IBM?s AS/400 may die at long last if does not succeed in reinventing itself for the ecommerce market.
The platform will also be under serious threat if its core base of 15-20 corporate applications starts to dwindle.
Industry watchers have been forecasting the demise of the proprietary minicomputer since it was first introduced. Today, Brad Day, vice president of consultancy Giga, said that, if the AS/400 did not manage to become a major player in the Java and Lotus Domino space, it would become ?a going, not a growing concern?.
Speaking at a Giga seminar in San Francisco, he said: ?The AS/400 has defied all logic for a proprietary system and most of its new sales are based around ebusiness and Java, so much so that it is challenging other players."
He went on: "But ISVs are tending to develop first on Windows NT and second on Unix these days, and commercial applications may decline. It currently has a loyal base with the likes of JDA, but this may not continue depending on the economics of the future."
On the other hand, Day added, the system still offered better security and a more sophisticated and scalable file system than NT and was cheaper to own at all levels than Wintel based machines anywhere, running non Microsoft applications.
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