So why has I.B.M. shifted course recently, giving away some of the fruits of its research instead of charging others to use it? The answer is self-interest.
Diverging from conventional wisdom, the company has calculated that sharing technology can sometimes be more profitable than jealously guarding its property rights on patents, copyrights and trade secrets. The moves by I.B.M., the world's largest supplier of information technology services and computers, are being closely watched throughout the business world
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