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IBM in Reverse, Ballmer Says

There's nothing worse than a boring actor, politician or CEO. That's why I'm such a fan of Steve Ballmer. Boring he's not. Nor is Steve shy.

In a recent interview, Mr. Ballmer analyzed IBM's business moves over the last decade or so and found them wanting. In particular, he wondered why IBM would purposely divest itself of businesses such as network hardware and PCs, and purposely become a smaller, less strategic company.

IBM's logic is these were low-margin businesses. But Microsoft has a different worldview: It will happily lose money or break even just to get into a market it sees as core. If it sticks with the plan long enough, it wins -- like it did with the Xbox.

Has IBM lost some of the sizzle it had back in the PC days? Share your thoughts at dbarney@redmondmag.com.

Posted by Doug Barney on October 02, 2009 at 11:53 AM