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back to article EU may be lubricating IBM anti-trust probe

European Union regulators may be preparing for an anti-trust review of IBM, following on the complaints of start-up mainframe challenger, Platform Solutions (PSI). Bloomberg reports today that the EU is gathering information on IBM's mainframe business, citing two anonymous sources close to the case. The request for such data …

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Anonymous Coward

Just proves the point...

In business nobody's holy.

I can hear shouts that Open Source is ;)

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Pirate

What did you do in the War, Daddy ....

""IBM has spent great time and expense developing its technology and will defend its intellectual property rights vigorously"

Excuse me but that is misspoken and probably deliberately, for all the obvious reasons.

IBM have received great expenses and have spent great times developing ITs technologies pharming and phishing for the right intellectual properties. But they have no exclusive rights to them, but it is a golden cow business model [the obvious reason]..... no matter how many times they would say that they have. It does though, create and keep a lot of lawyers and accountants/unskilled workers/serviced agents in work though. Which is quite a clever trick whenever you want to push paper and pen around the desk all day and think about others producing something tangible and longer lasting and how to get a hold of it with the bullying in Words .

* And we don't want to be raising any old tales to rub salt into the wounds now, do we ... http://www.wsws.org/articles/2001/jun2001/ibm-j27.shtml

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But surely...

In this instance IBM have at least one leg to stand on. They are not stopping people producing mainframe-scale computers and selling them, just stopping them using IBM code to make the sale. It's not even as though IBM are he only game in town, my understanding is that the mainframe-scale market is far more open than the PC scale market although I could be wrong (proof only, a conflicting opinion has no better than equal weight to my opinion)

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Property

Well, seeing as how IBM doesn't make anything but patents anymore, this suit makes sense.

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Happy

RE: Kevin Johnston

I think you'll find that PSI has purchased a licence from IBM for z/OS and IBM was happy as long as PSI was selling solutions around pricey IBM mainframes with IBM storage, but got VERY upset when PSI produced firmware for Itanium servers that allowed them to emulate a mainframe and run the z/OS (and therefore all those current z/OS apps) unaltered, just as Transitive did with SPARC Solaris on Itanium. Worse for IBM, the PSI Itanium systems could also run vritual machines of Windows and Linux at the same time, all on a much smaller and cheaper platform which could talk to standard SAN devices. Seeing a massive threat to their proprietary golden-egg market, IBM promptly set the legal beagles on PSI.

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Happy

They dont have to offer support!

If IBM dont want to support thier products on any particular platform them they dont have to!

There are many reasons not to support your software on a particular platform and the fact that its running an untested emulation is a valid one.

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Re: Who cares ?

Yes, Mainframes do provide much higher availability.

The modern ones also allow you to run several hundred linux systems on a single piece of hardware. They are decades ahead of the game on virtualisation technologies.

And re: patents - sure, IBM register a lot of patents. However they have a staff of 330,000. Between them they have time to do that and make a bewildering array fo software and hardware.

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Boffin

Re: Who cares ?

"terminals that are not interactive (like 3270)"

Um... in fact 3270 is incredibly *more* interactive than VT-based terminals. Using ISPF apps under 3270 has basically the same interaction/validation procedures you find in common web apps, with the added pleasure of not having to use JavaScript!

I understand why MVS->S/390->z/OS might not appeal to many people; hell I don't know how to use CICS, most of my mainframe experience was under the TSO/ISPF environment, and even then I didn't even do much stuff there! But the fact is that it is still ages ahead of most competing stuff, while also having compatibility entry points for newer stuff: RACF can be "coupled" with SecureWay/Tivoli LDAP, so you can do LDAP authenticating apps that actually use the RACF credentials. Or MQSeries to do CICS stuff from J2EE apps. Oh well...

That said, I would like to see IBM letting z/OS run on PSI stock, but I would also want the mainframe business to keep on churning and not turn into *another* Intel-powered area, like the Macintosh. :(

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No Leg to Stand On...

@Kevin Johnson - If Microsoft failed to convince the EC that it had a right to protect its intellectual property in Windows Server, then IBM will have a similarly uphill battle.

First, the Mainframe market is dominated by IBM in the same way Microsoft dominates the desktop market - with a 90+ percent marketshare. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mainframe_computer#Market

Second, they are making the same argument that Microsoft did: "We built this stuff. We have valuable IP in it. You can't just make us share it with our competitors!" The Commission didn't buy it with Microsoft, and I doubt they are going to give IBM special treatment.

With the air thick with hypocrisy, IBM is probably just now realizing they are on the other side of the antitrust game again. Perhaps IBM is finally regretting all that cheerleading they were doing for the Commission's case against Microsoft.

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