Following on the heels of its July release of Linux-ready Lotus Notes, IBM announced today it will roll out Sametime 7.5 instant messaging and web conferencing software for Linux, Windows and other platforms (it's Eclipse based and therefore platform neutral) sometime this summer.
"Open source and Linux are here to stay -- customers are voting with their wallets," declares Nallu Reddy, director of worldwide open source and Linux sales for the IBM Software Group. "Linux server sales are growing 31 percent year to year compared to 2-3 percent for the rest of the server market, hence we want to take advantage of having the Sametime server on Linux."
He believes the Linux desktop also has a real chance of success now. "There are a bunch of things happening in the ecosystem of Linux desktop itself, the Linux distribution providers are doing quite a bit of work," he says. For instance, Novell's recent launch of Suse Linux Enterprise Desktop 10 demonstrated improvements in usability and drivers. (Lenovo has said it plans to sell ThinkPad laptops preloaded with SLED 10.) The Sametime 7.5 client runs on Linux desktops and mobile devices, as well as Windows.
In addition to providing open source compatibility, Sametime 7.5 will offer the ability to embed and share charts and graphs in its instant messages, as well as VoIP integration, spell check and other extras. Sametime 7.5 will be priced at $55 per user for a perpetual license.