IBM, not exactly a powerhouse in desktop applications, has its own attack on the desktop planned for later this year. IBM Software and its Lotus Software Group have built J2EE-based spreadsheet, document, and presentation graphics “applications” that will be bundled for free with the company’s WebSphere portal, sources said…The applications are served up “on demand” from the server.
IBM executives asked about the plan were quick to say the effort is really not about the desktop, and that the functionality resides at the back end, while Office remains a client application. But those lines are blurring as Microsoft touts increasing Office tie-ins to back-end processes.
The average PC user, if he or she is not on the road, does not care where the capability resides as long as it works.
Some insiders say the IBM applications are not targeting Office users, but are more designed for deskless workers who share kiosks. But other IBMers are telling partners that Office is in their crosshairs, and that they see an opportunity to take business from Microsoft.