IBM in 2004: The Linux Option

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

Case Details:


Case Code : BSTA110 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1952 - 2004
Organization : IBM (International Business Machines)
Pub Date : 2005
Teaching Note : Not Available
Countries : USA
Industry : Information Technology


International Business Machines (IBM) has started projecting Linux as a serious alternative to Microsoft's Windows operating system. IBM believes that there is a need to embrace Linux, not only to win customers but also to challenge the dominance of Microsoft.

IBM and its business partners have together developed a combination of hardware, software, and business expertise based on Linux. But concerns about Linux remain. These include inter-operability with existing applications and the relative scarcity of trained Linux support personnel. Even after having spent billions of dollars on Linux, IBM is still not the market leader.

Also, while making its hard pitch for Linux, IBM seems to have alienated Microsoft. It remains to be seen how successful IBM's Linux push will be.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background 1
Business Segments 2
The Rise of Linux 3
Betting on Linux 4
Taking on Microsoft 6
The Road Ahead 7
Exhibits 8


IBM (International Business Machines), Linux, Louis Gerstner, Samuel Palmisano, Systems group, Personal systems group, Software segment, Global financing segment, Richard Stallman, Linus Torvalds, IBM Global Services, Microsoft

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