Friday, January 06, 2006

Microsoft's Major Competitor

Bill Gates went on record this week when asked which competitor he is most concerned about. His response:

"The biggest company in the computer industry, by far, is IBM. They have the (sic) four times the employees that I have, way more revenues than I have. IBM has always been our biggest competitor. The press just doesn't like to write about IBM."

What are the implications of a Microsoft vs. IBM battle for 2006 and beyond? And what does this mean for Web developers?

The Web continues to expand and the tool kit that Web developers need to be proficient in keeps growing with it. Case in point, e-commerce continues to outpace economic growth in the United States. This Holiday season witnessed a
25% increase in Internet sales vs. the previous year. And the Top 400 Retail Websites are not the only beneficiaries of this Web development trend. As we saw in Outlook 2006, Part 2, small and medium-size business (SMB) leaders want to use their Website to market their products, paying particular attention to sales leads and online sales.

Web developers who can help SMB leaders grow their revenues should do well in 2006. Both Microsoft and IBM have tools available to help these businesses. We've read about Microsoft .NET tools for Web developers. But what does IBM offer Web developers in terms of tools and training?

IBM has made a major commitment to open source standards and
supports PHP as their primary Web development language. Here are just two FREE online tutorials available at the IBM Website:

In addition, as the Web development arms race between Microsoft and IBM continues we will begin to hear more about emerging techniques such as Ajax & Atlas. If you'd like to position your skill set near the front of this digital arms race you might want to consider learning more about these techniques. And IBM wants to help you. On Tuesday, February 7 at 6:30 pm IBM's Cambridge office will host a seminar with the following somewhat cryptic title:
The seminar is FREE and is being coordinated by the Boston PHP Users Group. Registration is required.

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