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IBM Promises Even More Linux Support 94

Jacek Fedorynski writes "This CNN article titled "IBM putting a Big Blue stamp on Linux" confirms that IBM will support Linux in both the hardware and software areas. " Sort of position piece from IBM - recognizing the importance of open standards, and staking much of their future with Linux.
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IBM Promises Even More Linux Support

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  • I wonder if they'll put Linux-compatible modems in Thinkpads now? :) Is my 1st post really 1st?
  • I suppose this gives Linux even more credibility, but I think its primary benefit is that IBM is "actively promoting Linux as a viable, less-expensive alternative to Windows NT. " When folks see Linux as a pre-install option on IBM servers, Linux will move out of the many-awards-hot-news-topic arena into the many-sales-hot-product arena.

    I really don't think we are there yet, but this is a good sign...

    Of course, IBM is just finally recognizing that ANY *nix is better than forcing customers to use AIX ;-)
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars --Oscar Wilde
  • .......makes me happy. If I could just get this damn modem to work properly with Linux I would believe that they could too. It's good to see that the majors are following through and realizing the linux-y goodness. If the hardware is developed with Linux un mind they've got me as a customer.
  • "All the major vendors are hedging their bets with Linux," Giga's Quandt says. Linux needs to become more scalable and be able to handle symmetric multiprocessing, she says. (emphasis added).

    Seriously, though, if Jikes and IBM's jdk for Linux are good indicators, their support for Linux should ensure it a long and robust future.

  • keep in mind the wording, "they are hedging their bets WITH Linux"

    most ISVs still consider Win* or an older Unix their primary platform, but they are becoming aware the Linux MAY replace said platforms, or at least become a relevant compeditor (in some markets it already is) and hence they are hedging their bets by porting some software to Linux...
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars --Oscar Wilde
  • Where does it say that IBM will be ditching AIX? I seriously doubt they would throw away all those years and megadollars that they've spent on their premiere operating system.
  • Maybe IBM'll finally realease the MWave specs instead of just saying "MWave is too complicated for you Linux people to grok", which is how they responded to the Linux MWave petition.

  • by 1skywalker1 ( 101848 ) on Tuesday October 12, 1999 @02:22PM (#1619508) Homepage
    I have started using Linux consistenly for the past year or so and I love it. Just like everyone else, I get so excited to hear about a large company throwing money and respect at Linux, but something always bothers me... In the back of my mind I can't help but wonder... Will Open Source and the love of freeware stand up against all those big dollars? More and more I am starting to see shareware apps and trial versions of Linux software popping up everywhere. I used to tell my friends that everything for Linux was free... not any more. What about in a year or two? Will companies like IBM who are "hedging their bets with Linux" start demanding money for their risks? I just love free Linux apps so much that I get nervous when I see too much $$$ around Linux. Just my 2 cents.
  • Is that really their answer? I thought it might be some patent or intellectual property argument. I've seen people at companies who want to release stuff as GPL (and other open/free licenses) not be able to because of the company lawyers. IBM has one of the largest corporate lawyer forces around and I'm sure they have to go over every piece of software/documentation/etc before it gets anywhere near an Open Source/free release.
  • You are right, in terms of that the proportion of commercial software will go up, as it has no where to go but up...
    don't forget, however that the amount of OSD-compliant software will also rise, spurred on by the advance of the platform...

    at worst, the platform mainstreams with a sizeable amount of both types, but I don't think that the future will hit that worst case, as even commercial ISVs are releasing some/all of their software under OSD licenses... not all of them, but many of them, and this is a concept that has been banished from this industry for some time now...

    And then one can of course refuse to use non-OSD software, which then influences ISVs to make their products OSD-compliant or at very worst, compatible with the mainstream free product of that market, which is also a win for the community

    The forcast is sunny skies ahead ;-)
    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars --Oscar Wilde
  • by Money__ ( 87045 ) on Tuesday October 12, 1999 @02:30PM (#1619511)
    From the article:IBM has been training its sales force to offer Linux to customers and even has 300 Linux specialists in its Global Services Division. IBM also works with Linux vendor Caldera Systems to train resellers to deliver Linux offerings. IBM has an army of a sales force, and they have there fingers in many diverse industries. In effect, IBM is going to evagilize the cause of Linux to many people that wouldn't normally consider it as a viable networking solution.

    The last time IBM threw it's sales force behind a new technology, it brought on the PC revolution of the 80s. Now, refocused (and restricted from antitrust practices), IBM is taking on an open source deved OS and will make a strong push for a good position in the networking revolution of the 21st century.

    I for one welcome IBM to the fold, and hope they eventually give back to open dev comunity that has given so much.

    Welcome to the next century, IBM (IttyBittyMachines)

  • "Additionally, applications that work on Monterey - IBM's upcoming 64-bit Unix for Intel servers - will also run on Linux boxes."

    Does anyone have any more information on IBM's new Unix OS? Does Monterey use ELF binaries? Does this also mean that Monterey binaries will run on Linux?

  • I think if IBM wants to promote that their boxes are linux compatible they should start making drivers for mwave or release source on them. I have been working on Thinkpads for over 3 years going on 4 and those pesky mwave modems are direct from satan. :) I like the thinkpads though I think they are a bit over priced IMHO . I think it is a good move on IBM's part to start getting an interest in linux.

  • "applications that work on Monterey ... will also run on Linux boxes." Emph mine.
  • > Of course, IBM is just finally recognizing that
    > ANY *nix is better than forcing customers to use
    > AIX

    I see you've never used a SCO flavor.

    You'll pine for smitty if you ever do...
  • The article suggests that IBM doesn't use a particular distribution of Linux (while Dell sticks entirely with RedHat). How can you provide consistent tech support to your customers if their operating systems change everytime a new distro is out? What does IBM ship to customers who just say 'Linux'?

    Seems like IBM will have to decide on one or two packages..
  • they are moving away from AIX to Monterey for the high-end, and AIX to Linux for the low end (low end meaning 8 cpu)

    We are all in the gutter, but some of us are looking at the stars --Oscar Wilde
  • Poor OS/2. It beat MS to market, it had better technology than MS products, but alas, somehow IBM botched it.

    I know it's not dead yet... I still read IBM's newsletters.

  • When IBM announced "support" of the 600E, I saw nothing more than a web page with some directions and links. The directions were almost exactly the same as those found elsewhere.
  • "The reasons for the growth are many, users say. Linux is dependable and easy to install"

    I love it when a plan comes together...

  • Sort of position piece from IBM - recognizing the importance of open standards, and staking much of their future with Linux. You must be thinking of a different IBM than I am. OK, so Gerstner was saying some stuff about open standards the other day, but "staking much of their future with Linux."? Come on, 300 people? Be serious, this company sells a lot of stuff that will never have anything to do with the success or failure of Linux. And someone should compare the amount IBM is throwing at Linux and how much they are throwing at that whole Monterey thing.
  • by ucblockhead ( 63650 ) on Tuesday October 12, 1999 @02:56PM (#1619524) Homepage Journal
    One thing to keep in mind is that IBM has always thought of itself as a hardware company and all their sales guys are hardware oriented. To them, software is secondary.

    Remember, they farmed out the OS when coming out with their new "personal computer". To them, it was really just a frill they didn't care about.

    This should be good for those who worry about IBM monkeying with "Open Source". If they follow their own track record, they won't bother to mess with too much simply because they don't see it important. To them, Linux is just a means to move hardware, not a product in and of itself.

    Not that they couldn't do something bad, but I'd say that they are less likely then the average software company.
  • Ther responded with a letter to all the petitioners from one of their engineers that said that he had personally worked on the MWave project and that it was a very complicated programming environment, and since it would not be as simple as porting a device driver, they would not be releasing the specs.

    That's the reason they gave. I'll dig up the letter and post it.

  • > The last time IBM threw it's sales force behind > a new technology, it brought on the PC > revolution of the 80s. I think you forgot the AS/400 revolution. Of course, that was mostly fought out of sight, and was actually a rear-guard market-protection deal, but they did throw their sales drones into it...
  • There is plenty of "winning" IBM technology here.. :-)
  • Yeah, megadollars that get 'em what, an OS they can barely support and that requires developers to do a seperate port of every app?
    B'sides, Linux is HOT!
  • Alright I love any news that the Big Boys are getting behind Linux but let's deal with everyday life here. I work for a major catalog reseller of computers -Compaq,IBM,Toshiba,HP,etc.Many of which have pledged their support,in one fashion or another,for Linux.We sell many major servers and configurations.I have *yet* to see Linux offered on a single one as an option.It's NT or Netware.I have yet to see any vendor (we get all of them peddling the latest and greatest..)even mention Linux in their pitch.I am one of the few who jump on them about it and it's the same response "oh yeah you can get that too" or "uh? Linux?". Lip service is all well and good but I want to see real live flip the switch hardware! Hell I want to see Linux running on PC's in CompUSA!
  • no way.

    sure, IBM labs will do some cool stuff, as they did and still do with OS/2.

    bottom line is they will not piss off MS when the chips begin to fall (a big chip being the DOJ loss/MS win).

    maybe I've just seen IBM burn turn the knife one too many times, but don't expect anything truly useful to be free from IBM.

    300 linux people? when they put 2500 and begin advertising preloaded boxes and laptops as an *alternative* to Windows would be worth getting excited about.

    this may appear to be flamebait, it's not intended that way, I just get a bit worked up when I see anyone thinking IBM has anything on their radar than the furthuring of large systems and servers running NT.

    IBM is big, sometimes it's big toe gets gushy about something non-mainstream, just remember, the big toe of IBM may look big to use mortals, but it's still just a big toe. when the brain realizes the big toe is being independent, on will come the sock.

    ibm and ms are still best buddies, if ibm goes too far, they will pull back when asked. look what they did to their own superior product (os2) when MS told them Win license discounts would vanish. they admitted this in court, trying to make it appear they had no choice but to capitulate. if DOJ loses to MS, do you think they will stand their ground?

  • I don't know that IBM is a "hardware" company. Last time I checked (a year or two ago). IBM still did more business in software than any other company. Granted, this was mostly in mainframe sales.

    As indicated in the article. Their emphasis, now, is on service and consulting. Their Global Services division (consulting) is huge and growing fast. They see Linux as a way of selling billable hours. This can actually fit in very will with an open source model of software.
  • I would have to argue with IBM's stance on hardware vs. software. Patents on hardware, semiconductors, etc are still very important to them and they still dump a ton of money into high end computing but they are becoming more of a solution provider now. So the hook with Linux isnt necessary to move hardware as much as making money off of consulting and service. The the question that you have to ask yourself is whether they can make money off of the service end. IBM has for a couple years now been going toward support and services as a major source of their revenues. A prime example is their e-business solutions. They will give you the servers and everything you need to get going for free and charge for the service and consulting that they do in setting it up. I can see them doing the same thing for linux. Linux provides them an opportunity to package a customized solution for what ever hardware, drivers, etc they choose to support and sell. I dont really think that they are in this for benefitting from the development software.
  • IBM was (and is) a big supporter of Java.

    So much for the Midas touch. Not saying that IBM supporting Linux isn't a good thing, but I think it's too early for the champaign.
  • I attended the Unigraphics User Group Conference in Detroit (well, actually Dearborn) recently, (UG is high-end CAD/CAM/CAE package originally developed by EDS and used extensively in mechanical design by companies like Boeing, Pratt & Whitney, and General Motors) and Sun Microsystems was there. (And yes, they were handing out StarOffice CDs :)

    The Sun rep I talked to basically said the same thing Quandt said about Linux needing to be more scalable, but he was certain with the way development is going that it won't be long.

    He also mentioned that Sun would be increasing its support for Linux in a big way but he couldn't say more than that because he was apparently under some sort of NDA.

    Corporate support is increasing, and I know more than a few GM people were greatly interested in Linux, and StarOffice in particular. I've been asked to install StarOffice on our Sun boxes...(despite the ban on Open Source software at GM...apparently since its supported by Sun it MUST be good. :_

  • I could easily see IBM coming out with its own distro in the near future. Think about it. Most of their code is for UNIX boxes anyway so it wouldn't be that hard to port.

    All they have to do is sell an IBM custom distro, and add some of their own comercial applications software on top of it to make some extra cash.

    This is their chance to pick up where they left off when Windows took over the business market. Linux is their chance to dominate the PC market again, and they are about the only company that has the manpower to make a good profit off making comercial linux applications.

    IBM wants linux because it is going to give them back their market share. If you can't beat microsoft, quit and play a game that is a whole lot better.
  • Run Solaris 7 and tell me you don't see a difference. If you can't see a difference and are not blind, buy a bigger box. Repeat.

    Linux has some real momentum and the kind of marketing behind it like the UNIX world has never seen. Plus it has an unbeatable price :) But in terms of technical merit, Linux is not the Uber-Unix lots of people make it out to be. Not yet at least...

    But yes, I still run only Linux. But that's mainly because Solaris costs more than my current machine.
  • most ISVs still consider Win* or an older Unix their primary platform, but they are becoming aware the Linux MAY replace said platforms

    Yes, but IBM ain't "most ISVs". Most of their revenue comes from the S/390 and AS/400 systems running accounting systems and the like. (They've claimed that the AS/400 division is larger and more profitable than all of Sun Microsystems, and the theory is the S/390 is even more profitable than AS/400.) Linux is absolutely no threat to this space, technically or in terms of potential revenue.

    If anything, Linux does nothing more than allow IBM to build an end-to-end solution, giving them cheap HTTP and DNS servers to front their heafty e-business infrastructure.

  • by The Ancient Geek ( 67131 ) on Tuesday October 12, 1999 @03:56PM (#1619543)
    I don't mean this as flamebait, but I think everybody is misreading the CNN article.

    The article does not say that IBM is endorsing Linux, or embracing Linux, or even suggesting Linux. What the article does say is that some analyst from Giga thinks that IBM is going to promote Linux.

    Now--how credible is the analyst? He suggests that IBM is going to be OS-neutral in selling Linux vs. AIX, OS/400, or OS/390. He states that IBM will be superior to Dell because they'll support all "the major flavors."


    IBM is going to offer Linux on an equal footing with OS/390 and OS/400? Whoever believes that hasn't ordered an upgrade of OS/400--the money IBM charges is unbelievable. "Want to update your disk drives? Sorry--the update only comes with an update to the OS. And that's a mere thousand bucks." IBM may pay lip service to Linux (their "support" may only amount to offering to preload it)--but they make a bunch of money off of operating system sales, and they're not going to just write that revenue off.

    A 300-person IBM group is little more than a market study. When IBM decided to launch the Aptiva PCs (trying to compete with Dell) they had more than 1200 people--and Aptiva lasted less than 2 years.

    If IBM were to truly back Linux, that would certainly be newsworthy. But this article is simply regurgitating a not-very-up-to-speed analyst's opinion, and I don't think his assertions pass the smell test.

    The term 'FUD' originated at IBM.
  • Remember the reason that companies write software. It's to make money. Certainly, they are not going to give it all away, when they can sell it.

    Don't be too discouraged, that name brand software titles are being ported to Linux, and then sold. They still advance the OS in ways that giving it all away can never do. Once the name brands hit the market, more people will take notice.

    If you still want to use the freeware, it'll be around. I don't see that changing any time soon.


  • IBM has an army of a sales force, and they have there fingers in many diverse industries

    Except that IBM has much less influnce on the computing market than in 1981. Even in many shops with IBM datacenters, IBM doesn't have a lot of pull with the people who run the 'PC network', especially after the PS/2-OS/2 fiasco ten years ago.

    And where IBM does have influence, it's dollars-to-donuts that the sales guys are getting a far larger commission for Lotus Domino than they ever would for Linux implementations.

    However, for the true-blue IBM guys in the datacenter, there's a market for Linux. Generally, these guys have no concept of TCP/IP networking, and would be more than happy to have their local IBM field engineer drop a Netfinity running Linux into place to handle the DNS, DHCP, e-mail, etc.
  • Don't forget the IBM PCjr, PS/1, MCA

    Don't forget Micros~1 Bob(tm)..the revelutionary user interface! (gasp-gag)

    (cmon' now..who else besides me remembers this MS Bob thing????)

    And that wonderfull little paper-clip OOOooooo that's NOT cutting edge, baby !

    Fast is, IBM has great labs. They are one of the only "new technology" companys around. Wasn't it just last week they set a new record *again* for drive density?

  • by nevets ( 39138 ) on Tuesday October 12, 1999 @03:59PM (#1619547) Homepage Journal
    Growing up in the birth place of IBM (Endicott NY), and having both parents work (and one still works) for IBM (My father was even a manager) and then (after college) working for IBM (Federal Systems which was bought by Loral, and then by Lockheed Martin). I have had the opportunity to watch the life of IBM from a very close perspective.

    Back in the 80's IBM was the one on top (everyone knows this). But they became blind. In the early 80's my father came home complaining that IBM is about to go down. He said that the top managers were ignoring advice from outsiders with the attitude that "We're IBM, and we know more than you".

    In the early 90's the s**t hit the fan, and the layoffs started. My town almost became a ghost town. After selling us (Federal Systems) off, we were able to look elsewhere for products. One of my co-workers, whose been with IBM for a while, was shocked to see what was out there. He stated to me "We have just been patting each other on the back because we are IBM we never saw what was going on".

    Well, IBM woke up. Now being leveled by MS, it has learned a lesson, and will not do the same again. IBM is constantly watching what is going on, and is now trying to give what the customer wants. Yes, there is major resentment towards Microsoft, and a hint of personal disgust towards Mr. Gates himself, but the attitude is different. I never cared for IBM (even when I went to work for them!) but now I see things are different. They use to cater to the employees, and now its trying to stay ahead by catering to customers (and stock holders)

    I don't see IBM as a threat to Linux. The other posts are correct, they are more focusing on hardware. Yes they supply a lot of support, and software, but they want the IBM logo on you machines. If Linux can help them, that's what they will support. I cant see IBM trying to bring down Linux, but I can see them dropping it if it will no longer help them.

    Just my $0.02

    Steven Rostedt
  • OS/2 was and *is* a great OS. I believe that Linux is a lot like OS/2. A lot of free software, a lot of community style backing. I really just hope that it doesn't fall to the same fate that OS/2 did. Linux has all of the same great attributes: stable, fast, and overall better, but can it stand up to the evil do'ers?
  • Nothin here.
  • Reading the article and having long done business with IBM, i'll tale it with a grain of salt. Yes in the near term its a good thing for Linux, but untill i hear Louis Gerstner in a major address say the magic words....that Linux is a strategic product, Linux will always be a monentary product IBM uses to establish or rather re-establish its product line. We have been there with many IBM products...OS2, Java, networking cards, Comm Devices. All products fall by the wayside or are abandonned or sold off; unless they are of strategic importance to IBM. IBM is there to make $$ and dont forget it. At this point in time it suits IBM to support Linux for whatever reasons be they giving MS a slap, satisfy a client demand, but rember IBM is there for its own products and unless a cash stream is established support can evaporate... not openly but in typical IBM fashion. So for the moment cheer and enjoy that Big VBlue is supporting Linux, but lets revist this in a year or 2 years time. BTW i still support OS2 for various financial Institutions, and there is support from IBM for Large commercial customers, but try getting a new device driver from IBM. Good Luck. ..
  • Probably means they haven't documented it properly, are winging it, and can't be bothered to do the necessary.

  • Yes, it's quite possible that IBM is just generating hype. But this hype, while not the best that IBM could be doing for Linux, certainly isn't doing any harm. IBM is lending legitimacy to Linux in the eyes of the PHBs who don't realize that they might not really want Linux to succeed.

    IBM? Sure, they want the hype, but they also are afraid of being left behind. If Linux is a commercial success, the established companies (Redhat, Caldera, SuSe, etc.) are going to be rolling in profits. The intelligent suits in IBM want to catch the wave; to marketing, perception is reality, so it's hard for us to tell for sure whether IBM is serious.

    Microsoft, on the other hand, doesn't even want the public to know that they consider Linux to be a serious competitor, so they dismiss it as a toy and FUD it heavily in the hope that they can defeat it. This isn't going to happen, because if ever you could say that Microsoft is out of its league, this is the time.

    In terms of revenue, Microsoft is tiny compared to IBM. Microsoft's power lies in its dominance. When that power is removed (at some point in the not-too-distant future), Microsoft will be forced to stop growing and to focus, becoming more like IBM or Sun is today. There will be no single company to succeed Microsoft in dominating the industry. Simply put, the success of Linux and other Free Software and Open Source Software will make it very difficult for a single company to dominate even one field, never mind several dozen (i.e. Microsoft). So long as we remain vigilant, we will never have another IBM or Microsoft.

    Sorry, I'm rambling, so I'll stop.

  • Had to go there for a few days. Desolate and depressing just like many other post-industrial New York towns. 3 Days and not one Volkswagen did I see...

  • Hmm...As far as I know, Monterey is 90% AIX. SCO figures into it in that they are bringing their application base and marketing.

    Besides, AIX is really a good operating system. Traditional UNIX people say that it isn't but when they talk about filesytems they tout UNIX's journalled filesystems without recognizing that AIX had JFS since 1990. They talk about HP/UX's logical volume manager and Solaris' (actually Vertitas') disksuite and volume manager, little recognizing that AIX had it since 1990 (in fact, HP licensed theirs from IBM). They bemoan AIX's non-standard management with the ODM being used for LPP's (package management) and device managment, but since when is Solaris' package system "true UNIX", and look at how we tout systems like RPM or Debian's dpkg/apt, when the package mgmt. has been in AIX since 1990.

    IBM brought some good technology from their mainframe experience. The brought a credibility to UNIX in the business community's eyes when they rolled out their own UNIX in 1990/1. Look at how sales of HP/UX systems grew only after IBM launched AIX.

    'Nuf said.
  • This is not the same IBM that we all grew up with. You know the lumbering giant stuck in the mud. I think we all owe MS a big thanks for knocking IBm on its ass. I believe that IBM even by acknowledging Linux exists does more for its legitimacy than all the FUD being heaved at it by MS. According to an IBM guy I talked to the company is still really steamed about OS/2. They and everyone else knew that OS/2 was better, like BetaMax, but MS hamstrung them with licenses. IBM sees this a simple way to get some back. Rather than fight with MS, IBM fighres they will just take their balls and play with someone else. This really gets IBM out of some really nasty agreements and has several beneficial effects. The first is that IBM no longer has to pay royalties to MS and they can lower prices to compete in the market. Second it gives IBM a great deal of credibility in emerging technologies. This leaves MS with the unhappy position of having to buy their way in. Since IBM is mostly a hardware company, they do not have any problems with changing to support new software, unlike MS whose sole claim to fame is Windows. IBM is correct to not endorse one distro. To do so would lock them into the same agreements that they had with MS. Not gonna do it, would not be prudent at this time.
  • You can do some really neat stuff with their Journaling File System. /usr geting too small? No problemo, just add another drive, bump of the number of Physical/Logical Partitions, and voila!

    I think AIX 4.3.2 is 64-bit native too for that new RISC chip...
  • IBM is now making most of its money doing services. In addition, their technology group (storage technology, basic research, chip research (SOI, coppoer, who do you think helps AMD fabricate)) is doing a booming business. IBM is not the same company it was ten or twenty years ago.
  • Yeah, right. Been there, done that. IBM is fully committed to Linux. IBM is fully committed to OpenDoc. IBM is fully committed to Taligent. IBM is fully committed to the Mach microkernal. IBM is fully committed to CORBA. If you REALLY believe this, you should be fully committed. IBM talks out of all sides of it's mouth!
  • Hanlon's Razor says, "never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by stupidity." So, I'm goint with door number two, Monty.
  • Along with the big words regarding Linux support, how about some real action? Like opening up the specs of some of their hardware so people can write Linux drivers--or at least write the drivers themselves. I have a bunch of their Wireless LAN Entry cards which work well enough under Windows (yes, even 98), but are no go under Linux. They were discontinued something like 2 years ago, but they still won't release the specs. And that's just one example, there are many more.
  • are there any 3 button thinkpads that work with
    X? (meaning the 3 mouse buttons work with X)
    i see a third mouse button on the pics at thier
    site, but its advertised as a web scrolling thingy
    so i dont know if it would work...

    id like any resonably priced notebook with
    3 mouse buttons that can run linux or bsd. i know
    tadpole and rdi make sparc based ones, but they
    are too expensive.
  • Quoted from the article:

    "They will simply offer it to customers and let
    the customers decide if it will be Linux, NT or Novell."

    This seems to me similar to the operating procedure used by the big blue sales force back in the early '90's. They wouldn't push AIX over other platforms, they'd let the customer decide. By time they figured out the customer wasn't going to decide on MVS or OS/400 or OS/2, Sun or HP had snuck into the customer's site with a Unix box. Didn't see DEC Ultrix much. I guess too many Digital salespeople were waiting for customers to decide between it and VMS ...

    Maybe a bit of history will repeat again?

  • Too bad this damned thing doesn't work under Linux, using Redhat 6.0 or 6.1. Bah. It's made by Xircom. Anyone have any ideas on this?
  • IBM's still reviewing their business plan for providing Linux support. They requested that a number of faculty and students in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department here at Northwestern University review their business plan. They should be sending us their plan summary (a document reportedly about 25 pages long) in two weeks. I'm really excited to see what they have to offer.
  • IBM recognises that linux is a defacto standard in emerging markets. Witness the mexican school system's choice of linux as their OS of choice.
    Point 1:
    It's *nix. Any market built on it *guarantees* computer literate user base, and student bodies; unlike here, (US) where we're sliding backwards, thanks to M$.
    Point 2:
    It's free! Perfect for economies who to wish to later integrate into the larger global market. No licensing issues.
    Point 3:
    Eager and enthusiastic user community! We make mac advocates look like pussies.
    Point 4:
    Vendor loyalty! We've shown ourselves as the most competent bunch of idiots ever to support an OS. We respect those that at least tolerate us. We support *them*.
    Point 5:
    IBM has a rich hacker history, even if it's only within its own organisation. I've talked to a few of these guys. They're compsci thru and thru.
    To survive, they must come alive as a youthful and vital organism again. Looks like somebody in corporate has acquired a clue or two about that...
    Be charitable here. Those IBM'ers toiling away in the guts of the colossus would probably appreciate it a lot.

  • I'll be looking into this and getback in 2 days. I work for an IBM VAR and will contact 'em 10.13.99 to find out about three button possibilities with Linux.
  • ..
    More companies are trying it. Somebody will figure out how to make it work, money wise. It's just a matter of getting enough eyeballs, i.e. distribution.
  • For all of us who love the penguin this is good news, sort of 'Big Name' validation for the scrawny little punk on the corner that may end up stealing Micos**t's lunch money. The real hurdle,as I see it, is getting admins that are NT indoctrinated to shake it off a bit and look at an alternative. If they're coming from NT, the learning curve is steep. If they come off of a Unix background it's not so bad. I'll just say this. I work for a reseller. We sell IBM servers and every single one that's come passed me got NT installed. We'll see if IBM will give this a real push ( sales training,support) or maybe they'll just drop the ball.... again
  • We make mac advocates look like pussies.
    We respect those that at least tolerate us.

    These two statements seem to be in direct conflict. :)

    - Scott
    Scott Stevenson
  • When IBM preloads something from the factory,
    they tend to support that software/hardware.
    If it's added by a retailer, support will be
    referred or transferred to other companies/
    departments. At least it's like that on the
    Aptivas we all know and love.

    And, of course, techies are constantly on their
    managers' backs to get Linux support. Anything is
    better than Win95/98...

    I suspect the Linux distribution of choice will
    be Caldera OpenLinux. Cool. Never tried that one.
    I'm not sure if there will be a special system,
    or if it will be an Aptiva that ships with this
    on it - winmodems are the only choice, you see.
    Maybe some better networking options will be on
    these systems, due to the nature of the OS.

    O- Nny, just guessing. Not speaking for his
    employer, or anything
  • by Anonymous Coward
    I just downloaded a .pdf document (sg245850.pdf) from the IBM redbooks site, and I find it just amazing. For instance, there is a chapter that those PC Weeks admins should have read for their crack contest...

    Oh, and I just noticed I *can* cut&paste from .pdf, so excuse me for citing some passages...

    1.3 Linux performance, stability and security

    Linux is a UNIX-like operating system. It offers stability and performance, and
    is a secure system. There is general consensus that Linux is one of the most
    secure operating systems in the market because of its "virus-proof" design.
    Linux is a UNIX clone that offers a multiuser environment. This environment
    prevents an individual user from running a virus-prone program such as a
    Trojan Horse program and infecting the entire system. In other words, a
    multiuser environment offers multiple levels of security protection.

    A general misconception about the lack of security in open source software is
    that open source code invites crackers to penetrate the system more easily
    than closed proprietary code. Nothing can be further from the truth.

    Commercial vendors prefer to sow fear, uncertainty, and doubt among its end
    users. They mislead end users to believe proprietary software is more secure
    because crackers will not know how to work around their software. But
    crackers, by definition, seek ways to circumvent loopholes and they
    constantly do so with or without you and the commercial vendors knowing.
    Security holes thrive only when they are hidden.

    Open source software promotes security by allowing everyone to review the
    source code where potential security holes may exist. Because the code is
    open to everyone, security holes do not remain hidden for long. When a hole
    is exposed, a fix is available sooner than most commercial software fixes.

    Open source also promotes security by giving system administrators the
    knowledge to take accountability for their own systems. Administrators need
    to be accountable for their systems because security is an on-going concern,
    not accomplished by simply applying service packs. Administrators can
    analyze their system's security strengths and weaknesses by gaining more
    insights into the source code the system runs. The system is only as secure
    as the weakest link of a chain.

    For Microsoft to read:
    1.4.1 Summary

    Linux is an alternative OS for deploying corporate computers, both as a
    desktop and as a server.

    The Linux community, people who develop and support Linux, has given the
    computing industry a viable choice in operating systems. It does not have to
    be an all-or-nothing proposition replacing your existing computing
    environment. Most enterprises already have a heterogeneous environment
    that Linux can play in.

    ...and so on. Nice document!

    (don't have my passwd here, so AC)
  • OS400 only runs on AS/400s, which are a different market than PC or Server-class machines. There's not a direct conflict, but it could be construed as one if AS/400 sales fall due to over-advocacy in another division.

    Exactly what "Linux security measures" are you concerned about? How far are you willing to go to secure a Linux system yourself? If you're interested in significant security, check out Most Linux systems that are insecure are that way because nobody's taken the time to secure them. Good or bad, it's a mostly solvable problem. RSBAC places even more security oppertunities on the table.

  • Linux/Unix isn't "virus proof" by design. Viruses are more difficult to spread, but it's possible- *especially* these days with less-sophisticated administrators and more frequently updated software. It's fortunate that we don't have anything more than a handful of concept viruses.

    Trojan horses are more worrying than viruses though. It is possible to secure Linux from both threats, but that makes administration more difficult, and may mean not using stock kernels.


  • Remember the Halloween Documents? In them Microsoft identified an agressive IBM adoption of Linux as their "nightmare scenario". They observed that IBM was ideally placed to make money from Linux in all the various ways -- by selling hardware, intregrated solutions, support, etc. They thought that IBM wouldn't do it, because of IBM's huge investment in other OSs. Looks like they may have been being wishful.
  • Yes, see the IBM PC website for information about the new Thinkpad 600E with native Linux support. You can even buy one pre-installed with Red Hat 6.0 (6.1?)...

    Futhermore, IBM is going to fully support Linux, and is even coming soon with an Open Source Server available from the Internet for the purposes of sharing RPMs... Can't wait!

    See this site [] for more on IBM & Linux...

  • I agree that AIX is good stuff, but they really really really need to clean up the directory structure.

    Really> ;-)

  • I've got the Thinkpad 390E myself and I've also used the 600 and 700 series. All of them handle the built-in touchpad as a three button PS/2 mouse (hey someone actually thought when they came up with that instead of making an entirely new protocol)
  • When IBM decided to launch the Aptiva PCs (trying to compete with Dell) they had more than 1200 people--and Aptiva lasted less than 2 years.

    Don't you mean Ambra, the IBM-owned clonebuilder launched in 1993? I think they sank without trace.

    As for Aptiva, yes, what the hell did happen with Aptiva? I'd heard that the early ones were rehashed PS/1s or something strange like that. Certainly they had icky proprietary hardware like soundcards.

  • The last time IBM threw it's sales force behind a new technology, it brought on the PC revolution of the 80s. Now, refocused (and restricted from antitrust practices), IBM is taking on an open source deved OS and will make a strong push for a good position in the networking revolution of the 21st century.

    The last time IBM threw it's sales force behind a new technology, they tried to market OS/2 and they failed.

  • >>We make mac advocates look like pussies.
    >> [...]
    >> We respect those that at least tolerate us.

    > These two statements seem to be in direct conflict. :)

    Ah! A discerning reader! B^P

  • The way I remember it, Unigraphics was developed by McDonnell Douglas, and the division was later sold EDS.

    You are correct. My bad. :)

Always leave room to add an explanation if it doesn't work out.