Network computing is now the number one priority for IBM as it seeks to streamline its efforts to maximise revenues in the next century. This was the message from CEO Lou Gerstner at the Itxpo conference in Florida this week.
At the Gartner Group-sponsored forum, Gerstner and four other top executives outlined the five areas IBM would base its future strategy on: networking, enterprise solutions, services, small to medium business market and emerging geographical markets, especially Asia. These will receive the lion's share of a $6 billion research and development budget.
More than 20 per cent of that money now goes on networks, with a hefty chunk of that amount devoted to low-cost NCs for accessing the Internet.
'This is one of those "change the world technologies". Forget about browsers.
They are the beginning and not the end of networking,' said Gerstner.
But he was cautious about the possibility of IBM pulling out of certain markets, saying Big Blue's economies of scale make it worthwhile to stay in the home PC space, despite its minimal margins.
Gerstner also sought to reassure the audience of his commitment to Lotus Notes, which some observers believe IBM will abandon in favour of another Internet-oriented product.
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