Re: Effing H1B
what does IBM offer to distinguish them from AWS/Azure/a big hosting provider like Rackspace or Sungard?
Nothing. But Gini will be getting a big bonus (c$13.3m of options for 2015) on the back of all the sackings, and because those are locked in for a few years, she has to keep the company in business and solvent to reap her rewards - but longer term growth beyond her options vesting date doesn't matter. Cue sackings, high prices, and reduced investment in long term growth products.
Regarding people like Rackspace, they've got a mere $3bn market cap. All Gini and her overpaid greedster C-suite colleagues need to do is tweak the IBM dividend down a bit, or up the IBM debt mountain (net debt around $46bn) and they can buy them without a thought. Then its a case of cut staff, cut development, increase prices, and report the results as "growth". When they've hollowed out whoever they acquire, it is a case of rinse and repeat. Wall Street don't care, they take a cut each time an acquisition goes through, and so long as the Federal Reserve keep printing money, the share price might keep going up as part of the state+corporate Ponzi that passes for wealth creation these days.