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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