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IBM snuggles up with Ubuntu

What is IBM's end game with Ubuntu?

Matt Asay Contributing Writer
Matt Asay is a veteran technology columnist who has written for CNET, ReadWrite, and other tech media. Asay has also held a variety of executive roles with leading mobile and big data software companies.
Matt Asay

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.