|Date: ||Wed, 4 Oct 2006 10:06:04 -0600|
|Reply-To: ||Alan Churchill <SASL001@SAVIAN.NET>|
|Sender: ||"SAS(r) Discussion" <SAS-L@LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>|
|From: ||Alan Churchill <SASL001@SAVIAN.NET>|
|Subject: ||Re: Death of the Mainframe? (was PC SAS vs. Mainframe SAS)|
|Content-Type: ||text/plain; charset="US-ASCII"|
Thanks for sending this along. I thought I would share with the list since
it has numbers, contradicts some things that have been said on this thread,
and reinforces others. Personally, I think it is a meaningless move on their
part but they have to do what they have to do:
IBM simplifies mainframe software By BRIAN BERGSTEIN, AP Technology Writer
IBM Corp. hopes a new effort to simplify programming for mainframe computers
helps keep those warhorses competitive.
Mainframes are sophisticated computers that for more than 40 years have
handled complex functions such as bank transactions. They can cost more than
$1 million each, but they retain a strong presence in companies that need
extremely reliable and secure computing.
However, some of the machines' traditional tasks have been shifted to
lower-cost computers in many corporate networks, leading rivals to denigrate
the mainframe as a dinosaur.
The market for mainframes and other high-end servers shrank from $19 billion
in 2000 to below $12 billion last year, according to IDC research director
IBM retains the leading share of the field and reaps a significant bounty
from the software and maintenance associated with mainframes. But sales of
the machines themselves dropped 7.6 percent in 2005 and rebounded only 1.5
percent in the first half of this year.
Lately, IBM has tried to keep mainframes attractive by encouraging computing
administrators to run open-source software and other lightweight programs on
mainframes. And in April, Big Blue rolled out a starter-level mainframe that
starts at $100,000 and is targeted at smaller companies.
Now IBM is announcing an effort to simplify the operating system and
programming language that run mainframes, which often take years for
specialists to master.
The company plans to spend $100 million over the next five years on the
project, which will aim to make running a mainframe much like controlling
any other kind of computer.
That means mainframes will finally get more of the graphical interfaces and
drag-and-drop controls that are standard on personal computers and servers
today. The absence of such features is thought to hinder the recruitment of
new mainframe engineers, who are in dire need. Because of the long history
of the platform, many mainframe experts are nearing retirement.
The programming effort, along with IBM's continuing work to encourage
mainframe training in university computer science programs, is designed to
accelerate the growth of the mainframe, said Jim Stallings, general manager
of IBM's mainframe line.
"It's not so much about protecting, it's about going after new customers and
markets," he said.
Savian "Bridging SAS and Microsoft Technologies"