In a poor attempt to wreck Microsoft's Windows 7 launch, IBM and Canonical, the organisation behind Ubuntu Linux, have joined forces to unleash an integrated cloud and Linux desktop package tailored for Netbooks and other low-end PCs.
Initially, back in September, the duo has introduced their Ubuntu-powered IBM Client for Smart Work desktop package in Africa.
But, later on, IBM discovered that there was significant interest in the US as well as other markets that had long-established IT infrastructure, and relative less inclination to go on with Windows upgrades anymore.
The US iteration of the package comprises of several IBM products, such as e-mail client via LotusLive iNotes or Lotus Notes, spreadsheets and word-processing through Lotus Symphony, along with several collaboration tools from LotusLive.com. In addition, the new IBM Client is compatible for Ubuntu 9.10.
It further offers businesses the flexibility to run the IBM Client either as a customary desktop or as a virtualised desktop via the Virtual Bridge’s VERDE software application.
The two companies are touting the new client for its capability to allow users save some considerable amount of money as against Windows 7 licence, as well as the fact that to run on netbooks and older PCs that apparently have no resources to run Microsoft’s upcoming OS upgrade.
Bob Sutor, IBM’s VP of Linux and opens source, said: “People are really starting to ask questions about what it will mean to migrate to Windows 7 - and really if it's the right thing to do given the recession and that people are ever-more closely segmenting their users within their organizations”.
Microsoft is facing a real threat if IBM manages to convince a small but significant proportion of its user base to migrate from a desktop-only environment to a hybrid one where the cloud plays a significant role. This would diminish and undermine the traditional role of the operating system and hence Microsoft's hegemony.