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.


First Year Vulnerability Report – Vista More Secure Than XP, Red Hat, Ubuntu and Apple Mac OS X

Jeff Jones who describes himself on his web site here as:

I’ve expect that as soon as we get into any meaty and interesting discussions, my current place of employment (Microsoft) will come into play, combined by assertions that I must be biased. It is fairly predictable, so I thought it might be interesting to just pre-empt it and open the question myself.

I’ve been a Director at Microsoft for a little over four years now, in the security group that works to drive security improvement across the company. For that alone, some may condemn me, so let’s dig into it.

Jeff has completed a one year vulnerability report in which he has plenty of graphs and information in which to prove his claim that Vista is less vulnerable to attack that Windows XP. However Jeff goes on to state that Vista is also better than Red Hat, Ubuntu and Apple Mac OS X.

I am sure Jeff is expecting that his report will generate plenty of controversy since Jeff is a Microsoft employee and will be branded as being biased, no matter how much he tries to justify his unbiased reporting.

You can view Jeff’s complete report here.

So what do you think? Is this report unbiased and does it prove that Vista is more secure? Or is it just self serving for Microsoft? Share your thoughts with us.

Also if you are using Vista do you personally feel more secure?

Comments welcome.

[tags]microsoft, vista, windows, xp, red hat, apple os x, [/tags]

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]

Military Base Saving Millions Switching To Linux

We have all heard the horror stories about military over spending on projects that far exceed the original cost. But every once in awhile a story surfaces which actually shows how some administrators in the military are actually saving us taxpayers some big bucks. One such story is coming out of Hill Air Force base located in Utah. Crippled with an array of different opearting systems, servers and complicated applications, the system suffered from a severe case of downtown. Since Hill Air Force Base is charged with providing maintenance to some of the Air Forces fighting machines, the downtime was costing the base some $1 million per incident.

The choice was actually easy:

Choosing a new direction for the base’s system proved to be fairly easy. “The only vendor out there that had gone through National Security Agency security was Red Hat,” Babb said. “That narrowed down our choices pretty well.”

Based on Red Hat Enterprise Linux 5, Project Bonfire employs grid computing, linking servers to boost performance. Babb described the back of one of the servers on the grid as “like veins on a body. It’s very complex and interconnects with everything.”

The Hill group also liked the fact that open systems such as Linux have a lower cost of ownership.

What was also discovered was in order to maintain the old system it would have cost $5 million a year. For the new Red Hat system that has dropped down to $100,000 a year. This project was so successful that other armed forces branches are looking at the system and may also switch over.

Full story is here.

Comments are welcome.

[tags]red hat, military, linux, air force, [/tags]

'I Can't Believe This' Awards

In the category of “I Can’t Believe This’ Awards there are several nominees who we are all familiar with.

Dell – In a advertised special which included various Dell models and a all-in-one printer, the ad didn’t specifically state that the printer did not include a printer cable. To which Dell responded:

“Dell said that the company does not supply cables as standard with printers because it believes that purchasers are likely to possess one already and would not necessarily need or want a new one.”

That makes sense. When I buy a new car I don’t want a set of new tires coming with it, since my old car already has tires! Using that same logic why include a mouse or keyboard with a new computer? Wouldn’t the purchaser most likely have a mouse or keyboard already?

Full article here.

Dell doesn’t seem to thrilled with Vista either. Dell has been toning down its sales pitch for Vista. Dell’s European client services business manager, Niall Fitzgerald was asked if buyers are waiting for Vista SP1?

While Fitzgerald accepted that some business are holding back from migrating to Vista, he denied that there is a widespread feeling that it is better to wait until Service Pack 1. “I have heard that, and I don’t buy it,” Fitzgerald said. “It used to be a thing people did, and it might have been the case with, say, Windows 2000, but not now.”

Heh Fritz baby. There are still a lot of us who are in fact waiting for SP1 and if that doesn’t fix Vista maybe Sp2! I guess Microsoft is allowing OEMs to offer XP because Vista is in such high demand.

Full article here.

Sorry Bill. Your crown has been stolen from you by by a Mexican phone company. Yes, Bill Gates is now #2.

A Mexican telecoms tycoon has toppled Bill Gates, the Microsoft co-founder, as the world’s richest man after amassing a $67.8 billion fortune.

It is hard to believe that Bill has lost his title to a Mexican phone company since Vista is selling so well. Just because Bill has his software being sold all around the world and this telco is limited to Latin America, sure didn’t scare this financial wizard.

Full story here.

During a presentation given by a Symantec employee touting the benefits of the Norton products, the screen was interrupted while Kaspersky anti-virus software was updated. At least the employee knew which of the better products to use. LOL

Full story here.

Red Hat wants to negotiate with Microsoft for what they term as interoperability.

But the Linux vendor wants to limit those talks to pure interoperability between Windows and Red Hat Linux, with the goal of solving real customer problems, Paul Cormier, Red Hat’s executive vice president of engineering, told eWEEK.

“I want to talk to the folks at Microsoft about our two operating systems and how we can work together to solve real customer problems without attaching any unrelated strings, such as intellectual property,” he said.

No offense Paul. But it is not going to happen without paying blood money to Redmond. You should know that there is little if any concern between MS and what customers want or need. Maybe if Red Hat bought a million X-Box consoles and didn’t file any warranty claims, may be a step in the right direction!
Full story here.

Comments welcome.

[tags]dell, gates, microsoft, kaspersky, red hat, [/tags]

Rumor – Red Hat Is Next To Sign Up With Microsoft

Oh the rumors, they just keep on coming. The latest is that Microsoft may be lining up Red Hat as their next victim, I mean partner, to join the Linux-Microsoft family for the sake of interoperability. Though Red Hat officials continue to deny this, others in the background are hearing different things from the folks at Red Hat. I had previously mentioned that I first suspected Unbuntu might fall next, but the Ubuntu CEO has stated that he is not interested in a deal. Which makes one wonder how the deal is going to go between Linspire and Unbuntu now that Linspire has changed sides after signing a pact with Microsoft.

Many in the technology and financial fields are not surprised by Microsofts latest moves to make peace with Linux. For years Microsoft had a ‘squash them’ attitude which has failed miserably. Even after trying to get SCO to do their dirty work, little came of the SCO fiasco. Some insiders are also saying that Microsoft knows that if they attack Linux with patent claims that Big Blue [IBM] will defend Linux and may also counter with some patent claims of its own. Interesting.

Even though Microsoft has tried to bad mouth Linux and use threats to quell its growth, Linux continues to make in roads into the very lucrative server market. Linux it is estimated controls about 12% or so of server software and is continuing to grow each and every year. Microsoft may be looking at this as a if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em venture. From the outside it would appear that interoperability would be important.

But that little voice in the back of my head keeps saying ‘watch out.’

Comments welcome.

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

SuSE, Ubuntu, And Linspire/Freespire- Understanding Your Market

If I had a magic wand, I would take Novell’s resources and Ubuntu’s (Canonical) vision and see the birth of a single Linux product. Each entity has half of it right and the other half of it totally wrong. Novell understands the needs of the enterprise situation while Ubuntu has the DPKG system for software. I am sorry SuSE fans, but RPMs are like bad seafood – great until you end up with a rotten serving. Every instance of SuSE I have ever used up to 10.1 has been great until you want to install updates. Continuing on…

Ubuntu, while a fun distro, leaves Canonical clueless as to why it’s still not making any real money. It’s not the product – Ubuntu is fantastic choice for those who understand what it is and isn’t. But Canonical still fails to understand the enterprise market for the desktop does, indeed, belong to Novell and Red Hat. Both of these companies have spent tons of time and cold hard cash investigating shortcomings that they might be able to offer some relief with. Competing distros are simply not in a viable position to enter the enterprise market at this stage in the game. Call it a lack of resources and the yet-to-become-apparent business savvy. At the end of the day, the numbers of enterprise users using Novell and Red Hat speak for themselves.

On the flip side of this, Ubuntu has mopped the floor with otherwise decent distros such as Linspire/Freespire within the home user market. To be fair, Linspire did succeeded in making the bundling of open and proprietary software palatable even to a cynic such as myself. It’s just too bad that it has a record of not taking care of a consistently crashing sound system within its Linux offering.

All right, so how does all of this really break down? It comes down to this: Ubuntu is sharing the home desktop market equally with OpenSuSE. Linspire/Freespire is hardly a blip on the radar any longer, so it remains more of a niche within a market. Ubuntu and OpenSuSE rule the desktop domain with Fedora tagging along very closely.

Red Hat and SuSE (SLED 10) are masters of the enterprise desktop Linux realm. I have watched Ubuntu and Mandriva try and make some headway here, but Mandriva simply does not have the wow-factor that it once did. As for Ubuntu, well, it is still trying to define where it fits into the enterprise market at this point.

What’s interesting is the constant here with Novell and Red Hat. Both entities have open properties that they support within the desktop realm, whereas Ubuntu only offers its version of a non-commercial product.

What does this mean? In order for Ubuntu to be taken seriously within the enterprise realm, it will need Canonical to bite the bullet and take the Red Hat/SLED 10 approach to providing the enterprise user what they need. Granted, the support that Canonical is offering is great. But it will need a commercial grade Linux product to back this up. It’s as simple as that.

So will this happen or is this already happening? To the best of my knowledge, I don’t believe so. If I am wrong, please fill me in on any details that I may have missed in the comments area above.

[tags]Canonical,Ubuntu,SuSE,Novell,Red Hat[/tags]

It's About Choices, People…

I’d have to say that the number one challenge that people looking to try Linux find with notebook computers is getting wireless to work. It can be a real pain.

Granted, there are always some options with the NdisWrapper project and in some cases, this is even bundled with the Linux distro itself. Others have found that there is an opportunity to thumb their nose at corporate pressure and offer options in what they realize could become a niche market for those customers looking to try something new.
Continue reading “It's About Choices, People…”