IBM supports systems with £540m plan

IBM is to spend £540m to encourage independent software suppliers to support its platforms. The announcement was made at the...

IBM is to spend £540m to encourage independent software suppliers to support its platforms. The announcement was made at the company's annual Partnerworld conference last week.

The company is keen to win developers from Microsoft's .net platform and will offer incentives and access to IBM's customer base as well as free software and low-cost developer tools.

IBM dropped out of the corporate software applications market in 1999 and has less than 20% of the growing middleware market.

It is also trying to get developers to work on products for vertical markets. The company used last week's conference to announce a new set of sector-specific middleware bundles.

Sam Palmisano, IBM chief executive, said the strategy had been forced on the company by user pressure. "The client is forcing us to focus on solutions. They do not want to be assemblers of parts," he said.

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