IBM To Centralize Desktop Services, Applications, & Data

Back in the 60is and 70is, the word icomputeri was synonymous with the name iIBMi; back then, room-filling centralized servers chugged away supporting hundreds, even thousands of workers who used terminals to get their work done. It wasnit pretty, but it worked very well, and there was no such thing as a virus or worm in an IBM mainframe.

Since then, IBM has tried, and ultimately failed, to find a place in the network computing paradigm that is popular today. While it set the standard on which todayis PCs are still being built, IBM has all but abandoned the desktop market, yielding to fierce competition from more nimble players like Dell and HP.

But, because the giant is down, it does not mean that it is out of the desktop market. According to a report in, IBM is preparing to make a renewed assault of the desktop market, at least the software end of it. Using its server know-how, IBM will offer a server based environment that will allow almost any desktop, including Macs and mobile devices, to access applications, such as Microsoft Word, and data. From ComputerWeekly:

BM has announced a software strategy, with accompanying products, designed to circumvent Microsoftis lock on operating systems and productivity applications.

Updates to IBMis client, administration and portal software will allow everything from desktop PCs to smartphones to access the same data - including Microsoft Office data - using standards-based middleware instead of a Microsoft client.

The strategy is similar to the thin-client approach -- championed by Oracle and -- Sun Microsystems, which advocated the use of easily manageable terminals as an alternative to bulky, powerful, complex Windows PCs.


IBM said the software will be available first for Windows, Linux, Unix and mobile platforms such as the Symbian OS, with a Mac OS X version to follow later this year.

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