The future of ThinkPads and
May 5, 2005
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I saw that a Chinese company named Lenovo completed its purchase of IBM's PC business. What's going to happen to IBM's desktops and laptops?
| |For the time being,
ThinkPad laptops and ThinkCentre desktops might look like the children of a custody battle. Lenovo completed its purchase
of IBM's PC division on April 2, 2005, so you will no longer see the familiar letters IBM in front of ThinkPad laptops or ThinkCentre desktops--they are now called simply ThinkPad and ThinkCentre products.
On Lenovo's Web site
, you'll see both products located front and center on the home page, but--for now, anyway--sales are still conducted through IBM's site and the same outlets as before the acquisition. But IBM's site acknowledges that Lenovo has taken ownership of the ThinkPad and ThinkCentre brands. Whether you'll eventually be able to buy a Lenovo ThinkPad remains unknown.
Unless you're a computer-branding nostalgist, no part of this deal has shown itself to be a negative, at least thus far. It's certainly a positive that Lenovo also acquired IBM's PC support infrastructure; the same support staff will service both new and existing ThinkPads and ThinkCentres. Another potential bright side: in a few years, a parent-company-free ThinkPad laptop may be a collector's item.
In addition to his duties as coeditor of the desktops section, Rich Brown
is responsible for covering graphics cards, PC audio hardware, and input devices.