The New York Times > Technology > I.B.M. Takes Aim at Microsoft With Server-Based Software "I.B.M. plans to announce today a software strategy for corporate desktop personal computers and hand-held devices - one that is firmly anchored in the company's strength in data centers.
The I.B.M. offerings include new Lotus Workplace software for PC's and hand-held devices, but most of the critical software resides on server computers in corporate data centers. Workers can tap into their e-mail messages, calendar, work group and other software using a Web browser. The approach harks back to a low-cost model of computing - known as "thin client" computing - promoted in the late 1990's by Sun Microsystems and Oracle as an alternative to Microsoft's hefty desktop programs.
A worker using the Workplace software by I.B.M. can still run Microsoft Office programs. But I.B.M. also offers alternatives, built on free software from the open source project OpenOffice.org, including a word processor, spreadsheet and presentation software.
The Workplace desktop, I.B.M. says, promises to deliver improved security and cost savings of up to 50 percent over the Microsoft desktop suites. Since central control resides in the server software, I.B.M. says, it is easier to manage changes and updates, and eliminates the possibility of a desktop computer user inadvertently spreading a computer virus."