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IBM Goes Legal Over Microsoft’s WebSphere Claims

Darryl K. Taft covers IBM, big data and a number of other topics for TechWeekEurope and eWeek

Big Blue declines performance comparisons, sends a lawyers’ letter instead

IBM has demanded Microsoft kill a site which claims IBM’s WebSphere runs better on Windows.

IBM lawyers have contacted Microsoft about the “Who Knew?” site, which claims that customers will save money and get better performance by running WebSphere on Windows Server 2008, instead of on IBM operating systems.

IBM has asked Microsoft to cease and desist from advertising its claims of superior performance and value, running IBM’s WebSphere on Windows Server 2008, eWEEK was told by Steven Martin, senior director of development platform products at Microsoft.

In late April, Microsoft established a Website with the theme of “Who Knew” that celebrated the use of Windows for running IBM middleware technology. IBM later took exception to the claims Microsoft made on the site, to which Microsoft’s Martin responded in a blog post challenging IBM to a bake-off.

In that post, Martin said:

“Yesterday I blogged about some recent findings regarding both system cost and performance when comparing Windows Server 2008 on an HP Blade Server against AIX on a POWER 570/POWER6 based server. As I stated, the tests showed that WebSphere loved running on Windows… to the tune of 66 percent cost savings and with better performance.”

However, rather than take the challenge to prove which solution was better performance- and value-wise, IBM instead responded through its lawyers.

“I’m disappointed that we heard from their attorneys rather than their performance team,” Martin said. “They didn’t respond to our request. But they asked us to take our site down.” Martin said Microsoft is still deciding what to do about IBM’s request.