Even as most of its businesses saw declines (as Bloomberg reports, growing 9 percent when adjusted for currency. It's a testament to IBM's forward thinking, buying up a range of high-margin software businesses to shore up its financials in times of crisis.), IBM's software business saved IBM's quarter,
From CNET's report:
"A strong fourth quarter capped an outstanding year," [IBM CEO Samuel] Palmisano said. "In 2008, IBM performed well in an extremely difficult economic environment. Clearly our strategic transformation--migrating to the more profitable segments of the industry, investing in growth regions of the world, and driving productivity through global integration--is continuing to pay dividends."
Amen, and well done. It's also a testament to the tremendous power of IBM's brand that it can swim against a recession while other software companies falter.
With IBM promoting a positive outlook for 2009, hopefully the industry will react with equal positiveness. But perhaps we'll see a range of hardware-heavy businesses buy more aggressively in the software market, given depressed valuations?