IBM's Jim Stallings on Linux and Proprietary Software

Thursday, October 09 2003 @ 06:28 PM EDT

Contributed by: PJ

There is an interview with IBM's Jim Stallings on Red Hat's site, and I thought you'd be interested in what he has to say about Linux in the enterprise going forward:

"Q4: We touched on this a little bit earlier, but where does IBM see Linux evolving in the enterprise?

"A4: In the enterprise, we see Linux continuing to grow into spaces that have been traditionally occupied by UNIX, until the differences are indistinguishable. As I said earlier, we see Red Hat Enterprise Linux 3 as being a big step in that direction. As Linux continues down this path, we can rely on the open source community to ensure that Linux both continues to improve, and remains rooted in open standards. That's important from our point of view.

"Customers know that businesses can change very quickly -- because of the economy; changing security requirements, corporate consolidation, new business models or products (or competitors with new business models or products) -- and customers have to respond to that. Closed, inflexible 'one size fits all' business models and IT solutions are just not consistent with the business realities customers deal with in the real world.

"The openness of Linux and our commitment to open standards will ensure that Linux continues to evolve in a way that meets customer's needs, so they can flex and adapt to changing circumstances. We call that being an 'On Demand' business.

"Q5: Can you comment on the coexistence of open source and proprietary alternatives, given that IBM has solutions to offer in both worlds?

"A5: It's not about open source versus proprietary solutions. It's about open source and proprietary solutions, which are based on open standards and so are working together. This way, the customer has choice.

"As I've learned from customers in the past year, TCO means 'take cost out.' We have a global economy with slow growth, and in some geographies, no growth. So value is the killer app right now. Open source solutions can help customers get there. Increasingly, it's helping governments get there. So it's not going to be one or the other; it's going to be both.

"We have a cohabitation strategy, not an exclusionary strategy built on proprietary software. There's no way you can remove open source from the picture at this point, and those who think you can are just fooling themselves. It's not going to be a proprietary-only world ever again."