IBM snuggles up with Ubuntu

What is IBM's end game with Ubuntu?

It's easy to overlook IBM's announcement that its Lotus Notes and Lotus Symphony suites will run on Ubuntu. I think this would be a mistake. IBM is not a dumb company. It's not in the habit of wasting resources. For IBM to be partnering up with Ubuntu says something about the enterprise mindset on Ubuntu.

Where it's going, that is.

"We're doing pilots with customers now," [IBM] said. "Some of the requests came from big companies" with as many as 100,000 users that are interested in moving to Ubuntu Linux on the desktop. The other thing we are seeing is some interesting patterns evolving here. It starts with a very small company looking at Linux, and then there are really large companies that are starting out small with 500 [Linux desktop] users, then moving up to 2,000 or more. That is the pattern we are seeing."

Ubuntu is ready for prime time enterprise adoption when IBM says it is. It's saying that now. Watch this space.

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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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