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“People say IBM invented PC, IBM invented disk drive. Why sell it?”

Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer said “IBM is the company that is notable for going the other direction. IBM’s footprint is more narrow today than it was when I started. I am not sure that has been to the long-term benefit of their shareholders.” As expected, IBM CEO Sam Palmisano replied back, though obliquely “Then, in a comment that meant the most to the few in the audience aware of Mr. Ballmer’s criticism of I.B.M.’s pullback from some businesses over the years, he observed: “People say I.B.M. invented the PC, I.B.M. invented the disk drive. Why sell it?” “Answering his rhetorical question, Mr. Palmisano said, “A $300 netbook is a commodity” — and, the inevitable implication, not a business for I.B.M.,” said Palmisno.

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