IBM Open Client bridges Windows, Linux gap

IBM today released Open Client, an open standards-based set of productivity tools that runs on Red Hat and Novell Linux desktops, Apple and Windows.

IBM today announced a suite of productivity tools that runs on all the major desktop operating systems -- Microsoft Windows, Apple, and Red Hat and Novell Linux distributions.

IBM Open Client includes:

  • Lotus Notes, IBM's email and collaboration software
  • Lotus Sametime, a collaboration platform featuring instant messaging
  • WebSphere Portal 6.0 server software
  • Lotus Expeditor, an Eclipse-based Rich Client Platform (RCP) for deploying composite Lotus applications

IBM Lotus chief marketing officer Antony Satyadas told SearchOpenSource.com that Open Client was meant for customers whose environments run the gamut from 100% Linux to heterogeneous mixes of Windows and open source.

"Some customers are doing full Linux platforms; others are users who want to have bells and whistles of an Office environment, and others still want to go the Citrix route," Satyadas said.

Adam Jollans, worldwide Linux strategy manager for IBM, took the customer angle a step further, and said Open Client would work best for customers wary of the hardware costs associated with a Windows Vista upgrade.

"Vista often requires a move to new hardware. Customers are asking how they can reuse their old hardware; how they can use it with Linux," he said. IBM did not provide a customer reference, but Jollans was able to say there are 100 pilot customers using Open Client.

Later in 2007, Open Client will include new versions of email and messaging, social software and team collaboration software shipping with Lotus Notes 8, Lotus Connections and Lotus Quickr. All the products include support for syndication technologies like Real Simple Syndication (RSS) and Atom Syndication Format.

IBM's Open Client will be delivered by IBM and partner experts and will support standards-based software running across multiple operating systems, including Microsoft Windows and Linux distributions from Red Hat Inc. and Novell Inc..

The IBM Open Client tools are currently available and priced depending upon customer requirements, executives said.

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