IBM's New Desktop Push

Usually, this newsletter is all about Microsoft. Today, though, it's mostly about IBM with a little Yahoo tossed in. So let's get started.

IBM once owned a big chunk of the desktop. There was the original IBM PC, PC-DOS and finally OS/2, which almost became the de facto PC operating system.

Since then, IBM has slowly lost ground. OS/2 is dead, as is any IBM-made PC. It has no real PC OS and, after buying Lotus, both SmartSuite and Notes have lost more market share than Pet Rocks and Pokemon put together.

But IBM just won't give up and is reportedly trying to get hardware makers to build PCs that run Linux, along with Notes, Lotus Symphony (the revived, old office tool), and Sametime messaging.

Gartner has its pretentious probability ratings, so I'll steal that pompous idea and give IBM a one-in-fifty chance of any kind of success.

Would you use Linux PCs in your shop? If so, why? Shoot your thoughts to dbarney@redmondmag.com.

IBM's Cloudy Future
IBM has plenty of cash to throw around. After all, with $98 billion in yearly revenues, it's the second-largest computer company in the world (HP is now No. 1 with some $104 billion in annual sales, while Microsoft barely rates at only $51 billion).

So when IBM announces that it's spending $360 million to build two new cloud computing datacenters, it's really just chump change.

The message is serious, though. IBM wants a big stake in the cloud, a model of computing that could loosen Microsoft's death grip on operating systems.

Is cloud computing the next big thing, and if so, who has the lead? Answers welcome at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Zimbra's New Outlook Alternative
We wrote about Zimbra and other open source alternatives a year-and-a-half ago here.

The company, now owned by Yahoo, has a new alternative to Outlook: the Zimbra Desktop. The software, now in beta, works with Yahoo e-mail and also supports to-do lists, calendars, contacts and documents. Check out a First Look here.

About the Author

Doug Barney is editor in chief of Redmond magazine and the VP, editorial director of Redmond Media Group.

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