IBM Selects Mozilla Firefox As Their Default Browser – Are You Surprised?

IBM, aka Big Blue, has decided to make Firefox the browser of choice for their 400,000 employees. Considering that IBM and Microsoft have been at odds for many years [does OS2 ring a bell], this should be no surprise. What is surprising is that it took IBM this long to dump Internet Explorer considering the companies animosity towards Microsoft.

Over at ReadWriteWeb, they state the following information:

According to Web analytics site StatCounter, Microsoft’s Internet Explorer still leads the pack worldwide, with 55%, while Firefox follows with just under 30% and Google’s Chrome rounds out the top three with 8%. While 400,000 users doesn’t mean a big percentage jump in the worldwide browser market, it is a backing by one of the world’s leading hardware and software developers.

IBM’s Bob Sutor, vice president of open source and Linux stated:

Firefox is stunningly standards compliant, and interoperability via open standards is key to IBM’s strategy. Firefox is open source and its development schedule is managed by a development community not beholden to one commercial entity. Firefox is secure and an international community of experts continues to develop and maintain it. Firefox is extensible and can be customized for particular applications and organizations, like IBM. Firefox is innovative and has forced the hand of browsers that came before and after it to add and improve speed and function.

What is surprising is that Mozilla Firefox now commands 30% of the world market. I know I would never have guessed that Firefox would do so well and actually find a large following. This does go to show that you can build a better mouse trap.

Comments as always are welcome.


INNOV8: IBM’s BPM Simulation Game

Both IT and business professionals know how critical process is — they just look at them differently.

Play INNOV8, the IBM Business Process Management (BPM) simulation game. It gives both IT and business players a better understanding of how effective BPM impacts an entire business ecosystem.

INNOV8 also demonstrates how a more instrumented, interconnected and intelligent world supports process improvements and working smarter to help build a smarter planet.

Players quickly see how practical process improvements can help meet profitability, customer satisfaction and environmental goals while addressing real problems faced by municipalities and businesses today. And when they’re done playing, they can compare scores with other players on global scoreboards.

[awsbullet:Business Process Management]

How Good Is Your laptop And What About Service?

My buddy Charlie [aka Goose] had asked myself and my other good buddy Denny [aka Bugsy], what laptop he should buy? He wants to buy a unit from Costco since they provide an extended warranty plus their pricing for laptops is competitive. He sent us an email yesterday with a HP model he was looking at and both Denny and I stated it looked very good for the price.

So last night I was looking through the April 2009 edition of PC Magazine and I noted a remark in the comments section. A reader was defending his HP purchase stating he hadn’t any issues and was responding to a February article in which a readers survey of some 32,000 readers gave HP poor marks. So I went online and found the article and also the overall rating chart used in the PC Magazine article. Here is what it looks like:


So what do you think Charlie should buy? If you own an HP, what is your opinion about the product? How is the service? Let us know.

Comments welcome.


IBM To Offer “Microsoft-free” Personal Computers

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.


World's Fastest Computer Costs A Cool $100 Million

Think your computer is fast? Well the folks at Los Alamos & IBM are boasting that they have the world’s fastest computer which can calculate some 1,ooo trillion calcs per second. Which in itself is interesting that someone can actually calculate the number 1,000 trillion, let alone in a second. The articles states that:

The technology breakthrough was accomplished by engineers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory and the IBM Corp. on a computer to be used primarily on nuclear weapons work, including simulating nuclear explosions.

The computer, named Roadrunner, is twice as fast as IBM’s Blue Gene system at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which itself is three times faster than any of the world’s other supercomputers, according to IBM.

But officials said the computer also could have a wide range of other applications in civilian engineering, medicine and science, from developing biofuels and designing more fuel-efficient cars to finding drug therapies and providing services to the financial industry.

To put the computer’s speed in perspective, if every one of the 6 billion people on Earth used a hand-held computer and worked 24 hours a day, it would take them 46 years to do what the Roadrunner computer can do in a single day.

There was one disturbing line in the report:

The computer is a speed demon. It will allow us to solve tremendous problems,” said Thomas D’Agostino, head of the National Nuclear Security Administration, which oversees nuclear weapons research and maintains the warhead stockpile.

One would pray that this computing power would not be used to create any more weapons, but that the system would be used to better all of mankind.

Comments welcome.


Annual Security Report From IBM’s ISS: Not Looking So Good In Threat Land

IBM Internet Security Systems’ X-Force has released its annual report outlining the malicious software threat and trending landscape. In a nutshell, things are getting more complicated (landscape-wise) and the impact is becoming more technically complex. Read the report and you can directly glean as well as infer certain facts.

As malware becomes harder and harder to catch in real-time using currently-available technology (a trend that has become quite clear over the past year or more) and as the intent of the malicious software becomes more and more geared toward complete remote system control and access, the potential situation looks — I’ll just say it — pretty darned bleak.

It’s important to stay up-to-date if you’re an IT or Security professional (or hard-core geek). Here are your links:

IBM Snuggles Up To Linux

Seems that the folks over at IBM are making new friends in the Linux community offering integrated Open Collaboration Client Solution with support for Ubuntu and with Red Hat as well. In a press release IBM states:

ORLANDO, FL – 21 Jan 2008: LOTUSPHERE — IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it will offer an integrated Open Collaboration Client Solution with support for Ubuntu, a Linux-based operating system from Canonical Ltd. that is especially popular for desktops, laptops and thin clients.

Showing strong momentum around its IBM Lotus Notes 8 and IBM Lotus Symphony-based Open Collaboration Client Solution, IBM also announced a new agreement working with Red Hat targeting small and medium-sized enterprises, and momentum in the Open Collaboration Client Solution powered by SUSE Linux Enterprise from Novell that was announced in August 2007. The announcements were made at the opening of Lotusphere in Orlando.

This is good news for the Linux community since IBM has plenty of muscle to see these ventures through. This should add some zing to both the Ubuntu and Red Hat distributions in the future.

Comments welcome.

Full press release here.

[tags]ibm, linux, ubuntu, red hat,  [/tags]

Is Microsoft Feeling The Heat From The Attacks On MS Office?

Microsoft Office is a cash cow for he folks up at Redmond, WA., and they have had a corner on the market with little interference from outsiders. That was then and this is now. Seems like everyone is getting into the act and coming up with some rival products. These products were once confined mainly to those who used Linux with a sprinkling of Windows user here and there.

First it was Google who cut some type of a deal with Sun to begin offering Star Office for free. Google started offering this in their Google Pack of toys. Google also came out with their doc, spreadsheet and now presentation apps. also available for free for online use.

Now IBM has jumped into the fray offering Open Office under the rebranded Lotus name. IBM has sought shelter by taking advantage of Open Office which is free to all under the GPL – General Public License.

Now you have to wonder. Why is it that all of a sudden everyone wants to be a player in the Office suite of products? One can conclude it has to do with money. Microsoft makes countless billions with their Office products. But maybe it is something else. For IBM is could be that they still feel the sting of OS/2 that was warped off the planet when Microsoft dumped the project and left IBM holding the bag. For Google it could be that this is their way to stick a pin in the Microsoft voodoo doll they made and to see if it will bleed or not.

Or are there other reasons? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

[tags]microsoft, ibm, open source, online apps, [/tags]

Google Wouldn't Have Been A Success Without Microsoft?

This afternoon I was reading an article over at APC which was a interview with Craig Mundie, the new replacement for Bill Gates. The article was somewhat interesting with a lot of pats on the back for guess who, but there was one paragraph that stood out among the rest:

APC: So do you feel that is a major competitive advantage over Google for example? That you have the desktop software expertise along with online services?

Craig Mundie: Well yes and no. I mean, the fact is: Google’s existence and success required Microsoft to have been successful previously to create the platform that allowed them to go on and connect people to their search servers.

Well here is for one for you Craig. Microsoft would not have been a success had it not been for IBM coming out with the Personal Computer. One could say that Microsoft lead the way. How about the operating system Microsoft had to buy, because Microsoft did not have the skills to produce their own? Wasn’t it Microsoft that borrowed a few things from Apple? Or did we forget about this?

It is funny. This guy Mundie is going to be the perfect replacement for Gates. He not only shares the same ‘passion’ as Bill Gates, but it is now obvious he shares Microsoft’s reluctance to give anyone else credit for a job well done. Praise that the folks at Google deserve.

Comments welcome.

Full article here.

[tags]microsoft, apc, interview, ibm, apple[/tags]

IBM Joins Community

The community has announced that IBM will be joining the community to collaborate on the development of software. IBM will be making initial code contributions that it has been developing as part of its Lotus Notes product, including accessibility enhancements, and will be making ongoing contributions to the feature richness and code quality of Besides working with the community on the free productivity suite’s software, IBM will also leverage technology in its products.

The text of the full Press Release is here, and an accompanying FAQ is here.

[tags]open source, IBM, openoffice, sun microsystems[/tags]

What Ever Happened To SCO? Or Does Anyone Care?

Does anyone remember the SCO group and its CEO Darl McBride? You may recall that this is the company that first started the Linux violates every patent in the world con that was being financed by the folks up in Redmond, WA., [Microsoft], and sued the world. OK. Maybe not the entire world, but close to it.

The original lawsuits involved both Novell and IBM which SCO claims violated their intellectual property rights of the Unix code, which SCO states they own completely. They are asking for Billions in restitution from both companies, with the first trial against Novell starting sometime in November of this year. There is no word when the IBM trial is scheduled to take place.

The one good thing about this mess is that neither Novell nor IBM appear to be backing down. If anything both companies seem to be taking a hard stand against SCO and will take this issue to trial. It also seems that SCO is on shaky ground since they have not been able to submit to the courts any validation that their ownership of the Unix code has been violated by either company. SCO has also attempted to sell licenses to companies stating that if a license was purchased from SCO they would not be sued. This con also has failed to generate any takers and has been a dismal failure.

Does any of this sound familiar to us? It does to me since it appears to be exactly the same tom-tom drum sounds that Microsoft is making when it alleged that Linux violates 235 of their patents. Lets face it. Not everyone has stolen code or if they have, it may be as the SU Supreme Court has noted. If it is obvious then it can’t be a valid patent.

Which also brings up where Microsoft and other software manufactures may face similar lawsuits. It would seem to the layman that all software, no matter who makes it, may violates some other code that may have been patented. But just because a patent was issued may not make it 100% valid and beyond a doubt that it was not obvious in the first place.

The next few years should be interesting as we sit and watch how all of this plays out and who the winners might be. Or, who the losers might be.

Comments welcome.

[tags]sco, unix, linux, microsoft, novell, ibm, [/tags]

Some Short Takes On Computer Stuff – May 6, 2007

Here are some of the things that have occurred during the past week that you might find interesting.

Vista Compatibility Woes Adobe, IBM, and Symantec are among the software vendors still struggling with the complexities of making their apps work with Microsoft’s new operating system. Even Adobe’s newest Photo Shop doesn’t work with Vista.

OLPC Still Using Open Source – The One Laptop Per Child has now confirmed their laptops will be using open source software but provided technical info. to Microsoft only to test the system in case a country wished to switch from Linux to Windows.

First Cell Phones – Now iPods & Zunes Banned – During testing, schools have had to ban cell phones since students were text messing answers. Now iPods and Zunes are on the hit list as well.

MySpace – A Connecticut law is in the works that would require MySpace and other social-networking sites to verify users’ ages and obtain parental consent before minors can post profiles.

Ubuntu Studio is a multimedia editing/creation remix of Ubuntu. Its built for the GNU/Linux audio, video, and graphic enthusiast or professional. Coming soon.

APPLE BOOT CAMP SUPPORTS VISTA – That just about says it. You can now run Vista on a Apple machine.

Dell + Ubuntu – Oh, rumors, rumors and more rumors. Dell will be using Ubuntu on their Dell Linux systems which will start being offered at the end of this month.

Ballmer Again – Steve Ballmer once again is being critical of Google and the iPhone. No one is listening. :-)

Microsoft & Yahoo – the two companies are once again talking about a merger to compete against Google. But the talks were short lived and insider information says it is over.

AMD Name Change – AMD is dropping the Athlon name and will be using Phenom.

[tags]apple, dell, amd, vista, olps, zune, adobe, ibm, symantec, [/tags]

Good news for US graduates? – India facing high-tech employee shortage

According to Tim Sullivan of the Associated Press India is cannot graduate students fast enough to meet the demand for high-tech employees. It appears that twenty years after India’s emergence as an international center for high technology it is now running out of workers to fill industry needs.

While from the outside, it may look like India has an endless supply of cheap labor the problem appears to be that out of the 400,000 new engineers that the country turns out per year only 100,000 of those are ready to enter the high-tech job market. Apparently, the major problem in training consists of poorly equipped schools (many without computer labs) that teach theory but forego the most basic communications skills. Mohandas Pai, human resources chief for Infosys Technologies states that the problem is not the availability of workers but rather the availability of trained workers. As a result, Infosys opened the Mysore campus to train their own employees laying out millions of dollars in a frantic attempt to ensure their profit-making machine continues to produce.

Since 2000, industry demand has increased from needing 50,000 new workers to estimates that by the year 2010 the industry will face a high-tech employee shortfall of 500,000 applicants to fill new positions. This situation is the result of the population being unable to keep up with a rapidly progressing high-tech market and its demand for high-end workers. American companies, doing business in India include Accenture and IBM both of which will need to hire masses of people before the year 2010. A shortage will mean higher wages, a situation that is feared in India since it could mean a shift of some jobs to Poland, the Philippines or even back to the states that could result in a destabilization of the India high-tech market.
[tags]India, High-tech, employee shortage, IBM, Accenture, Too few skilled workers[/tags]

The OS Debate Continues

Last time, I told you about the whole OS/2 thing and getting it released under the GPL/OSS license. A few people contacted me and it became apparent that OS/2 is far from dead. Maybe it’s more akin to being in a hospital in a coma. The question is: When will it wake up? I emailed IBM in an effort to try and get an answer, but to no avail. All I got was the usual office bureaucracy. ‘It’s not my job so phone this number…’ If anything, I promise all the OS/2 fans out there that, no matter what, I will get feedback from IBM.

If you work at IBM and you can help me, or if you know somebody at IBM that can help me, please contact me. People, the future is not in Windows! Microsoft has made millions through the sale of Windows and we have all become sheep; it is now time to move forward. Although I don’t think the future of the PC is nestled in the Linux stable, I think Linux has some promise. The only problem with Linux seems to be the very lengthy installation process and then the difficulty in installing new applications. Until the Linux developers fix this problem, they will not see sufficient growth in their operating system.

The fault lies also with us, the end users who just sit around using the same old operating system every day. When we start telling ourselves that the operating system we are using is not sufficient for our needs, we will realise that we are not getting what we paid for. As for the whole OS/2 debate, I have been trying to get to someone at IBM that can help me but all those crazy people keep on referring me back to IBM South Africa. When, one day, I have success, I will come and tell you all the good news!