IBM's entry into the printer business ended in 1991, when it spun off its printing unit into what is now Lexmark. In 1995, IBM began building its Printing Systems Division, which focused on high-end, production-level printing solutions. Of late, IBM executives decided the industry and technology were moving in a direction that wasn't in step with its core strengths, said Nick Donofrio, IBM's executive vice president of innovation and technology.
"There comes a point in time -- and trust me IBM has been there before -- when you realize you no longer have the capability to move certain technologies in the direction of sustainable, profitable growth," Donofrio said. "At IBM, we constantly look at how fast we are changing, the rate we are changing. ... Sometimes we must learn to let go."