Noisy IBM: "not going to use Windows Vista"
During a presentation on IBM's involvement with Open Source, Andreas Pleschek from IBM in Stuttgart, Germany, who heads open source and Linux technical sales across North East Europe for IBM made a very interesting statement. "Andreas Pleschek also told that IBM has cancelled their contract with Microsoft as of October this year. That means that IBM will not use Windows Vista for their desktops. Beginning from July, IBM employees will begin using IBM Workplace on their new, Red Hat-based platform. Not all at once - some will keep using their present Windows versions for a while. But none will upgrade to Vista."
March 7th, 2006 9:39pm
Talk about big companies and their slow adoption of new technologies. :-)
March 7th, 2006 9:41pm
IBM doesn't make desktops anymore...
March 7th, 2006 9:43pm
Watch out, Lostacular. Anyone here not bowing to Bill and Joel (Billy Joel, ha!) three times a day is liable to be called crazy! :-D
"IBM doesn't make desktops anymore..."
Methinks Junior hasn't been eating his Slashdot porridge.
March 7th, 2006 9:48pm
you are a fruitcake.
March 7th, 2006 9:49pm
They use them internally in their company. Plus, as consultants, they can affect market behavior (or at least try to). It's not about branding or proprietorship, it's about working with open standards.
March 7th, 2006 9:50pm
The pendulum has been swinging back toward OSS and open-standards. How is that fruitcakish? But like I say, it's slow, under the radar for a lot of people. By the time it's overwhelmingly clear, it will be overwhelmingly clear. ;-)
March 7th, 2006 9:55pm
What does IBM have to do with you being a fruitcake?
March 7th, 2006 9:59pm
The principle of least resistance is to take advantage of moderate hardware to run Linux on them. RedHat should be fine with a big contract from IBM. :-) Hopefully IBM won't create another monster. hehehe.
March 7th, 2006 10:03pm
What are the odds that IBM employees will start hiding their machines from IT just to keep whatever old version of Windows they have on there?
Almost H. Anonymous
March 7th, 2006 10:05pm
What do windows computers do that other computers don't?
IM? Porn? Mindless web surfing?
March 7th, 2006 10:06pm
They know that. Windows won't die completely in IBM, but maybe they will start using some virtualization to run Windows on Linux when they need to run some Windows-only apps. Also, I think they want to create thin-clients to run Windows-only apps. It helps in the administration of the machines as well.
March 7th, 2006 10:07pm
"The pendulum has been swinging back toward OSS"
Keep saying it, it might come true. ;)
OTOH, I will grant that a move from zero adoption of OO.O to 1-2% adoption could be considered a "swing" [grin]
And I cut the "open standards" bit because I do agree with that - that's why we're embracing them. We invite Oracle (you can connect to our database if you install our client stack), the Java community (home of JAPI's - "you can write them in anything, as long as it's Java"), Adobe ("PDF is a standard because we say it is"), and others to join us.
[tongue only somewhat in cheek]
"It helps in the administration of the machines as well."
1) Linux is more expensive to administer than Windows
2) Even if they're a match, the TCO is *not* enough to justify the cost of changing.
3) A heterogenous enterprise is *always* more expensive to administer, period.
"What do windows computers do that other computers don't?"
Didn't you read Joel's latest article.. the wierdness of the Linux desktop will make them all frustrated and sad.
Almost H. Anonymous
March 7th, 2006 10:15pm
Windows makes people happy?
March 7th, 2006 10:18pm
Lack of porn will make me frustrated and sad.
March 7th, 2006 10:19pm
"1) Linux is more expensive to administer than Windows "
do you have any studies not funded or performed by MS to support that?
do you have *any* studies *at all* that take into account the time spent protecting the OS against third party software such as trojans/virui etc?
"2) Even if they're a match, the TCO is *not* enough to justify the cost of changing. "
"3) A heterogenous enterprise is *always* more expensive to administer, period."
a heterogenuous enterprise is *also* profoundly more secure against unwelcome intruders, period.
"And I cut the "open standards" bit because I do agree with that - that's why we're embracing them"
just out of interest...and more seriously this time...*what* open standards exactly has MS embraced?
March 7th, 2006 10:20pm
When in Rome ...
Any of you actually worked inside a major corporate or vendor (apart from SMcLH) ?
The SOE is put in front of you and you suck it up. EOS.
March 7th, 2006 10:21pm
or, to put the question another way.....what format can I export a .doc file from word in so that I can open it seamlessly in Abiword? in open office?
March 7th, 2006 10:22pm
trollop....heres a q for you...
ahh...nevermind....Ill ask you later...
March 7th, 2006 10:23pm
"do you have any studies not funded or performed by MS to support that?"
I don't have to. You do. You started it. :)
As for "open standards":
- The Office 12 format
The first two pretty much dominate everything we do these days, tho.
I thought Office 12's XML format was patented or copyright or otherwise protected from anyone else reading/writing it.
March 7th, 2006 10:28pm
" SOAP "
umm..I tohught that was a protocol? not a document format?
wtf? I can create a file that seamlessly follows all the rules of XML and still is utterly useless to anyone who doesn't have my propriety program.
Are you *seriously* claiming that simply using XML is a format is following an open standard? even if every attribute value and thingie in the document is encrypted or propriety?
"The Office 12 format"
great! where are the specs? Ive been wanting to create a wee c++ plugin for realbasic that will let me create and manipulate excel spreadsheets from within my own application.....will this let me do that?
March 7th, 2006 10:31pm
"Sorry about SOAP - I didn't see where you wrote "open document standards." Oh, wait - you didn't. "
yeah, I realised that after I posted, sorry.
Im still excited about the open format for all office 12
where can I download the open specifications?
seriously, this will be great.
March 7th, 2006 10:40pm
theres a bunch of stuff talking about it on the MS site, but I cannot find the actual download....
Can you give me a link?
March 7th, 2006 10:42pm
this is silly. it says that the office xml format has been open since 2003, but I can find absolutely no trace of the actual specifications.
anyone else seen them?
March 7th, 2006 10:45pm
March 7th, 2006 10:54pm
God I love timestamping posts.
March 7th, 2006 10:59pm
'The announcement today underlines our commitment to this opportunity and demonstrates our desire to share the incredible momentum behind the next version of our product—Office "12." '
That's right, girleymen. We will pump you up with our next version of Office. Those with Office versions 11 and below, well, you know what to do with them now. ;-P
March 7th, 2006 11:12pm
I found it humorous that MS lists all the companies that are "with them" on this, that is so cliche.
IBM is putting forward a "doc" type standard, behind a consortium of co.'s. Of course MS sees the handwriting on the wall, and is thinking short-term revenue for creating demand for upgrades on it's next version of office ( probably want to help sell Vista, anyway ).
The key point is what McSteel (Philo?) said, open-standards. The doc format just happens to be the most pressing issue. If government adopts a universal standard for "docs", such as that proposed by IBM, then other businesses might follow suit, except for the cheapo no-tech-guy co.s.
March 7th, 2006 11:19pm
Hey, this is great, if the Office format is going to be open for any other app to read and write, then we'll be able to save at least some money here - some people would still want office for all the features, but for the simple spreadsheets and documents, there'll now be no problem with using StarOffice or some other free/cheap software and having it save the correct MS format.
March 7th, 2006 11:23pm
I don't want to always have to boot into Windows just because job-recruiters want me to send my resume to them in .doc format.
granted, Open Office has ".doc" format, but MS and OO seem to display things much differently. I have to assume they are using Word on the other end.
Notice you can cut and paste from Word (because you are on Windows, so go ahead), but there is no 'export' from Word to say, a text file (wouldn't want wholesale automation of format changing now, would we?)
March 7th, 2006 11:52pm
"Notice you can cut and paste from Word (because you are on Windows, so go ahead), but there is no 'export' from Word to say, a text file"
? Do you mean Save As / Save As Type -- .doc, .xml, .mht, .htm, .dot, .rtf, .txt, .wps?
Alright, it does export to .txt. Just noticed.
So really, what we need is a universal program format for creating or at least reading/printing docs. An open business format for displaying basic docs. I don't know how fancy it should get, probably should be able to use tables.
March 7th, 2006 11:58pm
I noticed it before you posted. Just tried it out. Don't try to score imaginary points because I posted too fast. :-)
March 7th, 2006 11:59pm
we pretty much have that already. Microsoft has released the specifications for the office 12, its an open format and so we are all in happy land and can now create, edit and manipulate the documents using this format.
all we need to do is find the download for the specifications.
Philo, are you there?
March 8th, 2006 12:00am
Microsoft hasn't released the Office 12 specs because they aren't done yet. You might be thinking of Office 2003 XML which has been released.
(As an interesting point, Microsoft seems to be doing some rebranding. They used to be generically called OfficeXML, but now they've split into the two versions -- probably because there are some considerable changes in Office 12 XML -- see the FAQ point. http://www.microsoft.com/office/preview/developers/filefaq.mspx
How will the file format be different from the XML file formats used in Microsoft Office 2003?
The new file formats differ from the current Office 2003 XML Reference Schemas in two ways:
XML files are ZIP compressed to reduce document sizes
Data within a document (for example, comments, charts, images, document metadata) is segmented and stored in different components with the file. This modular, compact design is small but easy for developers and other programs to access.
When posted publicly, the new specifications will have an open, royalty-free license.
"Microsoft hasn't released the Office 12 specs because they aren't done yet. You might be thinking of Office 2003 XML which has been released. "
seriously. Id kill for either. Do you have a *download* for the Office 2003 XML specifications? Are they sufficiently detailed to allow me to create excel files? word files? edit them?
download link anyone?
March 8th, 2006 12:07am
Dennis, I was going to have your babies except the download seems to be a windows executable of soem kidn and Im on mac.
is there just a pdf of the bloody specs somewhere? I dont want to install shit. I just want to read them.
March 8th, 2006 12:13am
I mean, installed it to IE and Office on Windows, of course. The Mac version of Office is supposed to run on a Windows virtual machine, so I think it should work/install on a Mac, too?
March 8th, 2006 12:17am
Heh, that's just Microsoft's method of compressing the files (by storing them in an MSI). Surely there must be MSI extraction/decompression tools for the Mac - 7zip is cross platform I believe, and it could directly extract as an example.
"Yes. We will release updates for Microsoft Office 2000, Microsoft Office XP, and Microsoft Office 2003 to enable customers using older releases of Microsoft Office to read, edit, and save files using the new Office XML Formats."
Sheesh, I guess it's time to visit the Windows Update site. Wonder if they already came out with this yet. That would be supercool.
March 8th, 2006 12:24am
Where'd you see that? It sounds like text describing the benefits of Office 12 XML when it's eventually released, so there wouldn't be that functionality yet.
"Heh, that's just Microsoft's method of compressing the files (by storing them in an MSI). "
"Surely there must be MSI extraction/decompression tools for the Mac"
youd think. if they exist, I shall find them.
"7zip is cross platform I believe, and it could directly extract as an example."
7zip doesn't seem to work, Ive jsut tested it now but msi is not a supported format apparently...its also not in the list of supported formats on the 7zip website.
damn, Im so close I can taste it.
You'll make a good father dennis.
March 8th, 2006 12:37am
I mean, an API interface for developers of course, not for the program since it already has it.
March 8th, 2006 12:45am
Sorry - went back to work, but everything seems to have been handled nicely.
"an open document format supported by many vendors and managed by an external committee"
Sincerely, and I've held this belief since before I ever liked MSFT - I *hate* committee standards. They are almost always overengineered and painful to work with.
There's really no difference except that with an externally agreed standard you can discover the reason for this or that decision and if you really care enough you can lobby for a change or an extension, even join the committee.
With a single vendor API or document standard unless you're in the top 5 of the vendor's users (or similar), there is no way you can influence the development of that 'standard' and you're entirely at the mercy of the vendor.
"They are almost always overengineered and painful to work with."
+1 to this.
A perfect example of a modern overengineered standard: SOAP.
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 10:59am
"They are almost always overengineered and painful to work with."
I agree wholeheartedly with this but it's still preferable to the alternatives, which are either a completely closed format or an open format maintained by a single (self-interested) corporate entity who could at any moment pull the rug out from under everybody.
March 8th, 2006 11:01am
Unless the standard is in some way patented, companies can not usually pull the rug out. What are they going to do, demand you stop using it?
You can also embrace and extend any open standard or make it your own -- there are countless examples of this.
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 11:08am
How does that sort of licensing work? They cannot prevent OpenOffice and other applications from writing current binary MS office file formats -- how can they prevent applications from reading and writing the XML ones?
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 11:16am
RIM just had to pay a company $650 million for sending emails wirelessly. Microsoft can certainly prohibit anyone from using their formats (either by patenting the format or some part of the form "A method or device for storing data...". Microsoft can actually defend the old formats if they wanted, and they did defensive protect them for a while, but then they decided to basically turn a blind eye.
Yikes. Sorry for that reply -- was talking on the phone at the same time.
"What are they going to do, demand you stop using it? "
No, but they can radically change it such that interoperating software is completely fucked. Then kill support for their legacy versions and refuse to distribute them.
March 8th, 2006 11:31am
Even if the monsters succeed in getting a single European Patent Office (which is doubtful), a user (in Europe) could not be restrained from making use of any file format since they have a right to their own data, which implies at the very least the ability to read such a format regardless of the method used to read it and given that users can also freely copy files they can necessarily create new files in that format.
"No, but they can radically change it such that interoperating software is completely fucked."
Righhhht... there's thousands of pieces of software interropting with standard and their going to change it so that nothing works. What kind of plan is that!
Just look what happened when IBM tried to force everyone onto the MCA. Everyone else just said screw you and extended ISA with EISA.
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 12:16pm
Comparing hardware to software is a bit disingenous, but you're somewhat correct, I suppose.
I think that in the case of a vendor like Microsoft, though, they could easily change the format and leave a lot of smaller ISVs out to dry without too much overall hub-bub (while stranding a good number of minority customers nonetheless).
March 8th, 2006 12:18pm
Previously I would have agreed that Microsoft could simply move the target and continually leave everyone playing catch-up (and if 90% of the market used Office 12+, and it used Office XML R3, then either you support R3 immediately or you're done), however I think the time that Microsoft could do that has passed -- They no longer have the sway or influence, and too many of their customers are already tenuous about being tied.
It's been shown time and time again that Microsoft is extremely conservative about breaking backwards compatibility -- they simply cannot sell upgrades (to the OS or applications) if it breaks existing company processes.
"I think that in the case of a vendor like Microsoft, though, they could easily change the format and leave a lot of smaller ISVs out to dry"
If any ISV is using the format and is doing so in an application that is highly used among Microsoft customers -- then it ain't going to change. Hell, even if any company have internally written software that works with the format, it isn't going to change. And the biggest thing about Microsoft's open XML format is the amount of software that will now be written to process it. Once that's open, they'll be supporting it for as long as they support Win32.
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 1:34pm
Well to be fair there are massive, breaking changes between Office 2003 XML and Office 12 XML. :-)
Did anyone use Office 2003 XML?
Almost H. Anonymous
March 8th, 2006 2:01pm
Not many, but then again it was largely as open as Office 12 XML will be. There just wasn't a justifiable reason for most shops, given that it yielded much larger, much slower to process files, and all of their partners could accept the classic binary formats anyways.
For processing reasons I do think the XML files are superior, I think it's just largely a solution still looking for a need. Office 12 XML is only getting the attention it is because of OpenDocument.
"There's really no difference except that with an externally agreed standard you can discover the reason for this or that decision and if you really care enough you can lobby for a change or an extension, even join the committee."
"With a single vendor API or document standard unless you're in the top 5 of the vendor's users (or similar), there is no way you can influence the development of that 'standard' and you're entirely at the mercy of the vendor."
This makes me laugh.
I'd be interested to know what it is about the group of people on a committee that universally makes them qualitatively different than the people who work in companies? Because I'm reading in your comments that standards held by a committee are flexible and easy to work with, while standards held by companies are rigid and immutable.
...which then begs the question about doubting backwards compatibility some people seem to have about the Office XML formats...?
I didn't say committees good, companies bad, since the committees are made up of companies.
I said the basic difference is that a single vendor can always move the goalposts.
How many times have I had to rework applications because of some undocumented change?
How many times have I had to rework applications because of some documented change in a standard?
Fewer, but still more than enough.
But in the open standard there's discussion and the opportunity to plan, I may fail to take that opportunity but with a single vendor there's far less likelihood for that to happen.
Your alternative appears to be.
Or would that be a similarly inaccurate generalisation?
Uh, Simon, your complaint was that it's hard to make companies change the standard. Your rebuttal was that they change too much.
Pick one, please?