I.B.M. Takes Aim at Microsoft With Server-Based Software

The NY Times writes I.B.M. plans to announce today a software strategy for corporate desktop personal computers and hand-held devices – one that is firmly anchored in the company’s strength in data centers.
The I.B.M. offerings include new Lotus Workplace software for PC’s and hand-held devices, but most of the critical software resides on server computers in corporate data centers. Workers can tap into their e-mail messages, calendar, work group and other software using a Web browser. The approach harks back to a low-cost model of computing – known as “thin client” computing – promoted in the late 1990’s by Sun Microsystems and Oracle as an alternative to Microsoft’s hefty desktop programs.
A worker using the Workplace software by I.B.M. can still run Microsoft Office programs. But I.B.M. also offers alternatives, built on free software from the open source project OpenOffice.org, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software.
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