IBM Unveils Its Latest Open Client Offering

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-02-12 Print this article Print

The offering, which runs on Linux, Windows and, later this year, the Apple Macintosh, is supported by services from Big Blue, Red Hat and Novell.

IBM has a new open client offering that runs on Linux, Microsoft Windows and, later this year, the Apple Macintosh, and which is supported by services from IBM, Red Hat and Novell.

Customers will be able to select technologies and applications from IBM and some of its business partners.
These include IBM productivity tools that support the Oasis Open Document Format, the Firefox Web browser, Lotus Notes and Lotus Domino, Lotus Sametime and IBM WebSphere Portal v6 on the Red Hat Desktop Linux suite, and the Novell SUSE Desktop Linux.
"This is a cross-platform, open-client offering that is built on top of the Eclipse rich client platform. It combines a number of recently announced Lotus products, such as Notes and Sametime, as well as services," Adam Jollans, IBMs worldwide open-source strategy manager, told eWEEK. Click here to read more about why Eclipse Rich Client Platform adoption nearly tripled. IBM has itself deployed an open client solution internally that is built on many of the same components it is making available to customers with this offering. The new services are based on the best practices it learned from that internal desktop deployment, which includes Lotus collaboration software products running Red Hats Enterprise Linux Workstation, he said. The services in this new offering include capabilities for desktop management support and application migration, and are aimed at helping customers pilot, implement and gain value from what Jollans describes as "security-rich and reliable Linux and open standards-based solutions." The operating services will be provided by Linux distributors Red Hat and Novell. This new client offering is available immediately and is priced based on customer requirements, he said. The latest release of IBM Lotus Sametime gives users get a retooled experience that simplifies many tasks. Click here to read more. The goal is to offer choice to customers, such as those who are already using Lotus Notes, Domino or Sametime, but also have a Microsoft Enterprise Agreement. Many of them are currently weighing a move to Windows Vista and Office 2007 and looking at all the associated costs. "This lets them take a user-segmentation strategy based on the specific roles staff play and the work they do, allowing a subset of them to move across to a Linux environment," Jollans said. "It also gives them the opportunity to relook at the applications they have, on which platforms they run, and if they can use those on the other platforms supported by this offering." Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest open-source news, reviews and analysis.
Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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