Once a hardware company, always …

Well, it’s official. IBM is selling its personal computing division to Chinese computer-maker Lenovo. The ubiquity and sometimes-elegiac tone of the coverage of the transaction points to a fact that I live with every day: people still think IBM is a hardware company. I have come to see the futility of trying to overpower that meme. No matter that over 60% of IBM’s revenue comes from services and consulting. When IBM does something again as revolutionary as invent a personal computer then maybe the public perception will shift. Until then — even after IBM is long out of the personal computing market — people will think it outrageous that I work on a Mac at the office and find it odd that many IBM client solutions have no IBM hardware at all in them.

‘Course, I use a ThinkPad too and I think it is a superb machine, the best PC laptop made. And I thought that well before I took a job with the big ‘BM. That’s the only part of the sale that gives me pause. I certainly hope Lenovo can keep up the quality. By the way, did you know the ThinkPad design was inspired by a traditional Japanese lunchbox?

And, no, I don’t believe the Apple rumors. It just doesn’t make sense to me. But hey, strange bedfellows abound.