Linked by Thom Holwerda on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 13:23 UTC, submitted by anonymous
IBM Just about everyone has expressed an opinion on the Novell/Microsoft patent agreement - except, that is, for the 800-pound gorilla of Linux: IBM. Today, Scott Handy, IBM's VP of Worldwide Linux and Open Source, decided that enough was enough and it was time to state IBM's position. In an interview with Linux-Watch.com, Handy opened by saying that, "IBM has long supported interoperability between Windows and Linux. As supporters of open source and open standards," he continued, "we applaud any effort to bridge this gap."
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RE: The truth
by Priest on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 14:04 UTC in reply to "The truth"
Priest
Member since:
2006-05-12

The real face of IBM? Who do you think is fighting SCO?

If MS does declare a legal war against Linux guess who our star player would probably be?

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: The truth
by Duffman on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 15:27 in reply to "RE: The truth"
Duffman Member since:
2005-11-23

IBM is using Linux against other Unix vendors.
The day they will not have any interest on it anymore, they will use their thousands of patent to sue the linux community.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[3]: The truth
by linux-it on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:05 in reply to "RE[2]: The truth"
linux-it Member since:
2006-07-13

and who is IBM going to sue ? besides, didn't IBM donate several of them to the public? Why would they do that?

It's somewhat sickening to see all this negative stuff. We'd better unite against what we hate...

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[3]: The truth
by elsewhere on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:15 in reply to "RE[2]: The truth"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

IBM is using Linux against other Unix vendors.
The day they will not have any interest on it anymore, they will use their thousands of patent to sue the linux community.


Be difficult since they've already granted royalty-free provisions for much of the technology needed to get linux to it's current state.

There's no denying IBM's support of linux was a move to destabilize the other *nix vendors, even at the expense of AIX. So what. As long as they can build a sustainable services model and provision it as a platform for their software portfolio, they won't care. IBM's consulting and services division is massive, they'll sell whatever works. They'll sell you HP servers if you want, they're more interested in the fees and an annuity-based contract revenue model than product sales.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: The truth
by Sodki on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 20:00 in reply to "RE[2]: The truth"
Sodki Member since:
2005-11-10

The day they will not have any interest on it anymore, they will use their thousands of patent to sue the linux community.

Are you aware of the patent pool that IBM put together, so that every FLOSS developer can use them without being sued?

Edited 2006-11-22 20:01

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: The truth
by amigascne on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 15:53 in reply to "RE: The truth"
amigascne Member since:
2006-01-26

The key to understanding IBM's current stance on this and Linux in gerneral is by knowing a little history about IBM. During the 90's IBM found it very hard to compete with Sun Microsystems in the Unix server space and their OS2 product is failing miserably. Ultimately, Sun ended up capturing the market and became a major component that drove the dot com boom. IBM unable to beat Sun using their own products turned to Linux as a cheaper method of beating Sun. This strategy had proven very successful. IBM promotes Linux and sells support and services for Linux and starts taking small and medium size customers away from Sun. The goal of course is that once you have taken the customer away from Sun you can then help them grow and lock them into IBM's products. IBM does not market Linux on equal footing to AIX. The goal is to turn you into an AIX on Power customer at some point. Or perhaps Linux on an IBM z/Series mainframe. Both of which means big $$$ for IBM. At some point IBM realized that this Linux strategy was working too well in fact, and that they could end up making Red Hat into a problem all it's own if they were not careful. So they started investing their money in a way to ensure that neither Red Hat or Suse could become the dominant company. Well this didnt work quite as well and Red Hat ends up capturing 80+ % of the Linux market share. So IBM needs to find a way to knock Red Hat down. They can do this by supporting Oracle's entry into the Red Hat support space and this Microsoft Novell deal.

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[3]: The truth
by elsewhere on Wed 22nd Nov 2006 18:28 in reply to "RE[2]: The truth"
elsewhere Member since:
2005-07-13

At some point IBM realized that this Linux strategy was working too well in fact, and that they could end up making Red Hat into a problem all it's own if they were not careful. So they started investing their money in a way to ensure that neither Red Hat or Suse could become the dominant company. Well this didnt work quite as well and Red Hat ends up capturing 80+ % of the Linux market share. So IBM needs to find a way to knock Red Hat down. They can do this by supporting Oracle's entry into the Red Hat support space and this Microsoft Novell deal.

I was mostly in agreement up until this last portion.

IBM doesn't give a flying fig about Red Hat becoming dominant, in fact IBM helped Red Hat become dominant. Their concern with Red Hat is over JBoss, with that acquisition Red Hat went from being everybody's partner to middleware competitor, and middleware is where the linux-supporting companies are frankly expecting to make their money back, whether it's IBM or Oracle. IBM's not concerned about Red Hat becoming a dominant linux player, they just don't want to open up their corporate customer base for Red Hat to start pushing middleware.

Which is where Novell comes into play. Suse is much more neutral, integrates in with the old Netware strategy for which IBM has a substantial legacy base of customers and IBM still has the customer base that respects the enterprise cred Novell once had. Suse is more of a natural fit for IBM than Red Hat is, particularly given Red Hat's middleware aspirations.

As for Oracle, don't expect to see IBM supporting Oracle linux anytime soon. Unless of course, the customers ask, at which point even IBM would happily oblige.

IBM has no fear of losing control of the linux market, which is probably why they can so confidently invest heavily in it. IBM has played it smart by refraining from branding their own linux and instead pouring resources into open development. They keep their options open and don't further blur the line between linux and IBM AIX. If IBM feels the need to one day package their own distro, I'm fairly confident they could dominate the enterprise space with fairly limited effort since they already have the sales force and technical expertise in place. But right now there's simply no need for that.

Reply Parent Score: 4