of course) glued together by the customer's own employees. IBM espouses an army of consultants armed with a collection of applications and CDs packed full of open source, writing your company's custom business software.

    Now which approach do you think will win? What does history tell us? Personally, I think things in computerdom always trend towards off-the-shelf standardization. the reasons for this are obvious. There is someone to call when there's a problem. The cost typically drops as volumes are high. And the learning curve is lower because people already are familiar with the building blocks. I can't think of any examples where customization is a longterm solution to a problem. This is why I think MS has a good chance of success here.
    • by gr8_phk (621180)
      You missed a key point. You quoted the article thus:

      Microsoft argues that by integrating those user-oriented software packages thoroughly with back-end programs for data storage, communications, and business-process management, it puts companies' ordinary employees, rather than the geeks, at the center of the computing world. "Our innovations facilitate the power of people" in businesses, he said.

      Microsoft has to sell software to those geeks in the back office. If the sales pitch is to take the effort o

    • MS espouses off-the-shelf software products (theirs of course) glued together by the customer's own employees.

      ...


      I can't think of any examples where customization is a longterm solution to a problem.


      Aren't these off-the-shelf products being customized? And isn't the Open Source software IBM has just as off-the-shelf... if not more so?
  • Oh my.... (Score:2, Funny)

    by Eric Damron (553630)
    Windows for mainframes.... Virus infections at the speed of light!
    • Now you can have a thousand infected virtual PC's in one machine!

      20 billion. 3 years. Pity they didn't catch that WMF thingy. So what exactly was the money spend on? I am old enough to know that in IT it is very easy to both spend time and money yet accomplish nothing.

      Now it is just possible that WMF was the one last bug in Windows that MS overlooked and that Vista will indeed be the bee knees when it comes to security.

      Anyone willing to bet any money on it? No, didn't think so.

      Will MS sell some in the b

  • Ballmer's pronouncements were reminiscent of Yankee baseball slugger Babe Ruth standing in the batter's box and pointing to the place in center field where he planned to hit a home run.

    The only difference was that a chair was thrown towards the center of the press conference.
  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:24PM (#14943431)
    'We're unlocking the next wave of growth for Microsoft,' Ballmer predicted during a press conference after his speech.

    Microsoft getting bigger? I only have one word for that:

    Tetsuooooooooo!
  • by jocknerd (29758) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:29PM (#14943490)
    They are going after IBM yet their real competition is Google in web services, Linux on servers, and Apple on the desktop and multimedia.

    Could this just be a $500M ploy to make people think they aren't paying attention?
    • their real competition is Google in web services, Linux on servers, and Apple on the desktop and multimedia.

      You had me up to that last point. Apple have something like 4% market share [hitslink.com]. That isn't competition, that's an insignificant niche market (at best).

      you may be right tho - this may be a publicity stunt to try to make out that they aren't a total monopoly without any real competition

      • And growing.

        Firefox had a 0% market share a while ago, now it's at what, 19%? And growing.

        Meanwhile MS market share in both PCs and web browsers is shrinking.
        • reminds me of a Laurie Anderson song about the decreasing margin between pay rates for women. She calculates that by the year 3888 we should have equal pay rates.

          With changes in the market share as they are, I don't exepct any major change in OS's any time soon. Apple have had their chance, and have continuelly failed to impact in any significant way

          • Yeah, IBM probably felt that way about Compaq, Netscape about IE, GM about Toyota, Creative about Apple.... Your most dangerous competitors are usually the ones that DON'T have the same market share as you do.

            Perhaps there won't be a switch in who has the most market share, but all the companies the original poster mentioned are legitimate competitors to Microsoft. Competitors it should take care to compete with.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:31PM (#14943510)
    I remember these guys. Wasn't it them who said they were going to build a desktop operating system to beat OS/2? Then they were going to build a word processor to beat Word Perfect, then a spreadsheet to knock Lotus 123 off its perch, then they were going to build a database that was cheaper and easier to maintain than Oracle. At one point they even said they getting into games machines.
  • You know your latest enterprise-class Operating System, OS/3? Well ... it's been "liberated" and will henceforth be known as Microsoft Windows Vista.

    (I wish there was a +1, Sardonic tag...)

  • by Hosiah (849792) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:33PM (#14943526)
    Microsoft has to compete with Sony on the game console market, IBM on the business computing market, Google on the search market, Mac and Linux and BSD and Sun and everybody else for the operating system market...Microsoft is starting to resemble a mammoth being circled into a tar pit by a pack on wolves: any one wolf would be a snack for the mammoth, but there's so many of them that the mammoth just charges around ineffectively.

    The Roman Empire was done in not by an equal country, but by small bands of invading hordes. And perhaps the rules of political empires apply to technology empires, too.

  • by gone.fishing (213219) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:33PM (#14943527) Journal
    Businesses are like people. Each one is unique and different, each one has specific needs, has specific goals, and the route through life is a little bit different for each one. On one hand, it makes sense for Microsoft to go after the big money that exists in the enterprise market; there is a lot of money to be made there. On the other hand when you go to an enterprise and offer them something, they won't usually take it straight off of the rack, they will want it tailored to meet their specific needs. Companies like IBM and Oracle seem to understand this far better than I expect a company like Microsoft will.

    I'm not saying that I am against Microsoft entering the market, competition is usually good. What I am saying is that I think Microsoft will have to learn a lesson or two in order to actually compete. They won't be able to get away with delivering a product out of the box and then providing only a minimal level of support for it. Microsoft will have to play ball like the other big boys and learn to accept some of their rules. I expect that there will be some resistance to this from their end but, they will end up between a rock and a hardplace on the this because their enterprise level customers will simply demand it or look elsewhere.
  • Not gonna work (Score:3, Insightful)

    by drgould (24404) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:45PM (#14943630)
    Microsoft is a software company. IBM is a hardware/service company that happens to sell some software.

    Microsoft thinks they understand the "business enterprise" computer market, but it's just the bottom, low-end stuff compared to IBM.

    And don't even bother comparing Microsoft customer "service" to IBM customer service, there's just no comparison.
  • by richg74 (650636) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:47PM (#14943650) Homepage
    'We're unlocking the next wave of growth for Microsoft,' Ballmer predicted

    One thing to remember when thinking about what Microsoft does is how important their stock price is to them. (Think of all the compensation in the form of options or stock grants.) It's important to them to keep the perception that Microsoft is a "growth" company. Here's why.

    The price/earnings (P/E) ratio for a common stock is a measure of the earnings growth expected by the market: other things equal, a higher P/E corresponds to higher expected growth. At this writing, Microsoft stock (MSFT) is trading at $27.58, which is a P/E ratio of 22.8x the latest 12 months' earnings. IBM is trading at $83.12, which is 17.1x trailing 12-month earnings. If MSFT were to trade at the same P/E as IBM (meaning that it was expected to grow about as fast as IBM), its stock price would be $20.68, a decline of almost 25%. I think that might result in a few unhappy campers in Redmond.

    Microsoft's practice of consistently announcing fabulous new products that generally turn up later and with less capability than they were touted with is entirely consistent with their need to keep the stock price up.

  • of our mainframe Windows system, and it's only Tuesday! Why?

    IT Guy: Because that's how you fix most Windows problems! You wouldn't want me to reinstall or rebuild, would you?
  • Doghouses (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Friday March 17, 2006 @01:57PM (#14943741)
    I once read a quote that goes something like: Programmers know how to build doghouses, but not skyscrapers. So when a programmer is called upon to build a skyscraper, he builds it out of 10,000 doghouses.

    That's how I still view Microsoft. They know how to build a Desktop OS, so is their Enterprise system going to be 10,000 Desktops?

  • Once again, I just couldn't help myself.
  • by Glowing Fish (155236) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:14PM (#14943860) Homepage
    The biggest story on Microsoft is how they have lost the server market.
    Microsoft has had, for over ten years, a monopoly on the desktop. A generation has grown up thinking that Microsoft is synonymous with computing. Microsoft also has billions and billions of dollars to spend on research and advertising. With all of its name recognition and money, Microsoft has not been able to build a serious name for itself in the server market.

    This is the type of statement that will generate a lot of comments on both sides: Unix people who say that any version of Windows couldn't be considered seriously at all for a server, and Windows people who will point out XP and Windows Server are now stable and secure enough for mainstream usage.

    But the fact still remains, that if you check out netcraft, Microsoft products seem to place a far third behind commercial Unixes and Linux. For a company with Microsoft's name recognition and research resources to not be a dominant player in the server market after 30 years of business and over ten years of market dominance is a staggering fact in itself.
    • Microsoft has a 20% marketshare. That means 20% of the market is paying them for their products. That makes them pretty strong considering quite a bit of the market isn't paying anyone for their server software. MS might have 25-30% of the paying market for all we know.
    • Forgive me for not knowing exactly which Netcraft survey you're referencing, but from my own personal experience it's not that way at all.

      Sure, the majority of *websites* are served by Linux/Unix machines. No doubt there.

      But if you're talking about typical business servers (ie: print servers, file servers, application servers, email/calendaring servers, collaboration servers, intranet servers, etc) I think you would find most of them are running Microsoft.

      This is especially true if you look at the small/mi
  • by Cobralisk (666114) on Friday March 17, 2006 @02:35PM (#14944009)
    But only slightly less well known, is never go head to head with IBM.
  • I am not so sure that M$ will ever be that reliable/trustworthy in the enterprise market. IBM primarily lost to Microsoft in the Desktop environment, which includes Windows, Office and its support infrastructure like Exchange, Files & Print, and Active Directory.

    When it comes to mid-range, mainframes, and databases, IBM still rules.
  • by Slime-dogg (120473) on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:03PM (#14944267) Journal
    pantent portfolios.

    I think IBM will win on that front.
  • Security (Score:3, Insightful)

    by plopez (54068) on Friday March 17, 2006 @03:48PM (#14944642) Journal
    While they are touting (as always these days it seems) security, it is going to be a BIG hurdle for MS to clear. Many of the larger institutions, such as banks and gov't agencies, using high end IBM apps and hardware are truly paranoid, and IBM has done a good job accommodating that (ever hear of anyone cracking a RACF? I haven't). MS has a huge stigma to overcome before it can really crack that market.

    And all this talk of integration makes me nervous. Now we have a set of pipes from Outlook to Office to SQL Server to AD to IIS etc.? Not my idea of a good time trying to secure all the possible attack vectors.
  • by constantnormal (512494) on Friday March 17, 2006 @04:52PM (#14945155)
    ... a tearful Sam Palmisano announced that IBM was immediately directing its vast army of Indian developers to begin rewriting zOS as a .Net client.

    "When I woke up this morning and saw my kid's pony's severed head in bed next to me, I just knew it was Balmer. When I went down for breakfast and found all my coffee dumped on the floor, I knew he meant business."

    At least he didn't threaten with chairs and profanity.

    Seriously, after IBM exited the desktop PC hardware business, any usefulness they had to Microsoft vanished, and they became just another competitor -- one with considerable corporate influence and a bigger source of Java legitimacy in the corporate world than Sun (who is on a short leash to Microsoft in any event), AND the biggest legitimizer of Linux for corporate use around.

    The miracle is that Balmer wasn't throwing chairs and spewing profanities during the interview.
  • 20 year old dupe (Score:3, Insightful)

    by yet another coward (510) <yacoward@yahoo.QUOTEcom minus punct> on Friday March 17, 2006 @06:43PM (#14945811)
    Judging from the headline, /. could have defied space-time to bring us a 20 year old dupe.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"

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