The Chinese manufacturer Lenovo will be manufacturing IBM xServers now that IBM has licensed the xServer technology to the company. Lenovo will be making its own Intel-based servers, but there is much speculation by resellers over the move.
IBM Moving Away from Hardware?
One of the most commonly voiced questions regards the future of IBM manufacturing. In 2005 IBM licensed out laptop and PC technology while still creating their own line as well. Now, in 2008, IBM is once again licensing out hardware development prompting many to wonder if IBM is moving away from hardware all together. Manufacturing is an expensive business, and IBM might find that development and concepts are more profitable than actually creating the end products.
But for now, IBM is keeping speculators guessing by continuing to manufacture their own xServers. Lenovo will be making one and two processor servers for the upper echelon of small business clients. IBM, on the other hand will focus their manufacturing interests on sets of servers that range from the most basic to the zSeries mainframes.
While Lenovo might be a decent name in the world of commercial computers and hardware it is no IBM. Computer resellers have long been customers of IBM for servers as the price range and quality from IBM are undisputed. But many of these retailers are starting to squirm anxiously as they try to decide what steps they are willing to take with the current xServer manufacturer situation. IBM is a powerful name in the server industry, but Lenovo simply doesn’t hold the same clout.
At least a few resellers have publicly spoken out against the xServer manufacturer by Lenovo. Once the IBM name is no longer on the product, much of the appeal is lost to these resellers and their customers. If there is any doubt to the quality of the end result or if the product simply doesn’t live up to the previous generations of IBM servers, some retailers have stated simply that HP servers might prove to be the obvious alternative.
Lenovo and IBM
This is not the first time Lenovo and IBM have done business together. The Chinese manufacturer made a name for itself in the commercial market with the ThinkPad business it purchased from IBM. That purchase gave Lenovo an entry into the world of consumer PCs and laptops which the company now plans to fully utilize. Lenovo stopped using the IBM logo on the ThinkPads a full two years before the deadline, and now the branding efforts of the company are in full swing.
Lenovo will be manufacturing the IdeaPad for the consumer market along with the IdeaCentre, a desktop version of the technology. While the timing may seem questionable for a full-fledged entry back into the world of consumer technology, it makes perfect sense when you look beyond the industry. All eyes will be on China during the 2008 Olympic Games, and Lenovo (and its new product line) is the official sponsor of the world event.