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IBM Linux Business Software Linux

IBM Launches Microsoft-Free Linux Virtual Desktop 344

VorlonFog writes "According to Information Week, IBM has introduced a line of business computers that avoid Microsoft's desktop environment in favor of open source software. IBM worked with Canonical and Virtual Bridges to create the platform, which IBM claims saves businesses $500 to $800 per user on software licenses and an additional $258 per user 'since there is no need to upgrade hardware to support Vista and Office.'"
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IBM Launches Microsoft-Free Linux Virtual Desktop

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  • by freenix ( 1294222 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @01:52PM (#26004865)

    When the Wall Street Journal reports it [], you know M$ is in trouble. EWeek also has an interesting write up with more technical details.

  • by EXMSFT ( 935404 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:03PM (#26005033)
    That was interesting. Though I thought this was interesting too:

    IBM is offering virtual systems based on the Open Collaboration Client through its Global Services outsourcing and system integration unit.

    Meaning, the software is cheaper than Windows (I'll let you conclude what you want about the cost of the the services to integrate it into your business).
  • by VorlonFog ( 948943 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:06PM (#26005095) Homepage Journal
    Mostly, I removed Windoze from my post summary because I didn't want to bother too many Slashdot readers with it.
  • What IBM is up to (Score:5, Informative)

    by CopaceticOpus ( 965603 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:10PM (#26005145)

    I noticed that these computers make use of Lotus Symphony rather than Open Office, so I did a little reading. Lotus Symphony is based on an Open Office back end with a custom front end. This front end has gotten mixed reviews for having a better interface than Open Office, but less features.

    Symphony is not open source. Open Office is open source, but has loose licensing rules which allow Symphony to build off of it without contributing back. Symphony is free, which is nice, but IBM retains control of it.

    Control is the key here. The point of Lotus Symphony, and the point of this line of computers, is the same: to sell other Lotus software which will tie in with Symphony, and to sell support for Lotus products.

    This isn't such a bad thing, really. Having an IBM-backed line of Linux business machines will give Linux a better reputation in the business world. However, I am wary of the closed source Symphony becoming a standard for Linux business machines. Also, if IBM is going to benefit from Open Office, I hope that they would also contribute back to it.

  • Re:Fantastic but... (Score:2, Informative)

    by bledri ( 1283728 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:24PM (#26005307)

    Heck I would be happy for a mac port of Microsoft Project.

    Have you tried Omni Plan []? I've been impressed with their products in general and supposedly it imports and exports to MS Project. Obviously it's not MS project and I have no idea how good the import/export work.

  • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:27PM (#26005353)

    On home network its a little more awkward, but in corporate environment, this is common and easy to do with Windows too. Its not auto-magical as it is with Linux, but still. Even at home, my User directory, and my user-specific settings are shared with a Windows Home Server, so I can go on any computer in the house and have access to my stuff.

    Now, a little bit of configuration with a Windows Domain, and the registery settings and login stuff will follow. At work, I can go to any machine, and things follow. The only thing missing is that in Linux/Unix, 99% of software can be -installed- in your home directory, in Windows, many can, but not all. Aside that though, everything can be made not to be tied to the physical machine no problem. Windows wouldn't be a viable corporate platform without it.

    If in Windows you really need the software to follow, for anything aside games, you can use Windows Server 2008's X11-like feature that allows you to remote app GUIs, and just install it on the server, problem solved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:37PM (#26005477)

    because for some strange reason, we're not allowed to use the word "Windows" anymore due to the DMCA...

    The DMCA has nothing to do with it. "Windows" is a trademark, and trademarks are a different thing than copyrights.

  • Re:What IBM is up to (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:40PM (#26005515)
    About []

    The project is primarily sponsored by Sun Microsystems, which is the primary contributor of code to the Project. Our other major corporate contributors include Novell, RedHat, RedFlag CH2000, IBM, and Google. Additonally over 450,000 people from nearly every curve of the globe have joined this Project with the idea of creating the best possible office suite that all can use. This is the essence of an "open source." community!

    (Emphasis mine)

  • Re:upgrade? (Score:3, Informative)

    by calmofthestorm ( 1344385 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:45PM (#26005597)

    Some have hte Vista downgrade forced on them when they buy a new computer. I bought it since I had to pay $20 more for XP and I was wiping that shit as soon as I got it anyway.

    Sucks, but thinkpads are good enough I'll take it.

  • by Shados ( 741919 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @02:58PM (#26005737)

    The only difference is that in Linux, as long as the /home directory is mapped, you get all your settings and everything you installed in home. In Windows, you can map the user directory, so you get everything that doesn't need the registery right there, so a lot of app's settings, and your documents. The only thing missing is the registery, and thats just done by using roaming user profiles on the domain, which is one of the basic features.

    So why exactly "can't I do it on Windows"? You -do- know that HKEY_CURRENT_USER can be roaming, yes?

  • by rufus t firefly ( 35399 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:07PM (#26005851) Homepage

    EWeek also has an interesting write up with more technical details.

    And for the terminally lazy, here's the link [].

  • by radish ( 98371 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:18PM (#26006007) Homepage

    LOL, you can "say" this, but it isn't true

    Yes, it is true. I'm sitting at a Windows machine right now. I could get up, move over the the next office, log in, and it would look exactly the same. Same settings, same desktop wallpaper, same homedir, same everything. It's just standard roaming profiles. The only difference is for locally installed apps, but as our app image is largely the same on every machine that's not much of an issue.

  • Re:Fantastic but... (Score:3, Informative)

    by kwabbles ( 259554 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:19PM (#26006015)

    For Project I use OpenProj from Projity. I use Thunderbird for all of my mail - calendar working with Exchange via WebDAV.

  • Re:TCO (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:22PM (#26006047)

    That sounds similar to WSUS from Microsoft.. the local server downloads and stores updates from Microsoft and pushes updates out to the clients based on group policy settings.

  • Re:What IBM is up to (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @03:56PM (#26006511)

    IBM has been and continues to contribute to After Sun they are the largest contributor. If you look at the commit logs, almost 1/3 of the commits from email addresses at IBM. If anything its the community who should think about upping their number of contributions.

  • by daethon ( 1349241 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:25PM (#26006821)
    To help those American's who took the time to read this lineup but are unfamiliar with Autoroute. Autoroute is the European equivilant of MS Streets and Trips. It is also made by Microsoft. Both great products for those who don't have internet access all the time and like to know where they are going.
  • Re:Fantastic but... (Score:5, Informative)

    by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:31PM (#26006897) Journal

    Something which is 10 pages in OO as a .doc will only show up as 8.5 on Windows

    Something which is 10 pages in MS Office can be 8.5 pages in MS Office on a different machine with different printer drivers and fonts installed.

  • Re:Better? (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 05, 2008 @04:37PM (#26006977)

    I don't know about more complicated support, but IBM runs our helpdesk, and they usually pick up before the second ring and resolve my issue rapidly. Of course, all of my issues were relatively simple, mostly VPN and VOIP related stuff, and could have been answered by a well-maintained support wiki... but it's still pretty good support, from my perspective.

  • Re:TCO (Score:2, Informative)

    by fat_mike ( 71855 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @05:35PM (#26007631)

    You mean like WSUS?

  • by NighthawkFoo ( 16928 ) on Friday December 05, 2008 @07:36PM (#26008949)

    Notes 8 is quite a lot better than prior versions. I've been using Notes since version 5, and it's made great strides in usability since then. Most things are where you'd expect them to be, and the software works about how you'd expect it to work.

  • Re:Just goes to show (Score:2, Informative)

    by moreati ( 119629 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:30PM (#26009903) Homepage

    Might I suggest The Seven Habits of Highly Effective Pirates []

    29. The enemy of my enemy is my enemy's enemy. No more. No less.

  • by Daengbo ( 523424 ) <> on Friday December 05, 2008 @09:57PM (#26010095) Homepage Journal
    Ummm, you mean the "promise" [] ... er, requirement ... that they fought against the EU over for four years [] until they were fined over a billion dollars?

    I don't give them much credit for that. It's all the EU's doing.
  • Re:What IBM is up to (Score:2, Informative)

    by davidfree ( 886279 ) on Saturday December 06, 2008 @04:39AM (#26011713) Homepage
    Not contributing back to OSS projects? You do realise that IBM is one of the largest commercial contributors to open source that there is... Certainly better than 99.9% of companies out there. How many companies are using open source software to run their business or part of their business, and yet have not contributed a penny piece to any open source project

"I'm not afraid of dying, I just don't want to be there when it happens." -- Woody Allen