Tried to probe a bit - Its to do with hyperscaling. [It seemed new and raw to me too initially. It basically means cloud scale. Commoditized hardware with compatible software innovations. away from modular x86]. Dell solves that through DCS and HP also were dabbling in it [dont know how well they were doing it.]
So far so good. IBM had POWER architecture and it wasnt really the best of options considering costs and other factors too.
mmh. But getting into the x86 market this late? Dell has been doing it decently through DCS and HP is also dabbling and both of them approximately have 2 times the market share [atleast] (and IBM's market share is trailing and sort of just 11% now and doesnt seem like it will pick up). Seriously, why? Werent they trying to sell the x86 commodity server hardware business to Lenovo [and quoted an outrageously high price which Lenovo didnt accept to]
I do wonder whats the actual reason.
A nice take on this here: NeXtScale
Possible? Perhaps. Even probable. IBM has been aggressively cutting low margin businesses to meet the 2015 roadmap. Its difficult to meet it as it is. [EPS of 20 tgted and they are at almost 14 now, IIRC]
They just sold a big chunk of GPS too. Why launch NeXtScale is a question which I am currently curious about.
Update: Sep 18th: IBM plans to invest 1bn on Linux over next 4-5 years. 1Bn proposed investment by IBM on Linux Interesting the thought. Needs to be seen if it will generate cash though. A development cloud is a nice idea but its for free? for entitled customers, perhaps. So, if I think from the other angle, it basically means that IBM charges such a heavy license cost that it can afford to keep a DC [dev cloud] running for free [which can be loaned for development efforts of their customers]