Next month an IBM computer called Watson will go head-to-head against the top two human Jeopardy champs for a prize worth $1 million. Whether Watson wins or not, what I wonder about this contest that was four years and untold millions of dollars in the making is how it squares with the image I’ve presented here over the last several years of a penny-pinching, greedy, avaricious, and not particularly smart IBM? The answer is simple: IBM has a split personality.

IBM values research and development. The research organizations like the one behind this Jeopardy stunt still share in a specific percentage of IBM’s gross sales. That’s how IBM keeps coming up with […]