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IBM leaves Redmond, pitches Microsoft-free desktops


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San Francisco (CA) – IBM prepares a big rollout of its Lotus Symphony office suite and what better marketing to support the launch than an anti-Microsoft pitch? IBM said it has “joined forces” with big Linux distribution providers, such as Canonical and Novell, to deliver “Microsoft-free personal computing choices“ by 2009. There are always reasons why you should love to hate Microsoft, apparently.

IBM said that it has brought Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell and Red Hat on board to, in combination with their hardware partners, to ship computing devices that are entirely free of any Microsoft product into the 1-billion-unit desktop market. According to IBM, market forces are shifting and there is “growing demand for economical alternatives to costly Windows and Office-based computers.” The company claims that “Linux is far more profitable for a PC vendor and the operating system is better equipped to work with lower cost hardware than new Microsoft technology.”

IBM’s pitch includes a pre-loaded PC that comes with the firm’s Open Collaboration Client Solution (OCCS), which includes Lotus Notes, Lotus Symphony and Lotus Sametime. The PCs will also be available with the Linux operating system of each distributor and software applications and installation services from the local partners in each market. The final product will be branded by the local IT firms that bring it to market. In addition, customers, independent software vendors (ISVs) and systems integrators have the choice of developing applications using Lotus Expeditor based on the open source Eclipse programming model, IBM said.

"We are pleased with the uptake among customers including enterprises, governments, small businesses, and partners adopting OCCS powered by Red Hat's enterprise Linux desktop," said Scott Crenshaw, vice president at Red Hat, in a prepared statement. "Customers are demanding a Microsoft-less PC, and we have responded with our reliable, secure Linux solution through our top channel partners worldwide, building on the success we've seen in Eastern Europe and other markets."

Operating system choices are always a benefit for the market and consumers and there is no doubt that in our mind that Microsoft’s Windows Vista operating system has made Microsoft much more vulnerable to alternatives such as Mac OS X and Linux. But IBM’s latest campaign is a bit simple and goes beyond our comfort level. Just because there is a Microsoft sticker on a PC isn’t necessarily bad in every scenario. “Microsoft-free” may be an effective marketing pitch, but the success of these PCs will depend on much more than the hope that people will hate Microsoft enough to jump ship, especially in the desktop market.


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which includes Lotus Notes, Lotus Symphony and Lotus Sametime.

Yuck. I'd be willing to pay MORE so it DOESN'T come with Lotus Notes.

Seriously though, don't see this making making much of a difference at all.

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