Feeds

IBM and Canonical pitch Ubuntu + cloud package at US firms

Sniff mightily at Windows 7

The Power of One Brief: Top reasons to choose HP BladeSystem

With the imminent release of Windows 7, IBM and Canonical are clasping hands to sell an Ubuntu Linux- and Lotus-based desktop package to US businesses targeting low-end PCs and netbooks.

The duo initially launched their Ubuntu-powered IBM Client for Smart Work desktop bundle to Africa back in September. But IBM said it decided to swing the offering State-side due to demand from its partners.

And lo-and-behold, it lands just when Microsoft is gearing up for its introduction of Windows 7 this week — a fact IBM and Canonical are very much using as the vehicle for their pitch.

The new IBM Client for Smart Work package runs on top of Ubuntu 9.10. Big Blue tosses into the mix IBM Lotus Symphony (the company's free-of-charge office suite), email from Lotus Notes or the web-based Lotus iNotes, and web-based social networking and collaboration tools from LotusLive.com.

Businesses can run the Ubuntu-powered IBM client as either a traditional desktop or as a virtualized desktop (via the web or local servers) using VERDE software from Virtual Bridges.

The timely spin on the package is that businesses can save money versus Windows 7 licenses and use older PCs or even netbooks lacking the horsepower to run Microsoft's newest OS upgrade.

"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," said Bob Sutor, IBM's veep of Linux and open source. "Rather than think of one type of desktop for everybody, people are starting to think about what particular groups are really doing."

Sutor told us the "hot-shot power productivity" folks will probably stick with that "certain platform." But workers who need office productivity software and spend most of their day in the browser will fit naturally into the package IBM and Canonical have designed.

The offering is available only in the US and Africa at present, but Sutor said IBM won't rule out bringing it elsewhere later. At a time when businesses are trying to decide on a strategy for their next desktop, the US just seemed like a prime target to tap, Sutor explained.

IBM and Canonical were focusing their attention on government agencies and universities in Africa due to lower bandwidth and smaller machines for the market on average. In the US, they feel private businesses such as financial services are on the market as well.

Although the software package will be sold in various shapes and sizes depending on specific business needs, IBM offered a few price-points as an example:

Option A: A Starting Point

$3 LotusLive iNotes/user/month (email, calendaring)
$0 Symphony web download
$0 Canonical Ubuntu web download
Total: $36 per user annually

Option B: Add social software capabilities to option A

$9.75 LotusLive Connections /user/month (dashboard, file-sharing, personal profile networking, contact management, groups, project management, instant messaging)
Total: $153/user/annually

Option C: Typical Solution

$74.50 / user first year: Lotus Notes/iNotes (email, calendar, to-do, contacts), Lotus Sametime entry (instant messaging, presence awareness), Lotus Quickr entry (file-sharing); $25.75 maintenance subsequent years.
$0 Lotus Symphony
Total: $75.50/user/first year, $25.75/user annually)

Including virtual desktop capabilities adds $49 per user for the first year, and $10 per user for subsequent years. ®

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

More from The Register

next story
Secure microkernel that uses maths to be 'bug free' goes open source
Hacker-repelling, drone-protecting code will soon be yours to tweak as you see fit
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
NO MORE ALL CAPS and other pleasures of Visual Studio 14
Unpicking a packed preview that breaks down ASP.NET
Cheer up, Nokia fans. It can start making mobes again in 18 months
The real winner of the Nokia sale is *drumroll* ... Nokia
Put down that Oracle database patch: It could cost $23,000 per CPU
On-by-default INMEMORY tech a boon for developers ... as long as they can afford it
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
Google shows off new Chrome OS look
Athena springs full-grown from Chromium project's head
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Consolidation: The Foundation for IT Business Transformation
In this whitepaper learn how effective consolidation of IT and business resources can enable multiple, meaningful business benefits.
Application security programs and practises
Follow a few strategies and your organization can gain the full benefits of open source and the cloud without compromising the security of your applications.
How modern custom applications can spur business growth
Learn how to create, deploy and manage custom applications without consuming or expanding the need for scarce, expensive IT resources.
Securing Web Applications Made Simple and Scalable
Learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.