Pund-IT's King believes that IBM's strategy around Power is sound, reflecting the realities of the marketplace. "Last quarter was dreadful partly due to a falloff in sales that's common prior to a next generation processor launch," he wrote. "But the larger story is that the market for traditional Unix/RISC systems has been faltering for the past couple of years (with many customers migrating to x86) and I don't know of anyone who expects it to return to full health."

IBM, he adds, is the leading vendor in that sector with a share near 50%, and with its new POWER8 solutions the company should continue picking up HP (HPQ) and Oracle (ORCL) customers that abandon those companies' platforms.

"But in order to create sustainable growth for Power, IBM needs to seek new markets and opportunities," wrote King. "Pursuing that effort alone would be frightfully difficult and costly but opening its microprocessor architecture and collaborating with OpenPOWER partners should provide IBM new ways to achieve its goals."

IBM shares dipped 0.75% to $190.71 during Thursday trading.

-- Written by James Rogers in New York.

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