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 Jan 25, 2005 - 12:00 PM - by Michael
* Why did IBM PCs falter?

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PC Games/Hardware/Microsoft
Yahoo news, of all places, asks the question - how the heck did IBM fall so far from grace in the wintel computer world?

One major factor in the demise of IBM's PC division has to do with the company's historic focus on engineering excellence and quality assurance, which made it difficult for it to compete on price with Hewlett-Packard and Dell (Nasdaq: DELL - news) in what essentially has become a commodity market, said Forrester Research senior analyst Simon Yates.

"HP and Dell have been much more aggressive than IBM in the corporate market, and they have much broader access to the consumer market," Yates told NewsFactor.

Moreover, IBM's PC division was charged with a very heavy burden. "A significant percentage had to go back to the company to pay for things like brand sales and other corporate overhead items," said Gartner vice president Leslie Fiering. "This corporate tax put the company at a distinct disadvantage."
As usual, the analyst has his head up his ass.

Here's the scoop:

IBM held onto the Packard-Bell method of computer making: proprietary everything, cheap-ass components whenever possible. The idea was to make it so the customer could only buy YOUR upgrades, or else buy a new box.

Dell has evolved. They threw away the last of their proprietary junk (the power supplies) a few years ago, and now you can pretty much swap out any component you need to in a Dell machine with over-the-counter parts.

IBM didn't, so they went the way of Packard Hell. No surprise there.

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