IBM announced on Thursday that it has signed up a customer for a hosted design software service, a sign that utility computing is branching out into specialized applications. Lam Research, a maker of semiconductor fabrication gear, will use Parametric Technology Corp.'s Windchill product design applications through IBM's Web-based hosting service, Big Blue said.
Lam will be charged for the service based on usage, which means it can avoid up-front license charges and installation costs, said IBM. The company added that the PTC application service is its first to deal with product lifecycle management, in which engineers from a number of companies collaborate to design and build products. IBM also offers SAP's R/3 and other packaged applications in its hosted services.