Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 20th Dec 2005 18:37 UTC, submitted by Robert Escue
IBM Unix isn't a flashy market. But what distinction there is has been going to Sun Microsystems lately, by making its Unix-based Solaris operating system available as open-source software. Last week, IBM moved to put its AIX Unix operating system back on everybody's radar by revealing plans to create a development center on its Austin, Texas, campus to speed up AIX development.
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Linux doesn't do everything...
by on Tue 20th Dec 2005 21:28 UTC

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Believe it or not, Linux isn't the solution to all problems, especially when it comes to supporting older customers that have been using big iron IBM systems longer than Linux has existed. There's a huge amount to say for backwards system compatibility, which Linux simply doesn't have for existing AIX users.

If IBM serves their customers, they make more money. If they serve ideology for the sake of serving ideology, that doesn't promise them anything more than publicity amongst the geeks of the world. A huge portion of IBM's older customers want more of the same reliable stuff they've been using: AIX and other things, for such markets as banking.

IBM exists to make money, and to make money, they need to provide what the customer wants, whether that's AIX, Linux, Solaris, whatever, and the services associated with supporting that. If that's evil, then I guess all entities that like to stay financially solvent long-term are evil. As long as there's profit to be made servicing Linux, IBM will support it. As long as there's profit to be made servicing and selling AIX, they'll do it. If people insist on Solaris support and are willing to make it profitable, sure, they can and will do that, too: after all, they've supported Windows-based systems in the past, even while selling and promoting all their other solutions. It's all about making paying customers happy, not making whining geeks happy who don't control budgets.

Jonathan Thompson

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