And to think I've used one of the first IBM PCs and am typing this on one of the latest (thus last)...
For 20 years of my life IBM has been nearly synonymous with PC (even if I have built all my own from scratch).
I think I read this on Slashdot, and I thought it was incredibly interesting. Does anyone find it crazy that now IBM makes Mac Processors, but Macs aren't called "IBM compatible"?
Personally, I think that IBM did well to get rid of that line. They didn't seem to be making a whole heap of money on it (compared to their other divisions), and now they can focus more on stuff like big-iron servers, and high-end workstations, etc.
indeed, the "compared to their other divisions" is required. IBM this year held over 3.5% in volume of the entire world PC sales, in money they probably hold a lot more as their machines are some of the more expensive ones.
I do however question the wisdom of their decision.
They intend to focus more on software and consultancy which sounds logical as they currently make more money from that.
But they are forgetting (and I've seen this time and again) that what appeals to customers is the entire package deal.
They get IBM consultants who bring IBM software running on IBM servers and also configure the company with IBM workstations and then bring in IBM support technicians to form the internal company helpdesk and network administration teams.
Remove one component from that mix and you stand to loose a lot of business to HP (for example) who DO have the entire package.
In that regard the PC production while itself a relatively minor part of the company income is vital in getting or retaining the lucrative contracts for many of the other divisions.
I've been on the receiving end of a similar decision, where a website was shut down for not making money.
Indeed it didn't which is hardly surprising as it didn't sell anything.
What it did do was provide potential customers with just enough information to get them started and then lure them towards local branches of our company where they would (at a price of course) be helped on by our staff.
When the website came life those offices indeed started to see some more customers, but someone high up decided that any project that doesn't itself turn a profit should be shut down so we were. Visitors to offices declined again...