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Software will now be used to reduce the cost of a PC. These software products are designed to run the same applications on Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.. The project was originally designed to reduce the cost of IBM PC’s but actually grew out of company’s attempt to lower software costs through the use of Linux. Company’s Vice president of Linux and open source at IBM acknowledged this change at a press conference.

The software, Called the open Client offering, is a package containing IBM’s Lotus Notes, software for email, calendar and messaging; WebSphere software for server based applications; a special version of the open source OpenOffice.org software suite; Lotus expeditor for hybrid applications that can run either when a computer is connected to a network or not.

Linux is not the most widely used OS on the consumers desktops but this move will surely boost its ratings for its users. The open source Operating system is being widely used on servers, but lacks behind the larger group of home users which is currently dominated by Microsoft’s Windows. Its not just the Linux or its team to be blamed for its not an exponential growth but there are other factors which also indirectly contribute to it, like the high magnitude of software programmers that work on Windows is more than that of Linux.

To overcome these flaws, the Open Client Offering uses software’s that will use the IBM as a launch pad with there Eclipse Project called Rich Client Platform ( RCP). This prophetic package will include the “runtime” foundation that lets the same software run on multiple operating systems, presenting the application with a native look. There is only one code that runs base for all the three OS i.e Windows, Linux and Mac. With the use of RCP runtime, a windows application is rendered with a windows interface by Win32, Linux is rendered with Linux interface by GNOME and Mac version looks like the native Mac application.

Sun Microsystems has already launched the similar project which allows there Java programs to be written once and can be made to run on any platform with the theme “Write once, run anywhere”. This technology by IBM is also conceptually similar to the Sun Microsystems Java which also incorporates a runtime component.

OpenOffice.org suite is a Microsoft Office competitor which is integrated with a word processor, spreadsheet and a presentation package. IBM has to rewrite the entire package to make it feasible and fit in as a Plug-in of the Eclipse RCP.

Eclipse RCP grew larger than what IBM expected it to be in 2004 and moved many of its own PC’s to Linux. With this move IBM had doped to reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO), the cumulative costs of purchasing, supporting and running equipment but instead cost rose as IBM had to support two separate software suits for Windows and Linux. IBM soon realized that savings will mot materialize if you had to support both environments. They had to re-look the whole project. IBM rewrote the Linux version of Lotus Notes 7 to incorporate the RCP technology and windows will get it with version 8 due this midyear. The Mac Os X ability is scheduled to arrive by the end of this year.

Linux is still widely used on desktop computers within IBM. Among those who use it are based at Linux Technology Centre, IBM operations in Brazil and India, Linux Sales groups and the China software development Lab.

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