Friday, April 2, 2010

Hey Microsoft - Remember Us? We're IBM

I'm sure many of you remember the first IBM PC ... and the operating system that ran it.

It was a couple of young guys that wrote DOS, the Disk Operation System which was not exclusively licensed by the massive company then known as 'Big Blue'. A company that was so HUGE that many used it as a benchmark to predict moves of the US stock market.

(There was no 'technology sector' ... We're talking the entire New York Stock Exchange).

PC-DOS was re-marketed shortly thereafter as MS-DOS by Bill Gates, Paul Allen and company and became the foundation for a then small company ... known as Microsoft.

Of course, IBM is still very much around and has both new and legacy products used by millions of companies worldwide but unless you're a dedicated IT person, IBM rarely makes tech headlines.

So while Google is perceived by almost everyone to be the next big challenger to Microsoft, IBM hasn't gone away.

In an e-mail to developers a short time ago, IBM made a few announcements.

The first was the newest release of IBM Lotus Symphony 3 Beta 2, a free software suite (built on top of OpenOffice).

The notable difference this time around was the wording "Show your organization how much it could save by using Lotus Symphony instead of Microsoft Office" and even pointed to a savings calculator.

The real message was a continued pitch for the space that everyone is looking at, and actually a challenge to both Google and Microsoft's cloud computing services, IBM LotusLive.

While Windows 7 was an out-of-the-box hit and one of the best PC operating systems Microsoft has ever delivered, (and both Office Online and the Office 2010 Beta show real promise), there's simply no doubt that  the heat is on, in a big way, from numerous competitors, as the enterprise landscape continues to change at a hyper pace.