IBM considering giving Microsoft the boot?

Big Blue is actively piloting life without Windows. Its internal testers find that the grass truly is greener on the Mac side of the street.

IBM Research is running a pilot program to gauge the interest in and feasibility of moving its employees from PCs to Macs. So far, the response appears to be an enthusiastic, "Yes, please! Is this PC recyclable, or should I just dump it out back?"

Why is IBM doing this? An internal document gives several reasons:

  • Alternative to Microsoft Windows (IBM, like many enterprises, is concerned about being locked into Microsoft)
  • Less prone to security issues
  • Widely used in the academic world, with which (IBM) Research has close ties
  • Many new hires are more comfortable with the Mac and lately asking for it
  • Growing Mac community in (IBM) Research and within IBM that finds the development environment on Mac more convenient
  • Growing acceptance of the Mac as a consumer and business-oriented client platform
  • Strategy includes significant investments in achieving the Mac platform parity (IBM needs to support multiple platforms, and a policy of using those platforms internally makes support for them easier)

Of the still-small number of participants, 82 percent declared that the Mac offers a "better or best experience," compared to their ThinkPad-running Windows, and 86 percent asked to keep their Mac rather than be manacled to Windows. IBM employs 300,000-plus people. That's a lot of Macs, if it expands the pilot.

Imagine that.

Tech Culture
About the author

    Matt Asay is chief operating officer at Canonical, the company behind the Ubuntu Linux operating system. Prior to Canonical, Matt was general manager of the Americas division and vice president of business development at Alfresco, an open-source applications company. Matt brings a decade of in-the-trenches open-source business and legal experience to The Open Road, with an emphasis on emerging open-source business strategies and opportunities. He is a member of the CNET Blog Network and is not an employee of CNET. You can follow Matt on Twitter @mjasay.


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