IBM hopes technology will distinguish PCs

IBM hopes technology will distinguish PCs

IBM has debuted its lineup of new notebooks and PCs, highlighting the wireless functionality and security features of its four new ThinkPad laptops and three new NetVista desktops.

With falling prices and profit margins squeezing PC makers, IBM is focusing not on rock-bottom pricing but on stability and unique technologies, according to executives. IBM's new offerings include software for reducing the number of PC images needed for a network of enterprise computers, strengthened security tools for protecting data, and a pair of applications for troubleshooting and recovering from software and hardware problems.

IBM bailed out of the retail PC sector 18 months ago, said IBM Personal Computing General Manager Jon Judge. Instead of vying for overall market share, IBM hopes to win customers in select, high-margin area, including the enterprise sector, by delivering "complete IT solutions," Judge said. Corporations aren't interested in buying the cheapest box on the shelf, he said. Instead, they're looking for stable, secure, robust systems with low total ownership costs when services and support are factored in.

IBM has expanded and reorganised its catalog of branded PC series. A new "M" series of desktops, with prices ranging from $US999 to $1,999, was introduced to house "workhorse" models of PCs offering stability and advanced security features. The "X" series of desktops featuring a hard drive and processor integrated with a flat-panel monitor was overhauled for a more streamlined appearance. Prices for that line range from $US1,499 to $2,549.

In the ThinkPad portfolio, IBM created a new line - the "R" series of entry-level-priced notebooks - and added new models to three of its other lines, the "A" series of highly modular and versatile machines, the "X" series of extra-lights, and "T" series of laptops for road warriors.

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