IBM Starts Think-ing

Just days after announcing a whopping ad campaign to hype its new computer initiative, IBM took the wraps off a marketing strategy centered on its “Think” mantra.

Harkening back to the maxim of one of the company’s early leaders, Thomas Watson, “Think” will represent an IBM strategy to make computing simpler and cheaper, shifting focus from computing power and speed to simpler integration and maintenance, on the way to a future of self-healing computers that “think” for themselves.

“We are now entering a new phase in the evolution of personal computing,” said Fran O’Sullivan, IBM’s general manager for personal computing. “This new phase will be driven by the ability to embrace open industry standards and provide innovation on top of them to solve real business problems.”

IBM’s entire line of PCs and related offerings will join its decade-old ThinkPad notebooks in adopting the Think moniker. Products will include ThinkCentre desktops, ThinkVision displays, Think Accessories and Think Services.

As part of this new phase, IBM rolled out a line of ThinkVantage Technologies. Among the products:

  • IBM RapidRestore PC, a backup system to retrieve data in case of software failure;
  • Embedded Security Subsystem, downloadable software and hardware for data protection;
  • ImageUltra Builder, a toolkit to cut down on the number of software images IT departments need to support;
  • System Migration Assistant, an application for migrating from old PCs to new ones;
  • Access Connections, a system that automatically configures to its environment; and
  • Access IBM, a automated customer support system.

The Think strategy echoes last week’s unveiling of the company’s “e-business on-demand” computing initiative, which strives for open standards underpinning integrated systems that boast self-healing capabilities. To communicate its message, IBM rolled out a marketing campaign that could be worth as much as $800 million in the next year.

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