Home > IBM > IBM To Leave the PC Business? IBM To Leave the PC Business? Submitted by danjr 2004-12-03 IBM 59 Comments Word is that IBM is seeking to sell off its PC business. The company is said to be in talks with Lenovo. IBM could get between $1 and $2 billion for its PC unit. The company wants to focus on the more lucrative enterprise and server solutions. About The Author Eugenia Loli Ex-programmer, ex-editor in chief at OSNews.com, now a visual artist/filmmaker. Follow me on Twitter @EugeniaLoli 59 Comments 2004-12-03 9:40 pm Anonymous Frankly, I’m surprised IBM waited this long. 2004-12-03 9:42 pm Anonymous Here comes the people who said they saw this coming. ^^^ 2004-12-03 9:50 pm Anonymous looking after the low profit desktop PC market space this gives IBM room to focus on the products that make the “REAL” money, big iron POWER systems. 2004-12-03 10:04 pm Anonymous In fact, it was well know that IBM is closing it’s PC sector for some time. Most country, including Canada, received claim that IBM PC computer division will close soon three years ago. But it looks like IBM simply retarded the closing of this division instead of changing their mind. 2004-12-03 10:35 pm Anonymous Lenovo is known for manufacturing cheap(I mean CHEAP, not inexpensive) computers. They are successful, but they have no real R&D. If they get the rights to the Thinkpad line, I’ll be really mouring the death of the best laptops in the world, though Thinkpads have been going downhill since IBM left the design to its Japanese lab. 2004-12-03 10:57 pm Anonymous great, all this ibm training for squat. it better transfer to whoever buiys it i dont wanna go thru all this bullcrap again. 2004-12-03 10:59 pm Anonymous Order of events: 1) Microsoft sees that it is a good business decision to buy it. (Not to mention the likelyhood that its the only entity that can afford the asking price) 2) Microsoft releases “XBOX NEXT – PC Edition” using their newly acquired “PC” architecture and using the IBM Power processor. As the new XBOX console (possibly the PC too!) requires three of these processors, x86 emulation for legacy compatibility is now possible. 3) Microsoft discontinue support for x86 with the introduction of codename BlackComb and optimize the new OS for PowerPC. 4) Microsoft now own your hardware and your software, leaving old apps to run in legacy x86 mode. can nobody else see this? 2004-12-03 11:03 pm Anonymous “can nobody else see this?” No, but let us know where are you getting whatever it is that you are smoking, because I really want some of that! 2004-12-03 11:16 pm Anonymous “can nobody else see this?”–Phil I can buy some of that (i.e., Microsoft going into hardware to further solidify its intent to control ‘whatever’), but not Microsoft embracing PowerPC. I see PPC gaining, but not a strong foothold against AMD64, which is now the order of the day–so much so that even Intel backed off. The future belongs to two Capricorn companies And on AMD64. (a hint: don’t bet on Apple staying with PPC for long; and there will be another similar company to receive Microsoft’s torch of dominance). As for IBM, it makes sense that they leave the consumer PC market. –EyeAm http://s87767106.onlinehome.us 2004-12-03 11:19 pm Anonymous Naw, the courts might bend over for microsoft but they certainly won’t hand them the vasceline. I can’t see a convicted monopolist being allowed such blatant disregard for the rules. Just think of the garbage we would be stuck with if microsoft built the hardware! That said I wouldn’t be surprised if Bill Gates himself bought it independant of Microsoft. Of course they’ld have some sort of under the table deals gioing on. 2004-12-03 11:48 pm Anonymous Just think of the garbage we would be stuck with if microsoft built the hardware! First, I think Microsoft makes pretty good Hardware, their mice, keyboards and joysticks are pretty nice. Second, I think the one thing Apple really has going for them is that they control the hardware, so that would help Microsoft too. If you go to a Linux or Microsoft newsgroup you see countless posts about such and such hardware not working correctly or BSOD because of such and such hardware. If Microsoft made the hardware or even just certified what hardware their OS could run on, it would be like Apple where you don’t encounter those issues. 2004-12-03 11:53 pm Anonymous Microsoft don’t make hardware. They contract hardware manufacture out to Asian OEMs, like most other non-Asian hardware ‘makers’. That’s why it’s good. BTW, read this: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/03/ibm_pc_jv_lenovo/ . The Reg think a joint venture is more likely, and their reasoning makes sense to me. 2004-12-04 12:16 am Anonymous What will happen to the PPC processors? Will Lenovo produce them now? Or will Apple look to Motorola once again? 2004-12-04 12:30 am Anonymous IBM is only selling their PC division, not their servers and certainly not their POWER line of machines / processors. 2004-12-04 12:41 am Anonymous A bit paranoid and misinformed, aren’t we? PC=Personal Computer (i.e. complete desktop or laptop), certainly not only the processor? IBM’s semiconductor operation is a completely separate business unit (otherwise we would have PPC Thinkpads by now, yummy:), riding the waves of success of POWER processors on big iron (IBM’s primary focus), so PPC and Apple aren’t going anywhere for a loooong while. 2004-12-04 12:42 am Anonymous “What will happen to the PPC processors?” IBM is getting out of the x86 Personal Computer market. They previously contracted out manufacturing of PCs, so this isn’t a big surprise. Desktop and laptop systems aren’t very profitable. IBM will still be in the server business. Servers may share hardware and software with PCs, but they aren’t PCs – they aren’t ‘Personal’, they’re designed (and priced) to be shared by many users. Profits are possible in this segment. IBM’s semiconductor operation makes PPC and Power processors, which have absolutely nothing to do with the desktop x86 personal computer operation. This isn’t the first, and won’t be the last, product line that IBM decides isn’t worth the effort. They sold the hard drive business to Hitachi, and the printer & keyboard operation was spun off and became Lexmark. Read the Annual Report and you can see where they are making money. The service sector is growing quickly, mainframes are doing well, and the semiconductors are required for success in mainframes. Their interest in Linux stems from the services that they can sell, and it reduces the cost of developing software that can be used across the entire mainframe and server line. 2004-12-04 1:07 am Anonymous This is horrible for IBM. Very unwise decision. Here is my my anylisis [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Hewlett-Packard [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] International Business Machine [Success] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Sun Microsystems [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Fujitsu [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] Gateway [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Workstations] [Servers] Dell [Success] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] Apple ———————————————————————- ——————————————– [Failed] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Digital [Failing] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Silicon Graphics [Failed] [Consumer Desktop] [Electronics] [Software] [Workstations] [Servers] [High-end Servers] Compaq And sun micro is doing the worst of the ones that have had success. 2004-12-04 1:09 am Anonymous Linux was never built to be a mainstream server OS. Linux’s archetecture has huge flaws in it. GNU’s Hurd is probably the best designed server OS that I’ve seen in my life–but it’s not supported. IBM needs an OS like Hurd or Solaris that is tweaked specifically to run on the archetecture not rely on some vender’s software. 2004-12-04 1:13 am Anonymous Intel has a chip that is 100% compatible with AMD64. It’s the Xeon and P4 with Extended Memory technology. IBM invented the personal computer, it is retarded for them to just leave. Keep the conglmo going. They did not push to get retail partners or to market it that good. 2004-12-04 1:18 am Anonymous There’s no motivation for them to even sell PCs anymore…all they’re doing is helping prop up a competitor [intel and Microsoft]! With all the PPC design wins they are getting, it’s a bit of a confict of interest to still be selling the competition’s stuff. IBM has proven itself to be a great techonolgy company, but they suck at properly selecting features and marketing. I could see IBM as the next Intel or AMD. It’s Always been other people that make the quick profits from IBM’s ideas [like the PC] but IBM has learned since then to be the “guy behind the curtian” Doleing out the cool toys to both sides…and making a tidy profit in the meantime. They’ve already got a “Power on everything” push going….maybe they’ll add “Linux on everything” to that. Linux isn’t a real threat to IBM because it still takes Billions of dollars to build a decent chip fab today…as long as they control keys to the fab they’ll always have a cut of the profits! 2004-12-04 1:36 am Anonymous A new computer architecture is planed (about time). Sony will use CELL based computer in home, IBM will make them for enterprise and industries. 2004-12-04 1:55 am Anonymous …They’ll: – make their own Linux distribution (or use a current one, which is most likely) – make something like WINE (or use WINE and improve upon it), – produce machines with PPC processors in them – running said distribution of Linux with WINE in it, making it as easy to use as Windows and be able to run Windows apps… Or I’m living in a damn good fantasy land… 2004-12-04 1:57 am Anonymous You mean like AIX for RS/6000 and POWER, OS/2 for x86, OS/400 for AS/400 and OS390 for their mainframes? Yeah, IBM don’t know anything about architecture-specific OSes, do they? 2004-12-04 2:38 am Anonymous WINE only works for emulating Windows apps on x86 hardware since the binaries it runs are x86 binaries. You would need an x86 emulator underneath WINE to run Windows apps on PowerPC. Apparenlty universal bytecode interupters are on their way with the ability to universely emulate any machine code with 80% efficency. 2004-12-04 3:02 am Anonymous “- make their own Linux distribution (or use a current one, which is most likely) – make something like WINE (or use WINE and improve upon it), – produce machines with PPC processors in them – running said distribution of Linux with WINE in it, making it as easy to use as Windows and be able to run Windows apps… ” Massive fantasy land. This isn’t a big deal, IBM has basicly balled on PCs a few times then come back, like when they brought out the Aptiva line, then let it die, then they made a few more spurts but then yanked their retail channels, and now they are just getting rid of a very minor chunk of them, like printers and such before. Aside from laptops, nobody buys ibm PCs anymore, and the in laptops other makers have made huge inroads on them now. They make a solid laptop, but others are to, and the basic design of the IBM laptop has never changed and now looks very dated, the biggest draw for most people to get a IBM these days is the trackpoint (why oh why won’t makers use them, if apple put trackpoints on their machines it would be heaven). Futhermore its not even like IBM designed their laptops, it’s the same companie that designs laptops for apple and most other makers the designs them. So not like much will change if they spin them off. Frankly will probably cause a fresh new life for the new formation. Look at lexmark, IBM was all but dead in printers, and then lexmark became a big time player, probably number 2 after HP. Which a new company it might breath a big chunk of fresh air into things. And make for a new big player. I’d name the company Blue. IBM could care less about putting linux on anything like a PC, they are just using it as long as people are interested in it for servers. Haven’t seen them putting out commercials for linux in a while, they are probably allready moving on. IBM is first and foremost a research company. They develop stuff behind the scenes, patent it, and sell the tech to other companies. When some part of them they form becomes a small change piece, they sell it off. 2004-12-04 3:27 am Anonymous looking after the low profit desktop PC market space this gives IBM room to focus on the products that make the “REAL” money, big iron POWER systems. Please, the mainstay of IBM’s business certainly is not their UNIX devision. IIRC, their UNIX devision is still making heavy losses in favour of trying to suck customers into purchasing over priced services and crap. IBM’s maystay is selling services, they’re a service company with a computer devision tacked onto the side of it, plain and simple. They sell their hardware at next to nothing in the hope of sucking clueless enterprise customers into outsourcing all their IT stuff to IBM. Oh, and for the record; Apple sells more systems per quarter than IBM’s PC division. Oh, and as for UNIX server sales, SUN is still the number one vendor in regards to units sold per quarter. 2004-12-04 3:45 am Anonymous And sun micro is doing the worst of the ones that have had success. True, but even so, it is early days yet with SUN. Solaris 10 is the first Solaris release where Solaris x86 is on a level footing with its SPARC counterpart. Yes, SUN has made mistakes in the past, however, now that the SPARC bigots have been booted out of the company long ago, it is now a situation of the best technology winning. You’ll find that SPARC will be relegated to high availability servers used in telcos and enterprises, and Opteron used in the lower end ( less than 8 way) server and workstation space, and with the improvement next year, with the launch of the dual core Opteron, coupled with the thread monster that is Solaris, SUN will be in a prime position to exploit the best aspects of Solaris. What SUN needs, however, is a better marketing department. When was the last time I saw advertisement in the Financial Review? this is a paper that is on the desk and coffee table of every C*O in Australia, and yet, SUN doesn’t advertise in it? Maybe a SUN employee can explain this strange phenominon. SUN advertises on slashdot.org, which is filled with lowly grunters from the IS department, which have no say in the purchasing decision, and yet, they fail to advertise in the Financial Review, the type of paper that the decision makers in companies read every day. 2004-12-04 3:58 am Anonymous “Apparenlty universal bytecode interupters are on their way with the ability to universely emulate any machine code with 80% efficency.” Could I interest you in this fine bridge, sir? 2004-12-04 5:03 am Anonymous IBM invented the personal computer, it is retarded for them to just leave. Ooo, that’s my favorite comment from you. “Retarded” is a very subjective term. I, for one, am quite happy corporations are by time to time not tied to conservative dogma such as the one your posting. I take it you were also a nay-sayer when Sun stopped delivering SPARC-only because ‘they always did that’? SUN advertises on slashdot.org, which is filled with lowly grunters from the IS department, which have no say in the purchasing decision, and yet, they fail to advertise in the Financial Review, the type of paper that the decision makers in companies read every day. Probably because adverising on Slashdot is much cheaper while they’re able to get mindshare by that. Just like IBM, Sun likes free development. —- I figured POWER is technically doing well right now. MIPS is only for embedded technologies these days if not heading for that. If i got it right, their only high-end competition is SPARC (sorry but i don’t expect much from SGI except a few stable contracts. Not sure about HP though). Anyway, i’m wondering, what does this exactly mean? Do people who bought their laptop get futher support from their x86-related contracts from the corp which buys this division? How long does it take to make a transition like this and does this mean we can expect more POWER-related-only development from IBM? How are they able sell this when they’re also a service company partly based on exactly what they’re selling? They’re not selling that part i assume, so i assume people still get support (now and future and future on non-POWER thus x86 too). I also assume this money is put into POWER but, until i know such details i don’t fully get the implications of this. If their new plan fails, i do guess they’re always able to bail back to what HP is mostly doing now and Sun now partly does: rebadging. 2004-12-04 5:47 am Anonymous I’m a little disappointed that they are selling their PC and Laptop division, more so for the Laptop the the PCs, but their line has become rather stagnant Hopefully they will use this time to push more forward thinking designs for computers. 2004-12-04 5:55 am Anonymous I think mabhatter is right, IBM could becomming the next Intel/AMD. We all know that the current x86 architecture is on its last legs. Microsoft will only support it for so long, then move on to something else. The folks behind Linux, well like every other platform, will adopt whatever comes there way. The question is, what is comming our way? IBM doesn’t want to get holding the bag this time, so it is going to make sure it is as close as it can get in the driver’s seat when a new architecture for personal computing finally arrives. It could be a quick change to something where we find all our stuff has to be upgraded, or a slow evolution. Perhaps, Microsoft, seeing Intel working with Linux development, wants to make sure its next version of Windows isn’t too reliant on what Intel comes out with. BeOS eventually became hardware agnostic, working on both x86 and PPC (though didn’t they give up the latter later on?). Whatever shapes the next home computer, no doubt will require some processing muscle, IBM just wants to be there to provide that. 2004-12-04 7:50 am Anonymous “I think mabhatter is right, IBM could becomming the next Intel/AMD. We all know that the current x86 architecture is on its last legs.” Really? I didn’t quite get that memo. Last time I checked, Intel and AMD introduced 64-bit chips at the same time, one based on the x86 instruction set and one not. One of them became hugely popular in just about every market it was released into, and the other one sank faster than its close namesake… 2004-12-04 8:17 am Anonymous “IBM invented the personal computer, it is retarded for them to just leave. ” IBM has made nearly everything over time, rifles, bomber sights, type writers, clocks, big giant killer robots…. Every big company ends products/markets the were in or formed. Its the nature of thing. IBM stands for International Business Machines by the way, nothing in there about PCs, when they started the machine truely meant machines, PC are just a blip on their timeline. 2004-12-04 12:13 pm Anonymous “Linux was never built to be a mainstream server OS.” That’s not how IBM is using it. IBM will continue to sell the big iron with specialized OSs. The purpose of Linux on mainframes is to run it on a partition and be able to run the multitudes of FOSS applications. For example, the principle use for a mainframe may be some huge database. But the customer would like tack a web interface onto that. They could use a smaller, separate server for that. Or they could run Linux on a partition of the mainframe and use Apache. It is much less work for IBM to port Linux to the mainframe than it is to port all of the applications directly to a specialized mainframe OS. Linux gives IBM a common platform across all hardware. The answer to “Can you run xxx?” is yes. That doesn’t mean that Linux will be the only OS on those platforms. It may be the only OS for some of the lower end hardware, but even there, I suspect that they will continue to sell Windows on x86 as long as there’s a market for it. Other OSs aren’t going away, but Linux will be the one that runs on everything. 2004-12-04 1:02 pm Anonymous Watch IBM sell Apple as a reseller, it’s ovah for da Wintel dynasty! 2004-12-04 1:23 pm Anonymous This gives me a feeling of Deja Vu. Years ago IBM stopped producing PC’s. Later it started again and now it’s gonna stop producing them again by selling the unit. 2004-12-04 3:47 pm Anonymous If Microsoft made the hardware or even just certified what hardware their OS could run on They already do this. Its called the WHQL (Windows Hardware Quality Lab). When you see one of those notices that your driver hasn’t been signed during install you can be assured that MS hasn’t certified the hardware. 2004-12-04 5:31 pm Anonymous Obviously, I agree that the largest majority of revenue comes from services. IBMs professional services department is a billion dollar business, but since we where talking about selling off a PC hardware business I thought I would compare the big iron hardware business income to the PC. 2004-12-04 8:08 pm Anonymous Lets see, IBM got Power5, they got PPC and finally they got Cell aswell. WHY would they produce x86 machines? 2004-12-04 8:51 pm Anonymous According to the NYTimes, IBM was selling approx 0.9 Million units per quarter with margins that were not high enough to bring in a comfortable profit. Dell sold nearly 6 times as many last quarter alone. Since purchasers already know that PC hardware is a commodity whose production is a matter of assembly by cheap labor — as lo-tech or medium-tech as a TV, or dvd system — so it’s likely that the sale of the business wont be much of a setback to IBM’s pvisibilty in the corporate world. The bigger questions are: what does IBM see in its crystal ball that we dont see yet? Are PCs in line to be, like toilet paper and toothpaste, the loss leaders in a WalMart world of computing accessories and services? 2004-12-04 10:31 pm Anonymous Tell me, are those architecture-specific OS’s successful? and when an OS is successful do they hold onto it or phase it out? Besides, I don’t think I made myself clear about it well enough.. I was meaning something in the lines of Solaris or so on….. sorry – I agree with you. Sun is horrible at marketing. Very horrible. 2004-12-04 10:35 pm Anonymous “That’s not how IBM is using it” Come on.. We all know you can use it but that dosen’t mean it’s the best. MILLIONS have been invested in getting rid of Linux’s horrible design flaws. Fact is Linux was origionally made to be something better than Minix. It has evolved over time, but still is unable to scale as much as an OS like Solaris, but that will likely improve over time. If something works and is very supported there is not much reason to stop using it, so that’s pretty much why something like hurd isn’t popular. Helps linux that they have a huge userbase that will fight for linux to the death (which is weird to me) 2004-12-05 6:52 am Anonymous Refer to http://www.aceshardware.com/forum?read=115081597 — Paul: Right, I thought [AMD64] was going to be the orphaned [microprocessor] of the decade, the next Alpha… BM: Oh I didn’t think so. But do you know why I knew? Because of Dave. Paul: Dave Cutler. BM: Yeah, Dave’s been all over this. Dave worked really closely with to design the chip. He was trying to get something that was really compatible and the problem that we have is that we want to support all of our applications totally. And these chips are just fantastic for that. Paul: It’s almost like applying the Microsoft model to [chip design]. — Ex-DEC connections refer to http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=8722 2004-12-05 6:58 am Anonymous Refer to http://images.visualwebcaster.com/25485/28924/Slide120.jpg 2004-12-05 12:47 pm Anonymous IBM’s PC division has long been under an identity crisis: Think about it: PS/2, Aptiva, NetVista, ThinkCentre. IBM’s desktops never found its niche and IBM always tried to remarket them somehow. Thinkpads were sucessful from the very beggining and never need a name change. Now why would anyone want to buy IBM’s PC division. They wouldnt be called “IBM” anymore, and certainly there is no real brand name worth any money expect for ThinkPad. And I dont think IBM will ever sell that. Now, why doesnt IBM re-releases OS/2 as an open source OS and let the good times roll? OS/2 is dead as it is… It could even help their Power5 sales by having Linux and OS/2 backing it up! Some companies just dont get it… 2004-12-06 1:07 am Anonymous IBM’s PC division has long been under an identity crisis: Think about it: PS/2, Aptiva, NetVista, ThinkCentre. IBM’s desktops never found its niche and IBM always tried to remarket them somehow. Thinkpads were sucessful from the very beggining and never need a name change. Now why would anyone want to buy IBM’s PC division. They wouldnt be called “IBM” anymore, and certainly there is no real brand name worth any money expect for ThinkPad. And I dont think IBM will ever sell that. Well, I wouldn’t quite agree. When they released their ThinkCentre line, it actually made ALOT of sense; don’t compete on upfront price; produce a better product that is easier to maintain, and thus, the savings are seen long term rather than short term acquisitions. As for their products itself; what held it back is the fact that refreshes took so long for them to come through; a prime example is what my brother was able to pick up of Dell, a 8200 powerhouse for NZ$3,000 including firewire, 128MB thumb drive and a massive 19inch screen; IBM couldn’t hold a candle to that deal. Want to win customers over, provide the best bang for the buck; be it a faster processor; most software included with the bundle, more memory, faster hard disk or something free added onto it – like a free 512MB thumb drive or something. Now, why doesnt IBM re-releases OS/2 as an open source OS and let the good times roll? OS/2 is dead as it is… It could even help their Power5 sales by having Linux and OS/2 backing it up! Some companies just dont get it… I doubt they would be able to open up OS/2 as they don’t 100% own every piece of code in it; what I would love to see, however, is OS/2 API re-implemented ontop of *NIX; they *COULD* implement an opensource, clean implementation – it would allow existing customers to migrate over without sacrificing losing their applications they require. With that being said, I doubt IBM will lift a damn finger for Linux. For all the hoo-haa made by IBM, they done nothing for Linux on the desktop. No ThinkCentre with Linux preloaded as an option to customers, instead of being 100% Windows XP; No Lotus client software available for Linux, be it Lotus Notes or Lotus Smart Suite. IBM is all talk, all hype, all bullsh*t and no actions. At the end of the day, customers will see behind the facade, and view IBM for what it truely is, an opportunistic company grabbing onto the next wave of hype sweeping the industry. 2004-12-06 5:05 am Anonymous IBM doesn’t deal much with home users, and not many people know or hear about IBM and it’s 300,000 employees. They should get a good price for this sale, and if it goes to the Chinese company, than it will marginalize Dell and HP sales in China. IBM has some short term operating dept that it can knock down (my suggestion), even though having dept at this time is not a crisis. That’s my guess. IBM is looking good within the global economy for the long term because it has ties to large markets and it works from the top, setting the pase for the entire computer industry. IBM is the world leader in technology. 2004-12-06 5:08 am Anonymous …also, ask Red hat or Novell if IBM is helping Linux growth, and also ask Linus Torvalds. You will see that IBM is supporting Linux through their software product line, and it is gernerating business for Linux vendors. 2004-12-06 6:10 am Anonymous China is a complicated market, and that country still has way too many people. 2004-12-06 6:52 am Anonymous Hardly surprising. They have had CRAP designs for years. They threw this market away, when it could easily have been theirs. Doesn’t say a lot for past management decisions. 2004-12-06 10:15 am Anonymous CRAP designs for years? Have you ever tried an IBM keyboard? It surely doesn’t sound like it. 2004-12-06 5:05 pm Anonymous Keyboards are but a small part of a computer system. IBM keyboards are fine, I have used them, but I refer to the cheap plastic looking box for under-desk or desktop. They looked horrible set against the opposition, and now the likely buyer is Chinese. Jesus, is there any manufacturing capability left in the West? Have we gone stark raving bonkers? 2004-12-06 6:18 pm Anonymous Even a small part of a computer system falls under your qualification “crap designs”, so your initial statement is untrue. And keyboards are very important, being by far the most used part in the interaction between user and computer. BTW, way back in 1961 the IBM Selectric typewriters already set the standard. 2004-12-06 7:06 pm Anonymous there is an interesting story on theregister.co.uk, it says IBM would be interested in buying Apple or team up in a joint venture: http://www.theregister.co.uk/2004/12/06/ibm_apple_speculation/ 2004-12-06 7:32 pm Anonymous Very interesting! Thanks for the link. 2004-12-06 7:37 pm Anonymous you’re welcome! 2004-12-06 7:52 pm Anonymous Any clue who I am? You know me! 2004-12-06 7:57 pm Anonymous I’ll let you know later, on another website. Ciao! 2004-12-06 10:44 pm Anonymous not really who are you? what other website are you talking about?