Reportedly, he saw a lack of opportunity for innovation (at least "in the corporate market"), and felt that the "hub of innovation would shift to services and software." As if a prophet, just about everything he expected has come to pass. The article explains that the jarring sale of its PC business was no easy thing to decide upon, and he even affirms that he "deflected overtures from Dell and private equity firms, preferring the sale to a company in China for strategic reasons." As the story goes, China wants its corporations to have global reach, and by helping with that, IBM "enhanced its stature in the lucrative Chinese market, where the government still steers business." Trust us -- there's far more where this came from in the source link below.