Updates to this story
IBM's services division chief Mike Daniels reckons, in terms of integrated software and services, HP is not quite up to scratch. Ahead of a speech from chief HP exec Leo Apotheker, Daniels said: "It's not like we have a company that has a software strategy and then a services strategy or a hardware strategy."
IBM believes that linking its software close to services it has the edge on HP. While HP has been focusing on services, Daniels said: "I think it would take a long time for anybody to accumulate the kind of capability that we have."
Apotheker's vision won't screw up Wall Street either, according to IBM, and it won't push up purchase prices. There were worries, says the Financial Times, that an HP software push would send acquisition costs sky high.
"I don't see one more person in the marketplace as changing things," Daniels said.
The worst situation, IBM didn't say, would be a 3PAR-style drama in the middle of Silly Season that forces technology journalists into writing about a dull as dish water acquisition because there's nothing else out there.