Chris Lynch at CIO traces IBM's and The New York Times' trajectories to reach the same conclusion: free is a winning business model. In the case of IBM, it launched its Symphony office suite product last week, portending a dramatic shift in how enterprises buy and consume software:In offering Symphony for free, IBM basically acknowledges that the monetization of software by vendors must change since we now live in a world where the Web has become people's IT department. New technology providers...have been effective at offering applications for free on the Web. They make their money later on by offering a spiced up, or even an enterprise worthy, version of the software for a modest fee. If it's purely consumer-based, they also can subsidize their experience with ads.… Read more
Quite a bit of talk has arisen today over two of Microsoft's competitors (Google and IBM) offering free office suites in an attempt to supplant Microsoft as the office king. And now that this is happened, some are wondering if Microsoft will finally face reality and offer its own Office product for free so it can compete.
The possibility of having Word, Excel, PowerPoint and the rest for free sure sounds awfully nice, but if you think Microsoft would give it up for free, you're dreaming.… Read more
It's September, so it's time for Internet security companies to release their annual reports and surveys about the threats seen in the first six months of the year. The reports from IBM, Arbor Networks (free registration required), and Symantec (in PDF) each looked at different areas of the Internet in specific but generally found that botnets are on the rise, and that the tools used for attack have gone professional with less noise from mere amateurs. Two of the reports went to find the top three vendors most affected by newly disclosed vulnerabilities were Microsoft, Apple and Oracle, … Read more
Microsoft may finally have a real fight on its hands to maintain its Office monopoly. In separate news over the last few days, Capgemini put its muscle behind Google Apps, as Nick Carr details, and today IBM announced that it will be contributing significant resources to the development of OpenOffice.
About time on both counts. Microsoft could use a little competition. It does its best work when it has real competitors.… Read more
Remember how I said that Moore's Law is "the full-employment act for computer pundits"?
In the smaller niche of microprocessor journalism, there used to be another topic that was always good for a column: RISC vs. CISC.
In the early days of computing, a CPU (central processing unit) was a series of refrigerator-size cabinets in the computer room. Memory capacity was very limited. Computer scientists would analyze how programs executed on these machines and look for ways to shorten and speed up their programs by defining… Read more
Researchers at IBM will have two papers published in the journal Science this week detailing how it may be possible to use individual atoms, or groups of atoms, to store data or act as a transistor.
The work revolves around harnessing magnetic anisotropy, a property of atoms. Something is anisotrophic if it has different values when it faces in different directions. If a substance is anisotrophic and the orientation of the substance can be controlled, then the orientation--the theory goes--of the atom can come to represent the 1s and 0s of digital computing.
Potentially, atomic-level storage or switching could result … Read more
InfoWorld is reporting that IBM may soon open source key parts of its Jazz collaboration software. Jazz comes from the Rational side of IBM's business, and is a development tool that facilitates code collaboration between developers. It's not the sexiest project out there, but arguably a useful one.We might think about open-sourcing some of the very lowest layers (of the framework) so that the APIs (application programming interfaces) are available, and people could build on the kernel.
The reason? To drive pervasiveness of the Jazz platform.
Open source is just about the only way to get platform ubiquity in today's software world. IBM understands this better than most. What it might want to watch out for is its messaging around the move....… Read more
I'm blogging today from Hot Chips 19, the annual chip technology conference hosted by Stanford University. I'm planning to summarize each session as it happens.
Before the sessions began, there were some announcements--expected attendance, for example, is about 600 people.
Famed computer architect John Mashey spoke on behalf of the Computer History Museum, giving an update on museum exhibits and inviting Hot Chips attendees to visit while they're in town. The museum will have one of the two working copies of Charles Babbage… Read more
IBM trumpets open standards so much that it's easy to forget the company cares deeply about open source, too. I much prefer this latter emphasis, incidentally, because IBM is so good at playing the "open" standards game - it's much harder to game an open-source license.
Which is why I found this interview with Bob Sutor refreshing. Bob is IBM's vice president of Open Source and Standards, and does great work for Big Blue. When asked what IBM has learned from its Linux experience, he responded:… Read more