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Lenovo Completes Acquisition Of IBM's PC Division 192

Posted by Zonk
from the purchasing-the-collective dept.
karvind writes "Chinese computer maker Lenovo has completed its $1.75 billion purchase of IBM's personal computer division, creating the world's third-largest PC maker. Under the deal, IBM takes an 18.9 percent stake in Lenovo. Lenovo paid $1.25 billion for the IBM PC unit and assumed debt, which brought the total cost to $1.75 billion. Slashdot timeline: Dec 3, 2004: IBM Puts PC Business Up for Sale, Dec 4, 2004: Chinese PC Maker Looks to Buy IBM's PC Business, and Mar 9, 2005: U.S. Approves IBM/Lenovo Sale"
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Lenovo Completes Acquisition Of IBM's PC Division

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  • by Anonymous Coward
    but i wonder what this will do to support for prior IBM computers
  • A new hope for IBM (Score:5, Insightful)

    by squiggleslash (241428) * on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @03:58PM (#12424176) Homepage Journal
    I just hope the Thinkpad survives. It's always been my absolute favorite laptop series. They're beautifully made, elegant, and they use, for me, the right pointing device (yes, I know people who don't like the trackpoint, but the trackpad is, IMO, nothing like as usable. Trackpoints are always stationary relative to the mouse buttons, which means you don't need that hack installed to make it usable that you do with the 'pad, where you're never sure if you just accidentally selected something because your attempt to move the mouse was interpreted as a click, etc. I know a lot of this is "what you're used to", but I also think it's an objectively better system.)

    IBM leaving the PC business seems sad, and I hope the fact they still have a big stake in the PowerPC and Workstation markets means they'll re-enter, this time with something a little more interesting. That said, it's important not to overstate this: IBM has never been a commodity player, and the PC business is a commodity market. That's why they're getting out. The chances of a populist computer coming out of IBM soon isn't that likely. It's like Anakin Skywalker being thrown into the lava and left there by Obi Wan Kenobe in the climactic scene of the new Star Wars movie, explaining why he has to wear the protective suit in his guise as Darth Vader and why he's all hairless and damaged in Return of the Jedi. Just like in that movie, it may explain things in the future of IBM (albeit things we're not aware of yet, whereas we've all seen A New Hope) and is a dramatic change. Hopefully though IBM's not "going to the dark side"!

    But it is sad. In many ways, I feel that when it came to IBM and its influence over the last few years, she blinded me with science.

    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:00PM (#12424207)
      It's like Anakin Skywalker being thrown into the lava and left there by Obi Wan Kenobe in the climactic scene of the new Star Wars movie...

      Worst. Analogy. Ever.
      • by Anonymous Coward

        It's like Anakin Skywalker being thrown into the lava and left there by Obi Wan Kenobe in the climactic scene of the new Star Wars movie...

        Worst. Analogy. Ever.

        No, this is:

        It's like a bunyon in your left nostril left there by the intrusive drone of Alien Pope during his weekly sermon on why we should eat pieces of our neighbors liver to better understand the glories of our great god, Eddy the Reproductive Shrew, Lord of the Golden Fucker.

    • by Txiasaeia (581598)
      Well, customer service has definitely sucked over the past few months. The motherboard on my X31 broke at the end of March, and I'm still waiting for a replacement. IBM supposedly has a 3 day replacement policy for broken parts under warranty; it's been five weeks and IBM's been giving the runaround to both me and the tech (their business partner, for crying out loud) as to when my bloody $3000 notebook is going to be repaired.
      • Dunno dude, I just had a broken motherboard on an A30 and a tech was out here 2 days later and had all the parts on hand to repair it on the spot.

        Things could be spotty these days, but my most recent personal experience has been good. YMMV of course.
    • ...rant about trackpads ...

      dude, by a 10$ optical mouse and get over yourself.

      I'd rather use a real mouse than ANYTHING put in a laptop because it's just simpler. But touchpads aren't really that hard to use. They are annoying if you rest on it by accident when typing but other than that they're not a mystery.

      Tom
      • dude, by a 10$ optical mouse and get over yourself.

        Ever try to use an optial mouse while balancing that laptop on your lap while in the airport, restaruant, the sofa, or the easy chair? I barely have room to put my g40 and a glass of water on the flimsy little airport tray. Grrg. Argh.

        I have also had a hell of a time trying to use photoshop with a trackpad or anything other than a trackpoint or a mouse.

        So no mon, it's not that easy.
        • Don't you hate it when the jerk in front of you puts his seat back down and forces you to use your laptop on your chest, or half closed?

          Maybe thats just me flying coach all the time...
          • Try being 180cm tall or so and having the jerk infront of you "insist" on moving the seat back. Of course I then "insist" on digging my knee into the middle of their back.

            And by "insist" I mean "laws of physics dictate this". As much as people like to think I'm a jerk for that I can't grow shorter on the plane so you can lean back over my knees [e.g. my space].

            Honestly I don't understand why the seats recline at all. Not like there is actually enough space for it anyways. Might as well just be fixed p
            • The flights I take are usually about 5-5.5 hours long. My laptop has a 2 hour and a 1.5 hour battery, so I can get 3.5 out of 5, that's not bad.
              • I'm not saying you *can't* use a laptop on a flight. I'm saying it's not worth the hassle of getting it out of the bag/case, doing work, being interrupted by the beverage/food/peeps, etc...

                The way I found to travel that makes it peaceful is to just space out. Get comfy, put seat belt on and just vege. Mind shuts off, flight seems shorter.

                Now if there was more room and an AC outlet ... I'd be all over the using the laptop...

                Doesn't help that I have a Presario 2100 which isn't exactly a "small" laptop [
                • I have an HP Pavillion ze5700(*)... the same size if not bigger. I couldn't stand a smaller screen though, or one that breaks the 4:3 ratio.

                  But I have a special backpack that has a laptop compartment alont the back, and I keep books and such in there as well. So when I want to take it out, slide the backpack up against my legs, open the back pouch. Pull the velcro strap, and slide the laptop up and out.

                  I'm pretty patient about things, but being strapped into such a small place for longer than 2 hours brea
        • Here's a tip... don't bother using your laptop on a plane or in a restaurant.

          ENJOY YOUR LIFE.

          I mean I use my laptop professionally and the only time I "really need" to work at it [and not just boot it up to get a number or two] is when I'm at an office of some sort.

          When I fly I just relax and enjoy the trip. Bring my gameboy/some cds and enjoy it.

          Tom
      • Insightful, maybe--I can't stand those pads, especially if they have any extra annoyances^Wfeatures like scroll or navigation zones*--but the parent seems quite serious to me.

        Even if I was on a train I'd take an optical, and maybe move it on the keyboard if said train is crowded. Touchpads are not teh awesome for me--unless, perhaps, they had a built-in cover to stop those typing accidents...

        *Yes, I can turn them off on most, I know. They just feel odd in either case.
    • Off to a bad start (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheBeginner (30987)
      I just spent 2 hours on the phone yesterday with customer service and ended up angry both at the lack of any resolution to my problem and the complete and utter waste of an hour and a half.

      According to one of the 6 people I talked to during my wonderful adventure, yesterday was the day on which Lenovo took over customer supoort in form, if not in practice. The call (4 calls in truth) I made was still routed to IBM's call center in Atlanta, but my problem was given a Lenovo tracking number. Also, new proc
    • where you're never sure if you just accidentally selected something because your attempt to move the mouse was interpreted as a click, etc

      You know you can turn that off in like 5 seconds, right? And never be bothered with that problem ever again in the lifetime of the laptop, right?

      Criminy.
    • "IBM leaving the PC business seems sad"

      This deal isn't exactly about IBM leaving the PC business. They are buying there way in to the Chinese marketplace on the coattails of China's largest PC manufacturer, by practicly giving away one of their crown jewels, though one that is not profitable and they don't really want. Cringley [pbs.org] did a decent job of describing all the not so obvious angles to this deal last year.

      Every greedy capitalist and multinational on the planet wants to get in to China's markets bec
      • No matter what you do, within 20 billion years, most of the stars in our universe will no longer exist, and no amount of Gaia worshipping commy nonsense will fix that. So we may as well consume everything we can, while we can.

        Fast food, cars, and appliances do not require brainwashing. What requires brainwashing is to reject them. People choose fast food because it is convenient and tasty and warm, which is a rarity in many nations. People choose cars because they are a reliable, quick and enjoyable fo

        • Heh. Dude, nice troll I almost bit and started responding to all this nonsense, before I realized either you are a troll or maybe your a trekkie whose watched a little to much Star Trek and you've lost a grip on reality, one hint no we don't have warp drive and we aren't going to be tapping the galaxy's resources anytime soon, ROFL.

          Only thing that scares me is there probably are a lot of people who actually think its OK to loot and pillage the earth because A) it will never run out or B) we will just find
          • It's not a troll. You no faith in the vast capacity of the human race to overcome adversity.

            I do.

            Our species survived multiple ice ages and dealing with large predatory mammals and we did so through technology. Take that Mr. Sabre Tooth Tiger - we have spears now! Guess what, now the planet is warm, and all those bad old giant sloths, saber tooth tigers, every animal that ever walked or crawled and even so much as gave mankind a dirty look is now either extinct, bordering on extinct, living in a zoo, o
            • Dude you are delusional. I need do nothing more than point out that you view it as a badge of honor and superiority that humans are pushing one species after another in to extinction. Yea our technology is great, it helped us create industrial scale fishing with which we have managed to crash the population of one species of fish after another.

              I really think maybe you should try traveling in the parts of the world that are already desperately overcrowded and starving and just imagine what kind of a fine
              • All this bitching you do about population, and yet, you are against nuclear war. You just don't know how to have any fun, do you? Me, that's how I want to go out. I want to see the bombs going off in the distance, the giant mushroom clouds, and then, the slow death of radiation ameliorated by the massive amounts of booze I consume amid the flames of human civilization. Cheer's cockroachs, the world belongs to you now!
    • Umm... some of us are trying to remain spoiler-free, you know (re: the lava thing)
  • taking bets (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Naikrovek (667) <`moc.gsp' `ta' `nosnhojj'> on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @03:58PM (#12424179)
    how long before we see lonovo machines at Best Buy?
    • How long before they drop the Lonovo name and just become Think Computers? They can still use the IBM brand name for five years. I'm buying my next ThinkPad in 28 days -- hopefully it isn't my last.

      By the way, any recommendations? I can probably spend about $15000 - $2000, so I am assuming I'll get a nice R-series.

      • by mmkkbb (816035) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:19PM (#12424459) Homepage Journal
        I can probably spend about $15000

        You could trick out a PowerBook and a battery operated Xserve RAID for that much cash.
    • Actually, If i remember correctly, part of the deal was that they could use the IBM name/brand for 7 or 8 years, something like that anyways. Nonetheless, I doubt we'll be seeing the lonovo brand name without an IBM next to it for some time.
    • I bet we see machines with the lenovo name before we see them with the lonovo name..
  • by TodPunk (843271) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:00PM (#12424203) Homepage

    Honestly, I don't think this matters much. Thinkpads are about the only IBM PCs I've ever seen used in the past 10 years. We had an old IBM PC back in High School that was donated because it simply didn't hold up. We ended up trashing it because it kept eating video cards like they were candy, and the computer lab didn't have many to spare for it. It did resist that sledgehammer well, but that doesn't have much to do with the computer itself.

    So in the end, this really doesn't effect anyone I know of unless you really want a Thinkpad...

    • It did resist that sledgehammer well, but that doesn't have much to do with the computer itself.

      Unless, of course, you're talking about that Model M keyboard [everything2.com] it came with!

    • Have you worked for the gov't lately. A lot of them are still IBM shops (he types from his IBMPC) Kissyfish
    • I did a co-op term for the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario just recently and I can tell you that they are exclusively using IBM Thinkpads, desktops and servers. I've never been excited about the desktops, and can't say much about the servers, but (typed from a Thinkpad T40) the Thinkpads are awesome machines. Very rugged, great Linux support and very light/thin with great battery life. They also come with one of the nicest keyboards on a laptop I've ever seen (with no blasted windows keys!), and they
  • by rAiNsT0rm (877553) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:00PM (#12424208) Homepage
    It figures the only laptop I will even consider since they hooked me on the little pointer nub is a Thinkpad. A lot of business users rely on TP's too, and now with this Lenovo aquisition what lays ahead for the beloved Thinkpad?
  • by belmolis (702863) <billposerNO@SPAMalum.mit.edu> on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:01PM (#12424217) Homepage

    Here's a case in which the standard question "but does it run Linux?" is actually relevant. China getting into the PC business in a big way could have an impact on the availability of machines on which one doesn't have to pay the Microsoft tax. With China explicitly interested in independence from Microsoft, it seems likely that they won't play ball with Microsoft and will offer machines with no OS or with Linux pre-installed.

    • I highly doubt it would be profitable to spend 1.75 billion dollars on a company and then not offer Windows machines. As much as we all like Linux, in a corporate sales environment, it's just fighting an uphill battle, and not a wise choice from a risk management perspective.

      Unless they really REALLY hate Microsoft, they'll continue to offer Windows, and just offer Linux as an alternative.

    • First off, Lenovo is a private corporation, not a state run business. It's all about profit. It's nature is just as good (or evil) as any other businesses in the world. Check this [lenovo.com] out:

      "ThinkPad recommends Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional"

      But I agree that it's possible that they may go towards more to a non-MS, or MS-agnostic company.

      • Lenovo may be a private corporation, but a good chunk of their market is, or will be, in China, where many of the buyers will part of the government, and in any case, in China even private companies are subject to a lot of government influence. It is true that Lenovo will probably continue to provide MS Windows where they think it will be profitable; I don't expect them to take a purely ideological stance. At the same time, between government pressure, the growing Chinese Linux market, and the widespread d

    • it seems likely that they won't play ball with Microsoft and will offer machines with no OS or with Linux pre-installed.

      Yah, you get Red Flag installed for free, and a BIOS to protect the user from any OS not approved by the Party. Can't wait, comrade.

    • ThinkPads run Linux beautifully. Look what 'uname -r' on my TP says:-
      Linux imogen 2.6.11 #3 SMP Fri Apr 29 14:57:42 NZST 2005 i686 Mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) 4 - M CPU 1.80GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux

      It takes a bit of knowledge and effort to get the ACPI and wireless systems to go, but that's all. I'm happy.
    • Here's a case in which the standard question "but does it run Linux?" is actually relevant. China getting into the PC business in a big way could have an impact on the availability of machines on which one doesn't have to pay the Microsoft tax

      Ugh, to me paying the China tax would be worse than paying the MS tax.
  • As much as it may be the only practice most /.ers ever get, I hope to god they get rid of that stupid clitoris mouse.
    • I know there will be about a million posts in this thread on the topic of preferred laptop pointing device, but I don't see why. One of the reasons that I love Thinkpads so much is that they come with both a touchpad and a nubbin. I'm happy with my proportional mousing (mouse moves in proportion to how my finger moves), and my friends who prefer it get differential mousing (finger movement controls the rate of change of cursor position) when they use my machine.
  • by big-giant-head (148077) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:07PM (#12424297)
    With the powerpc, the cel processor maybe IBM ditched the old pc to begin something new? Maybe not. However I could see somekind of wirless set top box that records (DVR) has basic Web/Email/Office capabilities and has wirless KB and Mouse. Others have tried it, but maybe it's time has come?

    BTW whatever happened to CHRP and the promised PowerPC MB's we hobbyists could buy and build our own system from?
  • no more discounts? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by jwjcmw (552089) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:07PM (#12424298)
    One thing I noticed with the acquisition is that some of the discounts that were available previously are not there any more. Realtors were able to get a pretty good discount (20% or so) on Thinkpads, but when you go to the link from the Realtor partner site, there are no thinkpads with discounts listed anymore. I wonder if they are doing away with these discounts? What about the good discounts that IBM employees get for their family and friends...I'd really hate to have to pay retail for a thinkpad.
    • What about the good discounts that IBM employees get for their family and friends...I'd really hate to have to pay retail for a thinkpad.

      Well, speaking as an IBM employee, we were told that we'd get the same discounts that Lenovo offers its employees. How those discounts compare to IBM's historical discounts remain to be seen, but the announcement stated a continuation of 15-35% discounts. IBM has equipped its mobile employees with Thinkpads, so it makes sense that they would want to keep that consist

  • by ducttapekz (879839) <kzettel@@@gmail...com> on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:08PM (#12424313)
    . . . No windows key. I didn't like it at first but then I realized, it is a neutral pc. It doesn't have an ms advertisement on the keyboard. I hope that doesn't change.
  • by moeinvt (851793) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:13PM (#12424379)
    I recently saw a pretty decent deal on a Dell PC and called to ask if they would sell it with Linux pre-installed. No. Well, how about with no OS? Sir, you can reformat the hard drive when you get it and. . . OK, forget it. I was then quite stunned when I called about an IBM PC and even THEY(one of the biggest corporate backers of Linux) wouldn't sell a PC with Linux pre-installed . . . or even a box without Windows. ??? How is Linux supposed to catch on and put a dent in the MS monopoly when the major vendors won't sell Linux boxes and force you to buy a Windows OEM license regardless?
    • HP are apparently working on a fork of Ubuntu (which will be merged back into the mainline branch) which supports absolutely 100% (from suspend/ resume/ hibernate to modems to 3D acceleration) of the hardware on some of their laptops, which I find heartening.
    • Dell, HP, IBM, etc pay a rather unsibstantial amount for their Windows OEM licenses for that fact. It streamlines the entire proccess. If Windows is installed on every machine, it's a trivial matter tolook up the number of PCs sold by that company in a quarter multiply, and you have a price. If IBM sold computers without Windows, it would complicate tracking the number of Windows sales and Microsoft would charge a higher price. One of the reasons you can get a $300 Dell is because they probably only spe
    • How is Linux supposed to catch on and put a dent in the MS monopoly when the major vendors won't sell Linux boxes and force you to buy a Windows OEM license regardless?

      The x86 machine is a commodity item with heavy competition and razor thin margins. The answer to the question is based on two variables:

      1. The cost of splitting the assembly line (Windows to the right, Linux to the left).
      2. The increased profit -- both increased business and decreased licensing fees -- generated by the split.

      If #1 is greate

    • They have an agreement with the "DevilIncarnate" to pre-install his O/S for small batches. Order 500 units or more and you can have whatever O/S you like.
    • When I was looking at buying a thinkpad, I contacted IBM and asked if I could buy one with linux, or without an OS, or without a hard drive, or something... The initial response was no, due to ISO testing specifications or some bullshit... after a bit more prodding, I was told that they couldn't do it due to licensing agreements with Microsoft. I ended up buying the laptop (refurb T30) with Windows, then wiping it as soon as I received it. (Hint: a fresh laptop battery doesn't have enough power on it to ins
  • by tomhudson (43916)
    Does this mean that if I want a ThinkPad I'll have to buy it at Walmart?

    Talk about down-scaling a product ... guess there's no more "born in the USA".

    (not that I'd buy one of those Fords that Gates is supposed to be helping make crash-proof. Yeah, sure. That'll be the day - the first time in history that onboard computers either rust or commit suicide in shame)
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @04:19PM (#12424456)
    I wish to preempt foolish comments that quality will now deteriorate into the crapper:

    ThinkPads have been manufactured in China for some time now while maintaining high quality.

    Please stop the unfounded China bashing: the country's industries have been quickly becoming very competent at high quality production as well as churning out $2 Wal Mart items.
    • by Anonymous Coward
      Very true. I've bought several Chinese Acuter spotting scopes (optics are another area with frequent China-bashing, top scopes being made in Austria or Japan for thousands) and found little noticeable difference with scopes whose sales tax cost about what I paid for the whole scope + zoom lens + video tripod. Sharp, bright, fully-round images from 20x all the way to 60x with an 80mm objective. I could not justify the $$$$$ leap for the noticeable but relatively minor quality differences.

      Don't people rememb
    • They are also capable of producing real crap if the customer does not enforce some standards. This used to be a common problem with goods made in Japan. The Japanese government and industry setup quality assurance programs for many export goods. This helped improve the reputation of Japanese products by keeping many cheap and poorly-made products out of the international marketplace. This helped erase the widespread perception that "Made in Japan" was synonymous with cheap junk.
  • Really. Mainframes are still IBM's big ticket items (no pun intended). The Slashdot community, which seems to be so infatuated with tiny things, still doesn't get it. So, right guys, the total amount of COBOL code, running on mainframes, has been reduced from 90% of all computer code in 1990, to "only" 50% of all computer source code now. IBM is saying with this transaction, that they know where big business is looking. Check the stock price; the Street also thinks that this is a good move.
  • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @05:23PM (#12425194) Homepage Journal
    Do they get all the x86 servers as well as workstations and thinkpads?
    Just wondering.
  • This story is dated Monday. It's not news anymore.
  • irony.... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by gsfprez (27403) on Tuesday May 03, 2005 @06:14PM (#12425793)
    1984: apple puts out 1984 commercial decrying IBM as Orwellian PC maker stifling industry.

    2005: IBM NO LONGER MAKES IBM compatible personal computers... They now they make Apple Power Macintosh and iMac computers.
    • Re:irony.... (Score:2, Informative)

      by AgNO3 (878843)
      umm, selling apple a processor (which they have done since the first PPC. The 701 came from IBM not moto.) is not making the computer.
  • This deal was announced some time ago. IBM has been very forthcoming with information, and with reassurances that Thinkpads will continue to built to the same standards that have been previously. They are already built in china, so there's no real change there.

    I recently spent a lot of time on-line (shopping ever so slowly!) purchasing a high-end laptop for my wife, and settled on one of the upper-tier thinkpads. The only downside I can see is the price. They're very solid, well built little workhorse

  • So IBM had 5% of the PC market compared to others which had 16%, yet economists feel the PC business was a tiny part of IBM's income. How can 5% of the world PC market be a tiny part of anyone's income? It sounds more like the same thing which every other American company is doing.

    They're getting out of perfectly profitable businesses because they're not interested in it.

    Now they resell software contracts from Infosys and resell computers from Lenovo. Only 1% of the total value of that place is actuall

The 11 is for people with the pride of a 10 and the pocketbook of an 8. -- R.B. Greenberg [referring to PDPs?]

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