IBM support for Ubuntu

James Governor of RedMonk raised a question that has come up a few times in the Lotus blogsphere, on the subject of Ubuntu as an IBM supported OS.

I mentioned the fact that DB2 is supported on Ubuntu, a fact which doesn’t really fit with some of the justification for not supporting Lotus Notes and Domino, that Ubuntu is not an “enterprise” operating system.

James followed up this morning, and wonders whether

Ubuntu really just isn’t seeing much in the way of enterprise adoption as yet

Sounds like a chicken and egg situation to me!

Ubuntu is an extremely popular desktop distribution, so in my opinion, chances are support for software like Lotus Notes on Ubuntu would go a long way to opening the door to further enterprise adoption. I realise this is not an adequate cost justification, but if we’ve managed to get the Notes 8 Beta running on Ubuntu by ourselves, my guess is there isn’t a hell of a lot that IBM would need to do to get this sorted.

One other point I have mentioned before (can’t remember where!) is that with Ubuntu support, could IBM Lotus not look to provide more of an “appliance” (along the lines of Nitix), if not for production, at least for testing or demonstration purposes?

With a consistent support for Ubuntu across the IBM portfolio, they could potentially provide a serious offering to the SMB market. Taking the appliance approach and therefore “hiding” the underlying technologies somewhat, certain barriers to entry could be eliminated, at least from an install / admin standpoint.

Good luck trying to get more on this one James, there are lots of us very interested in where it could lead!

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