December 2004

Bye bye IBM PC
IBM, the company that gave us the IBM PC almost a quarter of a century ago, has left the PC business. They sold it to the Chinese Lenovo Group, which used to be known as Legend Computer, for $1.75 billion. That's about a week's worth of IBM sales.

I am sure the Lenovo Group is very competent, but it's a sad day to see IBM sell the PC. It feels like someone sold the Statue of Liberty. The IBM PC stood for American ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit, even in giant companies such as IBM. And though Apple and others were there before, it was really IBM that founded the personal computer industry with the PC. As a veteran I remember well my first IBM PC with its dual 320kb floppy drive, and then my first PC XT with its cavernous 10 megabyte hard disk, and then my first IBM AT, which I named "Starship" because it was so fast with its 6 MHz 80286 processor. IBM then blew it big time first with the PC Junior and then with the attempt to grab back the open PC standard with the ill-fated PS/2. Then came the ThinkPads, which, of course, started as pen computers. I still have, and occasionally use, some of my old ThinkPads, especially the incomparable TransNote.

Now it's all over. IBM sold the PC to the Chinese. Things won't ever be the same. [see story]
-- Posted Saturday, December 11, 2004 by chb