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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.