Feeds

Analysis: Compaq, IBM squirm between devil and deep blue sea

Dell is the devil and dealers are directly in the deep

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

Four years ago, next January, The Register found itself in San Diego along with thousands of other business partners (BPs) to hear the word of CEO Lou Gerstner about how committed it was to its channel. Two years later, we found ourselves in the company of Compaq luminary Eckhard Pfeiffer at Innovate in Houston, to hear the great man pledge his company's commitment to the channel. And now we find both IBM and Compaq still maintaining that they are committed to the channel, while effectively dumping their grand plans. It was not much of a surprise for IBM to do a u-turn. It is characteristic of the protean nature of the beast. A proteus is now considered to be a blind, cave dwelling amphibian but its original meaning is releated to Proteus, a Greek sea god, who did not want to foretell the future and therefore took on many different forms. Both definitions apply to IBM. It has wriggled its way, seemingly blindly, through many a similar situation within living memory. But surely Gerstner's latest wriggle is one too many. The cost of promoting IBM's two tier channel scam is incalculable -- a little like its profound failure with OS/2. So when Doug LeGrande, IBM EMEA's general manager, told The Register two weeks ago that his European channel weren't particularly concerned about the company's move to a direct model, that's probably because they already knew… Compaq is a little different. It has always had a better relationship with the PC channel than IBM, and seems to have gone out of its way to attempt to keep the relationship going. But the devil, in the shape of Dellistopheles, Great Satan of Hardware, concentrates PC manufacturers' minds. It has not suffered from the inventory problems of both Dell and IBM. On the contrary, it has stormed through 1998 and will probably do the same next year. Compaq seems to have been forced into its direct action by Dell's success on price and time to delivery. IBM's excuse, at best, is sheer incompetence. IBM shareholders should ask the company they invest in exactly what it thinks it is doing. After all, it invented the PC which spawned all of its competition. But now that both Compaq and IBM have bitten the direct bullet, there is another question that their shareholders should put to them. Why are both Compaq and IBM being so mealy mouthed about going direct and why don't they both just come out and say their enemy is Dellistopheles? ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Spies, avert eyes! Tim Berners-Lee demands a UK digital bill of rights
Lobbies tetchy MPs 'to end indiscriminate online surveillance'
How the FLAC do I tell MP3s from lossless audio?
Can you hear the difference? Can anyone?
Inequality increasing? BOLLOCKS! You heard me: 'Screw the 1%'
There's morality and then there's economics ...
Google hits back at 'Dear Rupert' over search dominance claims
Choc Factory sniffs: 'We're not pirate-lovers - also, you publish The Sun'
While you queued for an iPhone 6, Apple's Cook sold shares worth $35m
Right before the stock took a 3.8% dive amid bent and broken mobe drama
4chan outraged by Emma Watson nudie photo leak SCAM
In the immortal words of Shaggy, it wasn't me us ... amirite?
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.