Dashboard: IBM Marches with Penguins - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Software // Information Management

Dashboard: IBM Marches with Penguins

With IBM's release of a Lotus Notes client for Linux desktops, the Linux community is hopeful that the OS still has the chops to become a more credible desktop option.

In late July, IBM rolled out a $130 Lotus Notes client that runs on the Linux desktop--seven years after introducing Notes for Linux servers. Why do this now, and what are the prospects for desktop Linux?

Although he describes the Linux desktop market as "nascent," Ed Brill, head of IBM's worldwide Lotus Notes sales, sees demand growing. IDC has forecast the market for new and redeployed PCs running Linux to grow to $10 billion and 17 million units by 2008, with an installed base of more than 42.6 million units. IBM has been approached by state and local governments interested in the flexibility of a client that runs on Windows, Mac and Linux (users can switch back and forth).

Some large banks don't plan to move to Windows Vista and are exploring the pros and cons of Linux. "At this point, they're keeping their options open," says Stephen O'Grady, senior analyst at Red Monk, who shares IBM's cautious optimism on Linux. Linux desktop is already appropriate for "light" users, such as those who spend most of their time using e-mail, an Internet browser and a simple document editor (many are available, including the word processor in OpenOffice).

Nonetheless, Linux desktop won't unseat Windows in the near future. "Windows has difficulty unseating Windows," O'Grady points out. "Every time Microsoft releases a new operating system, millions of people worldwide don't switch." Some small businesses still run Windows 98.

The Linux community is shooting for the OS to become a more credible desktop option, rather than an experiment for iconoclasts. With the right IT skills in-house, Linux can provide a lower cost of ownership (licenses are free or cheap). Linux desktops can be locked down, preventing users from downloading buggy software or files containing worms or viruses. Linux desktops have already found their way into environments such as manufacturing floors and libraries. --Penny Crosman

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
COVID-19: Using Data to Map Infections, Hospital Beds, and More
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  3/25/2020
Enterprise Guide to Robotic Process Automation
Cathleen Gagne, Managing Editor, InformationWeek,  3/23/2020
How Startup Innovation Can Help Enterprises Face COVID-19
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  3/24/2020
White Papers
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
Flash Poll