January 29, 2004

IBM's Blue Linux on the Desktop

Although nobody has been able to smuggle out a single screenshot of the top-secret IBM Linux desktop OS--often referred to as Blue Linux--I have
friends who have seen it. I am assured that it not only exists, but is being used by large numbers of IBMers. "They are going through a process of
eating their own dog food right now," I was told.

The bad news is that the company may sit on the OS for up to two years before actually releasing it. I saw a gossip item about this, and an IBM
insider confirmed the self-imposed delay to me. Can IBM be pushed onto a faster track with this product? Someone had better do that.

I'd guess the OS has already been smuggled out into the real world. It's just a matter of time before a copy turns up on some forum. I'm certain the
recent announcement by Microsoft that its Unix tools will now be free has something to do with the IBM Linux Desktop OS. By getting people dependent
on these tools before IBM rolls out any sort of Linux offering, Microsoft can find some unique ways to lock out or marginalize the IBM product. Over
the years, IBM has been humiliated time and time again by failing to see Microsoft marketing maneuvers coming, and there is no reason to suspect this
will end anytime soon.

Link: pcmag.com

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