But is it still Big Blue?

I’ll refrain from reading too much into this, but the sale of IBM’s PC business to a Chinese company is one of those sign-of-the-times things.

The transaction…points to the rising global aspirations
of corporate China as it strives to become a trusted supplier to
Western companies and consumers. The sale also signals a recognition by
I.B.M., the prototypical American multinational, that its own future
lies even farther up the economic ladder, in technology services and
consulting, in software and in the larger computers that power
corporate networks and the Internet. All are businesses far more
profitable for I.B.M. than its personal computer unit.

I’m going to see if June Chan can get me a Lonovo, cheap.

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  1. The question is does this start the process where the USA computer industry begins a retreat that ends up like the battles for consumer electronics and steel did?

  2. Looks like it. PCs are becoming like TVs were a couple of decades ago. They’re just appliances now. Companies like HP and Dell are in the consumer entertainment business now. They’ve got fun Christmas catalogs.

    During the outsourcing discusssion a few months ago free-trade economists argued that exporting skills and products to lower cost countries is healthy if… If you’ve got fresh, innovative new ideas to develop into high-value products and jobs. Personally, I don’t see where all those things are going to come from. But maybe IBM is some sort of model. They evidently are healthy and profitable selling mainframes again and consulting servces.

  3. IBM mainframes are now made in Dublin Ireland.

  4. Yeah. I bought a Dell computer for home a couple of years ago. What could be more American than a company in Round Rock, TX? At one point I looked inside the computer and, I swear, every component in the box was neatly labled in black Arial type on white stickers: MADE IN CHANA. Scary.

  5. Here’s my two cents:
    With profit margins so low in enterprise computer hardware (often into the 1% including backend rebates) it’s no wonder IBM is finally going the way of other manufacturers. Acer was white boxing Compaq many years before. Besides, everyone knows that Dell’s components changed during install deployments and could have been made anywhere!
    At least at IBM, when you did get a hard drive, it was consistently the same part, made with the same benchmarks and quality and origin.
    Converging technologies are another answer to IBM’s decision. The military are currently using mobile/wearable computers. As TV and computer screens become one, and HDTV takes over, screens wil become larger and smaller. The new Media Center PC which has some of the future of convergent technologies is an example of the direction of merging, portable, entertainment computing. We can look forward to a future of technology/computing that will be very exciting indeed!

  6. Tamara, I think you’ve put your finger on what’s happening. Look also at where HP, Dell and Apple are going. What interests me is that the cutting-edge technology now seems to be appearing first for the home market, not the enterprise. What’s that say about the ability of business to innovate and change?