Groklaw – March 6th, 2006:

“Andreas Pleschek also told that IBM has cancelled their contract with Microsoft as of October this year. That means that IBM will not use Windows Vista for their desktops. Beginning from July, IBM employees will begin using IBM Workplace on their new, Red Hat-based platform. Not all at once – some will keep using their present Windows versions for a while. But none will upgrade to Vista.”

IBM has been threatening this for years.



  1. gquaglia says:

    Glad to see a major corporation have the guts to stop paying M$ blood money for the privledge to run their crappy software.

  2. Carl S. says:

    Maybe they will go back OS/2 instead.

  3. Puttanun says:

    Good luck IBM.

  4. jasontheodd says:

    As an avid Linux user (read, gibbering penguin nut) I get a little tingle when I read stories like this. By the way, where I work the license cost of running Windows worked out to about a Million dollars. The license cost of running Linux….FREE!!!

  5. James says:

    “The license cost of running Linux….FREE!!!” Hmm. Are they just running some distro they pulled off the net? Do they pay for the new redhat based platform?

  6. neozeed says:

    Redhat for free? Its a good thing that companies never buy the support contracts to keep Redhat alive. FREE FREE FREE, thats all you hear, but belive it or not, in the corporate world we do pay for support. Besides there is no reason to get all excited its only backoffice users in Germany. All 3 of them.

    Next time you really dig out the costs of “FREE” linux check the support contracts, the 24×7 & the 8×5 … I’m thinking there is a reason some corporate people are actually thinking Solaris 10 when it comes to costs on the “FREE” market.

  7. James Hill says:

    Does that make this OS/3?

  8. Greg says:

    IBM gets a little less relevant every day.

  9. Improbus says:

    Support? Isn’t that what your IT department is for?

  10. Awake says:

    Wow… IBM has fallen so low that it can’t generate it’s own Linux distro, and has to go to Red Hat for something that not only could, but should be done entirely in-house. What is the relevance of IBM anymore? They have no share of the home and small business markets, they have zero software for everyday folks. Watch IBM fade away, as the younger and smarter business generation moves in (you know, CEO’s that actually know how to use email), and walk away from bloated contracts. SAP, Oracle, Cisco, MS, and the like will flatten IBM. Heck, there isn’t even a Linux client for Notes today.

    IBM distributes Linux… yet it goes to an outside vendor for it’s own people’s uses…. as ironic as a “the cook is out for lunch” sign at a restaurant.

  11. sfcg says:

    Ummmmmm yeah. This is IBM. They could probably acquire Novell if they wanted ,then bam problem solved. They’ve been offering SUSE as an alternative for the last year or so on their laptops and workstations. If they really wanted they could get a few decent people in there and build their own distro. And no matter how you cut it, dropping the nightmare that is managing Windows Licensing, is worth the trouble as far as I’m concerned.

  12. neozeed says:

    Just what we need another distro of linux.

  13. jasontheodd says:

    Awake,

    “Linux is waaaay too difficult to use in a large business environment at the desktop level.”

    Several companies, (overstock.com as one example) run Linux environments. The appeal was that they could run custom drivers, avoiding much misuse and insecurity, and yes it is free. Open source means you can take any distros source code and use it freely, even Red Hat. All you have to do is remove any proprietary software they inserted in the “retail” distro. This being IBM though, they will probably shuck gobs of money out too somebody for support, even though they are supposed to be in the development and support biz themselves. I’m still mad about the whole Lenovo thing.

  14. T.C. Moore says:

    People want their Windows.

    I was at IBM when they required everyone to have OS/2 on their desktop. Everyone wanted a “waiver” to get Windows installed.
    At least OS/2 sorta operated like Windows, and you could run Windows 3.1 programs inside.

    The support hassles with Linux are going to be immense. And assuming IBM employees still have to fend for themselves like they did 10 years ago, how are they going to do that with an unfamiliar OS?

    People are gonna freak out, and their productivity is going to plummet.

  15. T.C. Moore says:

    P.S. What does the BSD devil have to do with this?

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/sven/7289162/

  16. Greg L says:

    Based on IBM’s recent track record, if IBM is going torward Linux, then Microsoft’s Vista will see HUGE success!

  17. SeanC says:

    But if they drop Windows how will they use their super bag of suck program Lotus Notes in their company? If I have to use that horrid program in my office, the owners and developers should be sentenced to using as well.

    Seriously though, I think a good initial step companies should take to freedom is rolling out OpenOffice. Considering the cost of the product i’d bet lost revenue from MS Office would create a bigger dent in Microsoft’s bottom line than Windows.

  18. Pat says:

    Many large companies use Linux, it is not exclusively a home OS as some would have you believe.

    Support, especially in larger companies with internal IT support, is not the problem some make it out to be. Even with M$, the desktop users are not allowed to change anything other then the most basic elements on the computers. As soon as the users start customizing their work computers is when conflicts develop. If a Linux distribution is set up, without administrator privileges for the user, then there should not be any conflicts or other problems requiring detailed IT support. Even Windows XP had a learning curve for users and internal support people.

    As for IBM using Red Hat’s distribution of Linux, what is the big deal? All distributions of Linux are customizable by the end user. The advantage of IBM using Linux is that it will encourage more manufacturers to write drivers for Linux.

  19. ~ says:

    I know a couple of people who have worked or do work for IBM and apparently they are (no surprise) big, slow, and ineffecient.

    So hey, maybe it’ll be so inefficient no one will have to change over!

  20. Milo says:

    It seems to me that most corporations management these days is so fascinated by outsourcing that they’ll spend more money on it than in-house work. They can always drum up a Powerpoint presentation that “proves” the savings are immense. But lets pretend they actually want to change. Whoever is doing the buying is typically a person with huge clout in the company and the vendor (MS) often sits on your board. Most IT departments are there for support that many experienced users could fix for themselves and aren’t educated enough for the support that Linux needs, as in something more than installing a printer driver or replacing a broken mouse.

    So many companies are faced with shuffling their board, saying no to a vendor and all those free lunches, saying no to a senior in-house person (modern management style places the biggest premium on nobody ever disagreeing with anyone about anything ever) who’s getting God knows how many kickbacks and will fight the change like a cornered rat, actually having to hire good people and, worse yet, take in-house responsibility for them.

    If they decide to do all that, than their legal department will get a letter saying that they could be complicit in copyright infringement!

    MS has done their job well!

  21. Miguel Correia says:

    That might be easy for IBM… they know a lot about Linux, as they are currently fostering it and helping improve it. It doesn’t however set an example, mainly for companies that are not in the IT business.

  22. Don says:

    If this helps Linux become more mainstream and prompts developers to address some of its shortcomings, then rock on! Come on. Doesn’t everybody agree that a viable alternative to Windows would be a good thing?

  23. Frank Baird says:

    If you have not done so, please read the Groklaw article referenced here. The last two sections reveal a lot. The real news here is not that IBM will no longer use Windows (but good riddance). That’s just the best headline grabber, good for getting lots of blog hits. The real news is how open source is changing the business model of major corporations, and difference between those that get it, and those that don’t.

  24. Mike Novick says:

    Won’t this cut down on virus and other problems in the workplace? The less that employees can change the desktop, the lower the support costs. Drivers won’t be a problem when everyone is using the same hardware.

  25. Dude says:

    Linux can handle e-mail and office applications, which is what most workers need. Vista has rather heavy hardware requirements and more complex. IBM has made a sane decision because it saves them a mountain of cash.


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