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By David Coursey  |  Posted 2004-12-08 Print this article Print

It will be interesting to see what Lenovo does to the IBM brand name. Any perceived change in quality or level of innovation will work against IBMs total corporate image. As a cautionary note, AT&T was a respected company until it bought TCI, the much-hated cable TV company, and put its name on it without solving TCIs problems first. That wasnt all that cratered AT&T, but the brand suffered greatly as it was expanded to include products and services people didnt like. There has been speculation that once its business is sold off, IBM will try to sell customers on a new generation of machines based on its PowerPC chips and some sort of Linux-y operating system.
If IBM really wants to follow this path, it might as well buy Apples Macintosh business, whose hardware is a Unix variant running on PowerPC processors. That this might actually happen—IBM trading its PC business for Apples Macintosh business—is too surreal to be taken seriously.
It seems most likely that IBM is out of the desktop and notebook business for good. Check out analysts take on whether Lenovo Group, Chinas biggest PC maker, is the right choice to take over IBMs PC business. Something we may see as a result of this deal is a bit of public furor over China Inc. buying such a visible brand as the IBM PC. Many will remember the fear that existed 30 years ago when it seemed to some that Japan would end up owning everything American worth having. That didnt occur, of course, and the Japanese economic colossus sank into recession from which it still hasnt recovered. Since the Japanese economic scare, the U.S. economy has become quite integrated with those of other nations, especially China. Americans are so used to buying Chinese goods that the Lenovo deal may go unnoticed. But for those who question the value of globalization, its likely to set off some warning bells. For more insights from David Coursey, check out his Weblog.

And China remains—at least theoretically—one of only a couple of nations that could still feel the wrath of the United States in an all-out war. Both Taiwan and Korea remain significant sources of tension in the region, and the United States has long-standing ties. For all its "economic miracle," China fundamentally remains a totalitarian, mostly third-world nation. I wonder whether China would provoke its best customer, but fear an American president could have trouble standing up to such a huge trading partner. Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news in desktop and notebook computing.

One of technology's most recognized bylines, David Coursey is Special Correspondent for, where he writes a daily Blog ( and twice-weekly column. He is also Editor/Publisher of the Technology Insights newsletter and President of DCC, Inc., a professional services and consulting firm.

Former Executive Editor of ZDNet AnchorDesk, Coursey has also been Executive Producer of a number of industry conferences, including DEMO, Showcase, and Digital Living Room. Coursey's columns have been quoted by both Bill Gates and Steve Jobs and he has appeared on ABC News Nightline, CNN, CBS News, and other broadcasts as an expert on computing and the Internet. He has also written for InfoWorld, USA Today, PC World, Computerworld, and a number of other publications. His Web site is

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