IBM announced its new Open Client platform independent solution on Monday for Windows and Linux, with Mac support scheduled for later this year. Open Client Solution lets users take advantage of a suite of business applications without worrying about operating system dependencies.
IBM claims the new system frees companies from "vendor lock-in" and steep Microsoft licensing fees by offering collaborative open source-based applications that work cross platform with little or no modification.
Scott Handy, IBMis vice president, Worldwide Linux and Open Source, commented "Our goal is to provide a flexible open client platform that minimizes customer investment needs and gives users the option to choose the tools they need to do their jobs more efficiently."
In other words, IBM is working to offer companies a lower cost alternative to Windows and Office just when IT departments are starting to look at the costs of upgrading large PC installations with Windows VIsta and Office 2007. By offering support for Linux, and soon Mac OS X, IBM is looking to draw customers away from the Microsoft camp.
Open Client Solution is already being rolled out internally at IBM. An official date for Mac support has not yet been announced.