• IBM will buy Red Hat – and look at the price!

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    #227925

    I’ll confess I didn’t see this one coming. Good analysis from Sean Gallagher at Ars Technica: For IBM, the acquisition is about growing IBM’s business
    [See the full post at: IBM will buy Red Hat – and look at the price!]

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    • #227930

      Amazing reversal from a company whose history is all about proprietary products. This is not the IBM of old, but a completely different company. Actually the remnants that have found a way to continue to exist, mostly on the basis of a famous brand name.

      CT

      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227961

        Even Microsoft embracing open source these days, never thought I’d see that either. Even may using Azure are using Linux. Maybe IBM has also seen the light go on for open source.

      • #227969

        The Reg has a piece on this, and according to the individual they talked to, the only surprise was that it was IBM rather than Google who stepped forward to acquire Red Hat.

        Given that alternative, I’d say IBM is much, much preferable.  These days, every time I hear of Google getting its tentacles into yet another corner of the tech sector, I kind of say to myself, “Well, that’s one more thing I won’t be using.” Just yesterday I stumbled across a link to a Youtube video from a guy with a tech channel who is downgrading his smart phone to a feature (dumb) phone, and the video was about how to select such a dumb phone.

        It sounded like kind of a dumb issue, but I watched the video, and the guy had some points… namely that a lot of networks are looking to jettison older technology, and with it support for a lot of phones.  He went way too heavily into the marketing-speak of “2g,” “3g,” “4g,” and such, as if those were actual technical terms, but nomenclature aside, it turns out that not many dumb phones use the newer, less prone to be cancelled standards.

        One thing he mentioned was that the defunct Firefox OS has been forked into what is now KaiOS, which is supposed to be for dumb phones, clearly suggesting that my personal idea of what constitutes a dumb phone isn’t the same as theirs.  Then he mentions that Google “invested” in KaiOS, and as a result, it will now be infected with Google offerings (my wording, not his).

        Now come on… I just hear about KaiOS (only offered on one or two phones sold outside of India, as far as I know) and already it’s been Googlized?

        IBM used to be a giant in its day, but it was a different kind of giant than Google.  Google has its hooks into all sorts of stuff that is at least partially open source, but the end result is always the same– Google using whatever it is to slurp vast amounts of data about its users.  Android, ChromeOS, and Chrome itself are all built on open-source foundations, but it’s the bit at the top that turns it into spyware.

        IBM, being a much older and much more traditional company, never had that kind of business model.  It may have appeared to be a threat 30 years ago, but it’s not the same company it once was.  I’m not even sure what they do anymore!  Perhaps as a result, there are no alarm bells going off in my head regarding this acquisition, but there would be if it were Google.  If it keeps Red Hat out of the Google empire, I’m all for it.  Just don’t mess it up and end up selling it to Google anyway for a fraction of what you paid for it, IBM!

         

        Dell XPS 13/9310, i5-1135G7/16GB, KDE Neon
        XPG Xenia 15, i7-9750H/32GB & GTX1660ti, KDE Neon
        Acer Swift Go 14, i5-1335U/16GB, KDE Neon (and Win 11)

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      • #227977

        IBM has always had a good working relationship with Linux. They gave them a lot of money when Microsoft was attacking them. I hope they can make it work and work well. Though it is enterprise focused, it will benefit everyone in the long term. The top two titans should be challenged so we do not end up with yet another monopoly in the making.

        4 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227937

      IBM ‘BigBlueHat’

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
      2 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227958

        That got a chuckle here. It made me wonder if they’ll bring back the uniform dress code.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
        • #228123

          Sort of like a Penguin suit?    🙂

          Being 20 something in the 70's was more fun than being 70 something in the 20's
    • #227947

      IBM’s documentation for their supported Linux based distributions has been helpful as it was applicable to the situation caused by another distribution.

    • #227959

      Just read how IBM corporate switched to all Mac’s from PC’s. Although the article talks like this is new, but IBM actually started this conversion back in mid 2000’s. The Red Hat caught many off guard because not many rumors were around. I guess its all about the cloud somehow, and Red Hat is very enterprise centered. Does seem like a very big gamble for IBM more then Red Hat.

    • #227965

      Another bit of evidence proving that the big players take the view that the real money is in the Cloud.

      Windows on the desktop will be a red-headed stepchild for the foreseeable future.

      • #227973

        The idea that Windows is the red head is a financial view. Fact is, Windows is the lens through which hundreds of millions of people view the world. Microsoft’s (and thousands of others) problems stem from the fact that their incompetence has led to the situation in which they cannot make a profit from it. Interestingly, Apple still does. That’s a shame but it is never the less the fact that this platform could be the basis of many profitable businesses. Management incompetence has led to this situation.

        CT

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    • #227972

      IBM may in fact be developing a corporate desktop solution, deploying Red Hat Linux on the corporate desktop. If they do this, this could very well break the dam that has been holding back the large-scale adoption of Linux on the corporate desktop. It may be that IBM sees the handwriting on the wall for Windows, and they have decided to bet the farm on this opportunity.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
      12 users thanked author for this post.
      • #227975

        That would be positively HUGE!

        CT

      • #227979

        Bingo, I think you may have stumbled onto something. Many enterprise IT departments are less than 100 percent comfortable with the direction MS has taken W10 and have been casting around for alternatives. In fact, the PC OEMs may realize that MS and W10 no longer help them sell PCs very well and if OEM install and support were provided by Dell, HP and Lenovo to consumers, the windows stranglehold on consumer PCs would start to weaken. An expanding installed Linux base would encourage third party software developers to consider porting their apps to Linux. MS has used their Windows licensing agreement with OEMs to prevent them from offering Linux as an alternative to Windows. That is why PC consumers never see or hear much about Linux. The way MS has abused users the past several years, any viable alternative to Windows could move share more rapidly than MS may think. Just my humble opinion which is jaded by my intense dislike for W10.

        9 users thanked author for this post.
        • #227983

          I’m small potatoes, but I can tell you with assurance that if a good Linux alternative was available, well supported and with enough apps, I would rush to recommend it.

          In my world, Windows 8 and 10 have been a disaster. Before them, I had 150 client computers running Win7. My clients were buying a new PC about once every 5 years. That resulted in about 30 purchases of new computers a year. In the last 3 years, about 4 have bought new Win 7 systems and 2 Win 10. In the last year not a single purchase has been made. From my perspective, Win 8 & 10 have resulted in the end of the PC market.

          Many have purchased expensive smart phones and tablets to replace their Windows PCs. The vast majority of them are Apple products. I do not know how many would actually buy a new PC with Linux, but I suspect quite a number. Average age of the remaining 130 systems is probably 6 to 7 years. For a laptop, that’s pretty near the end of life. So a pent up demand could be waiting. Although many of my clients have resolved to never have a PC again after this one goes dead.

          The demand could be in the 10s if not 100s of millions. Come to think of it, the last time we came to this point, it was IBM that really messed up and that began their descent into meaninglessness.

          CT

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          • #227986

            My observation is there is considerable angst among the technically aware of where MS is taking Windows. Someone with enough cash and recognition starts pushing Linux hard to enterprises they might make some serious inroads before MS wakes up to the threat. My concern is I doubt IBM’s management has a clue of what to do so they will blow this chance like they have so many.

            • #227988

              Microsoft would be unable, yep, I mean unable to reply to a threat. There is no talent left in that shell of a company that has any idea how to build and maintain an OS.

              However, you are right about IBM too. I doubt very much they know how either. But, do you remember the birth of the PC. That was when the fools at IBM appointed a few souls to go far away and do the PC thing. That was a huge success that IBM then failed to take advantage of. One of the big reasons they failed so miserably was the death of the team on a runway in Texax.

              CT

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            • #228080

              I’m optimistic this time about IBM. I believe they will get this one right.
              * They no longer have a partner who is a very focused arch-enemy willing to stab them in the back like they had with Microsoft in the old days.
              * Developing a Linux-based desktop solution for their large corporate customers fits in nicely with what IBM is doing these days.

              IBM provides enterprise IT services to huge corporate customers – they provide everything – the computer on the desktop, the server in the back room, email admin, etc etc. They are already offering their customers the option of deploying MAC to the desktop rather than a Windows machine, and they have their own internal experience to bring to the table – IBM employees have the option of having a MAC or a Windows computer on their desk. I cannot imagine IBM purchasing Red Hat for such a huge amount of money if they aren’t planning on offering Linux as the whole package to their customers, because that’s what Red hat currently provides – the whole package. IBM will continue that on a much more massive scale than Red Hat could ever hope to do on their own.

              Once this ball gets rolling, I believe we will see PC vendors offering Red Hat Linux (and maybe other distros as well) on their new computers (as was stated above). There is a little bit of that now, but there will be a lot more soon.

              This is big. IBM, please don’t blow this one.

              Group "L" (Linux Mint)
              with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
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      • #228032

        I think that you have may very well have hit the nail on the head.

      • #228043

        Well, IBM was already pretty good with desktop Linux, back before they sold the PC side to Lenovo.

        There’s definitely potential here, remains to be seen where it’ll go…

        Government contracts pretty much everywhere would be a pretty good bet though. IBM still has a worldwide service organization…

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    • #227987

      I’m eager to see how this will affect the FOSS derivative Fedora.

      • #228454

        Fedora will remain free. It won’t get any harder to use it or obtain it.

        -- rc primak

        • #228470

          Fedora will remain free. It won’t get any harder to use it or obtain it.

          “Eager” was not meant to suggest fear of loss. Rather, excited to see where wider acceptance could bring future ease of use and other improvements. The future is not always so dim.

    • #227992
      • #227993

        As a disappointed investor in IBM, I’ll be ready to answer after the dust settles–maybe longer.

        But, yeah, I’m hoping they’ll start a revolution.

        • #228084

          IBM’s stock price is down right now. If they do what I’m thinking they are going to do, and pull it off successfully, their stock price will go through the roof. And they will once again be on the ground floor, like they were so many decades ago.

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
          2 users thanked author for this post.
    • #227996

      This has the potential to be news of enormous significance in the history of personal computing.

      But… what are the chances that they won’t simply turn an IBM-ized version of Linux into yet another obnoxious OS that locks down the UI, vacuums up all the data it can, and demands insistently that you install their updates?

       

      • #227997

        Cybertooth, that may still be very good news. At least then there would hopefully be a legitimate alternative that could lead to a better market condition.

        CT

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      • #228090

        what are the chances that they won’t simply turn an IBM-ized version of Linux into yet another obnoxious OS that locks down the UI, vacuums up all the data it can, and demands insistently that you install their updates?

        If you’re referring to Windows 10, IBM never had anything like that. They did have OS/2, which was an excellent OS, but which was sabotaged by two things:
        1. IBM didn’t have a clue how to shepherd OS/2 to success in the market.
        2. Microsoft sabotaged the success of OS/2.

        This time around, IBM won’t have a back-stabbing partner like Microsoft. And they are adopting an already-established product and company, rather than trying to do the whole thing themselves.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
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        • #228133

          I do hope that you’re right. The concern is that they’ll bring in folks made in the Firefox/Chrome/Windows 10 mold who are aggressive in terms of constantly force-marching users into their latest and “greatest.”

          Maybe IBM’s and RHEL’s business orientation will help to tamp down such urges, we’ll see. At least we will not be any worse off than we are today.

           

        • #228150

          The SCO Group suit may constitute some level of a threat, even though at this point in it’s history seem more like an attempt at making money somehow. Isn’t SCO now just a lawyer or two trying to sue IBM?

          • #228382

            The SCO threat is not a threat anymore. Their case was a joke. They misinterpreted what they bought from Novell.

            “On March 30, 2010 a federal jury found unanimously that the copyrights to Unix and UnixWare did not transfer to SCO. Then on June 10, Judge Stewart granted all remaining claims of Novell, and denied all claims of SCO, closing the case.

            SCO appealed for a second time on September 9, 2010. However, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed the district court ruling in all respects.”

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    • #227999

      Two quick points. Red Hat and IBM have had a very close relationship for quite some time now. IBM wants to get back into not only the enterprise but the governmental markets, but never had a  complete package they could offer. Now they do. The only flaw with Linux is its lack of long term support. That just went away. I would only add that with the insane attitude of Google and Amazon, combined with what is coming out of Redmond, is making the decision makers inside the United States government rethink it’s entire IT structure from the ground up. A Red Hat IBM team would be well placed to take advantage of that opening. And  there is a great deal of support for Red Hat in and around the National Security side of the U.S. government. It is well known that Red Hat has wanted to get back into the consumer PC for some time. So while it is a gamble for IBM, the risk it self is small. In the medium to long term, this could be a win for everyone.

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      • #228091

        This has the makings of being a huge win for IBM on the National Security side of the U.S. Government.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
        2 users thanked author for this post.
        • #228186

          And maybe also a huge win for those who want to try out, or use regularly a LINUX distro, particularly for, or at work, as long as it is provided by a reliable and consistent source that is not likely to disappear overnight without notice. And especially for those who might not be too particular about shelling out some actual money for paid support and services, as I suppose IBM will be offering for Red Hat (or whatever it will be called now that is IBM property.)

          And if the government, military included, were to allow the widespread use of LINUX in its dependencies, that would be some really big progress.

          Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

          MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
          Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
          macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

          • #228455

            Red Hat already has Fedora. It fills this niche nicely already. And it isn’t going anywhere after this merger or whatever it is.

            -- rc primak

    • #227998

      Much of the commentary seems to conclude as a given that IBM will IBMize RHEL into an unwanted mess. I’m with a couple of the voices who hold that Red Hat may benefit from the new owners and elevate IBM as a result.

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #228002

      My first gut reaction on this news:  IBM just bought the future back-end for a competitively  priced and performant cloud system to go head to head with Azure and AWS.

      More accurately, they just bought the skilled labor pool that can do it . . .

      ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #228033

      I had a dream last night that IBM came out with a new powerful desktop OS eschewing all the social media c**p and focusing on computing, naming it OS/3.

      5 users thanked author for this post.
      • #228092

        They need to have the word “Linux” as a prominent part of the name. That is key to bringing them success in this venture.

        Group "L" (Linux Mint)
        with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
    • #228095

      If it means I see fewer Watson commercials, it’s a HUGE win.

    • #228120

      Back in the 1990s, I read an article in a computer magazine which said that IBM had developed an AS-400 version of Windows. At that time the AS-400 was everywhere, and there were a lot of AS-400 terminals on peoples’ desks. I thought to myself that IBM was going to make an end-run around everyone, bypassing the traditional pc-on-the-desk route and providing “networked” Windows to users in big corporations. Corporations could have had a much smaller IT support staff, and I’ll bet that a lot of user support could have been done remotely, without a tech having to be on site. Alas, this didn’t seem to go anywhere. In my opinion, IBM missed a huge opportunity to jump back in the game when they didn’t exploit Windows for the AS-400.

      I hope they don’t blow this golden opportunity to get back to the head of the pack with the Red Hat deal.

      Group "L" (Linux Mint)
      with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
      1 user thanked author for this post.
      • #228135

        I think you are remembering an aborted project that was going to be “Workplace OS” . . .

        It was a firmware to hardware abstraction kernal based on the PowerPC chip that was supposed to support AIX, OS/400, OS/2, MacOS, Solaris (and posssibly Netware) to compete against the Wintel platform.

        Linux disrupted everyone in late 1991 – and IBM’s Workplace OS project failed completely a few years later.

        ~ Group "Weekend" ~

        • #228146

          IBM would have sold tons of these AS-400 Windows licenses. There were a huge number of AS-400 terminals on users’ desks. I’m not sure how Linux disrupted that. Can you explain?

          Group "L" (Linux Mint)
          with Windows 10 running on a separate hard drive
          • #228152

            As I recall, Linux gained more PC market share in the few years after initial release (as well as small servers) than OS/2 ever peaked at.  That and a failure on IBM to deliver a stable kernel to go head to head against Wintel doomed their project.

            Worse –  in 2009 IBM did it again.  They bought the QuickTransit emulator software which would have allowed Windows and other systems to run on PowerPC . . . then killed it off to prevent it from falling into their competitors hands.

            I am part of an older group that migrated over from AS/400 to managing Windows Servers, and one of the most puzzling questions we keep asking is why IBM hardware and Windows Server products won’t play together?  It would benefit both companies, and the competition to x64 would be very good for the market.

             

            ~ Group "Weekend" ~

      • #228303

        On the dismal side, there is IBM’s failure to continue developing Lotus products (other than Note) after they acquired it.

        1 user thanked author for this post.
    • #228192

      First, one question: What happened with AIX, the IBM version of UNIX, and one that, conceivably, could still be provided instead of LINUX?

      Now, one comment: I have long seen the DOS command line (which I use most of the time in my work on my Win 7 machine, even in its current, much diminished form) as an adulterated form of UNIX (and, by extension, later on, of LINUX), made up to have a proprietary OS by Bill Gates, back when he was trying (successfully in the event) to get a contract with IBM for some kind of Digital Operating System for the then already widely used, but then much limited in its capabilities, IBM PCs. In other words: re-inventing the wheel to get into business and, eventually, end up richer than Croesus. Or than Croesus ever dreamt anyone could be.

      Ex-Windows user (Win. 98, XP, 7); since mid-2017 using also macOS. Presently on Monterey 12.15 & sometimes running also Linux (Mint).

      MacBook Pro circa mid-2015, 15" display, with 16GB 1600 GHz DDR3 RAM, 1 TB SSD, a Haswell architecture Intel CPU with 4 Cores and 8 Threads model i7-4870HQ @ 2.50GHz.
      Intel Iris Pro GPU with Built-in Bus, VRAM 1.5 GB, Display 2880 x 1800 Retina, 24-Bit color.
      macOS Monterey; browsers: Waterfox "Current", Vivaldi and (now and then) Chrome; security apps. Intego AV

      • #228271

        OscarCP wrote:

        First, one question: What happened with AIX, the IBM version of UNIX

        Nothing, still around…
        https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/power/os/aix

        • #228347

          There are two or three problems with AIX, that… probably could have been solved or still could, but it may not be cost-effective.

          First, license encumbrance. While I understand the AIX core is actually a reimplementation and not a direct descendant of either original AT&T UNIX or BSD, some of the integrated functionality would be from outside IBM. (Such as the Logical Volume Manager, which… was forked to IBM and HP versions at some point and diverged significantly.) This probably means that they’d have to charge significant license fees if they’d sell it separately from proprietary hardware.

          Second, commonality. In part due to AIX not being a direct descendant of anything else much, writing device drivers and whatever for it is pretty much an IBM-only ability. Anything that they get for free from the outside is a bonus… and that’s a LOT with Linux.

          Third, well, AIX has a reputation of being the IBM kind of weird… which is a lot less marketing-friendly than the Apple kind of weird, for example.

    • #229994

      I think that Red Hat should be a good fit for IBM.  After all, IBM is already running Linux on their mainframes:

      https://www.ibm.com/it-infrastructure/z/os/linux

      http://www.ibmsystemsmagmainframedigital.com/nxtbooks/ibmsystemsmag/mainframe_20180304/index.php#/10

      Considering that about 80% of the world’s corporate data resides or originates on mainframes means there is already a huge market potential for Linux world domination.

      I realize that most of the discussions here on the forums are desktop related, but as a former mainframe geek, I see this as a move for IBM to win overall market share.  I am not sure how this might directly relate specifically to desktop market share, but it certainly shouldn’t hurt.

      Same as with many others, I am relieved that Red Hat is not being acquired by either Microsoft or Google.  🙂

      Windows 10 Pro 22H2

    • #236677

      Red Hat buys hybrid-cloud, data-storage company..over at ZDNet

      red-hat-buys-hybrid-cloud-data-storage-company/

      Win8.1/R2 Hybrid lives on...
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