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IBM has moved to quell rumors that it’s looking to get out of the x86 server market.

In a memo sent to channel partners on Jan. 26, IBM says it is in the x86 server business to stay, according to a report in The New York Times. The Times obtained the memo, and IBM confirmed its authenticity.

"IBM is not exiting or selling its x86 business," writes Adalio
Sanchez, general manager of IBM’s System x server business, in the memo
to channel partners.

The memo states that rumors about IBM looking to get out of the
business may have been started by IBM’s competitors in the market,
seizing upon the news that IBM has licensed some of its x86 server
technology to Lenovo and Rackable Systems. 

Lenovo acquired IBM’s PC business in 2005, and IBM has sold off other
hardware divisions, too, choosing to instead focus on its computer
services business. IBM’s moves were widely viewed as an effort to get
out of the commodity computer hardware business in favor of a business
with higher margins.

everywhere have forecast dismal sales for computer hardware in 2009 as
the ongoing recession has end customers pushing off PC and server
refresh cycles once again.

But IBM’s Sanchez says in the memo from IBM to channel
partners that the company plans to stay in the industry standard server

"In the last few months competitors have tried to use IBM’s licensing
agreement with Lenovo to plant doubt in the marketplace about our
commitment to the System x business," writes Sanchez. "When Lenovo (and
Rackable) selected IBM technology (over the competition) it expanded
IBM’s x86 technology footprint, provided access to new markets and
complemented our R&D commitment to the System x and BladeCenter
product lines.

"Over the past 40 years IBM has continually used OEM/IP agreements to
expand our technology footprints in semiconductors, UNIX, mainframes
and systems software. It’s just good business," Sanchez says.

IBM says it has launched a new go-to-market model called Project X,
designed to better position IBM client teams and channel partners
against the competition, and will soon brief channel partners on the

"Don’t let ANYONE get away with ANY attempts to dilute IBM’s rock solid
commitment to the System x business," Sanchez writes. "Time to fight