IBM and Canonical Launch Linux- and Cloud-based Desktop Software in the U.S.

Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:53pm EDT

* Reuters is not responsible for the content in this press release.

Open Standards-based Alternative to Microsoft Windows 7 Offers 50 Percent
Savings, Runs on Existing Hardware

ARMONK, N.Y., Oct. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Today IBM (NYSE: IBM) and
Canonical are introducing a cloud- and Linux-based desktop package in the U.S.
designed for use on a company's existing fleet of personal computers (PCs) or
even low-cost netbooks.

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The IBM Client for Smart Work (, based on
IBM productivity and collaboration software, helps organizations save up to 50
percent per seat on software costs versus a Microsoft-based desktop, in
addition to avoiding requisite hardware upgrades.  The package allows
companies to use their existing PCs, lower-cost netbooks and thin clients.

The new IBM package can be embedded in business processes.  It is compatible
with SOA-based IT environments and gives people a complete, open, and secure
alternative to closed and costly Microsoft desktop software.

Independent market estimates range up to $2,000 for the cost of migrating to
the Windows 7 operating system for many PC users. New PC hardware requirements
account for a significant portion of the added expense.

The IBM Client for Smart Work package, launched September 24 in Africa, was
initially designed for emerging markets but sparked calls for the solution in
the U.S.  The U.S. version is arriving in time to help companies avoid the
higher licensing, hardware upgrades and migration costs associated with
Microsoft Windows 7.

"If a company is a 'Windows shop,' at some point it will need to evaluate the
significant costs of migrating its base to Microsoft's next desktop," said Bob
Picciano, General Manager, IBM Lotus Software.  "American businesses have
asked for a compelling alternative that can help them free up PC expenses to
use for more strategic collaboration and business transformation projects."

IBM and Canonical expect to enlist hundreds of partners to offer the IBM
Client for Smart Work in the U.S. in 2010. The current partner ecosystem
includes regional systems integrators, ZSL and CSS Corp; virtual desktop
provider, Virtual Bridges, and its distributors, Midas Networks and KalariSys;
and several online, vertical industry businesses. IBM is also targeting the
education market by collaborating with university faculty through the IBM
Academic Initiative.

The U.S. solution includes several open standards-based components:

    --  Word processing, spreadsheets and presentations from IBM Lotus
        which is a free-of-charge download on the Web;
    --  Email from IBM Lotus Notes or the cloud-based LotusLive iNotes
        earlier this month, which starts at $3 per user, per month;
    --  Cloud-based, social networking and collaboration tools from from $10 per user, per month; and

    --  Ubuntu, an open platform for netbooks, laptops, desktops, and servers.

Since the IBM Client for Smart Work is based on Eclipse, Linux and open Web
standards, it can integrate with any third-party software.  This gives
companies the freedom to use technologies of their choice, extend their
functions and preserve existing investments.

"Canonical is proud to partner with IBM to help open up the American corporate
desktop through Ubuntu," said Mark Shuttleworth, founder of Ubuntu and CEO of
Canonical.  "IBM's smart client package running on Ubuntu will allow U.S.
organizations the financial freedom to redistribute the costs of expensive
software licenses into IT projects that will innovate and drive critical

IBM developed this package based on client feedback and surveys, including a
study conducted by the IT analyst firm Freeform Dynamics, commissioned by IBM,
which showed that Linux desktops were easier to implement than IT staff
expected if they targeted the right groups of users.

"Instead of positioning the IBM Client as a 'drop-in' replacement for the
status-quo desktop, IBM is looking to create something better -- focused on
usability, openness, and security with a path to cloud computing -- in market
segments that make sense," said Bob Sutor, Vice President of Linux and Open
Source, IBM Software, who alluded to these customer requirements in his Linux
desktop predictions at LinuxCon in September. "Linux as the basis of the
desktop is a pragmatic choice and gives a nod to the likely future of the
desktop as being open and often virtualized."

"The IBM Client for Smart Work offers university faculty, administration and
students a Linux-based unified communication, collaboration and information
exchange platform that potentially will facilitate sought after campus
synergies," said Jeffrey A. Lasky, Professor and Chair, Department of
Information Sciences and Technologies, GCCIS, Rochester Institute of

This software bundle can also be extended to cloud and virtual desktop
infrastructures using VERDE software from Virtual Bridges. Several companies
have already customized the IBM Client as a virtualized desktop offering based

Midas Networks of Austin, Texas is now selling IBM Client for Smart Work
software along with Virtual Bridges's VERDE as a hosted virtualized desktop.
This software-as-a-service offering looks like a traditional desktop, but the
hosted applications permit the users to access their desktops from any
network-connected device -- wherever they may be., providing access to real estate property assessment
information, is equipping its agents with the IBM Client for Smart Work
starting in January 2010.

"Our partnership with IBM and Canonical will allow us to offer the real estate
industry's best agent workspace," said Padma Kumar Nair, president and CEO,

The IBM Smart Work Initiative

The IBM Client for Smart Work enables you to deploy a desktop strategy that
allows you to reduce costs of ownership up to 50% and at the same time
increase organizational productivity. It is an optimized workspace with built
in productivity and collaboration capabilities that can be embedded in
business processes. It is compatible with, and complimentary to SOA-based IT
environments and empowers users with a complete, open, easy to use, and
security rich alternative to closed and costly Microsoft desktop software.

The IBM Smart Work initiative is designed to help companies become more
efficient by better connecting their workers and business processes.  The IBM
Client for Smart Work helps achieve these objectives by cost-efficiently
connecting the workforce through locally-based collaboration software and
across firewalls through the cloud.  The solution can be installed and
tailored by IBM Global Technology Services and IBM Business Partners for
specific job roles by mapping business services to human networking patterns. 
Essentially, the way people and organizations work can be improved through a
combination of collaboration and business process modeling.

For example, the IBM Client for Smart Work can equip the members of a
company's marketing, sales and research departments with the means to quickly
and efficiently collaborate. Business process modeling (BPM) can show
workflows between sales and marketing, but very little between sales and
research or marketing and research. Based on expertise residing in those
functions and informal networks discovered through modeling, a company could
find powerful insights from research playing an important role in sales and
marketing efforts. It may turn out that an expert in R&D might be a company's
greatest resource for marketing content, but this expertise has to be
identified and shared in order to provide the highest value to the
organization.  Through online communities on, this kind of
insight can be tapped as needed for the benefit of an entire organization.

Companies can use the IBM BPM suite components such as WebSphere Dynamic
Process Edition as required.  Business leaders and business analysts can
discover and explore business-relevant content to help them understand,
experience, and accelerate business process management using IBM BPM

IBM is targeting the IBM Client for Smart Work for a number of markets,

    --  Large enterprises that have segments of employees for whom the PC on
        their desk is primarily a tool for collaboration, email, browser-based
        applications, and straightforward office productivity tasks.
    --  Small- and medium-sized businesses that have discovered initial
        of free or low-cost Web-based email services but have grown frustrated
        with service outages, advertisements or security concerns.
    --  Government organizations that want to leverage the Open Document
        for open standards-based office tools and industry-leading
        software to lower costs and self-fund mission critical initiatives. 
        this, IBM offers the package running on Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    --  Education customers that want to rapidly deploy netbooks for smarter
        classroom initiatives. For more information on how IBM Academic
        Initiative faculty can access the IBM Client for Smart Work, visit

    --  Commuters who want to travel light can bootup their netbooks using a
        stick and then login to a virtual Linux desktop on the cloud using
        Virtual Bridges's VERDE solution.

U.S.-based customers can purchase the IBM Client for Smart Work from business
partners such as Canonical, CSS Corp., Compariv, Mainline, Midas Networks, Red
Hat, Virtual Bridges and ZSL.  The IBM Lotus client-side package runs on
Canonical's Ubuntu operating system, and provides the option to deliver
collaboration through the Web in a cloud service model.  Also available are
alternate delivery models including an appliance using Lotus Foundations and
in-premise using Lotus Domino and related collaboration software.

Price varies depending on the configuration and support requirements.

For more information, please visit: and


    Colleen Haikes
    IBM Media Relations

    Mike Azzi
    IBM Media Relations


Colleen Haikes, IBM Media Relations, +1-415-545-4003,; or
Mike Azzi, IBM Media Relations, +1-914-766-1561,
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