Using the term 'interactive tax' is a way of espousing an emotional
leaning on the topic to begin with.

Trying to strip away the emotion:

IBM needed the AS/400 to compete in the 'server' space with Unix and NT
boxes doing client/server and web work.  In order for this to happen,
they dramatically lowered the price of the AS/400 (iSeries) base
processors when they were only used for these types of batch workloads.

IBM also had an established revenue stream from those clients who were
using the AS/400 for traditional green-screen interactive work (5250).
In order to maintain this revenue stream they implemented a two-tier
performance system in which the 5250 work is limited by a hardware
feature.  This feature is purchased separately and can be quite
expensive.  These established customers are paying slightly less than
they did on previous models but considerably more than they would have
if IBM had allowed the entire processor to be available for interactive
work.  It is a 5250 governor of sorts.

My guess is that they are trying to maintain an existing revenue stream,
while allowing the iSeries to be more competitive in the server space.

Andy Nolen-Parkhouse

> So is the interactive "tax" a way for IBM to get money or a way for
IBM to
> push people off the other technology?
> I am not starting a flame war.  Just straight out curiosity.
> Adam Lang

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