Now IBM Targets Internet Software

Article excerpt

Byline: Steve Pain

Technology Editor steve_pain@mrn.co.uk - Fresh from dethroning long-time rival Oracle as the world's leading database maker, IBM is now aiming to become the leading manufacturer of software that businesses use to run their operations over the Web.

The US firm, which has a major operation at Warwick, is turning up the heat on software makers BEA Systems, webMethods and Tibco Software, with a new strategy.

This centres on its new WebSphere version five application server - software that engineers use to build applications, connecting them to data bases and transaction processors and putting the results out on Web sites.

IBM's move intensifies the fierce rivalry that has been brewing for more than a year between the company - in the States nicknamed Big Blue - and current market leader BEA.

IDC, which tracks market share, is expected within the next few weeks to release its most recent figures, spotlighting the win, place and show positions for 2001, and who is out of the quickly consolidating market.

Within the past two years, IBM has gained ground quickly. IDC, whose market share numbers are gospel in the technology sector, estimates the market will reach pounds 4 billion by 2006.

In 2000, BEA led with 18 per cent of the pounds 1.5 billion market compared with 15. …