IBM to Fully Support Ubuntu with Lotus: Death of Ubuntu?

by Kevin Guertin

Lotus Notes

IBM believes Linux is finally ready for the corporate desktop.

In an announcement this week at the Lotusphere 2008 conference in Orlando, IBM said that it will provide full support for Ubuntu Linux with Lotus Notes 8.5 and Lotus Symphony using its Open Collaboration Client software, which is based on open standards.

Antony Satyadas, chief competitive marketing officer for IBM Lotus, said the Ubuntu support for Notes and Symphony were a direct response to demand from customers. Lotus Notes 8.0.1 has limited support for Ubuntu Linux, but customers have asked for broader capabilities, he said.

Based on Slashdot comments from users, this isn’t such a great announcement. Some go as far as saying that it will be the death of Ubuntu. Canonical, on the other hand, has said that the availability of Notes and Symphony for use with Ubuntu will be a win for customers everywhere.

Although I’ve never used Lotus (and don’t plan to), apparently over 100,000 business users are interested in moving to Ubuntu Linux on the desktop. That number is a good chunk. If it helps to squash FUD, I’m all for it. Especially for Linux on the business desktop.

What do you think? Will this really be the Death of Ubuntu or will it definitely help solidify Linux/Ubuntu in the corporate world?

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19 responses to “IBM to Fully Support Ubuntu with Lotus: Death of Ubuntu?”

  1. brinkleybw says :

    I’ve used Lotus Notes at different jobs for different purposes. I did not particularly like it for e-mail. I did like it, very much in fact, for use as a shared document repository. I’m sure the thought is that the demand for a Linux desktop offering will take off like a rocket if more commercial apps are available, especially if they are backed by giants like IBM. If I were Canonical, I would be very cautious about branding Ubuntu too closely with Notes, especially if the user base is not increasing at a respectable rate. For example, packaging the Notes client as the only e-mail client would certainly send the wrong message to both potential users and to the existing community.

  2. Dan (Fitness) says :

    How would making an application available and supported on a platform threaten the platform itself? Its not like Lotus Notes is going to be mandatory for all Ubuntu users…

    Unless I am missing the point of the article, it suggests Lotus will support Ubuntu, not Ubuntu will package and support Lotus.

  3. Ray says :

    Lotus Notes is big, unstable, unreliable, slow, incompatible. ..I have to admit that I don’t like it very much.
    But I do like Linux. Especially Ubuntu. Both facts won’t change and won’t hinder myself from having a nice, small, fast and reliable Ubuntu without the aforesaid application.


  4. Fudineed says :

    This seems like sensationalism. It’s not like theyre entering into a partnership. The software will simply be available. And given the fact that Canonical is trying to keep Ubuntu going by making money in the eneterprise server and desktop markets, and they have a very strong sense of integrity and reputation, I trust Ubuntu will always be free, and is going to be around a long, long time.

  5. spartan2276 says :

    Well this sounds, like FUD to me(the article) simply because IBM is releasing Lotus notes as *.deb package does not mean it will destroy Ubuntu, well if this is the case then what about RedHat and Suse. No I don’t think so buddy. Ubuntu is not going anywhere. What I do see is an increase of it’s user base and it being more popular period!

  6. Kevin Guertin says :

    Yes, I agree, I made it sound sensational, but I was mainly pointing out some of the comments in the Slashdot posting. I was NOT the one who said it would be the death of Ubuntu. Personally, I do not think it would be the death of Ubuntu.

  7. Simon Scullion says :

    This is big news for those of us who do use Lotus software, and enjoy the pleasure of Ubuntu. What IBM have committed to is supporting Lotus Notes on Ubuntu, previously we had a choice of RHEL or SLED if we wanted to use a Linux OS.

    Lotus Notes is commercial software, and I can’t see that changing any time soon! So I very much doubt we will see it packaged with Ubuntu!

    As for the death of Ubuntu, complete FUD! If anything, love or hate Lotus Notes, this could go a long way to Ubuntu gaining serious traction in the enterprise, both on the desktop and in the data center.

  8. Jim Love says :

    You got me on this one. How can the endorsement of IBM be a problem. Unless you are referring to the curse of OS2 where its possible to have the better operating system but still lose the server war. But if you go to IBMs site and you see their page on Drupal (open source content manager) it immediately gives credibility. I was on a call today with someone who was expressing the usual “oh open source is a neat idea but it’s a for dreamers” point of view and I could drop in the comment — well, tell that to IBM. Dead silence. Oh… was the reply.

    So put me down as in favour. And if IBM manages to get its corporate tentacles into Ubuntu (I’d be sad) it will just resurface as something new. That’s the beauty of the the open source movement.

    Let’s be happy when we win one!

  9. Scott says :

    I really dont think it would be the death, nor have any negative outputs on Ubuntu. I think this could show to be a very positive thing, just have to wait and see i guess.

  10. Mike says :

    If Ubuntu is to succeed in the enterprise, then enterprise apps are going to have to run on it: end of. And yes, that includes the ones that people may not personally care for.

    Companies like IBM are being continually nagged to get their stuff on linux, and then when it finally happens, what do we get? Stupid “it’s the death of Ubuntu” comments on Slashdot. What happens when we get a Linux version of Photoshop? (roll on the day!!) Are people going to complain about Adobe’s “corporate tentacles” in Ubuntu too?

    Availability’s the game, guys. Nobody’s forcing you to run Lotus Notes or anything else you don’t want on your Ubuntu.

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