Java RTOS-like runtime. That's what IBM research, AKA Domino, the division behind deep blue, and the chess champion crap does. They also work on the Linux kernel, Eclipse and other mundane tasks to advance open source, now that AIX has been pretty much phased out.
Here's a good example of what IBM does as far as consultancy:
In the pilot, AmerisourceBergen will use IBM's RFID middleware and embedded software on readers to read RFID tags currently used by certain pharmaceutical manufacturers as those products enter the distribution center. The unique product ID from each RFID tag will be electronically stored in IBM's EPCIS, which will be the platform for secure electronic communications back to the product's manufacturer. This secure information exchange will allow AmerisourceBergen and its trading partners to work collaboratively to share transaction information and further secure the supply channel.
A big company with a limited IT department wants a solution. Not software to create a solution, but a solution period.
They could care less if they could get the solution cheaper somewhere else! (most important IBM customer factor).
They get IBM to do it. IBM bills $3-500 per account services hour, $300+ per developer hour for US managers directing people working at 20k a year in India.
It costs at least a half million just to get a folder open for your company at IBM.
That's IBM in the private sector.
The government sector is trickier.
In World War II, they made a significant amount of money selling punch card machines to the government of Germ......
In modern days IBM secures government contracts by buying a government official a nice boat or a sports car he or she could never afford on a public salary. They are smart about it and keep it on the down low.
Every once in a great while they get caught and they can't keep it quiet.
@felix9: I think they're taking it easy after MIX and TechEd -- I believe Charles in is Hawaii, if his Facebook photos are anything to go by
Indeed. I just got back late last night... I have some great videos from ICSE 2011 (International Conference of Software Engineering) where the great Wolfram Schulte plays the role of lead interrogator. He did a wonderful job! Also, I got a chance to interview Mohsen Agsen again (he runs the Hawaii R&D "center", which pumps out great VS features for native developers and managed developers - some you are using today, some we didn't talk about because they won't show up until tomorrow). Most of the mohsen interview is about Visual C++ today and tomorrow...
Sorry I've been so quiet lately, but I hope you'll see it's worth the wait
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