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IBM Leading In The Post-PC Era

August 12, 2011

Thirty years ago, on August 12, 1981, the dawn of the PC era was revealed. Now, thirty years later, Mark Dean, a Chief Technology Officer for IBM Middle East and Africa and one of the original design engineers of the IBM PC declares the beginning of the Post-PC Era.

He states in a blog post that he personally has moved beyond the PC, his primary computer is a tablet. Even though he thinks PC’s will be highly used, they are no longer on the cutting edge of computing.

He wrote: “These days it is becoming clear that innovation flourishes best not on devices but in the social spaces between them, where people and ideas meet and interact. It is there that computing can have the most powerful impact on economy, society and people’s lives.”

IBM has been following this trend. Over the past couple of decades they have divested themselves of their commodity businesses. In 2005 they sold their PC division to Lenovo, they also exited the disk drive and printer markets.

Instead IBM has been providing scientific research, advanced chip and computer design, software that companies and governments run on, business consulting, IT services and solutions that enable customers to continuously transform themselves.

IBM also invests about $6 billion per year into R&D, producing major technological breakthroughs such as the question and answer technology in the Watson computer that defeated former champions on the Jeopardy! television game show. Also in the last decade they have bought more than 127 companies, building their services and software capabilities for a combined total of $33 billion.

This transformation within the company has affected their bottom line. In 2004 their pre-tax income margin was 11.1%, this was the last year they sold PC’s, and last year the margin rose to 18.9%. 

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