To be fair, Lenovo is the software giant's fifth data center supplier following HP, Dell, Quanta Computer and Wiwynn but the fact that the Chinese hardware maker is there at all is significant. Lenovo is estimated to start shipping servers to Microsoft in the third quarter.
The contract means that Lenovo is finally getting some distance from its PC business. Before it bought IBM's x86 server business, Lenovo's major server clients were mostly from China. That market has become more competative with Chinese outfits like Inspur and Sugon. Sugon's server sales have achieved 60 percent on-year growth for three consecutive years and the company has a share of 60 percent in China's datacenter market.
This means that Lenovo had to act fast to get itself established on a world stage and its IBM business appears to have been a great purchase to do that. Microsoft is expanding its cloud based operations and is building lots of datacenters worldwide.