Monday, December 09, 2002

Microsoft vs. IBM: In Software, Still Testy After All These Years


IBM's acquisition of Rational got a lot of press over the weekend and Steve Lohr's article in the New York times this morning has a few pithy one liners from Bill Gates and Ambuj Goyal, Chief of Strategy for IBM's software group.

"Feisty and combative, Mr. Gates says he finds I.B.M.'s software unimpressive a patchwork of programming projects, not as coherent or as integrated as Microsoft's competing offerings. "WebSphere is a marketing term for I.B.M.'s platform," Mr. Gates said...

"But what most irks Mr. Gates is the suggestion that using Linux is ultimately cheaper than Windows. Windows, he says, is a richer platform with more services and tools for writing programs quickly and efficiently... "You take Linux and run WebSphere on top of it that's called expensive," Mr. Gates said...

"Even with its networked .Net technology, the Microsoft lock-in mentality, honed with Windows, remains intact, I.B.M. executives contend. "Once an application is written to the Microsoft platform, it can never come out," said Ambuj Goyal, chief of strategy for I.B.M.'s software group. "It's like a lobster trap."

"... Mr. Gates laughed when asked about Microsoft's sometimes friendly, often antagonistic relationship with I.B.M. a corporate relationship that has run more than 20 years. "When I was born, there was I.B.M.," he said. "And when I die, there'll be I.B.M."

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