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-- by Joseph C. Panettieri with Diganta Majumder
It's the type of behavior you don't expect from IBM's top brass. In recent months, Big Blue's software gurus have visited WINDOWS Magazine at least five times. And on each occasion, the message was clear: IBM is serious about taking over the Windows NT applications market.
How serious? Big Blue is going small: By the time you read this, the company will have shipped an NT software suite for businesses with less than 50 network users. It will include integrated versions of Lotus Domino, fax software and DB2. Pricing was undisclosed as of this writing.
IBM expects to be selling all of its server apps on NT by the end of the third quarter and has positioned 200 software engineers a few miles from Microsoft's Redmond, Wash., headquarters to ensure application integration with NT. Additionally, IBM claims all of its NT apps will carry the "Designed for Microsoft BackOffice" logo.
Furthermore, IBM is training 12,000 sales representatives to sell and support NT apps to its top 15,000 corporate accounts. "You make money on middleware and applications, not the operating system," asserted Joycelyne Attal, vice president of NT marketing at IBM. "The objective is to take market share" from Microsoft's various NT apps.
Attal expects DB2 to replace SQL Server as the No. 1 NT database within two years. If you think that isn't a tall order, remember that SQL Server's installed base is roughly 20 times larger than DB2 for NT's. However, if IBM visits customers as often as it visits this magazine, it just might succeed.