At a press conference yesterday at LinuxWorld,  IBM announced that it has partnered with Red Hat, Novell, and Canonical to offer “Microsoft-free” personal computers. IBM’s main goal is to offer Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony software as an alternative to Microsoft office. So why is IBM making this move now?

Well it seems that Big Blue sees an opening in that the company feels there may be some disillusionment among the masses with Microsoft Windows Vista.The article aslo states:

The Linux and Lotus bundle will give consumers a low-cost desktop productivity option that is built around open standards from the ground up.

IBM’s Jeff Smith describes the desktop as “one of the last bastions of proprietary technology” and notes that it is “disproportionately dominated by one vendor.”

He says that IBM aims to change that and he believes “bring[ing] openness and choice to the client and desktop side of the [IT] environment is one of the next things to explode in the march for Linux.”

Improvements in desktop Linux usability and broader support for interoperability with Windows client systems in mixed environments are making Linux an increasingly viable option, IBM contends. Another major factor is growing awareness of the need for open technologies and open standards.

I certainly wish IBM and the Linux software companies all the best in their endeavors. But there is only one thing that I have to say. Haven’t we been down this road before? Every few years someone writes about or makes an announcement about Linux whipping Windows.

I guess my opinion is that I will believe it when I see it.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.