IBM Fires Back at Microsoft Ad Campaign

By Stan Gibson  |  Posted 2006-03-17 Print this article Print

IBM is the victim of a Microsoft marketing blitz, but Big Blue retaliates with some jabs of its own.

Microsoft kicked off a $500 million marketing push this week, and in the process singled out IBM as its main competitor. The so-called "people-ready" campaign touts Microsoft products as enabling business users to "realize their full potential."

The campaign is widely considered a curtain-raiser for the forthcoming Windows Vista and Office 2007 product releases.
At an event highlighting the campaign, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took a shot at IBM. "Were staking out a position quite different than our leading competitor. Thats IBM," said Ballmer. "...IBM is increasingly a services company. At the end of the day, were a software company," he said, according to an eWEEK report.
"[Ballmer] made the statement that IBM is a consulting company. He avoided mentioning that IBM is the number two software company in the world with $15.8 billion in software business," said Ken Bisconti, vice president of IBM Lotus Workplace products in Cambridge, Mass. Microsoft takes aim at IBM with new marketing campaign. Click here to read more. Bisconti said there are over 125 million users of IBMs Lotus Notes and some 4,000 businesses use IBMs WebSphere portal. He claimed IBM has as many business e-mail users as Microsoft and that its Lotus software division grew by 10 percent last year. Ironically, IBM may be Microsofts largest collaborator. "We are arguably the largest ISV writing products that run on Windows—products like Notes Domino and WebSphere Portal," said Bisconti. IBM also may be the largest deployer and maintainer of Microsoft products, through its Global Services division. IBM routinely signs outsourcing deals worth hundreds of millions of dollars, much of which involve deploying and maintaining Windows based PCs and servers. Despite the close ties between the companies, Bisconti continued to return Microsofts fire. "We have a very diff view of how people are making people productive. Microsoft is trying to prolong a pre-Internet business model, the same one they were selling 20 years ago," Bisconti said. "Its the fat client model. The customers we work with have moved to an open standards computing model where they demand choice. Microsoft is demonstrating a model that we dont think works. "Not everyone is going to need a 500 megabyte fat client," Bisconti added. Check out eWEEK.coms for Microsoft and Windows news, views and analysis.
Stan Gibson is Executive Editor of eWEEK. In addition to taking part in Ziff Davis eSeminars and taking charge of special editorial projects, his columns and editorials appear regularly in both the print and online editions of eWEEK. He is chairman of eWEEK's Editorial Board, which received the 1999 Jesse H. Neal Award of the American Business Press. In ten years at eWEEK, Gibson has served eWEEK (formerly PC Week) as Executive Editor/eBiz Strategies, Deputy News Editor, Networking Editor, Assignment Editor and Department Editor. His Webcast program, 'Take Down,' appeared on He has appeared on many radio and television programs including TechTV, CNBC, PBS, WBZ-Boston, WEVD New York and New England Cable News. Gibson has appeared as keynoter at many conferences, including CAMP Expo, Society for Information Management, and the Technology Managers Forum. A 19-year veteran covering information technology, he was previously News Editor at Communications Week and was Software Editor and Systems Editor at Computerworld.

Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
Manage your Newsletters: Login   Register My Newsletters

Rocket Fuel