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IBM and PowerPC - Then and Now
Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 01:32 PM EST

Here is a fascinating glimpse at some possible implications of the selloff of IBM's PC division, from Faultline:

IBM is effectively clearing out its unprofitable PC business, so that it can go into the PC chip business with its Power 5 chips. . . .There is no rule that says that the next generation of Linux desktops need to be powered by an Intel chip, and given the performance of the Power architecture, accelerating gently ahead of Intel’s single core chip capability, it is a natural contender for the de facto chip to power Linux, not just on servers, where it plays right now, nor just on Supercomputers, but down also on Workstations, PCs, and under the power of CE Linux, on consumer electronics devices, cheap internet access devices and even mobile phones.

In fact Intel is the last chip base that a fresh market, like China, would want to embrace, given that any devices made using Intel chips can also be used to run copies of Windows, legal or otherwise, and China wants to steer a wide course around Windows, and instead develop its own architectures. It is then perhaps no co-incidence that IBM announced the creation this week of Power.Org from an event in China, and that it is a Chinese company Lenovo that is leading the charge to buy IBM’s PC operations for some $2 billion or so. Perhaps the quid pro quo is that IBM’s Power chipset becomes the future Chinese server standard.

Speaking of PowerPC, take a look at what some Groklaw folks have found [PDF] [HTML], an article in Linux Magazine, dated 2000, just *before* the Caldera purchase of SCO (now Tarantella)'s Unix assets happened.

Most of the article focuses on the details of the buy, but I noted some very interesting paragraphs about Project Monterey, which make clear that Caldera knew prior to purchase of SCO's Unix assets that AIX5L was what Project Monterey had morphed into, that the L stood for Linux, and that it ran on PowerPC:

"Caldera is about to take over the core products of the traditional Unix producer, the Santa Cruz Operation, better known as SCO. The Unix systems owned by SCO, Openserver and Unixware, will continue to be supported for the time being, but will receive a Linux personality. SCO and Caldera employees and business partners first learnt of the details of the future strategy at the Forum 2000 in Santa Cruz.

"Mixed dowry.

"One of the most valuable parts of the business owned by SCO has nothing to do with technology. It is the SCO sales organisation developed over the years together with its extremely loyal world wide customer base. At any rate 38 percent of all worldwide installed Unix computers are said to run a SCO system. Development of business with new clients has to date, however, been less than satisfactory, especially following on from the Y2K problem, which has had its day as a means to increase turnover. As a result Caldera received in one fell swoop an incredible client base in comparison to all other Linux businesses. In order to capitalise on this certain marketing efforts are unavoidable. SCO is going on the assumption that the classic resale outlets are increasingly changing into application service providers (ASPs). These will be offered under the slogan “Open Internet Platform”, a solution-oriented approach, where one of the existing systems will be chosen as an alternative, Open Server, Linux, Unixware or else in future the 64 bit Unix AIX5L, which has been developed from the Monterey project. . . .

"The former Monterey project

"The development of a high performance 64-bit operating system for Intel's Itanium was (or is?) a joint project by IBM, Intel and SCO. The massive Linux initiatives by IBM were above all the reason why IT prophets found the future of Monterey a popular subject. Now at least something can be revealed : the system will be called AIX5L and will therefore appear as a successor to IBM's own Unix. IBM will be the first to derive the main benefits from it, since the only architecture available at the moment, on which AIX5L can be installed is based on the PowerPC. Furthermore, the L in the new name stands for Linux (no joke). IBM is therefore making it very clear to all on the outside that this system, produced with such immense expenditure on development, is really only a temporary solution until Linux is 'enterprise ready'. As a result, it was difficult for many SCO managers and developers to maintain the required aplomb and to predict a great future for AIX5L. Since IBM has provided the main expenditure for the development, it is obviously a case of: he who pays the piper calls the tune."

Remember SCO, the current Caldera/SCO iteration, telling us that they had no idea IBM had any interest in Linux? That they were blindsided? And how about their claim that IBM had no right to use Project Monterey materials on PowerPC? This article makes it clear that they not only knew, they apparently knew prior to the deal being finally consummated. Groklaw earlier traced their knowledge back to 2001, but this new find shows that they knew back in 2000. The date the decision to do the deal was announced was August 2, 2000, and SCOForum was that same month. The article we found was all about what was announced at SCOForum. So by the time Caldera bought the assets, all the things they are now suddenly complaining about had already occurred, not to Caldera, but to Santa Cruz Operation, and Caldera knew. The whole world knew. If they had any complaints, would that not have been the time to express them? Or even to decide not to do the deal after all? Just thought you'd like to know. Here's the complete press release announcing the deal (keep in mind that there was a later deal as well, which you can trace in the SEC filings):

From: Connect Public Relations
To: "''"
Subject: Caldera Acquires SCO
Date: Wed, 2 Aug 2000 05:22:38 -0600



OREM, UT--August 2, 2000--Caldera Systems, Inc., (Nasdaq: CALD), a "Linux for Business" leader and The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., (SCO) (Nasdaq: SCOC), the world's leading provider of UNIX operating systems, today announced that Caldera Systems has entered into an agreement to acquire the SCO Server Software Division and the Professional Services Division. The Professional Services Division will operate as a separate business unit of Caldera, to provide services to meet the Internet and eBusiness infrastructure needs of customers.

The new company will offer the industry's first comprehensive Open Internet Platform (OIP) combining Linux and UNIX server solutions and services globally. The OIP provides commercial customers and developers with a single platform that can scale from the thinnest of clients to the clustering needs of the largest data center.

The Open Internet Platform combines the robust scalability of the UNIX system with the low-cost, developer-accepted Linux operating system. The products, solutions, and services developed for the Open Internet Platform will be available through more than 15,000 partners worldwide.

Details of the Agreement

Caldera Systems, Inc. will form a new holding company, Caldera, Inc., to acquire assets from the SCO Server Software Division plus the SCO Professional Services Division, including a highly skilled workforce, products and channel resources. Caldera, Inc. will have exclusive distribution rights for the SCO OpenServer product line, and is fully committed to servicing and supporting the SCO OpenServer customer base.

SCO will receive 28% of Caldera, Inc., which is estimated to be an aggregate of approximately 17.54 million shares of Caldera stock (including approximately 2 million shares reserved for employee options assumed by Caldera for options currently held by SCO employees joining Caldera), and $7 million in cash. In conjunction with the acquisition, The Canopy Group, Inc., a major stockholder of Caldera Systems, Inc., has agreed to loan $18 million to SCO. SCO will retain its Tarantella Division, and the SCO OpenServer revenue stream and intellectual properties. Revenues for SCO OpenServer were $11.1 million in Q3 of FY2000. Net proceeds to SCO after expenses will be approximately 55% of future SCO OpenServer revenues. The investment banking firms of Chase H&Q and Broadview respectively, assisted SCO and Caldera Systems, Inc., in evaluting this acquisition.

Caldera, Inc. will be headquartered in Orem, Utah, with locations worldwide. The boards of directors of both companies have unanimously approved the acquisition which is subject to the approval of Caldera Systems, Inc. and The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. stockholders, and regulatory agencies, as well as meeting certain other closing conditions. The companies anticipate closing the transaction during October, 2000.

Following the completion of the acquisition, Ransom Love, current president and CEO of Caldera Systems, Inc. will become CEO of Caldera, Inc., and David McCrabb, current president of the SCO Server Software Division, will become president and COO of Caldera, Inc. Jim Wilt, current president of the SCO Professional Services Division will become president of the newly formed Caldera Services Division. Doug Michels, president and CEO of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., will join the Caldera, Inc. board of directors. SCO will also appoint a second representative to the board of Caldera, Inc.

Industry Impact

"This acquisition is an industry-changing event that puts Caldera front and center as the answer to the enterprise question," said Ransom Love, President and CEO of Caldera Systems, Inc. "Caldera will further broaden and validate both the Linux and UNIX industries and communities, by providing open access to its unified Linux and UNIX technologies, and by offering support, training and professional services to customers worldwide. Caldera is fully committed to supporting and servicing the SCO OpenServer and UnixWare communities."

Together, technologies from Caldera Systems and the SCO Server Software and Professional Services Divisions will provide enterprise-class solutions with worldwide support and distribution infrastructure.

"The new company will be a very strong entity that we believe will compete successfully on a worldwide basis, "said David McCrabb, president of the SCO Server Software Division. "Caldera, Inc. will incorporate a worldwide network of sales and support offices, a strong commercial UNIX system business, and a rapidly growing open source company. This combination will be a force to contend with in the worldwide market for Internet solutions on high volume platforms."

"Businesses implementing eBusiness or other Internet based customer interaction systems will benefit greatly from the Open Internet Platform," said Jim Wilt, president of the SCO Professional Services Division. "Linux and UNIX technologies are cornerstones providing solutions to problems that businesses face every day."

"This transaction enables us to invest in the exciting growth opportunities we see for Tarantella," said Doug Michels, CEO of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. "This growth is fueled by increasing business use of the Internet, by the continued attractiveness of thin-client computing, and by the accelerating adoption of the Application Service Provider (ASP) business model."

Forum 2000

Caldera Systems will join SCO in hosting Forum 2000, to be held August 20-23, at the University of California, Santa Cruz. At the event, Caldera plans to unveil their updated product offering. For more information visit

Caldera and Open Source

Caldera Systems is a leader in -- and supporter of -- the Open Source movement. Please visit to download Caldera Systems' technologies that have been open-sourced-including but not limited to-LIZARD, Caldera Open Administration System (COAS), Webmin, OpenSLP, the NetWare Kernel File System (NKFS) and the OpenLinux 2.2 port for Sun's SPARC(tm) and UltraSPARC(tm)-based platforms.

Caldera Systems, Inc.

Caldera Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: CALD) is a "Linux for eBusiness" technology leader in developing and marketing successful Linux-based business solutions, including its award-winning OpenLinux, NetWare for Linux, Linux technical training, certification and support-with free 30-day phone support and on-site consulting. Caldera OpenLearning Providers offer exceptional distribution-neutral Linux training and certification based on Linux Professional Institute (LPI) certification standards. Caldera Systems supports the open source community and is a leader in, and advocate of Linux Standard Base (LSB) and LPI.

Caldera, Inc. was co-founded in 1994 by Ransom Love. Caldera Systems, Inc. was founded by Ransom Love in 1998 to develop Linux-based business solutions. Based in Orem, UT, Caldera Systems has offices and 800+ resellers worldwide. For more information, see or in the US call 888-GO-Linux (888-465-4689).

About SCO

SCO is a global leader in server-based software for networked business computing. SCO is the world's number one provider of UNIX server operating systems, and the leading provider of network computing software that enables clients of all kinds -- including, PCs, graphical terminals, NCs, and other devices - to have webtop access to business-critical applications running on servers of all kinds.

SCO designed Tarantella web-enabling software, the world's first web-enabling software for network computing. SCO sells and supports its products through a worldwide network of distributors, resellers, systems integrators, and OEMs. For more information, see SCO's home page at:

Caldera is a registered trademark of Caldera Systems, Inc. All other products, services, companies, events and publications are trademarks, registered trademarks or servicemarks of their respective owners in the U.S. and/or other countries.

SCO, The Santa Cruz Operation, the SCO logo, the Tarantella logo, Tarantella, UnixWare, and SCO OpenServer are trademarks or registered trademarks of The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc. in the USA and other countries. UNIX is a registered trademark of The Open Group in the US and other countries. All other brand or product names are or may be trademarks of, and are used to identify products or services of, their respective owners.

LINUX is a registered trademark of Linus Torvalds.

Press Note:

Mr. Love and Mr. Michels will discuss the acquisition with the media on a conference call beginning at 1:30 p.m. EST. To participate in the call, please contact the press references listed below.

Forward Looking Statements

Cautionary Note Regarding Forward-Looking Statements under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995: Information in this release that involves Caldera's, SCO's and, assuming the (Acquisition) of the SCO Server Software and Professional Services Divisions (the Acquisition) is completed, the combined companies' expectations, beliefs, hopes, plans, intentions or strategies regarding the future are forward-looking statements that involve risks and uncertainties. These statements include statements about Caldera's, SCO's and the combined companies' strategies in the marketplace, their market positions and their relationships with customers.

All forward-looking statements included in this release are based upon information available to Caldera and SCO as of the date of the release, and neither Caldera, SCO nor the combined companies assume any obligation to update any such forward-looking statement. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and actual results could differ materially from current expectations. Factors that could cause or contribute to such differences include, but are not limited to 1) the potential disruption of Caldera's and SCO's businesses that might result from employee or customer uncertainty, and lack of focus following announcement of the Acquisition in connection with integrating the operations of Caldera and SCO; 2) product integration risk due to overlapping products and technologies; 3) the possibility that the transactions described herein might not be consummated; 4) the effects of the public announcement of the Acquisition on Caldera's and SCO's stock prices, their sales and operating results, their ability to attract and retain key personnel and the progress of certain of their development projects; 5) the risk that the announcement of the Acquisition could result in decisions by customers to defer purchases of products of Caldera or SCO; 6) the substantial charges to be incurred due to the Acquisition, primarily in the first and second quarters of the year; 7) the risk that redundancy in staffing and infrastructure could reduce efficiency and increase costs; 8) the difficulties of managing geographically dispersed operations; and 9) the risk that other benefits sought to be achieved by the Acquisition will not be achieved. These and other factors are risks associated with Caldera's and SCO's businesses that may affect their operating results and are discussed in SCO's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended September 30, 1999 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission ("SEC") on December 28, 1999 and Caldera's and SCO's quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the SEC.

Additional Information and Where to Find It:

It is expected that Caldera will file a Registration Statement on SEC Form S-4 and Caldera and SCO will file a Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus with the SEC in connection with the Acquisition, and that Caldera and SCO will mail a Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus to stockholders of Caldera and SCO containing information about the Acquisition. Investors and security holders are urged to read the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus carefully when they are available. The Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus will contain important information about Caldera, SCO, the Acquisition, the persons soliciting proxies relating to the Acquisition, their interests in the Acquisition, and related matters. Investors and security holders will be able to obtain free copies of these documents through the website maintained by the SEC at Free copies of the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus and these other documents may also be obtained from Caldera by directing a request through the Investors Relations portion of Caldera's Web site at or by mail to Caldera Systems, Inc., 240 West Center Street, Orem, Utah 84057, attention: Investor Relations, telephone (801) 765-4999; or from SCO by directing a request through the Investors Relations portion of SCO's Web sit at or by mail to The Santa Cruz Operation, Inc., 425 Encinal Street, Santa Cruz, California 95061, attention: Investor Relations, telephone (831) 427-7399.

In addition to the Registration Statement and the Joint Proxy Statement/Prospectus, Caldera and SCO file annual, quarterly and special reports, proxy statements and other information with the SEC. You may read and copy any reports, statements or other information filed by Caldera or SCO at the SEC public reference rooms at 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20549 or at any of the SEC's other public reference rooms in New York, New York and Chicago, Illinois. Please call the SEC at 1-800-SEC-0330 for further information on the public reference rooms.

Caldera's and SCO's filings with the SEC are also available to the public from commercial document-retrieval services and at the Web site maintained by the SEC at

Participants in Solicitation: Caldera, its directors, executive officers and certain other members of management and employees may be soliciting proxies from Caldera stockholders in favor of the issuance of common stock in the Acquisition. Information concerning the participants in the solicitation is set forth in a Current Report on Form 8-K filed by Caldera on August 2, 2000.

[press contacts redacted]


IBM and PowerPC - Then and Now | 319 comments | Create New Account
Comments belong to whoever posts them. Please notify us of inappropriate comments.
Authored by: chaz_paw on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:00 PM EST
glipse shuld be glimpse

Proud SuSE 9.1 user since 07/26/04


[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:13 PM EST
here's a 888-GO-linux, guess what? It's still SCO :)
maybe they mean to say 888-GO-away-please-linux.
jnd, not signed in.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: blacklight on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:24 PM EST
So the groklaw community is at it again: blindsiding SCOG with irrefutable
evidence to the contrary yet another claim of SCOG's that they were blindsided.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Is this right?
Authored by: Mecha on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:28 PM EST
SCO will retain its Tarantella Division, and the SCO OpenServer revenue stream and intellectual properties.

LINUX! Because Microsoft should have no business in your business!

[ Reply to This | # ]

suggestion re-title or split articles
Authored by: mossc on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:34 PM EST

I think you should re-title or split the two pieces of this article. The linux
magazine article might be useful for future reference but th title would not
jump out at me if I was looking for a pre Tarantella-> Caldera sales


[ Reply to This | # ]

Its also about the Microsoft Licensing
Authored by: Hargoth on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:40 PM EST
Microsoft has been forcing PC manufacturers to buy MS Licenses for every unit
shipped. One of the penalties imposed in the anti-trust case was intended to
mitigate this issue. However, it got watered down to dual boot. Meaning that
Dell and IBM and the rest could offer dual boot, thus still delivering a
Microsoft license with every system.

When IBM sells its PC business, it also sells its MS Windows Licensing
restrictions. That is the key.

We will soon see other moves by IBM to distance itself from Microsoft.

Intel has opened the door for competitive CPU platforms. Intel processors have
again fallen behind. The Itanium is now a bust, and Intel is left with no plan

SUN has also dropped the CPU ball. SPARC could and should be filling a larger
part of the void than it does. It is not clear to me, an outsider, if the
partnership with Texas Instruments or internal design issues are the major issue
there, but the result is a lack-luster platform with no real future.

So who is left in the CPU game now days?

HP PA-RISC is mostly dead, HP having bet the farm on Titanium and lost.

SUN SPARC seems to be winding down winding down.

Intel is doing well in spite of design problems, but those problems have opened
a large window of opportunity.

IBM and its family of CPUs is clearly in the best position to fire off a volley
over the Intel/Microsoft bow with a new architecture for the desktop.

I cheer quietly, still unsure of this new/old friend/enemy.

But the question is: would I buy one?

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: DebianUser on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:43 PM EST
This link seems to have just shown up on LinuxToday. IBM seems to be encouraging enterprise migrations to the Power5 architecture, not that it is any surprise.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Open invitation to "hack"
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:47 PM EST
From their own annoucnements:

"Caldera Systems is a leader in -- and supporter of -- the Open Source movement. Please visit to download Caldera Systems' technologies that have been open-sourced -including but not limited to-LIZARD, Caldera Open Administration System (COAS), Webmin, OpenSLP, the NetWare Kernel File System (NKFS) and the OpenLinux 2.2 port for Sun's SPARC(tm) and UltraSPARC(tm)-based platforms."

What, no password?

[ Reply to This | # ]

what they bought - maybe slightly off topic
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:51 PM EST
It seems that we are getting more answers to just what SCOurge bought. Not
much. That led me to wonder if anyone can let out what the original figures
were for the Novell sale to original SCO before they lowered it to $12 million.
It would be interesting to know if they dropped from $50 million or $15 million
when they decided not to transfer their IP content. It seems that Novell should
have known a lot of interesting things.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Authored by: PolR on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 03:56 PM EST
Does it mean that IBM prepares a platform that is **not** locked down at
hardware level by Microsoft and BIOS vendors? The mere existence of such
platform can derail the Trustworthy Computing initiative. People will be able to
buy hardware that is not locked down. The Intel camp will have to unlock the
hardware or loose market share to the PowerPC camp.

Add this to the selling of the Microsoft licensing other people have mentionned
and we have a very interesting hardware platform.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:07 PM EST
Wow. Just wow.

If IBM pulls this off it will be the biggest computer industry coup ever.
China, Japan, and Korea are already at work on a Linux based OS specifically to
avoid being tied to Windows.

You wouldn't have to fight the "why should I run Linux on my PC instead of
Window?" mindset. It would be a true linux PC with millions of users. I
can easily see the Chinese wanting desktops that CAN'T run windows in order to
push the adoption of the new OS. It's been said the best way to fight Microsoft
is to completely ignore them.

I wonder if that study declaring PC's purchased with Linux were really just
instruments of piracy offended a few folks?

[ Reply to This | # ]

Windows and PowerPC
Authored by: OrlandoNative on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:09 PM EST
Interestingly enough, at one time Windows (at least NT) ran on other than Intel
chips... ...including, if I remember correctly, MIPS, alpha, and PowerPC.

There was also a PowerPC port of Solaris at one time (don't know if it was ever
distributed, though).

Be interesting to see if any of those are revived if, indeed, the PowerPC
architecture becomes more prevalent...

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:25 PM EST
One can only hope, that we will see the People of the US do what the DOJ failed
to do.

It would be nice to see Justice work, even if it looks like Carma.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Groklaw Lurker on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:27 PM EST
"...There is no rule that says that the next generation of Linux desktops
need to be powered by an Intel chip, and given the performance of the Power
architecture, accelerating gently ahead of Intel’s single core chip capability,
it is a natural contender for the de facto chip to power Linux, not just on
servers, where it plays right now, nor just on Supercomputers, but down also on
Workstations, PCs, and under the power of CE Linux, on consumer electronics
devices, cheap internet access devices and even mobile phones..."

Hhhmmmmm..... Curioser and curioser...

Yes this makes a lot of sense to me. Frankly, I don't care which processor is
running my Linux, either at home or at work. No copy of Windows has crossed the
threshold of my home for over seven years so it just doesn't make any difference
to me. Even my kids are growing up on Linux, they get their Windows exposure at

IBM is uniquely situated to make this play, which if successful, could put them
in the catbird seat. With PPC as their CPU architecture and Linux as their OS,
if IBM can get it's volume pricing down to a level that can compete with Intel
and AMD, they may be able to unseat both Intel and Microsoft from their
positions of dominance in one fell swoop, albeit a sort of slow motion swoop as
such a colossal displacement of these two major corporations would take some
time to accomplish.

The question is, can they compete on price in the home market? If they can, a
spread to the office desktop is inevitable whereas the reverse isn't necessarily
true. Corporate desktop dominance does not, I think, automatically equate to
home dominance.

Even if IBM has learned nothing from Microsoft's mistakes, I think it would be
much preferable to have a hardware company supplying Open Source software and
OS's to the public on proprietary hardware than a software only company that
dominates the OS market to the point of monopoly. A Linux monopoly threatens no
one, a corporate monopoly threatens everyone.

I have to hand it to IBM, they are nothing if not ambitious. Well, good luck Big
Blue, I hope you have a shot at pulling it off! I kind of like the idea of
having a PowerPC running Linux sitting on my home computer hutch... :)

(GL) Groklaw Lurker
End the tyranny, abolish software patents.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:43 PM EST
Remember, POWER != PowerPC.

POWER is IBMs original architecture from the eighties.
PowerPC was based on POWER, but it IS not POWER.

PowerPC G4 is based on POWER4 afaik, but the new POWER5 is
vastly more powerful, google for some benchmarks and look
for yourselves :)

I would LOVE a dual POWER5 system with dual PCI-express
16x slots.. :)

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: pjwest on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 04:45 PM EST

Have you noticed IBMs latest Power derivative.

IBM Discloses Details of Chip

[ Reply to This | # ]

Questions and concerns ...
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 05:19 PM EST
One of the BIG reasons that x86 became so popular is that
IBM "opened" their hardware architecture. If IBM starts to push
PowerPC arch, I wonder if they will make the architecture "open" as

If the architecture is not open, then there could be a tough
row to hoe for the individual looking to move to PowerPC from generic x86.

Many people, including myself, have many operaional x86 boxes that run Linux
because they are so inexpensive to assemble. The cost of a similar number of
closed hardware architecture boxes (e.g. Apple-like) would be prohibitive.

Hopefully, if the speculation about this move on IBM's part
is true, IBM will promote an open architecture. Perhaps
it will even be "biased" to Linux :-) so Winblows just
won't quite work right, just perhaps.

[ Reply to This | # ]

IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Steve Martin on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 05:34 PM EST

If they had any complaints, would that not have been the time to express them? Or even to decide not to do the deal after all?

Can you say "due diligence?"

"When I say something, I put my name next to it." -- Isaac Jaffee, "Sports Night"

[ Reply to This | # ]

Asian Economy of Scale
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 06:05 PM EST
IBM must cut these Asia deals in order to provide the economy of scale
necessary to bring the production price of PPC chips and motherboards in line
with the current Intel hardware. M$ can counter by offering deep discounts on
their trash. I think it boils down to the fact that China et. al. simply do not
trust M$. The Chinese "Dragon" processor would seem to have flopped,
so the PPC is the way forward.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Two birds with one stone
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 06:28 PM EST
If, and only if, IBM do with Power what they did with their original PC
architecture, which is completely open it up, we may see two problems solved at
once: x86 and Windows.

The terrible, power over-consuming, clumsy and outdated x86 chips would finally
see the end. And, given that Microsoft are firmly in bed with Intel, Linux would
be "the platform" for this new architecture. For this to happen, IBM
need to make sure there is heaps of cheap offerings around, not just ones from
IBM. They also need to make sure they can make the volume - just talking about
making lot of Power chips doesn't cut it. In the end, if Linux as a kernel had a
primary focus on a clean architectre like Power, there would be less legacy
hardware to support making the new devices run better, by shifting developers'
focus in that direction.

And, with the Cell from Sony running Power as well, world domination is almost
there. IBM need to play this one right and we'll be all set.

I cannot stress enough - making Power and IBM "brand name" thing only,
this won't work. Anyone should be allowed to play, then we may see some
traction. Otherwise, just another proprietary RISC.

[ Reply to This | # ]

Applications are no problem...
Authored by: freeio on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 06:58 PM EST
One question I hear is whether the applications would be available for PowerPC
systems, and I should think that part of that could be circumvented by adding
the ability to run OS-X Mac applications natively. Think about it this way:
Let's say that IBM were to take a good size "investment" in apple, and
then work a deal where they could arrange a port of the OS-X API (remember, much
of the underlying code is already open source, and OS-X is BSD based and very
much a Unix flavor). If they could do the tweak so that Mac OS-X applications
run natively on their linux powered Power-PC boxes, the application shortage is
suddenly solved.

This is not so far-fetched. I am running Photoshop 7.0 on my x-86 based linux
box using Crossover Office, which is just an API replacement tool (which uses
WINE). If code natively runs on Power-PC on a Mac, the API replacement is not a
far-fetched task.

This is being written on an IBM ThinkPad R40 running SuSE Linux 9.0. It works
great. If I could have bought it without having to pay the M$ tax, I would have
been even happier.

Tux et bona et fortuna est.

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Microsoft on PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 07:11 PM EST

Why is everyone so convinced that Microsoft is incapable of porting their NT or their Longhorn base to the PPC chip?

People have speculated before that Microsoft could develop their own version of Linux, with a proprietary Windows-based GUI on top, and Windows-based software running on top of that.

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IBM and PowerPC
Authored by: Anonymous on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 08:01 PM EST
What I'm afraid a lot of people here have missed is that which is actually
driving higher performance desktop processors and graphics systems, and that is

Unless the game developers can easily produce games to run on Linux (and I would
quickly swicth those of my machines running various versions of Windows to Linux
in a heartbeat), there will still be a substantial market for Wintel iron.

(Side note...the home-built system I'm posting this from run Linux exclusively
and has dual Opteron processors.)

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Let's not get too excited about the article... yet.
Authored by: mobrien_12 on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 09:34 PM EST
The Linux Magazine article does say alot of stuff that is important, but it doesn't prove SCOG is full of it. The article is written by Ulrich Wolf and doesn't even contain any direct quotes from any of oldSCO's or Caldera's people.

What is, in principle, needed is for someone to talk/email to Mr. Wolf and find out if he has any notes etc. that show for sure that oldSCO or Caldera executives were aware of what he wrote before the sale of the SCO business completed.

PJ, I can send Mr. Wolfe's email address to you or any other groklawer who you deem fit to write to him, if you think that would be a good idea.

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IBM paid for ...?
Authored by: star-dot-h on Tuesday, December 07 2004 @ 10:59 PM EST
Since IBM has provided the main expenditure for the development, it is obviously a case of: he who pays the piper calls the tune.

Can we conculde from this that SCO(old) were paid for their participation in Monteray by IBM? And SCO(new) are complaining now because...?

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  • IBM paid for ...? - Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 09:06 AM EST
IBM and PowerPC - Then and Now
Authored by: chris_bloke on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 02:56 AM EST
Re: PowerPC

Anyone else remember CHRP (the Common Hardware Reference Platform) from 1996, the PowerPC answer to the Intel PC that died through lack of interest ? Where I worked we had a CHRP box running Windoze NT 3.5.

I wonder if IBM are going to try and resurrect something similar now that Linux gives them the freedom of not requiring Microsoft's support ?

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What on earth has Intel got to do with the power equation?
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 03:50 AM EST
I find it difficult to imagine how the thesis statement of this piece sets up
Intel as *the* competitor to PPC on CPU power. It is well known in the industry
that AMD has comfortably usurped Intel in the CPU power stakes, and that Intel
is going to take at least two years to catch up.

We are seeing the abandonment of the P4 architecture, and now the abandonment of
Itanic (look at what's just happened at HP). Intel are pinning their ongoing
hopes on developments based on Pentium M technology, which came from Pentium
III. Their 64-bit 'tack-on' architecture is no match for the properly
thought-out and mature AMD64 architecture, and by the time they have that one
nailed there with be a successor to K8 in play.

Please folks, lets get real. IBM are no slouches at CPU development, but
looking at their performance vs their close collaborator AMD's performance over
the same recent timeframe, I'd back AMD every time.

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IBM CPU Products
Authored by: aaron_tx on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 08:52 AM EST
IBM POWER/PowerPC CPU's power a wide array of systems, the Nintendo GameCube
uses a PowerPC 970 (I think) processor equivilent to the G4 CPU in Macintosh
systems. The next-gen Nintendo and XBOX2 consoles will use a G5 equivilent
processor. IBM's POWER4 and POWER5 processors power the current AIX systems,
from graphics workstations to MP servers running multiple logical partitions and
clustered super computers. Clearly they can provide processors for everything
Intel does - handhelds, desktops, and servers. Most Linux applications only
require a simple re-compile that I am sure would make business sense if demand
for Linux on PowerPC/POWER systems were there. IBM has already proven this by
providing GNU tools compiled for PPC/POWER to run on AIX 5L. It is a long hard
road from vision to reality, but I for one would rather bet on IBM than accept
the WinTel status quo...


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IBM and PowerPC - Then and Now
Authored by: Jhimbo on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 09:24 AM EST

NT4 did come in a PowerPC variant. See Windows NT Workstation and Win95: Technical Differences on Microsoft's website. So, it's not impossible for modern Windows variants to be run on non i386-based processors : but MS may not be delighted to run Windows on IBM's hardware.


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"Breaking" news on TheReg, as they see it
Authored by: Anonymous on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 09:33 AM EST
Apparently, The Register got hold of a memo meant for IBM employees:

"IBM CEO's memo clarifies PC biz sell-off"

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IBM and PowerPC - Then and Now
Authored by: pscottdv on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 10:19 AM EST
"here is no rule that says that the next generation of Linux desktops
need to be powered by an Intel chip"

No rule maybe, but it seems to me that Linus is still pretty much in love with
the x86 architecture and that gives it an advantage.

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IBM accounting - correct me if I am wrong.
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 12:17 PM EST
Profit is normally declared for tax purposes under the jurisdiction of the tax authority where that profit is made. ie. I know that money will be shuffled internally to balance internal transactions between profit centres, but am I correct in believing that IBM Europe pays its taxes in Europe and that IBM China will pay its taxes in China?

Brian S.

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The PC market, 2nd time around - without George W. Bush, US govt, and M$!
Authored by: clark_kent on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 01:29 PM EST
Microsoft abandoned the PowerPC platform back in Windows NT4 if not earlier. I
think IBM wants to recapture their original intent of implementing a computer
for the personal user. Back then (early 1980's) it was the IBM PC, IBM XT, and
the IBM PCjr. Microsoft "stole" the market with (stolen?) MS-DOS and
lock-in agreements. Those lock-in agreements further locked in future hardware
manufacturers, so the business was based solely on agreements, not giving
vendors much of a choice in deciding if MS products were good or not. This has
gone on for a long time.

Maybe in this action, and with Linux (now established as a competitor to MS
products in the real world, something Novell DOS 7, BeOS, FreeBSD, OS2/Warp,
name-your-os, couldn't do,) and with China focused on Linux, and having sent the
U.S. business overseas to China where George W. doesn't play well, maybe IBM can
now get down to some real business instead of having to deal with the monkey
business of Microsoft, and the U.S. government and co. (George W, the misgivings
of the DOJ, the CCIA, the defunct Patent Office, SCO, name-your-politics!)

I see this as a cleansing for IBM. Business in the US just ain't what it used to
be since Microsoft has been buying out the Law through contributions, lobbying,
abusive court action, lying, etc. If I were IBM, I would probably do that too. I
guess the U.S. does not deserve to directly benefit from an Intel-based PC
market, something that IBM invented. U.S. laws have good intention for
protecting the interest of the people. But when people who enforce the laws are
bought out by Big Money, those objectives of Good Intentions are not met. Short
term selfish gains. Long term widespread bankruptcy.

I say good for IBM - tell the U.S. Government, the CCIA, the US. Patent office,
SCO, and Microsoft where to go and where they can stick it! It is about time.

Pack up your toys, and go home. Those kids do not play well with others.

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IBM stock vs M$ stock - 3months.
Authored by: Brian S. on Wednesday, December 08 2004 @ 01:45 PM EST





Something happened in the middle of November:

AMD soared
IBM was rising, levelled for a week or so then carried on rising
Intel were rising, levelled for a week or so and have since fallen away
M$ were rising but went over the edge of a waterfall.

What did the stock market notice in the middle of November that we mortals didn't?

Brian S.

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How much bang for how much buck
Authored by: Anonymous on Thursday, December 09 2004 @ 08:39 AM EST
I think the most important issue will be the price/performance ratio of these
power computers in the everyday home user's numbercrunching programs (audio and
video compression, games, picture editing).

Just because nowadays office and internet apps are simply overpowered, this does
not mean that there is still some way left to go in terms of video, picture and
audio processing though.

If I can get a Power PC with a fast 200 GB Harddisk, 2 GB RAM which can crunch
through a GIMP script at the same speed like a today's 3200+ AMD64 PC at 100 EUR
less than the AMD64 actually costs I would think about buying one. Of course
there would have to be also offers for working(!) peripheral hardware available
like a TV reciever card, remote control, scanners, printers or something of that
As long as I do not get the FULL range for LOWER price at the retailer it is a
nogo for IBM, sad as it is.

If it would just cost the same not enough people would switch, so IBM would not
reach the necessary critical mass which allowes for the high volume prices.

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