(Today’s news about IBM in the NYTimes makes my speculations even less likely, so here they are before it’s totally too late:)
There’s a lot of speculation about why IBM has sold its computer business. The most interesting thought is that IBM is now free to make and sell what would otherwise have competed with their PC business: home computers based on the Power PC chip, running Linux. Such machines would be much cheaper than their PC competitors. The PPC chips are good, no royalty need be paid for Windows, and it is much cheaper to build a computer that lacks legacy compatibility with the PC’s baroque architecture.
To make this work, IBM would have spent the last three years secretly preparing an easy-to-use GUI for Linux, programs to make the system easy to manage, and a good software emulation suite to make the migration to these new machines fairly painless. IBM’s industry heft could, once again, create a computer revolution, one in which Microsoft and Intel would not be big players.
Could it happen? Pinch me …