Last week I took a stroll through the freezing data room at IBM's mountaintop laboratory at Almaden, Calif. I was told that the supercomputer there, the 29th fastest in the world, cost less than a standard four bedroom house in nearby San Jose--a bit north of $1 million. Given those two trends, should IBM consider exiting the technology business and pouring its resources into real estate? At the pace we're going, a garage in Palo Alto, like the one that spawned Hewlett-Packard, will one day be worth more than a computer company.

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