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IBM Will Never Use MS Vista?

In an interesting report from LinuxForum in Copenhagen, an IBM presenter announces that his company will not ever adopt Microsoft Windows Vista.

“At the end of the presentation, Andreas Pleschek revealed that the laptop he used for the presentation was running a pre-release of their new platform, the Open Client. It is actually a Red Hat work station with IBM’s new Workplace Client, which is built in Java on top of Eclipse. Because of Eclipse, it runs on both Linux and Windows, and they have been able to reuse the C++ code in Lotus Notes for Windows to run it natively on Linux via Eclipse. Internally in IBM, for years, they have had a need to run Lotus Notes on Linux, and now they can. And they will offer it to their customers.

Workplace uses Lotus Notes for mail, calendar, etc. and Firefox as their browser. For an office suite, they use

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.”

Sounds great, but a later rebuttal from IBM claims that they are not dumping Windows.

“The number of Linux users within the Armonk, N.Y., company is about 5 percent of IBM’s 329,000 employees, spokeswoman Nancy Kaplan said. The workers include software developers and designers, people configuring software and hardware bundles for customers and others who need to use Linux as part of their jobs.

“The Linux plan is for people who have a need for Linux, as part of their jobs, will use it,” Kaplan said. “We have not made Linux available to the general employee population and there are no plans to do that.”

“As to whether IBM would upgrade to Vista, the company was in the process of evaluating the OS and had not made a decision, Kaplan said.”

The upside seems to be that desktop Linux is treated as a peer of Windows and gets equal opportunity and support from the company. Plus, it seems that IBM Workplace will be replacing Microsoft Office on both platforms the company runs. And that’s a pretty big win.

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