So IBM joined the Cloud computing bandwagon, the biggest thing that happened since Oracle's and Larry Ellison's Network Computer and will push a third way, somewhere between Google's pie-in-the-sky Cloud venture and the traditional desktop based legacy application platform.
Big Blue's Frankencloud is quite close to what Microsoft has in mind and should help businesses and companies roll out cloud computing quicker since existing infrastructure will possibly be used as highlighted by IBM.
The latter's strategy will comprise of four major features which dovetail nicely into each other: the ability for IBM to deliver its own cloud services, empowering ISVs by helping them design, build, deliver and market cloud services to their clients and helping those clients integrate cloud services into their own business and henceforth, providing full cloud computing environments to the businesses.
And IBM is keen to highlight the most important difference between itself and other competitors on the market. Big Blue wants to help its prospective customers become retailers themselves, helping them run cloud services internally.
Willy Chiu, IBM's vice president of high performance on-demand solutions said that Cloud computing is the natural evolution for IBM, which in a sense is true, given Big Blue's commitment to turning applications into services.
"Our customers", Chiu continued, "are looking for ways to lower their costs... and we want to give them the ability to use large computing capacity without having to install all of the equipment." That's what utility computing, epitomised by Amazon's EC2 solution, is all about.
IBM also launched a new business social networking service called Bluehouse that some liken to a Linkedin on Steroids. Interestingly with the resurgence of Unyte and other Lotus offshots (like Symphony or Quickr), IBM is slowly building a compelling business offering that could possibly match what Microsoft offers in terms of collaborative platform.