US$500 million for a marketing campaign. It had to come from somewhere....
IBM, with a $90 billion-a-year business of selling technology to businesses, doesn't intimidate easily. Ken [B]isconti, vice-president for IBM Lotus Workplace products, calls Ballmer's speech a "thinly-veiled promotion" for the upcoming Windows and Office launches.The BusinessWeek article is a pretty straightforward on-the-spot reaction to yesterday's Ballmer bluster and the new MS campaign. I suppose this is a better approach to chiding customers to upgrade than calling them "dinosaurs".
"Windows and Office attempt to prolong Microsoft's pre-Internet, proprietary, one-size-fits-all computing model," [B]isconti says. "We embrace open-technology standards, which give customers the ability to mix and match the technology they use." He also points out that while IBM offers a vast array of tech services, its $15.8 billion-a-year software business is second in size only to Microsoft's.
Indeed, while open-source software has mounted a serious challenge to Microsoft, IBM is the only company that can offer a wide array of software for large corporations that runs on both the server and the desktop. Its IBM Workplace products, launched two years ago, provide Internet-based applications designed for specific jobs in corporations -- from call-center operator to bank employee. Revenues for the Lotus unit, which includes most of the Workplace products, increased 10% last year.
One of MS's key messages yesterday seems to be to emphasize that IBM is supposedly a services company. IBM is also a US$15.8 billion software company. Would it make sense if IBM started trying to paint Microsoft as a games manufacturer due to Xbox? This is a silly attempt to create pure FUD.
Link: BusinessWeek: Microsoft's Enterprising Endeavor >