Friday, May 13, 2005

IBM backs Firefox in-house

ZDNet reports that
IBM backs Firefox in-house

IBM is encouraging its employees to use Firefox, aiding the open-source Web browser's quest to chip away at Microsoft's Internet Explorer. …

By supporting Firefox internally, IBM is also furthering its commitment to open-source products based on industry standards, said Brian Truskowski, chief information officer at IBM.

"This is a real good example of walking the talk when it comes it comes to open standards and open source," Truskowski said.

Because Firefox is based on industry standards--as opposed to proprietary technology--IBM has some "comfort" that it will interoperate well with third-party products, Truskowski said. By contrast, Microsoft's Internet Explorer uses some proprietary technology, such as ActiveX for running programs within a browser.

"What I will avoid is anything that is proprietary in nature," Truskowski said.

The company is training its help-desk staff on Firefox and certifying that internal applications will work with the browser, he said.

Truskowski expects that Firefox will ultimately end up costing IBM less than IE because the company can use open-source additions to Firefox. "I hope in making a small investment up front, I can leverage that innovation going forward," he said.

Stacy Quandt, an analyst at the Robert Frances Group, said that IBM's endorsement of Firefox internally aligns with the company's strategy of backing open-source products based on standards. It may also give other companies reason to "pay attention to" Firefox and see it as an alternative to Internet Explorer.

1 comment:

a former student said...

Must be a slow news day at ZDnet, IBM's been supporting Mozilla for a long time.

I've heard that the policy at IBM was to use as little Microsoft software as possible, except the OS.