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IBM Businesses Apple

IBM's Pilot Program For Internal Use of Macs 257

geoffrobinson writes "Roughly Drafted has obtained internal IBM documents detailing the results of a small pilot program for internal use of Macs. Positive and negative results were detailed, but overall most participants were happy with their Mac experience. The pilot will be expanded this year. One advantage cited: less reliance on Windows. So it seems a mix of Macs, PCs, and Linux boxes are in IBM's future. Given the history between IBM and Microsoft, this is quite interesting."
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IBM's Pilot Program For Internal Use of Macs

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:15PM (#23119652)
    Functional on the inside (Unix), functional on the outside (Mac OS).
  • A few things to note (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gelfling ( 6534 ) on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:24PM (#23119810) Homepage Journal
    IBM Research Watson is an entity unto itself. It has its own IT support infrastructure and runs according to its own rules. They rarely if ever want for funding.

    IBM has been non-supporting Apple for years by allowing clients to run VMWare and similar tools to host the IBM apps that don't run natively.

    IBM has been attempting to roll out an 'open' client on Linux for years. It's progressed very slowly, considering. It appears to lack funding and focus.

    IBM is aware of the MS software licencing costs which is why there is some effort to rollout an OO based Lotus alternative to MS Office.

    It doesn't serve anyone to replace MS licencing costs with Apple hardware costs. So the probability that IBM would roll out lots of expensive Apples is nil. More likely they will offer a client CD you can use to build your IBM standard client on Mac.

    The most common client rolled out today is a Thinkpad T60 or T61.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:31PM (#23119948)
    Posting as an AC because I have direct experience with IBM Global Services (their consulting/services/outsourcing division).

    What IBM decides to use internally has NO bearing on what they try to get customers to use. They will still push IBM boxes with either Linux or Windows. This is just a pilot for internal use.
  • by 192939495969798999 ( 58312 ) <> on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:38PM (#23120040) Homepage Journal
    Another interpretation of these results is that IBM is still bitter about the dos and os/2 issues from way back, and they're finally gearing up to give the big blue finger to Microsoft.
  • Conversely... (Score:2, Interesting)

    by fitten ( 521191 ) on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:46PM (#23120158)

    One advantage cited: less reliance on Windows.

    Does this have a corresponding disadvangage of "more reliance on Apple"? Seriously... if an advantage of switching is less reliance on a single source, then more reliance on a different single source must be a disadvantage (regardless of who that single source is). This is one obvious place where OSS (and Linux) has an advantage.
  • by Ritchie70 ( 860516 ) on Friday April 18, 2008 @01:52PM (#23120258) Journal
    Perhaps a better analogy would be a real one in the rental car business.

    Until recently, Ford owned Hertz, and Hertz's fleet was entirely Ford Motor Company vehicles. Ford spun them off in 2005. Now Hertz is buying cars from GM, Hyundai and Toyota as well as Ford.

    That probably started as a pilot program. It probably made the "Auto Rental Weekly News" or whatever as interesting. Everyone else yawned when it went out on the PR news wire from GM, Hyundai and Toyota.

    In this case, IBM (a company that used to make laptops and desktops) sold off their laptop and desktop business. A couple years later, they started a pilot program to try laptops from another manufacturer than the one who bought their business unit. It made the news on Slashdot, and everyone else is going to yawn when Apple sends out the blurb on the PR news wire.
  • by man_of_mr_e ( 217855 ) on Friday April 18, 2008 @02:14PM (#23120554)
    Indeed. It seems almost like this is tacit admission that their 5 year old plan to migrate from Windows to Linux has failed. They seem to think that MacOS is a more viable alternative to move to than Linux.

    At least that's what I take away from it. I mean, they made a big deal out of their plans to move everyone to Linux a few years ago, and to date it still hasn't happened in any large numbers.
  • by nine-times ( 778537 ) <> on Friday April 18, 2008 @02:25PM (#23120702) Homepage

    If that was all there was to it, why wouldn't they have stopped using Windows already?

    These days, IBM is not interested in selling a desktop OS or even selling consumer-grade computers. They're essentially in the business of selling big iron and IT services, and they're often providing Unix/Linux solutions.

    Whether they hate Microsoft or love Microsoft, it still makes a lot of sense that if you're providing Unix-based services, you'd also want to be using Unix-based client-machines. It would just be a better solution for a variety of technical and non-technical reasons.

    So once you assume that your client-machines are going to be running a Unix-y operating system, it seems like the natural question would be, "who's going to be using Linux and who's going to be using a Mac?" (I'm assuming that there would be a mix, naturally.)

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