IBM touts "Microsoft-free" virtual Linux desktop bundle

By on December 5, 2008, 2:02 PM
As promised several months ago, in partnership with Canonical, IBM has begun offering its Microsoft-free systems bundled with a Lotus suite of office applications and collaboration tools running on top of Ubuntu Linux. The machines are designed to run in a virtual configuration, as thin clients, with the software stored on remote servers.

IBM claims the system can save businesses $500 to $800 per user on Microsoft software licenses along with up to $258 per user on hardware and bring additional savings in power and air conditioning costs. According to the company, the virtual Linux desktop suite could cost companies as little as $59 per person, which includes a minimal configuration of $49 for the VERDE desktop virtualization software, $10 for Ubuntu Linux support and no cost for Lotus Symphony productivity software.

IBM is counting on the prevalent economic pressures to help make its “Microsoft-free” offering more appealing and touts the benefits of open standards over a proprietary platform. We should note that IBM’s calculations don’t factor in the cost of extra server and networking hardware that might be required for a company to adopt this environment – they also don’t mention any plans to host and deliver the software itself as a service.

Details aside, though, one has to wonder if corporate customers are willing to revive an environment where all their data is stored centrally instead of locally.




User Comments: 2

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ompaul said:
"Details aside, though, one has to wonder if corporate customers are willing to revive an environment where all their data is stored centrally instead of locally."As an IT manager I have worked with this kind of a layout in the company for the last couple of years on GNU/Linux. We use a variety of servers and desktop machines to deliver the content to the user. We have locked down what a user can do to a greater extent. That idea of losing a document, you can't they are on the one box. Centralised Backup solutions, all work aimed at either the network infrastructure or solutions to improve the desktop.Unlicenced Debian, I don't think so, you can't install anything if you are not the administrator, I refuse to expose the company to this kind of risks. Extra skills needed?Perhaps, however consider this, you need skills that change all the time anyway. People will have their comfort zone removed from them as you convert.What does our desktop look like?7 applications.IT staff per 80 people, 1 with 1 shared resource to manage backups and restores.External help, as needed not full time.Cost savings per desktop as much as you spend on everything.Power costs, where you use 8 watts per desktop and a monitor keyboard and a mouse you get a nice return on that over the year.Downsides, buying a laptop with a non intel card. (small hardware fix there)
steltek said:
"Details aside, though, one has to wonder if corporate customers are willing to revive an environment where all their data is stored centrally instead of locally. "Seriously? What, do you work for Microsoft? Are you trying to scare naive managers away from Linux solutions?Linux does not force central data storage. You can save docs to your local machine. Similarly, one could set up central data storage using all Microsoft software.Either this writer has a hidden agenda or does not know this technology well.
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