toymaker Apple has turned to the stodgy IBM in a bit to come up with new ideas.
One of IBM's top chip executives has agreed to join Apple as a senior executive with the aim of helping Steve Jobs expand Apple's presence in the markets for servers and chips for handheld devices. But Mark Papermaster, who was IBM's vice president of microprocessor technology development, is being sued by Big Blue to prevent him from joining Apple and divulging trade secrets related to IBM's Power chips and server products.
Papermaster has penned several papers on chip development at IBM and was chummy with Apple when the Biggish Blue used to make PowerPC chips for Jobs’ Mob. IBM said that Papermaster's employment by Apple is a violation of his agreement with IBM against working for a competitor should he leave IBM.
If Papermaster can work for Apple, he might be trying to build them an Xserve blade server, which would mean that Apple would have to be seriously looking at getting into the enterprise market. However, few think this is likely, as Apple has just been successful at getting into the consumer gadget market. Besides, the outfit would not be able to exert any level of control over customers if it entered the enterprise market.
It has also been hard to find Apple fanboys in the enterprise where technology has to be seen as more important that the box the product comes in. As a result, its Xserve product has been gathering dust on the shelves, un-promoted by the Apple marketing machine.