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IBM Linux

IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux 863

An anonymous reader writes "It looks like IBM isn't much of a friend of Microsoft's anymore. Today IBM announced an extension of its Microsoft-Free PC effort together with Canonical Ubuntu Linux. This is the same thing that was announced a few weeks back for Africa (a program that began a year ago), and now it's available in the US. The big push is that IBM claims it will cost up to $2,000 for a business to move to Windows 7. They argue that moving to Linux is cheaper."
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IBM's Answer To Windows 7 Is Ubuntu Linux

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  • MS Response (Score:5, Funny)

    by interkin3tic ( 1469267 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:03PM (#29816779)

    Microsoft responded by stating they are happy IBM has found someone new, that's just great, and hey by the way MS is engaged to Dell who is hotter than IBM anyway so there.

  • You go IBM!!! (Score:4, Insightful)

    by kimgkimg ( 957949 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:06PM (#29816823)
    Ubuntu would be great solution for the enterprise. Basic email and office apps, what more do you need? The only problem with Ubuntu is that it needs more testing and validation before each release cycle. I've had basic functionality break between releases and this will not be acceptable for business use.
    • by Freaky Spook ( 811861 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:56PM (#29817469)

      The past 6 months for several clients I have been running Proof of Concepts of moving from Desktop infrastructure to VDI(Virtual Desktop Infrastructure)

      Microsoft have made licensing for running Windows desktops in a virtual environment so insane and added ridiculous costs just for the privilege of running Windows XP, Vista or 7 in a data centre that when you look at the ROI you don't see a massive benefit of shedding hardware.

      A couple of those clients are actually now investigating migrations from Windows desktop to Ubuntu/SUSE Linux and running legacy Windows applications from Sun SGD/Windows Termial Server.

      VDI offers huge opportunities for companies to shed the upkeep and maintenance of desktops and Microsoft are putting in as many hurdles as humanly possible to keep companies purchasing desktops every 3-4 years so they can still get their Microsoft tax from OEM's. I'm advising anyone these days to assess their dependence on windows if they are looking at VDI solutions and investigate deployments in Linux.

    • Re:You go IBM!!! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Man Eating Duck ( 534479 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:07PM (#29817569)

      I've had basic functionality break between releases and this will not be acceptable for business use.

      With Ubuntu for basic business use you won't need to upgrade at every release. Their LTS releases guarantees three years of support. Running an old version is usually not acceptable for a home power user, but it provides the stability a small business needs.

      For a larger shop with at least one full time IT technician it would be possible to maintain your own repository with selected upgrades enabled. Then you can pick and choose the upgrades you need for new features in specific software. You would have the stability and security of an old release, and still get bleeding edge features where it matters with relatively little testing. This is how most major Windows shop does it for security patches and feature upgrades anyway.

      Also the differences and testing needed between each version of the major distros is still far less than what's needed between each new edition of Windows. That's when you ignore the immense practical problem of global reinstallation of individual Windows boxes (yes, MS shills, fire away. It's possible on Windows as well. Call me when it's possible for my company to have absolutely all system and OS settings administrated centrally while ALL the user's personal customisations ("registry") and documents rest in his home directory on a file server, and when a motherboard fries, it'll take less than half an hour to physically replace the box and get the user back in business with all software and personalisations in place).

  • by MrEricSir ( 398214 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:06PM (#29816835) Homepage

    ...for downloading Ubuntu Linux.

  • Business (Score:5, Insightful)

    by sakdoctor ( 1087155 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:08PM (#29816857) Homepage

    Ubuntu works for me. Large community, fixed release schedule.
    But whatever your choice, small to medium sized companies need to plan well ahead *before* they get locked in,
    otherwise one day you'll be in your office and your MS exchange server will say "I'm sorry, Dave. I'm afraid I can't do that", then you're stuck with the thing forever.

  • by iamacat ( 583406 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:13PM (#29816937)

    If Microsoft introduces an incompatible change in Windows 8 (so that, for example a given version of IE can no longer be installed, or a driver for a widely deployed device stops working), it can force a company into unbounded costs of updating their software and hardware. On the other hand, once initial migration to Ubuntu is done, only an effort of a dozen developers would be needed to compile Firefox 1.0 with new libraries, update a driver to work with 2.6 kernel and so on. While for an individual it may be acceptable - and cheaper - to buy new peripherals and applications - IBM can trivially afford custom development costs to keep an operating system running exactly the same way they want it.

    It doesn't make sense for any large business with non-trivial needs to run an operating system for which they can not control future direction.

    • by ZorbaTHut ( 126196 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:09PM (#29817583) Homepage

      I do game development, and I use a lot of open-source libraries (BSD, LGPL, and the like, since I value having my source closed.) Every once in a while people ask me why I rely on libraries that I didn't write myself since, after all, they may be buggy!

      Well, a few months ago I ran into a nice hidden bug. I tried to track down the developer and couldn't, and I needed a fix right then, like, within a few hours. So I wrote one, and it worked.

      A month later I ran into a new bug, but this time I managed to find the developer. Turned out my fix was buggy (in a way that hadn't been triggered in the first place), but he'd just finished a non-buggy version, so I ripped out my patch and jammed his in and it worked. If I hadn't been able to find him, I would have had to sit down and fix it myself . . . but I could have.

      Meanwhile, I have many, many thousands of lines of libraries that just tick along joyfully without a hitch. Overall, it's a huge win, and the fact that they're open-source means that I can fix them if they break.

      It really is the way to go.

    • A Dozen Developers (Score:4, Informative)

      by Gary W. Longsine ( 124661 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @01:07AM (#29819643) Homepage Journal
      You clearly have never worked inside a large company, or if you did, you didn't pay attention. They have better things to do with their precious developer talent than recompile Firefox and Linux kernels all the time. Stuff like writing Visual Basic applications to assure that they will forever be tied to Windows, leaps immediately to mind. Oh, wait...
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:17PM (#29816997)

    $2,000 US to upgrade per machine? I don't know what in the heck IBM is talking about. I've been running Windows 7 on a two year old $500 laptop without any issues since Beta. They are easily over exagerating that cost, in my opinion, and frankly it turns me off of Ubuntu to see them buddying up with IBM in this way.

    *On an interesting side note, I wonder if they calculated all the man hours and reworking of customized code that most shops would have to put in to go from a Microsoft shop to all Linux - I seriously doubt it.
    **Do we even want to get into the compatability issues with COTS that still plagues Linux?

    • by Locke2005 ( 849178 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:43PM (#29817927)
      Your neglecting the cost of system administrators installing new software on every machine, and of retraining every employee to use the new software. Actually, you're counting the cost as zero for yourself; how much total time did it take you to install the initial Beta and subsequent updates, and to learn how to use it? Is your time really worth $0/hour? If so, I really pity you... $2000 is about 40 hours of the average employees time. I suspect your total time wasted was probably about half that, but if your time is worth $100/hour, the numbers still add up to $2000.
      • by jim_v2000 ( 818799 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:52PM (#29818599)
        If your admins are going around installing an OS and apps on each machine individually in a corporate environment, you need new admins. And there's nothing so new and different about Windows 7 that would require any retraining...hell, you can still make it look just like Windows 2000 if you want.

        IBM's numbers are still bullshit.
  • Ubuntu is an impressive distro for reasons many have argued here before. Karmic is actually a great improvement over Jaunty, and I think it's heading in a positive direction.

    I might not have seen it, but I think Ubuntu's server area needs professional, detailed, Ubuntu-specific (if needed) DOCUMENTATION on everything an Ubuntu admin would need to use. [] has the most up-to-date version of the Ubuntu Server Guide, which is a decent start. It pales in comparison, however, to the FreeBSD handbook.

    Where's the documentation on
    GRUB 2?
    Building your own repository?
    Setting up mass deployment via Kickstart/preseeding?

    These are all things integral to the operating system and its deployment. I'm not saying Ubuntu has to have the definitive guide to Nagios or other 3rd party software.

    Some things are well covered in the Ubuntu Server Guide, "Pro Ubuntu Server Administration" and Prentice Hall's "The Official Ubuntu Server Book". I would like to see more enterprise tooling and documentation for Ubuntu Server before I expect them to make a significant trench in the enterprise space.

    And for those who might say Ubuntu is a desktop-oriented distro,
    1) You haven't seen the work or the marketing Ubuntu has done on their server side, and
    2) I think Ubuntu could succeed if they can market themselves as THE operating system for an organization.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by SheeEttin ( 899897 )

      Where's the documentation on GRUB 2?

      Depends. There are a bunch of man pages on the grub commands, and there's /etc/grub.d/README and /etc/default/grub for the menu configuration. There's also Google.

      Upstart? []

      UEC? []

      Building your own repository?

      Apt supports file:/, so you can use that if it's just for personal use. Otherwise, you apparently just replicate the directory structure of an existing repository on your server and generate the necessar

  • by Zerimar ( 1124785 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:44PM (#29817325)
    MS-DOS beat PC-DOS NT3.5 beat OS/2 Heck, you can argue that MS SQL Server is beating DB2 If I were choosing a side in this fight, I'd stick with Microsoft...
  • by JoeSixpack00 ( 1327135 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @08:58PM (#29817495)
    I think everyone here is missing the point. This is less about how accurate IBM's claims are, and more about the fact a company as large as IBM with a name that established was actually willing to publicly say it. That by itself is a major benifit for Linux.

    This is all about momentum, marketing, and market share. I mean seriously, we act as if Microsoft has never made erroneous or speculative claims in the spirit of customer coercion. This is how business works.
  • Here we go again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by davmoo ( 63521 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:17PM (#29817673)

    I find it interesting that these stories never seem to talk about the cost of retraining in that switch from Windows to Linux in the work place. The authors must be those same people that keep writing about how software companies should replace boxed product with downloading because bandwidth is free.

    I'm not saying that many companies wouldn't benefit financially from the switch. Many would. But there are a lot that wouldn't. Anyone who thinks the Microsoft license and the cost of the hardware are the only expenses has no business being a decision-maker in their company's IT.

    • by Techman83 ( 949264 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:39PM (#29818485)
      Yeah they forgot to mention the Cost of training for the switch from XP to Windows 7 and the also Office 2003 to Office 2007. Both are significantly different as far as interface goes and we have users that are going to require significant training no matter what we do. It's something that we haven't quite figured out how to tackle, as the ones who can't handle change scream the loudest.
  • by ClosedSource ( 238333 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @09:18PM (#29817675)

    the question was "Do you believe insider trading is rampant within IBM?"

  • by 2Bits ( 167227 ) on Tuesday October 20, 2009 @10:37PM (#29818467)

    Why isn't IBM jumping first, and take the lead to move the whole IBM to Linux desktop? You know, the do-what-you-are-preaching concept? Last week, 5 IBM people came to our office to pitch for a 3 million contract, and I saw every single person (technical and sales) is running Windows Vista, with the latest MS Office. The only thing I recognized as IBM-made is Lotus Notes, which we also use here.

    About 8 years ago, it was the same thing with Sun. We had a bunch of Sun people came to our office (another company), and they kept bitching about MS Windows and MS Office, while at the same time preaching Linux and Star Office. And guess what they were running? Yeah, you got it. At one point, I had enough of their bitching, I told them with a straight face: "Why don't you guys install Linux and Star Office, and send me that fucking slide in open format?" They looked at me as if I was from Mars, then I turned on my laptop, and it was running Linux.

    One suggestion to the big guys: don't preach, do it. Then everyone will follow, you have enough clout to take the lead.

    • by Kamien ( 1561193 ) on Wednesday October 21, 2009 @07:20AM (#29821431)
      You're misinformed. IBM is already jumping. You can have a Linux workstation (Open Client for Linux - for Red Hat/Fedora, Ubuntu, SLED) in IBM. What's more the default office suite in IBM is Lotus Symphony now. MS Office is slowly going away. BTW: I've never seen Windows Vista installed on any work PC in IBM.

Don't tell me how hard you work. Tell me how much you get done. -- James J. Ling