A Big Blue Unix Monopoly?

By Edward Cone  |  Posted Wednesday, April 08, 2009 17:04 PM

Whether or not IBM walks away from its on-again, off-again acquisition of Sun, the Unix market may never be the same.

I just spoke to the CIO at a large southeastern company who worries that IBM could end up with a near monopoly on Unix boxes. He sees HP's commitment to the business waning. Now IBM ends up owning Sun, or Sun continues in its weakened state. Either way, a lot of pricing power flows to Big Blue.

"The way it's turning out, the only competition for IBM would be Linux running on AMD or Intel chips," he said. While that's not a terrible option, "there's not the market maturity with those products to provide everything you need to make devices really reliable."

This CIO doesn't fear IBM per se, just the logic of a market dominated by a single suppler. "IBM is a fine company, they've made good products...but it's dangerous to have any one company become the only source for something,"