ajw1976 writes to tell us that IBM has released a series of announcements today "introducing many new software tools, academic programs, and support for outside developers." The new releases are designed to help entice programmers and businesses back to the mainframe. From the article: "The announcements, according to analysts briefed on them in advance, signal a shift from defense to offense in the company's mainframe strategy. Last month, I.B.M. introduced a machine priced at $100,000, about half the previous starting price for its mainframes, which can run up to several million dollars. The announcement of the low-end mainframe was made in China, which I.B.M. regards as a promising market for the machines."