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Not Just For ThinkPads Anymore: Lenovo Gets OK To Buy IBM Server Line

timothy posted about a month ago | from the division-of-labor dept.

IBM 93

IBM sold its personal computer line (including the iconic ThinkPad line) to Lenovo back in 2005. Now, Lenovo is poised to acquire IBM's line of X86-based servers, and has garnered the approval of a regulatory body which could have scotched the deal. (The article describes the server line at issue as "low end," but that's in the eye of the beholder.) From the article: The conclusion of the review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, is “good news for both IBM and Lenovo, and for our customers and employees,” Armonk, New York-based IBM said yesterday in a statement. While Cfius placed some conditions on the deal, they don’t significantly affect the business, and terms of the transaction didn’t change as result, a person with knowledge of the matter said, without specifying the conditions. The sale drew scrutiny because of disputes between China and the U.S., the world’s two largest economies, over cyberintrusions. By completing the deal, IBM can jettison a less profitable business to focus on growing areas, such as cloud computing and data analytics, while giving Lenovo a bigger piece of the global computing-hardware market. ... Spokesmen for IBM and Lenovo declined to comment on whether the Cfius clearance included any requirements or concessions. Holly Shulman, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, which leads Cfius, declined to comment.

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"Less profitable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683429)

Talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

Re:"Less profitable" (2)

gnupun (752725) | about a month ago | (#47683881)

If Apple can design in California and manufacture in China, and make tons of profit, why can't IBM do the same? Why does it have to sell the design part to people who are nowhere near as competent?

Re:"Less profitable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684055)

Because they are transisition to cloud and enterprise software services.

Re:"Less profitable" (3, Informative)

mmell (832646) | about a month ago | (#47684363)

Yup. They've got their head in the clouds. Their management personnel keep their heads somewhere else.

Re:"Less profitable" (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684081)

Apple doesn't sell computers or other electronic devices. Apple sells religious idols with a particular logo on them.

Companies selling irreligious computers face stiff competition, and the market naturally limits their profitability. Customers will go with whoever offers them the best deal. So such vendors and manufacturers need to highly optimize or offshore their production practices in order to keep them as cheap as possible.

Those peddling religion are in a very different situation. Once converted, it is comparatively rare for somebody to fully switch to a different religion. And while actively practicing the religion, such people will often show limited to no restraint, especially when it comes to financial matters. They will spend huge amounts of money on the religion, without any care about getting utility in return.

That's why those selling religion can get away with things that those selling practical tools never could.

Re:"Less profitable" (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a month ago | (#47684361)

Still, you have not actually discounted the fact that IBM could if it wanted to operate manufacturing wherever it need to be to compete, it might not be very profitable, but they could have profits in line with the chinese, and keep this business out of hands of the chinese. It seems as though instead, everything has to have a massive, fat profit margin to these companies, that making a modest amount isnt enough. If the chinese can manufacture these goods, albeit at a relatively low profit, IBM could spin off subsidiary to do it.

Re:"Less profitable" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684501)

...well... how else are they going to garner billions in bonuses(cash/stock) to go with their 100 million salaries? (I still find this hilarious as at most companies a CEO could drop dead and noone would probably notice for months or even years...)

Re:"Less profitable" (3, Interesting)

udachny (2454394) | about a month ago | (#47684273)

Just 10 minutes ago I explained to somebody here, who did not understand the basic principles of economy, such as capital formation based on savings, why the Chinese are buyin USA property [slashdot.org] and then I see this story and comments. The reason that the Chinese can and are buying USA property anx productive assets is that they cannot exchange their productive output for American output. The USA worker is made unproductive by American government and the foreigners, who export 500Billion USD/year more than USA exports to them (trade defficit) need to get rid of the dollars that are collecting dust and causing rising prices in their countries.

IBM sold this because they were offered a large cash amount (2,000,000,000) and 3,00,000,000 in Lenovo stock, and now IBM will enjoy productivity of a Chinese company that is not subjected to the insane USA anti-individual freedom rules, regulations, taxes and inflation. IBM will get rid of some American employees, who are made too expensive by USA government (I am not at all talking about salaries here, so do not bother) in a country where savings and productivity are punished, not rewarded since US government killed the free market.

cant even get the keyboard right on their laptop.. (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683437)

Lenovo laptops are the worst. They can't even get the keyboard layout right. I'm looking at you cntrl and function. Whomever thought it was a good idea to switch them around is a moron.

cant even get the keyboard right on their laptop.. (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683485)

Thank IBM for that. You can swap them in "BIOS" BTW.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683515)

Glorious Eastern Tigers are obligated to do everything in the opposite way of those Evil Western Devils.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683603)

I'm ok with the layout, but I'm not happy with the way that Lenovo as screwed up the keyboard and trackpad in recent years. On the latest generations of Thinkpads, they moved from the terrific old Thinkpad keyboard to a typical, lousy "island" keyboard layout. And they removed all of the mouse buttons, so you now have to depress the Trackpad, MacPro style, for a button push, even if you're using the Trackpoint. This is totally awkward.

The combination of a MacPro style trackpad and keyboard style leads me to believe that they are one more company who has succumbed to stupid Apple envy--even though their original design was far superior to Apple's.

I cant buy Thinkpads anymore. I wish that there was a good replacement, but there really isn't. Microsoft and Apple have screwed up the whole laptop industry.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (3, Interesting)

Bert64 (520050) | about a month ago | (#47683659)

The Apple touchpads are actually quite good, but everyone else's attempts to rip them off have been terrible and unusable...
I always used to use the nipple on thinkpads, and with other laptops i would always connect up an external mouse. When i got a macbook i actually started using the touchpad.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (3, Informative)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47683729)

Asus laptops it turns out have excellent touchpads. Even the old eee 900 had a small but otherwise very good one.

Touch pads have however always been the weakpoint of thinkpads. And battery life. But hey, you can chuck a cup of coffee over the keyboard then beat someone to death with it and it'll keep on truckin'.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683903)

I liked thinkpads because of the trackpoint, and the lack of the otherwise entirely superfluous windows keys, and because of the good keyboard and the sturdy build. Now, though, thinkpad has lost basically all of that and is just another also-ran. An expensive also-ran, true enough, but it hasn't been its own thing in a long time. Heck, there's nary a laptop anywhere that isn't a dvd viewer in disguise.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684053)

Lenovo actually makes a decent keyboard with ONLY the Trackpoint, and NO pad, the Thinkpad Tablet 2 bluetooth keyboard. Not wasting space on a twitchy touchpad gives more room for the actual keys, even restoring some of the "lost" dedicated keys such as PgUp, PgDn, Home, End, right Ctrl, etc - what a concept (!), especially for a compact keyboard. The size and spacing of the keys is amazing for a keyboard that matches a 10-inch tablet's dimemsions, 10x4.5" for the actual keyboard area (leaving out the weird tablet holding part across the top).

I can use it all day/night for work/play, and nary a touchpad thumb brush to jump the cursor to different parts of the screen - awesome! It's completely horizontal position (none of that non-ergonomic tilt that so many seem to prefer with larger keyboards), and optical Trackpoint are very easy on my carpal tunnel problem, although I do keep a mouse active for large page scrolling or fine cursor control, the one weak part of the design for me at least. Still, I can work long spells without moving my hands from the keyboard (aside from a few stretches every so often).

Re: cant even get the keyboard right on their lapt (1)

PixetaledPikachu (1007305) | about a month ago | (#47684741)

The X60 & X61's keyboards are also not equipped with TouchPad. Most of my colleagues hated it at first, since they're so used to it on their Dell's and HP's notebooks.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

rsmith-mac (639075) | about a month ago | (#47683919)

Asus laptops it turns out have excellent touchpads. Even the old eee 900 had a small but otherwise very good one.

I'd agree, but only up to the point where they went multi-touch. On my UX21A the touchpad isn't very good; palm rejection is poor and two-finger scrolling is often confused for pinch & zoom. Compared to Apple it's not nearly as reliable.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47683947)

Huh I rather like the UX21.

I've not tries the palm detection. Out of habit from the thinkpad I use syndaemon instead and that works very well. I think the pinch versus scolling must be a matter of thresholds.

If you run synclient in dump mode, you can get realtime positions of all blobs detected and it seems pretty accurate. I think there's some settings you can tweak.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684133)

Been using a used Thinkpad x60 for the last few years and must say that the keyboard and trackpoint are the best thing about it (aside from pretty flawless Linux compatibility, which probably comes from being old and very popular). When the time came to upgrade, it was between an Asus Zenbook ux32ln (catchy name) and a Macbook Pro 13" 8gb ram/256gb ssd. In the end I got the Macbook, but the Zenbook really impressed me. Not only did Asus fit a sensible but not overkill 1920x1080 screen, but the keyboard and trackpad were great, it had a discrete Nvidia GPU and didn't look like shit or feel cheap and flimsy. It was a good price too (~$1000).

Basically, Asus nailed everything except they put Windows 8 on it. Not really loving MacOSX either (tolerable once xtrafinder is installed), but I got Windows 7 installed now, so the panic is over.

I did look a lot at Thinkpads, but they all had far too many compromises: The modern keyboards have weird function keys, the screen resolution is too low by default, no sensible GPU (the highest was Intel 4600 or something like that), too much wasted space by a trackpad that I'm not going to use because Trackpoint is far better, they look like crap, except the Carbon, which is overpriced... They do offer a few laptops with better internals, but they are not Thinkpads and lose the Trackpoint. Lenovo just makes me very sad, because they could be making AMAZING computers, but Thinkpads keep getting less and less desireable. That and they also have Windows 8 on them.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a month ago | (#47684237)

Trackpads have always been meh, they're just a sucky and imprecise interface.

Give me clit mouse or give me death!

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

Kjella (173770) | about a month ago | (#47684359)

But hey, you can chuck a cup of coffee over the keyboard then beat someone to death with it and it'll keep on truckin'.

Not sure about the coffee, but the rest is has been a killer feature of IBM keyboards ever since the model M.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

serviscope_minor (664417) | about a month ago | (#47685103)

Many thinkpads have holes in the underside to drain spilled liquid out of the keyboard. There's a little keyboard-above-a-drip emblem imprinted on the plastic next to it.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47685997)

The "beat them to death and keep working" part isn't true anymore, either. My new Thinkpad fell 3 feet off a couch and broke.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

swillden (191260) | about a month ago | (#47687149)

Touch pads have however always been the weakpoint of thinkpads.

I'll never know. The very first thing I do when I get a new Thinkpad is to disable the touchpad on it completely. The trackpoint is greatly superior to any touchpad, even an Apple touchpad.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47685325)

I so wish that IBM would take back the Thinkpad from Lenovo--maybe they could swap the server line for the Thinkpad line.

Lenovo has royally screwed up the Thinkpad. The keyboard and the Trackpoint were the very best things in the older Thinkpads. The pointing device and they keyboard have gone radioactive. At least they haven't completely abandoned matte screens.

And UEFI sucks rocks!

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

dl_sledding (1624921) | about a month ago | (#47695869)

Really? I moved from a MacBook Pro to a T430S a couple of years ago, and I really like it. The trackpad isn't as good as the MBP, but it's pretty damn usable... I don't have any issues using it at all.

Not running M$ bloat OS tho, maybe that's why? Does Linux have a better trackpad driver than M$? And I still have the eraser mouse if needed.

I am extremely happy with the Lenovo and recommend it any time someone asks. I can get the proc I want, the amount of memory I want, and it's still reasonably priced (in my case, an I7 and 16g). When I got it the only other company that could match the specs I wanted was Alien, at twice the price and weight, and a 17" screen.

I was a little worried moving from a metal case (on the MBP) to a plastic case, but it has survived very well and the body is still very stiff with the metal (magnesium?) inner skeleton. No issues at all. And, I believe that the Fn key was swapped with the Ctrl key to make it easier to find in the dark, to turn on the backlighting... I know, kinda lame, how hard is it to find the SECOND button from the left in the dark, but I do appreciate it at those times.

And Lenovo's support is EXTREMELY good, the one time I needed it. Getting anything back the day after you send it in is unheard of in my neck of the woods... Normally the shippers aren't that good here.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683831)

And then they put a post right in the middle of the keyboard.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

mousse-man (632412) | about a month ago | (#47685413)

I actually consider the stubble a feature because my hands always get into the way of the trackpad and I have to switch it off.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a month ago | (#47684231)

That's not even the worst part. You can switch them in the BIOS, so it's effectively a null point.

But, yeah, the keyboards are fucked, regardless.

Text nav keys splayed fucking everywhere, lack of F key groupings, F keys that *aren't* F keys, chiclet bullshit, slop and flex regions.

It's not even a damn ThinkPad anymore.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684551)

Lenovo laptops are the worst. They can't even get the keyboard layout right. I'm looking at you cntrl and function. Whomever thought it was a good idea to switch them around is a moron.

Almost nobody gets the ctrl key right. It belongs in the home row.

Re:cant even get the keyboard right on their lapto (1)

radarskiy (2874255) | about a month ago | (#47686845)

The FN key is in the corner so you can find the keyboard light shortcut by touch in the dark.

Good news for employees! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683445)

Haven't you been wishing you had more free time? Just imagine all the exciting future opportunities that await you, somewhere else...

And good news for customers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683459)

At least for those looking for an excuse to go to HP or Dell but who couldn't escape the "nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" nostalgia.
 

Re:And good news for customers (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month ago | (#47683671)

People still buy their stupid fucking software frameworks.

More reason to worry about the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683453)

It was bad enough Lenovo bought the Thinkpad line, always a favorite in business computing. Now buying servers too? Lenovo and Huawei scare me, second only to the NSA.

More reason to worry about the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683499)

Almost all IBM stuff was manufactured in PRC anyway.

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month ago | (#47683607)

I haven't tried a post Lenovo-sale Thinkpad, but the thing I always liked about the IBM Thinkpad laptops, in general, was the keyboard. I always thought it had the best "feel" to a keyboard of all the vendors (not talking FN key layout or anything, just in terms of being a touch-typist it was the keyboard that felt the best and didn't seem 'flimsy' like a lot of them do).

Dell keyboards, IMHO, have always sucked - I haven't had a single one that hasn't felt 'cheap'.

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683615)

You're in for an unpleasant surprise. Lenovo switched to an Apple-style "island" keyboard for all Thinkpads a few years ago, and the keyboards are no longer especially good.

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (2)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a month ago | (#47684211)

>Dell keyboards, IMHO, have always sucked - I haven't had a single one that hasn't felt 'cheap'.

You obviously never tried the Dell Latitude E-series keyboards. My ~2008-vintage Dell E6400's keyboard is just about as good as any Thinkpad I've owned (and I've had a few).

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684717)

>Dell keyboards, IMHO, have always sucked - I haven't had a single one that hasn't felt 'cheap'.

You obviously never tried the Dell Latitude E-series keyboards. My ~2008-vintage Dell E6400's keyboard is just about as good as any Thinkpad I've owned (and I've had a few).

I *HAD* a Dell E6400. It's keyboard sucked compared to the keyboard on my Thinkpad 600. It wasn't even as good as the 100% size keyboard on my Thinkpad 240.

If you haven't used a Thinkpad made before 2002, you haven't used an IBM Thinkpad ... that's what the poster meant by "post Lenovo-sale Thinkpad". (Yes I know the sale was in 2004. The change to Lenovo design happened before the official sale)

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (1)

CaptnZilog (33073) | about a month ago | (#47684915)

Yeah, I had a 600x back in 1999, and then got an A21, both pre-2004 (I still have the A21, although the battery doesn't hold a charge very well anymore). I haven't had any keyboard I've tried since then (or before then) that has that kind of feel to it. Mostly they just feel cheap & flimsy, honestly I'd rather plug a real keyboard in than use the one built into the laptop (which, of course, rather defeats the purpose of having a laptop).

Don't think I've ever tried an E6400, but thus far every single Dell laptop keyboard has sucked in comparison (my job the last 10 years mainly bought Dells). I've 'tried them out' with other brands at various stores (now defunct Circuit-City, Staples, Best Buy, etc) and while I've found a few that feel ok, none have ever matched that old Thinkpad feel... a keyboard that didn't feel like it was going to break if you typed too hard.

Re:More reason to worry about the Chinese (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | about a month ago | (#47685035)

Best Buy and Staples do not sell Dell Latitudes, they sell the shitty consumer-grade Dells. That's like comparing Thinkpads (of 5 years ago when they were still good) to HP's cheapest model.

dupey dupe dupe dupe (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683475)

http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/14/01/23/1346243/lenovo-to-buy-ibms-server-business-for-23-billion

Re:dupey dupe dupe dupe (1)

dazau (630994) | about a month ago | (#47683599)

no I think they just got the approval from gov to do it.

i guess that means... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683487)

nobody will be buying these anytime soon.

Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Luke has no name (1423139) | about a month ago | (#47683493)

...and wonder why IBM is selling more of its lifeblood and history to an enemy of the United States.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683513)

HAHAHAHA Good one!

You had me rolling on the floor laughing with this one.

Mod parent funny because that is fucking hilarious.

-puddingpimp

Because... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683521)

all globalized corporations, the politicians who 'lubricate' them, and the wealthy individuals who control them are all enemies to the nations they're headquartered in, as well as any nation in which they have a lasting presence.

The Fins letting Microsoft indirectly gut and then firesale Nokia to themselves, to IBM selling out to the Chinese, to Halliburton relocating to Dubai. What do these all have in common? Corporations and their political representatives giving the people the long hard shaft of crony capitalism! Better stock up on lubricants now, because once they have the other markets cornered they're going to be sure to charge you an arm and a leg for anything that can help increase the comfort of the thick shafts they'll be giving you.

Re:Because... (3, Insightful)

MightyYar (622222) | about a month ago | (#47684067)

Corporations are government. They get their charter from government, and most of the big ones have very tight ties to government through lobbying and contracts. Corporations now do almost all of the actual work that we typically associate with government. It's a way of letting us have a ruling class while still maintaining the facade of democracy.

And I guess at the end of the day, we could always pass a law revoking corporate charters. Good luck with that, though.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683563)

You might say they are in search of a LowRISC environment.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683575)

IBM selling to the enemy? Yeah, there's no historical precedent for that.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683587)

...and wonder why IBM is selling more of its lifeblood and history to an enemy of the United States.

Not an enemy per se, more of a frenemy.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (3, Insightful)

hairyfeet (841228) | about a month ago | (#47683595)

Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains....Thomas Jefferson

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683605)

Merchants use no countries' monies to conduct their transactions, nor do they own property in any country's jurisdiction either. Jefferson was on opium when he wrote that poppycock, apparently.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683611)

He probably never heard of pirates.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47685055)

Was that just being sarcastic about his war on the Barbary coast pirates of North Africa after one too many act of piracy? "the shores of Tripoli" from the Marine Corps battle hymn recalls that part of their early history.
See:
https://www.google.com/shopping/product/17490051725548241924?num=30&newwindow=1&biw=1184&bih=822&site=webhp&q=Marine+Corp+shores+of+Tripoli&oq=Marine+Corp+shores+of+Tripoli&sa=X&ei=kpnvU-eFFZKPyAST84DwDQ&ved=0CHgQ8wIwAg

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683621)

Delaware corporations have a country for legal purposes, so they can sue each other.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (1)

Livius (318358) | about a month ago | (#47684563)

A little hypocritical coming from someone who helped start a rebellion about not paying taxes.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (1)

the eric conspiracy (20178) | about a month ago | (#47684653)

Taxes really didn't have as much to do about it as most people think. Read the Declaration, there are 16 other reasons listed before taxes are mentioned. Things like the Quartering Act were more important.

At the root it was really about self - determination.

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (1)

viperidaenz (2515578) | about a month ago | (#47683677)

Nothing has changed really, where do you think the IBM servers designed and built?

They're just cutting out a middle-man

Re:Consider the DoD doesn't allow Lenovo in SCIFs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683717)

...and wonder why IBM is selling more of its lifeblood and history to an enemy of the United States.

The US only has one God, money.

In that regard China isn't the enemy, United States practically worships everything China stands for.

back to proprietary (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683557)

It might seem odd, but IBM has steadily moved away from COTS systems and towards their proprietary offerings over the last many years. The initial sell off was what started Lenovo, IBM's personal computer line. Now its x86 server line. At some point IBM drops Linux in favour of AIX and MVS/XA.

More NSA hardware in the hands of the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683583)

Let's hope they're too stupid to find the back doors.

Re:More NSA hardware in the hands of the Chinese (1)

theshowmecanuck (703852) | about a month ago | (#47683631)

But they are probably built in China anyway. So which one of the security services has a back door into which? Either way that part probably won't change.

Re:More NSA hardware in the hands of the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683829)

Sanmina in NY state built most of them up to now.

Re: More NSA hardware in the hands of the Chinese (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684557)

Incorrect. The x86 servers have been exclusively manufactured by either Chinese or Taiwanese companies (foxtronn, pegatron, flextronics, and others). Design is in house and split between US, China, and Taiwan. firmware is based on a common core that is mostly developed in US (ibm being the only x86 vendor doing in house uefi firmware). Firmware and hardware development is done in the same place per system. Flex and x6 are done in US and the rest are done in Taiwan, with things like update utilities done mostly in China.

Suffice to say both the NSA and China already have ample opportunity to put in sneaky stuff and will continue to have such opportunity, just like every other vendor. All the security hand wringing is mostly just for show, its all quite silly.

Which of the backdoors (1)

DrYak (748999) | about a month ago | (#47684117)

Which of the back door are you speaking about?

The one mandated by NSA that they put in hardware of any American owned company ?
Or the backdoors that the Chinese put into any parts that they ship from their plants to US to build computer ?
Or the backdoors that the Russian somehow still managed to cram in even if they weren't in theory involved in the production of that precise piece of hardware ?

Cloud == Hardware (1)

InterBigs (780612) | about a month ago | (#47683601)

So, IBM wants to focus more on cloud computing yet sells of the very hardware (System x) on which my company operates their cloud. I wonder if the System x Enterprise (like the X6 line of servers [ibm.com] ) are also moving to Lenovo, since they're not quite that low-end.

Re:Cloud == Hardware (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683665)

Low- or High- end, from the consuming end of x86 servers, doesn't really mean anything at this level. All x86 servers, no matter how well-configuration, are commodity items these days. IBM is not a company that's structured well to make money off manufacturing, selling, and support a mass-market commodity hardware item. They'd probably be better off even just abandoning their own in-house x86 server development and buying servers from Dell to run their cloud. At least this way they make a little cash on the transaction, and can buy back the same hardware from this company for a few years and still have some familiarity with it.

Great News!! -- For Dell and HP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683623)

There were only three servers for serious data center work--Dell, HP and IBM. Of those, IBM was arguably the best. Now, that is sure to be screwed up in short order. I'm sure I'll be speccing more HP servers in the future.

Re:Great News!! -- For Dell and HP (1)

eharvill (991859) | about a month ago | (#47684041)

Cisco and their UCS Blade systems would disagree with you.

So? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683655)

Who really gives a shit. Any computer is a server. Was almost always true for linux, but it is even true of windows with IIS on every machine up to at least windows 7.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683673)

Any computer is a server.

The sad thing is people actually believe this. People like you are the reason my faculty was running all the linux home directories off of some shitty PC in the corner somewhere that couldn't keep up and kept crashing disks every other month. Now we have a real rack mounter server in a proper server room with proper cooling and enterprise grade hard drives. No more restoring from backups every other month.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683705)

It's not so black and white.

People like you are the reason it costs the company a few million bucks to move between point versions of stuff we didn't write.

Re:So? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683885)

You mean the part where they test the new version for compatibility, or the part where you have to pay a new comercial license fee? I'm not sure what you're complaining about here.

Re:So? (1)

Eravnrekaree (467752) | about a month ago | (#47684345)

It could be cheaper to replace the cheap consumer RAID drivers than to buy expensive "enterprise grade" stuff. Maybe the cost of a RAID array with backup is cheaper than all the more expensive stuff.

Re:So? (1)

mmell (832646) | about a month ago | (#47684383)

Server: IMHO, a data processing system responsible for providing a service.

Enterprise grade hardware: IMHO, got nothing to do with "Server" above. But if you're business relies upon the "Server", you should run it on "Enterprise grade hardware".

You want to run your own web server in your cubicle, or or living room? Hey, consumerized commodity hardware is fine. You want me to bet my paycheck as well as my co-workers'? I insist on Enterprise grade hardware. Actually, I insist on more - but this is the part that's pertinent to this thread.

Re:So? (2)

InterBigs (780612) | about a month ago | (#47683827)

Yes, I believe Slashdot's server is actually a Netbook left by CmdrTaco years ago. Who needs redundant dual-port disks with multiple controller paths, the ability to run more than 32GB RAM (with ECC), redundant power supplies, hot swappable disks, power supplies, fans and even PCI cards, centralized remote management and monitoring, motherboards built with components that actually last at least 3 years under stressful workloads and environments, 4-hour support contracts, certified hardware-software combinations so there is never any worry about compatibility, right?

"nobody ever got fired for buying IBM" (5, Funny)

sonamchauhan (587356) | about a month ago | (#47683779)

...thinks the Chinese MBA at Lenovo HQ, Beijing

Lenovo saved Thinkpad (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47683825)

Like it or not Lenovo saved the Thinkpad line. They are one PC maker actually seeing a resurgence in sales of PC's to enterprise. I always had good luck with customer service with them and I would buy another Thinkpad without question. Just not one with Windows 8 on it. I think IBM knows the server market is becoming more competitive now and talk of low powered ARM based servers means Lenovo has its work cut out to keep things competitive. I think this is a good move for IBM and Lenovo.

Re:Lenovo saved Thinkpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684049)

Lenovo dropped the ThinkPads years ago when they "improved" the design. Now it's nothing but a brand.

Re: Lenovo saved Thinkpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684473)

Thinkpad as it was would not have survived. I agree with the sentiment that unfortunate design changes happened. However I realize that I am in a niche of the market that is too small to support the design and production of the product line. That said,of the island keyboard laptops think pad is the least bad (in fact keycaps don't break as much and crap doesn't get under them. It continues to be the only decent nub mouse. I can believe that the surviving sensibilities are about as close to a think pad as I could reasonably expect in the market.

Re: Lenovo saved Thinkpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684519)

I agree that lenovo is the best hope for the survival of the product lines with the least amount of design changes. I also believe low cost arm has a decent chance of changing the landscape, but I think the low power angle is overstated. Arm gained that reputation by capturing a market Intel wasn't taking seriously. At no point has an arm demonstrated better performance per watt than contemporary server chips. They have been best in the class of chips in single digit tdp, but scaling up to situations where high tdp can be OK if it comes with proportionally higher performance.

But arm does bring a more competitive landscape and I think the pricing could be very attractive.

Re:Lenovo saved Thinkpad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47685939)

Five words: crappy W540 keyboard and touchpad

Fantastic! Now they can fuck those up, too! (1)

FuzzNugget (2840687) | about a month ago | (#47684249)

Run any IBM servers? Next time they replacement, you'd be wise to dump them and look elsewhere.

Re:Fantastic! Now they can fuck those up, too! (1)

mmell (832646) | about a month ago | (#47684391)

And where do I go to get a P5xx/6xx/7xx? Or even something comparable?

Re:Fantastic! Now they can fuck those up, too! (2)

brick (11890) | about a month ago | (#47684453)

Lenovo isn't getting System P hardware. They're only getting System X, which is the x86 stuff.

Re:Fantastic! Now they can fuck those up, too! (1)

Guido von Guido II (2712421) | about a month ago | (#47684817)

Exactly, except the official name for the product line has been Power Systems for a few years now (although I don't think anybody outside of IBM calls it that). Because IBM is the only manufacturer, they still get good margins on it, and that's why they kept it.

Case study (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684417)

Case study on how to outsource your company out of existence. Each incremental step makes sense, but at the end of the day you are left with nothing but a name.

Re:Case study (1)

mousse-man (632412) | about a month ago | (#47685407)

And in the end, you bought all outstanding shares using cheap ZIRP credit, pay out the CEO and sell the name to some Indian company which will also gladly take over all the H1Bs and maybe take them back to India.

"Any more" is two words... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a month ago | (#47684845)

American cretins.

It's so fashionable to hate China (2)

msobkow (48369) | about a month ago | (#47687089)

I find it absolutely hilarious the way everyone disparages Chinese manufacturing while 95% of all electronics, clothing, and gadgetry is made in China or other asian countries.

Scariest of all are the ill-informed masses who think that IBM, HP, Dell, etc. actually make any of their own parts any more. They're US companies in name only.

Wake up. Globalization has already happened.

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