Another Chapter in The Ongoing Saga of IBM and x86 Servers

Today saw more intrigue from IBM on the allegedly IBM "screwed up"  (their words, not ours) execution of their System X business.

Ashlee Vance at the New York Times posted an interesting blog post about IBM trying to squash rumors that it is killing its x86 server line. According to the article, IBM sent notes to partners specifically to dispel the rumors ignited by recent earnings and share losses for its x86 server lines, as well as licensing deals giving up proprietary tech to Lenovo and Rackable Systems. Of note was the statement (or is it a desperate plea?) by Adalio Sanchez, the general manager of I.B.M.’s System x server business- “Don’t let ANYONE get away with ANY attempts to dilute IBM’s rock solid commitment to the System x business”. At least this time the soft expletives were replaced by CAPS.

Expletives and CAPS aside, I think we all remember reading Hamlet in high school. One of my favorite exchanges was between Hamlet and the Queen and relates to if the Queen made any vows not to remarry. It spawned the often misquoted line by the Queen, “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”

So with regard to IBM’s x86 servers strategy, is this a case of “doth protests too much” or a legitimate attempt to set the record straight to assuage concerns in the market? Only time will tell.

As I mentioned in a previous post, the industry has experienced x86 server shipment growth and we see continued room for innovation in the segment. The economic conditions may make it a challenging market, but there are business applications that benefit from these standards-based servers. 

The rumors persist, but the question remains, just what are IBM’s plans for its x86 server lines? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comment section below.

About the Author: Matt McGinnis