When IBM sold its PC division to Lenovo in 2004, Big Blue decided to hold on to its server business and continue to manufacture and sell servers directly to customers. That strategy has now changed. As PC World reports, IBM has licensed its System x servers to Lenovo, giving the Chinese company carte blanche to manufacture and sell the machines directly to small and medium businesses.
As part of the deal, Lenovo will manufacture single- and dual-processor System x servers, marking its first foray into the server world outside of the Chinese market. IBM's current System x lineup includes rack-mount, tower, and enterprise servers based on dual- and quad-core x86 processors from AMD and Intel.
Unlike the 2004 deal, IBM is retaining ownership of its System x servers and will continue to sell them directly in parallel with Lenovo. According to IBM spokesman Tim Breuer, Lenovo has an "excellent reach" to companies with fewer than 500 employees, so the deal will "give IBM a better reach to SMB customers globally."