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ADA Elektronisk Tidning – Torget

© Ana L. Valdés
translation Eva von Pepel
John Patrick

I speak two languages, English and HTML says jokingly the charismatic John Patrick, Vice President of IBM and the man behind the successful ThinkPad technology.

He was one of the heavy speakers at the World Wide Web Conference. At the opening ceremony he shared some of The Big Blues’ strategy with regard to the Internet.

We met to discuss IBM’s role in software development. “To make people understand that global distribution of a local network, the Internet; is our greatest challenge. We must assist companies and vendors in promoting themselves via the Net and offer them simple and compact solutions that can even be used by people with poor knowledge of computers.”

“That is why, nearly a year ago, we chose to purchase Lotus Notes. We believe that Lotus technology is one of the best tools available for building homepages and Internet applications. No HTML skills are required to make with Notes a nice and complex Web page. There is even a build in tool that sends a completed page on the Net. Now, complementary to Lotus, there are also InterNotes that make server maintenance a lot easier and let site owners get ever so much popular information on who and for how long logged in.”

We talk about their new services; infoSage, News Ticker and IBM infoMarket, different solutions yet all targeting the information hungry users. infoSage, recently released in commercial version, is based on a personalized flow of information where the user, after having paid a small subscription fee, orders tailored news from various newspapers and magazines.

infoSage concentrates thus far on the American market but new versions adapted to the local news and papers are being developed. Nest in line comes France and UK.

Principally will News Ticker and IBM infoMarket be freely distributed and offer the user some great search possibilities. However, should an user want an article or more extended news coverage the money will be ticking away then.

According to John Patrick the services are most suitable for writers and publishers who want to be paid for their creations. Up until now IBM sold 35 subscription to media enterprises that not only want to distribute their information but pay writers for their copyrights as well..

The system is based on cryptographic envelopes and can only be opened with a private key. This can contribute to a veritable revolution in struggle between users and creators who also want their share in information technology’s economic profits.

From a distance, IBM is watching how Netscape and Microsoft toil and moil to keep and increase their browser share on the market. IBM’s policy is different; they have no plans to favor one browser or the other but come up with long term, lasting strategies that can guarantee companies safe transactions and global distribution of theirs message.

One wonders if their recipe won’t be the winning one.