Originally Posted by Oflife
True enemies need to be flawed or evil, and IBM were not and are not. Yes, they appear boring, however not in reality:
1. Their products are exceptionally reliable - hence you see pre Lenovo Think Pads in use still today. In fact, I would happily pay for a ThinkPad that ran OS X for that superb keyboard!
True. They were also exceptionally expensive
2. IBM put a lot of effort into ergonomics - again, consider our love of clicky keyboards, starting with the IBM PC, and the excellent ThinkPad keyboards.
I'll grant you that. In the early PC era IBM peripherals were certainly more ergonomic than the junk made by their competitors back then.
3 Exceptional industrial design - their contemporary desktop machines and the ThinkPads were superb, very well built and sexy too.
Their desktop machines sentenced themselves to death by using the proprietary Microchannel technology that was incompatible ( and more expensive ) than anything else. IBM still did not recognize that the era of totally incompatible hardware was at an end.
4. IBM innovate, from modular computers, the ThinkPad butterfly keyboard (short lived I know) and others - not to mention their bleeding edge Chess playing mainframes.
Their bleeding edge mainframes were history by the time Steve Jobs came along.
5. Superb advertising.
Gotta disagree with this one. Other than sponsoring Golf tournaments they didn't do much advertising at all. They were dwarfed by the advertising Microsoft did then and Apple does now. The few TV commercials I saw were embarrassingly bad. Do you remember "How do you do it? PS/2 it" ?
6. Renowned customer service, hence the phrase, "No one ever got fired for choosing IBM." (Or similar.)
Back in the old days, this was true. Their customer service was very good and very expensive. Today, anyone who has had the displeasure of dealing with IBM Global services knows that the situation is reversed.
7. Research labs that have contributed to a lot of what goes into Apple products!
Also, ancient history.
In other words, IBM are a respectable competitor, but in no way evil or boring.
They were a respectable company a great innovator. They've degenerated to a little more than a service bureau that they staff with the cheapest labor they can find in the world and provide the lowest level of service they can get away with. For now, because of their size, they are the only service provider that can handle large multinationals. That business model should carry them a few more decades at most, at which time they'll go they way of the other dinosaurs . By the time Steve Jobs appeared on the scene they had already began their decent from the most respected name in computing to the depths they inhabit today.