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IBM China United States Hardware

Not Just For ThinkPads Anymore: Lenovo Gets OK To Buy IBM Server Line 93

IBM sold its personal computer line (including the iconic ThinkPad line) to Lenovo back in 2005. Now, Lenovo is poised to acquire IBM's line of X86-based servers, and has garnered the approval of a regulatory body which could have scotched the deal. (The article describes the server line at issue as "low end," but that's in the eye of the beholder.) From the article: The conclusion of the review by the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., or Cfius, is “good news for both IBM and Lenovo, and for our customers and employees,” Armonk, New York-based IBM said yesterday in a statement. While Cfius placed some conditions on the deal, they don’t significantly affect the business, and terms of the transaction didn’t change as result, a person with knowledge of the matter said, without specifying the conditions. The sale drew scrutiny because of disputes between China and the U.S., the world’s two largest economies, over cyberintrusions. By completing the deal, IBM can jettison a less profitable business to focus on growing areas, such as cloud computing and data analytics, while giving Lenovo a bigger piece of the global computing-hardware market. ... Spokesmen for IBM and Lenovo declined to comment on whether the Cfius clearance included any requirements or concessions. Holly Shulman, a spokeswoman for the Treasury Department, which leads Cfius, declined to comment.
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Not Just For ThinkPads Anymore: Lenovo Gets OK To Buy IBM Server Line

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  • by Anonymous Coward

    Lenovo laptops are the worst. They can't even get the keyboard layout right. I'm looking at you cntrl and function. Whomever thought it was a good idea to switch them around is a moron.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      Thank IBM for that. You can swap them in "BIOS" BTW.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      I'm ok with the layout, but I'm not happy with the way that Lenovo as screwed up the keyboard and trackpad in recent years. On the latest generations of Thinkpads, they moved from the terrific old Thinkpad keyboard to a typical, lousy "island" keyboard layout. And they removed all of the mouse buttons, so you now have to depress the Trackpad, MacPro style, for a button push, even if you're using the Trackpoint. This is totally awkward.

      The combination of a MacPro style trackpad and keyboard style leads me

      • The Apple touchpads are actually quite good, but everyone else's attempts to rip them off have been terrible and unusable...
        I always used to use the nipple on thinkpads, and with other laptops i would always connect up an external mouse. When i got a macbook i actually started using the touchpad.

        • by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @05:42AM (#47683729) Journal

          Asus laptops it turns out have excellent touchpads. Even the old eee 900 had a small but otherwise very good one.

          Touch pads have however always been the weakpoint of thinkpads. And battery life. But hey, you can chuck a cup of coffee over the keyboard then beat someone to death with it and it'll keep on truckin'.

          • Asus laptops it turns out have excellent touchpads. Even the old eee 900 had a small but otherwise very good one.

            I'd agree, but only up to the point where they went multi-touch. On my UX21A the touchpad isn't very good; palm rejection is poor and two-finger scrolling is often confused for pinch & zoom. Compared to Apple it's not nearly as reliable.

            • Huh I rather like the UX21.

              I've not tries the palm detection. Out of habit from the thinkpad I use syndaemon instead and that works very well. I think the pinch versus scolling must be a matter of thresholds.

              If you run synclient in dump mode, you can get realtime positions of all blobs detected and it seems pretty accurate. I think there's some settings you can tweak.

          • Trackpads have always been meh, they're just a sucky and imprecise interface.

            Give me clit mouse or give me death!
          • by Kjella ( 173770 )

            But hey, you can chuck a cup of coffee over the keyboard then beat someone to death with it and it'll keep on truckin'.

            Not sure about the coffee, but the rest is has been a killer feature of IBM keyboards ever since the model M.

            • Many thinkpads have holes in the underside to drain spilled liquid out of the keyboard. There's a little keyboard-above-a-drip emblem imprinted on the plastic next to it.

          • Touch pads have however always been the weakpoint of thinkpads.

            I'll never know. The very first thing I do when I get a new Thinkpad is to disable the touchpad on it completely. The trackpoint is greatly superior to any touchpad, even an Apple touchpad.

    • That's not even the worst part. You can switch them in the BIOS, so it's effectively a null point.

      But, yeah, the keyboards are fucked, regardless.

      Text nav keys splayed fucking everywhere, lack of F key groupings, F keys that *aren't* F keys, chiclet bullshit, slop and flex regions.

      It's not even a damn ThinkPad anymore.

    • The FN key is in the corner so you can find the keyboard light shortcut by touch in the dark.

  • So, IBM wants to focus more on cloud computing yet sells of the very hardware (System x) on which my company operates their cloud. I wonder if the System x Enterprise (like the X6 line of servers []) are also moving to Lenovo, since they're not quite that low-end.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Low- or High- end, from the consuming end of x86 servers, doesn't really mean anything at this level. All x86 servers, no matter how well-configuration, are commodity items these days. IBM is not a company that's structured well to make money off manufacturing, selling, and support a mass-market commodity hardware item. They'd probably be better off even just abandoning their own in-house x86 server development and buying servers from Dell to run their cloud. At least this way they make a little cash on

  • ...thinks the Chinese MBA at Lenovo HQ, Beijing

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Like it or not Lenovo saved the Thinkpad line. They are one PC maker actually seeing a resurgence in sales of PC's to enterprise. I always had good luck with customer service with them and I would buy another Thinkpad without question. Just not one with Windows 8 on it. I think IBM knows the server market is becoming more competitive now and talk of low powered ARM based servers means Lenovo has its work cut out to keep things competitive. I think this is a good move for IBM and Lenovo.

  • Run any IBM servers? Next time they replacement, you'd be wise to dump them and look elsewhere.
    • by mmell ( 832646 )
      And where do I go to get a P5xx/6xx/7xx? Or even something comparable?
      • by brick ( 11890 )

        Lenovo isn't getting System P hardware. They're only getting System X, which is the x86 stuff.

        • Exactly, except the official name for the product line has been Power Systems for a few years now (although I don't think anybody outside of IBM calls it that). Because IBM is the only manufacturer, they still get good margins on it, and that's why they kept it.
  • by msobkow ( 48369 ) on Saturday August 16, 2014 @11:07PM (#47687089) Homepage Journal

    I find it absolutely hilarious the way everyone disparages Chinese manufacturing while 95% of all electronics, clothing, and gadgetry is made in China or other asian countries.

    Scariest of all are the ill-informed masses who think that IBM, HP, Dell, etc. actually make any of their own parts any more. They're US companies in name only.

    Wake up. Globalization has already happened.

Receiving a million dollars tax free will make you feel better than being flat broke and having a stomach ache. -- Dolph Sharp, "I'm O.K., You're Not So Hot"