You can argue that the target here is
and its x86 architecture, or you can say its target is ARM, which has ambitions to get into data center computing.
But it's clear to me, at least, what the real target is: Google.
McCredie was very cagey talking about Google. It is not quoted in the press release. "You can call Google," he said. "They will provide a quote." But what IBM needs is a purchase order, not a quote.
OpenPOWER provides a way for both IBM and other chip-level vendors to put their technology on one table, for the customers who count most in this decade.
McCredie doesn't exactly know how this will play out. "This new marketplace is different from the classic data center market, and they consume technology differently, with different lifecycles and optimization points," he said. "The base Intellectual Property of POWER is great for these new marketplaces, but we need to package it differently.
"Innovation takes place in a different way, in an open and collaborative way, in these markets."
At the time of publication, the author owned 100 shares of IBM
This article is commentary by an independent contributor, separate from TheStreet's regular news coverage.