IBM tools revamp targets Microsoft

IBM is boosting its developer outreach programs and its Java tools as an alternative to Microsoft's Windows-only strategy.

The company on Wednesday launched a revamped version of its DeveloperWorks Web site with improved searching capabilities. The new site combines IBM's existing developer support Web site with a parallel site that had been maintained for customers of IBM's Rational division. IBM acquired tools maker Rational about one year ago for $2.1 billion. Additionally, IBM will increase its number of developer training programs from 120 this year to 400 next year, said Buell Duncan, general manager of IBM's developer relations. Big Blue hopes that growing the population of developers who use IBM tools at companies and independent software providers will create future opportunities to sell the software, hardware and services for running completed applications.

The developer outreach strategy began in earnest nearly three years ago, but IBM wants to accelerate those efforts, Duncan said. Big Blue is pitching its standards and open source-based approach as a counter to Microsoft's Windows-oriented developer programs. "More and more developers want an alternative to Microsoft," said Duncan. "It's time to crank up the heat and take this to the next level." IBM and Microsoft, typically bitter rivals in the market for software-development tools, have also cooperated at times on key technologies. The companies earlier this year joined to lead the development of Web services standards and technologies, largely in the interest of expanding the potential market for their respective tools.

News source: C|Net

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