August 06, 2012, 9:50 AM — Currently, we are living in what Steve Jobs and others have called the post-PC world. With Hewlett-Packard pressured to divest its PC business, IBM exiting it over a decade ago and Apple driving an iPad stake into it, there is a lot of support for this concept.
One of the leading companies driving the counter-trend is Lenovo, which merged from the components of the most powerful Chinese technology company and the division of IBM that created the PC. The result of the merger is the fastest growing PC company in the world, thanks to its ThinkPad brand, and the only pure-play PC company that is dominant in China and has both solid consumer and business offerings.
EMC, on the other hand, has been driving unique and powerful partnerships in what I'm arguing is the fifth age of computing-one built around the model of a virtual company made up of independent, market-leading firms. (As I see it, IBM, Sun, Microsoft and Google defined the first four.) The most powerful example of this new model is the Virtual Computing Environment, or VCE, which is made up of Cisco, EMC, VMware and Intel and has subordinate partners such as BMC. Together the companies complete a solution set that is in the class of solutions from more traditional companies such as HP and IBM.
Add Lenovo and you suddenly have the virtual capability that closely maps to what IBM had in the late 1990s and may be unmatched today. Interestingly, it may be the ThinkPad that gives the consortium the edge.
Examining EMC's Class of Partnership