IBM hasn’t given up on the grudge it has against Microsoft and so has teamed up with Canonical, the commercial wing of Ubuntu Linux, to create a Linux desktop package targeting low end PCs and netbooks.
This is presumably intended to be a spoiler to the introduction of Windows 7 this week, but it will make hardly a dent in the installed base.
What will IBM bring to the Linux party? Currently it’s fixated on so-called cloud computing and will bundle a number of modified packages that date back to the 1990s. Those include Lotus Symphony, and modified versions of Lotus Notes.
Desktop Linux has never really made it big time, although IBM itself made a radical decision some years ago to cast Microsoft to the winds.
The big problem Canonical and IBM will have, of course, is they have few routes to channel. Microsoft is so close to the vendors of netbooks and notebooks and desktops for that matter, that partners are unlikely to move.
Not that that means Microsoft’s partners actually love being joined to the hip with the software giant, but it’s a matter of Hobson’s Choice for them, really.