Is IBM thinking outside the box?

Which will generate more revenue in a free software world – hardware services or software services?

The recent announcement that they will join the open office movement and dedicate 35 engineers to the project requires one to ask where is the revenue going to come from to pay for this model. Is IBM considering giving away the software but charging for remote hosting of documents? This seems to be what Google is getting into.

See here about IBM …

“Implementing the XML based file and display formats of the ISO standard Open Document Format (ODF) specification, Lotus Symphony will be based upon software written by the Open Office coalition, which IBM has joined along with Sun, Google and others. Last week IBM announced that it has dedicated 35 developers to contributing code to Open Office.”

It looks like IBM is trying to break Microsoft’s Vendor Lock in

“By joining Sun and Google to develop and promote open source software products implementing ODF, IBM adds welcome resources and marketing power to lure users away from the high costs and vendor lock-in of Microsoft Office.

IBM executives compare its ODF initiative with the support it gave to the open source system Linux by promoting its use in corporate data centers, support that helped make Linux very successful over the last several years.”

Does anyone know if Google uses IBM storage on their pay for storage solutions?

See here…
“Google suddenly began offering upgrade plans beginning at $20 per year for 6 extra gigabytes. Not quite in the nick of time and not exactly free, but I’ll take it.”

Do you think the marketers at IBM are thinking about giving away their storage software if you purchase their hardware? Sort of like the Razor blade model of revenue, give away the shaver and charge for the blades.

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