IBM Pushing Microsoft Free Desktops…. Cites Vista As The Reason Behind This

In another sign that Vista sucks isn’t being widely adopted by business users, IBM is partnering with Canonical/Ubuntu, Novell, and Red Hat to introduce the world to desktop computers free of Microsoft Software. As for why they’re doing this, the head of IBM’s Lotus division is quoted as saying:

“The slow adoption of Vista among businesses and budget-conscious CIOs, coupled with the proven success of a new type of Microsoft-free PC in every region, provides an extraordinary window of opportunity for Linux.” said Kevin Cavanaugh, vice president for IBM Lotus Software. “We’ll work to unlock the desktop to save our customers money and give freedom of choice by offering this industry-leading solution.”

By the way, that sound you just heard was a chair being tossed across Steve Ballmer’s office. He can’t be happy about this. But this is in line with what is written in Microsoft’s recent 10K filing:

“Client faces strong competition from well-established companies with differing approaches to the PC market. Competing commercial software products, including variants of Unix, are supplied by competitors such as Apple, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, and Sun Microsystems. The Linux operating system, which is also derived from Unix and is available without payment under a General Public License, has gained some acceptance as competitive pressures lead PC OEMs to reduce costs and new, lower price PC form factors gain adoption. Apple takes an integrated approach to the PC experience and has made inroads in share, particularly in the U.S. and in the consumer segment.”

It almost sounds like Microsoft is scared of competition. It gets better when you read this statement about why Microsoft’s margins are going to decrease:

“Certain “open source” software business models challenge our license-based software model. Open source commonly refers to software whose source code is subject to a license allowing it to be modified, combined with other software and redistributed, subject to restrictions set forth in the license. A number of commercial firms compete with us using an open source business model by modifying and then distributing open source software to end users at nominal cost and earning revenue on complementary services and products. These firms do not bear the full costs of research and development for the software. Some of these firms may build upon Microsoft ideas that we provide to them free or at low royalties in connection with our interoperability initiatives. To the extent open source software gains increasing market acceptance, our sales, revenue and operating margins may decline.”

How about the fact that people in the open source world take what few original ideas that Microsoft has and improves upon them so that they work for a broader community of users? Hmmm?

I guess Microsoft is surprised that computer users simply want a choice. I guess Vista has been the catalyst to make computer users look at other options such as Linux or the Macintosh and away from Microsoft.

Frankly I’m not at all surprised, and it’s about time.

One Response to “IBM Pushing Microsoft Free Desktops…. Cites Vista As The Reason Behind This”

  1. I must say – I had NEVER used Linux before, but after buying a new laptop with Vista installed, I decided to learn how to use Ubuntu. I am very satisfied with the increase in performance that I get from my laptop just by switching operating systems.

    Unfortunately I have to keep Vista installed on my laptop with a dual boot option because of certain tasks I have at work that require the use of Microsoft Publisher and Microsoft Access. I would love to see a program surface that can open and edit .pub files.

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