IBM is to release OS/2-based systems management software for thin client PCs in an attempt to counter Microsoft's Zero Administration for Windows initiative.
At its Technical Interchange 97 conference week, IBM gave a sneak preview of client OS software and server utilities to ease the management of NetPC-type devices and thin client PCs.
The technology, codenamed Bluebird, is an extension of OS/2 and is technically similar to Microsoft's ZAW initiative. The one small - but pertinent - difference is that while ZAW runs on NT Server, Bluebird resides on OS/2 Warp Server.
The Bluebird environment will offer built in support for a variety of application types, including 100% Pure Java, Windows 3.x, 3270/5250 host systems, DOS and OS/2.
Anthony Brown, manager of new technology at IBM's personal software products division, claimed Bluebird provides the easiest and safest route to network computing.
Like ZAW, Bluebird supports roaming desktops and allows system administrators to add applications or make changes to client PCs at the server.
Bluebird is due to ship late 1997 or early 1998.
OS/2 is clearly not going away. IBM's Bluebird technology is a logical extension to the platform and should help keep it mainstream in years to come.
- See analysis, page 24.
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