New IBM software to help business to offer employees the choice of running Apple Macs

“IBM said on Sunday it will offer an open desktop software system for businesses that puts the cost of managing Apple or Linux computers on a more equal footing with Microsoft’s Windows software, improving the economics of Windows alternatives,” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports, “The product – which the company calls its ‘Open Client Offering’ – pulls together software IBM has developed in-house and with partners Novell and Red Hat to answer questions over the cost-effectiveness of managing Linux or Apple desktop PCs alongside Windows PCs.”

“International Business Machines said the new software makes it feasible for big businesses to offer their employees a choice of running Windows, Linux, or Apple Macintosh software on desktop PCs, using the same underlying software code. This cuts the costs of managing Linux or Apple relative to Windows,” Reuters reports.

Reuters reports, “IBM’s Open Client software chips away at long-time rival Microsoft’s Windows franchise by making it unnecessary for companies to pay Microsoft for licenses for operations that no longer rely on Windows-based software. The move comes as corporate decision-makers have begun to mull when it makes sense to upgrade to Microsoft’s Windows Vista.”

“IBM plans to use its ‘Open Client’ software initially to run some 5 percent of desktop computers across its own organization, which employs around 320,000 staff worldwide,” Reuters reports. “Customer call centers and software development groups in Brazil, India, Europe and other IBM offices will take part. Pockets of Apple computer users within IBM also will be supported for the first time by Open Client.”

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Dion” for the heads up.]

MacDailyNews Take: Chipping away, chipping away.


  1. “… puts the cost of managing Apple or Linux computers on a more equal footing with Microsoft’s Windows software… “

    So… they are going to make it more difficult and expensive to manage Apple and Linux computers? WTF?

  2. More than ever, they seem weaker, less able, and with less friends. Stick a fork in ’em, they’re done!

    Kidding aside, maybe all the hits they’ve been taking lately will make them a better company. Seems more and more unlikely though…

  3. I’m all for IBM sticking it to Mr. Softy, but I think this will help linux distros more than apple. A company can take their existing computers/networks, install linux on them, and then use IBM’s software. I see this as a more likely prospect than a company running out and buying new mac systems. If a company that has been using PC’s and windows for ten years wants to run out and buy new systems, their IT guys will guide them to new Dells or the like.

    Now, I could see small companies using it to allow individual employees to bring their personal mac systems to work.

    Once the other employees see the new Mac at work, they may clamor for Macs once their current boxes die.

    Or, at least we can always hope.

  4. I’ve lived long enough to see the first real cracks in the armor of MS enterprise ridiculousness – No I can die happy, knowing the world can be a better place if it will just decide to. MS solutions should have always been a choice and not a requirement.

  5. It may help Linux, but it will also help Apple keep the desktops they already have. Also, as Apple gains marketshare in the consumer space, more employees will ask if they can use a Mac at work. IBM’s product will give one less reason for the IT folks to justify “banning” Macs at the workplace. And it’s probably the higher-level executives at large companies who want to be seen with a 17″ MacBook Pro instead of a monstrosity from HP or Dell.

  6. You have no idea how many IBMers are Mac users and were waiting for this announcement to ditch their PCs. Since IBM does not sell PCs anymore (the agreement with Lenovo to resell their PCs expired last year) more and more IBMers are openly asking for Macs. There even is an internal Mac user group. As soon as I can get my Mac Book Pro to connect remotely to the IBM’s intranet I can assure you that my T43 is history…

    By the way, you may think that the sales guys would be the first ones to move to Mac OS X because of the ease of use. You would be wrong. The more technical, the more likely users are to move to the Mac.

  7. Although Big Blue seems to be offering the ‘ole “carrot-on-a-stick” approach to the Microshaft alternatives … it seems the bigger nut to crack would be the corporate IT mindset to refuse to use anything but the overbloated solutions offered by the DOS-coders up in Redmond !

    If the current response to Vista becomes prevelent (on a world wide scale) .. and it is rejected.. then the IT departments may seek other avenues …

    But, if this happens.. IT staffers would be relegated to collective thumb-twiddling, due to the lack of work..

    Remember, there is a very lucrative cottage industry making fortunes from just keeping all those WinCrap boxes runing !!

    Wanna have some fun ?

    Pretend you are a newbie … and call your local Geek Squad
    Tell them that you think you may have a virus on your Mac… and “could you help me” ??

    The next sound you’ll hear is them slamming the phone down.. in your ear !! ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

  8. Totally ironic that IBM is doing this. I guess it just shows that no grudge is too deep when dollar signs are dangling in front of your face. This has major Winblows monopoly disruption potential.

    I think his “cost” comments reflect having to hire a Mac or Linux IT guy who sat around and did nothing.

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”LOL” style=”border:0;” />

    MDN MW = “john” WTF??? Never seen a proper name before (or maybe this is the slang for toilet). When am I going to get a “Cubert” as my MDN MW?

    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

  9. Apple could introduce a Business version of the Mac Mini, MacBook and iPhone to finish off Dell, HP, Palm, RIM and Microsoft all in one shot 100% virus free. Manage 1000 machines with two IT guys. You need at least two for redundancy. =)

  10. Wow, you Mac fanbois sure do rag on IBM a lot. You even seem to think that it was IBM who promised the 3GHz G5 when in reality they never even said it was possible. Steve Jobs is the one who promised the 3GHz. When Steve announced the 3GHz G5 in, what? a year or whatever? There was shock at IBM and their thoughts were, “We never said that.”

    Back in the 60’s and 70’s when IBM was a monopoly it was said that they were a benevolent dictator. Microsoft, on the other hand, has been described as a dictator (no benevolent nature).

    IBM is big. They spend more on R&D than many companies have for their whole budget. They come up with really cool stuff — see the new high-k material and their approach of integration rather than Intel’s approach of adding it as a layer. They make some really cool stuff. Not all of it is marketable. Sometimes things get lost in the bureaucracy. They have different scales of time than other people for various things.

    IBM has been estranged from Microsoft for more than 15 years. They see an opportunity for service revenue, making/keeping customers happy, as well as “sticking it to Microsoft.”

    IBM has never been the “bad guy” — they got it right in Pirates of Silicone Valley when the Woz character realized it was not IBM, but Microsoft.

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