[Beowulf] Oh.. IBM eats Red Hat

Gerald Henriksen ghenriks at gmail.com
Wed Oct 31 17:42:07 PDT 2018

On Wed, 31 Oct 2018 09:22:00 -0400 (EDT), you wrote:

>But your observations certainly have some validity, which is one of many
>reasons that there is room in the universe for competition here.  I
>really have wanted to be able to go both ways -- run Android apps on my
>laptops (including paid apps, games, and more) and run "real" linux apps
>on my android devices (tablets with large screens and keyboards ARE
>"laptops", or could be), or variants thereof.  IBM, or anybody else who
>understands the OSS universe and doesn't try to over-monetize it, has
>plenty of opportunity here as the COMMUNITY would (IMO) build a true
>open/linux tiering that would run, within reason and the constraints of
>the device(s) on things from phones through server rooms.  

The community tried, it was known as Maemo, and it came out 2 years
prior to the iPhone and Nokia eventually offered it on hardware.

But in true OSS fashion they couldn't make decisions, or stick to the
decision they did make.

It started out GTK based, and then they added Qt, and then other stuff
was thrown in, resulting in a mess with no consistent look and feel,
no constent APIs, and contradictory message to developers.

Needless to say it failed.

>> Say want one wants about Apple, but they have had the best ARM
>> processors for mobile for a while now and noone appears to be close to
>> catching up anytime soon.
>You could be right, but it would be a shame if you were.  As I said,
>while Apple had the first "personal" computer, IBM came in and changed
>processors, changed OS philosophy and design, changed the software
>market, and blew Apple away to the point where (hard as it is to

Not how I remember it.

My recollection is IBM cobbled together a PC, expected it to be a
failure, and as a result of the cobbling made some "mistakes" that
allowed the clones to arrive.  It was the clones, let by Compaq, that
led to the demise of Apple and the rise of Microsoft.

IBM fought the clones, tried to return things to the "one true IBM
way" with the proprietary Micro-Channel Architecture but the market
ignored them and the decline of IBM started.

Or maybe you meant that wonder of IBM prowess known as PCjr.

>remember) they almost went away at their low point before their
>NON-computer offerings brought them back from the brink of extinction.

Actually, Microsoft saved Apple with a $150 million dollar investment.

>IBM absolutely could do this again.

Given that they didn't do it the first time, doubtful.

>acquiring Red Hat, while still owning and running an extensive hardware
>business, IBM will be the first company in years that has both.  I'm not
>by any means certain that they WILL, but they COULD.  They COULD
>actually build and sell the so-far mythical pre-installed linux laptop
>and desktop that does NOT come with M$ as even an option,

You mean like System76?

Also, IBM has no current experience in the mass market and doesn't
even own its own fabs anymore.

> and do so at
>competitive prices and with IBM's quality assurance and support, and
>could generate an instant market for software developers for said
>preinstalled hardware.  If I think way, way back, they actually flirted
>briefly with this back in the days of the ordinary PC, but M$ at that
>time had the Intel marketplace in a monopoly hammerlock.

IBM was never competitivly priced, hence the rise of the clones.

>No more.  Apple sells Intel-based boxes running Unix with the Apple
>special sauce in their graphical interface and management layer.  I buy
>Intel boxes and install Unix (in the form of linux) with the Linux
>special sauce and a choice of graphical interfaces and management tools.

Which is why Linux will never succeed on the Desktop - the market in
general wants 1 Desktop not 20.

>The only difference between the end result is that I have an enormous --
>truly mind-boggling -- set of free software I can then install without
>getting up from my seat or spending a nickel of additional money (on the
>good side) 

True also for Windows and macOS.

>IBM could pick an archtecture -- like the Thinkpad I'm typing this onto
>under Fedora 28, assuming not unreasonably that they still are tight
>with Lenovo

In 2018 partnering with a Chinese company isn't a wise move.

>support for all of the system's devices and with its OS cleaned up just
>a hair to match the functionality of Apple's best efforts to date.  They
>could dump some love in the general direction of game companies to win
>young hearts and minds. 

You mean like Steam, who actually has the connections with game
companies, who actually has put money into getting parts of Linux up
to scratch, and has about 1% Linux sales?

> They've got the sales force and marketing
>relationships to be able to walk into any fortune 500 company and sell a
>top to bottom IBM solution, with IBM support, and YET with that huge
>mountain of software that they have to pay for for any M$ OR Apple based

No, IBM no longer has the sales force or marketing relationships,
that's why they bought Red Hat.  IBM is/was a company in decline, with
years of declining revenue, who needed to do something drastic to halt
the decline.

But at the end of the day, the reason Apple (in terms of macOS) has
struggled in the fortune 500 is all the proprietary internal use only
apps that are written for the Windows platform using Visual Basic or
maybe .Net which no company is going to rewrite for some mythical
advantages of Linux.

The only way Windows gets thrown out of the fortune 500 is if they all
move to web apps, at which point rather than Linux they may as well go
with ChromeOS.

> And if they add any killer apps on top of it -- built in
>Watsonish interfaces, built in VR support, I dunno, lots of
>possibilities here -- they could eat 1/3 of Apple's lunch and 1/3 of
>Microsoft's lunch in the first three years.

It would take 3 to 5 years just to get things in place, and millions
if not billions of dollars.

They would need to make difficult choices that would alienate many,
fix many issues, build a retail network (the real secret to Apple's
current success is their network of stores), build up software
development teams, etc.

Not going to happen.

>The second revolution in computing, this time without
>Microsoft and built solidly on OSS?

Already happened, it why the world runs on Linux servers running OSS

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