For the better part of their storied history, IBM focused all of its energies against selling hardware. And for a good long time that’s all that was required as they were the only game in town. In the 1980’s that began to change. Competitive pressure on the personal computing front forced them to begin to cut distribution deals with national retailers -- a decision that would have at one time been considered heresy. Ensuing pricing pressure would force IBM to ultimately sell off their personal divisions and reconsider their overall go-to-market strategy.