IBM's Mills touts managed clients

IBM's Mills touts managed clients

Summary: [Updated 08/15/05] Steve Mills, IBM's top software executive, sent a clear message during his keynote this afternoon at LinuxWorld that IBM's is ready to take on Microsoft with its Workplace managed client. He said the Linux on servers was maturing and that the next frontier for Linux is the client, across desktops, server managed clients and embedded devices.

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[Updated 08/15/05] Steve Mills, IBM's top software executive, sent a clear message during his keynote this afternoon at LinuxWorld that IBM's is ready to take on Microsoft with its Workplace managed client. He said the Linux on servers was maturing and that the next frontier for Linux is the client, across desktops, server managed clients and embedded devices. "Clients are becoming increasingly heterogeneous, but the things that drove Linux adoption for servers will not drive it on the client," said Mills. Managing clients from a platform neutral server platform is a more cost effective way for companies with high numbers of routine task workers, who don’t need the same PC experience as knowledge workers, according to Mills. "You don’t gain anything by deploying the same infrastructure you did in the mid-80s," he said.  It's more complex than simply substituting Linux for Unix or Windows.


Next Mills gave a couple of customer case studies that touted the benefits of IBM's Workplace managed client, and then called a colleague on to the stage to demo the software on two screens, one running Red Hat Linux and the other, Windows.  Noteworthy among the plug-ins and functionality was the "Activity Explorer," which changes up the idea of how collaboration is initiated. Rather than centering on e-mail or IM, it puts awareness in context around activities such as shared documents.

Mills concluded that the main driver for Linux on the desktop simply boils down to how it changes the economics of computing and improves work efficiency.  But first, Mills and company will have to overcome confusion about Workplace. [Updated] The software covers a lot of ground which makes it hard to understand by many, such as  a quarter of all Lotus Domino customers, according to Radicati Group. (The validity of Radicati Group's methodology was recently brought to my attention...)

Topic: Operating Systems

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  • IBM's Workplace

    Well, I surely hope that IBM markets Workplace more effectively than it did OS/2.
    ebrke
    • Sure they wll do.

      After all 14000 jobs this year will move from Europe and US to India.
      computer_man
    • Speaking of OS/2...

      ...which IBM hardly ever did, I have long wished that someone would port OS/2's desktop interface (Presentation Manager?) as a Linux desktop.

      Since PM was "object oriented," you'd think that wouldn't be hard to do, but what do I know?

      (FWIW, if IBM would release OS/2's source under some sort of open source license, that could happen, couldn't it?)
      bill@...
  • Mangled clients

    I wonder what IBM will "manage" on a client. Will this manager make a "thick" client into a "thin" client? That's about the only way you can "manage" clients - eliminate all customizations and force common interfaces. If you are going to do that, then why not just go with thin clients? Answer - IBM and most everyone else, don't understand SERVING applications. I don't mean using some sort of java server thingie that has custom java applications running, I mean taking existing off-the-shelf (client) software and "packaging" it into a form that can be served. Its difficult to do on Windoze because of the registry, but a MANAGED Windoze client would give you control of the registry (theoretically). Company "F" has done this for years on UNIX clients, but has always been stymied from doing it on Windoze clients. Why can't you share say, Firefox from a server to all of your PCs? Maybe now you can . . .
    Roger Ramjet
    • Have you ever heard of ...

      Citrix or Windows Terminal Server? Both of these do exactly what you claim can't be done in Windows!
      ShadeTree
      • Agree, but...

        Yes, these two technologies do what he was talking about, but I've heard from those who have tried using them on large scale deployment, thousands of users, and at that point these solutions get ugly. They don't scale well beyond a certain point. Plus they're a bit sluggish. Not as responsive as having the app. running right on your machine. True, if the server isn't loaded down too much, app. performance on Citrix or WTS can be better than a web app., but in terms of responsiveness it's not a great substitute for running the app. directly on the desktop machine.
        Mark Miller
        • Used at

          University College London for all staff and student. The Windows Terminal Server works fine.

          It is just how it is deployed and the resources it utilises.
          mikeybrass
  • "a quarter all Lotus Domino customers"???

    A survey of 32 customers cannot possibly be extrapolated to "a quarter of all Domino customers". The statement should be modified or retracted, particularly after reading the analysis of that data that is posted at
    http://www.controlscaddy.com/A55A69/bccaddyblog.nsf/plinks/CBYE-6CPW37
    ed_brill@...