back to article Lenovo and IBM's System x biz: It'll be just like 2005's PC buyout

It was only eight months ago when the industry was rife with rumours that IBM was selling all or part of their x86 business to Lenovo. It took a while, but the deal has gone down and it’s now up to the lawyers and accountants to finalize the paperwork. This deal has turned out to be (way) more comprehensive than anticipated. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Forgot one thing

    One of the other things Lenovo did when it bought the PC division is swap-out almost the entire workforce they TUPEd in. So whereas headcount may now be bigger than it was in 2005, those are Chinese and (to a much smaller extent) Slovakian heads, instead of US or UK ones.

    My bet is that out of the 7500 individuals being talked about now to transfer, only about 1500 will still have a job at Lenovo in 18 months.

    1. danolds

      Re: Forgot one thing

      Hmm...I'm not so sure it was as big a swap-out as you're saying. There are still a boatload of Lenovo folks in Raleigh, NC. How many of those are legacy IBM, I'm not sure. I also know that they've hired a number of IBM'ers to staff their earlier server efforts.

      I seriously doubt that the carnage for the people moving from IBM to Lenovo will be anywhere close to what you're saying. They're picking up an ENTIRE division of completely new products. I'm assumnig that they truly do want to be a power in the x86 server market. That said, they can't afford to blow out the people they're going to need to market, sell, service, and design these boxes. It just doesn't make sense to me.

  2. Arctic fox

    "Successes? Oh, we've had a few...........

    ...........But then again, too few to mention"*

    *Sorry Frank.

    1. danolds

      Re: "Successes? Oh, we've had a few...........

      Ok, that one made me spit Sprite Zero all over my keyboard....great

      1. Arctic fox

        Re: Ok, that one made me spit Sprite Zero....

        Thank you kindly!

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Offer decent support

    One way that Lenovo would be able to have success is by offering decent support. My experience of getting IBM to fix a server which was shipped with a defective CPU was less than pleasant. They went to every effort to avoid coming on site. When they did eventually turn up, they swapped out completely unrelated components.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Just as their PCs have gotten crappier, I bet the x systems will get crappier. Oh well.

    1. danolds

      Crappier? Eh, I don't agree

      You think their PCs have gotten crappier over time? Hmmm...that hasn't been my experience. I had an original ThinkPad when I was with IBM for a few years in the late 90's until 2001. I was impressed with the design and durability - very efficient box. Just for fun, I priced out my business laptop as if I were buying it retail and was shocked to see how much the thing would have cost me.

      After leaving Big Blue and starting my own company, I had HP, Acer, Fujitsu, and Sony laptops before giving Lenovo a try again. While the other laptops worked fine and were functional, I found that the Lenovo had that same durability and functional design that I remembered from my first ThinkPads. Moreover, when I started buying Lenovos, the prices had reached parity with the rest of the industry.

      So, from my perspective and for my needs, their laptops are a cut above the rest. I haven't tried every laptop out there - or any other brand for the last three years, so maybe things have changed.

    2. ben_myers

      Crappy Thinkpads? Gimme a break!!!!

      I have little or no experience with Lenovo desktops, which don't show up much around here. And I can't speak much for non-Thinkpad laptops, of which I see very few.

      But the Thinkpads have remained durable, reliable, well-made laptops under Lenovo ownership. Also easy to repair, find spare parts, find repair manuals. Right now, Thinkpads are my favorite. I resell a few, refurbish a few, and recommend to people who want to buy direct or from a bigger reseller. Dell is in second place, but Dell's track record is now marred by some godawful design decisions, resulting in laptops difficult to repair, as difficult as HPaq, Toshiba and Sony... Ben Myers

  5. Erik4872

    Hope it goes smoothly

    I've had very good luck with System x support. Actually doing business with IBM is very difficult and it seems you need to contact an army of reseller staff just to place an order. Maybe Lenovo can fix this. I think that swapping out all those "expensive" US support folks I talk to would be a very bad idea, since being able to talk to a knowledgeable CE and support tech is one of the main reasons to spend the extra money on a System x machine. I know a lot of people have different experiences, but for me, once I get through the nightmare of firmware and driver hell, the equipment itself seems to be well made and just run forever. As long as you don't touch firmware. :-)

    If you buy a "real" ThinkPad with an onsite service warranty from Lenovo, you still get IBM's support model. And I think Lenovo has done a decent job turning around IBM's PC division. It's only recently (last 2 generations) that they've started messing with the original design of the laptop. I'm not a big fan since it's obvious they're just trying to copy Apple. But I'm not alone in not liking the new designs, so hopefully Lenovo will NOT be like IBM in the sense that they'll listen to customer feedback.

    Lenovo: I want my physical trackpoint buttons back on my new T540p!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    IBM is exiting hardware biz

    completely. Too sad. I hope that POWER systems will not be next in line. Where is the POWER8 ? We have been waiting for ages ! And no talk about the POWER9. Why are there not a POWER roadmap ?? It will be difficult to make long term plans if IBM releases no information about POWER cpus.

  7. AndrewDu


    "they kept the attributes that were most attractive to their best customers: things like product quality, reliability, durability, and performance,"

    Well, maybe they kept performance.

    As for the others, we've completely given up buying Lenovo laptops - far too many failures, shoddy construction, iffy support, etc etc.

    Getting ready to switch to HP servers now...

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