Re: AC AC short-sighted
"I think you'll find there was plenty of Linux on servers long before IBM woke up to the fact they could make money out of it."
They were small, 10-20 guys and a coffee maker small. No one really took Linux seriously or would touch it in the enterprise until IBM came around and put it on all of their servers in the 90s. No doubt they did it in the 90s because MS looked to be taking over the world, Sun was the dominant force in the Unix market at the time and IBM needed to change the game, but they still were the driving force. Ironically, now IBM owns Unix and they are, to some extent, competing with their own creation.
"OK, let's just pretend for second that was true, that the IBM salesgrunt will pass up the AIX licence fees or the smaller M$ ones for a tiny ickle Linux one (if they customer wants a mainstream Linux like RHEL)."
Most companies of any size don't buy MS or Linux licenses from their server provider on x86. They have their CALs and ELAs. IBM does sell Linux for Power and z, which would be a lot better for IBM, and likely the user, than MS of any stripe. Regardless, IBM sells a massive portfolio of software products, every one of which works better and has a stronger chance of being sold on Linux than putting MS in and watching MS try to pawn off BizTalk as an ESB... same reason Oracle prefers Linux. Oracle doesn't care at all about the paltry sum they make support RHEL, er OEL. They want a platform of their stack, or rather a platform which isn't completed owned by MS and set up for MS stack.
"So what do you think happens when the IBM VAR - who makes money from selling M$ licences and consulting, and rarely has any Linux skills - gets involved?"
If we were talking HP's high volume VARs, that would be true. IBM VARs generally have Unix/Linux skills, because they sell a lot of System p.