International Business Machine is an American computer manufacturer, with headquarters in Armonk, New York. The company is a major supplier of information-processing products and systems, software, communications systems, workstations, and related supplies and services in the United States and around the world. Its products are used in a wide variety of industries, including business, government, science, defense, education, medicine, and space exploration.
The company was incorporated in 1911 as Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company in a merger of three smaller companies. After further acquisitions, it absorbed the International Business Machines Essay Corporation in 1924 and assumed that company’s name.
Thomas Watson arrived that same year and began to build the floundering company into an industrial giant. IBM soon became the country’s largest manufacturer of time clocks and developed and marketed the first electric typewriter. In 1951 the company entered the computer field. The development of IBM’s technology was largely funded by contracts with the U.S. government’s Atomic Energy Commission; close parallels existed between products made for government use and those introduced by IBM into the public marketplace.
In the late 1950s IBM distinguished itself with two innovations: the concept of a family of computers (its 360 family) in which the same software could be run across the entire family and a corporate policy dictating that no customer would be allowed to fail in implementing an IBM system. This policy spawned enormous loyalty to Big Blue, as IBM came to be called.
From the 1960s until the 1980s IBM dominated the global mainframe market, although in the 1980s IBM lost market share to other manufacturers in specialty areas such as high-performance computing. When minicomputers were introduced in the 1970s IBM viewed them as a threat to the mainframe market and failed to recognize their potential, opening the door for such competitors as Digital Equipment Corporation, Hewlett-Packard, and Data General.
In 1981, however, IBM introduced the highly successful IBM PC, which rapidly became a standard in micro computing. The company met with less success defending its market share against lower-cost producers.
In the late 1980s IBM was the world’s largest producer of a full line of computers and the leading producer of office equipment, including typewriters and photocopiers. The company was also the largest manufacturer of integrated circuits, all of which were used in its own products. The sale of mainframe computers and related software and peripherals accounted for nearly half of IBM’s business and about 70 to 80 percent of its profits.
In the early 1990s, amid a recession in the U.S. economy, IBM reorganized itself into autonomous business units more closely aligned to the company’s markets.
As a result, 40,000 employees lost their jobs in 1992, and more cuts were announced for 1993. After record losses during 1992 and, for the first time in IBM’s history, a cut in stock dividends (to less than half of their previous value), John F. Akers, chairman since 1985, resigned in early 1993. Louis V. Gerstner, Jr., was named chairperson of the company in April 1993.
In 1994 IBM sold its federal systems unit to, which provides computer systems and services to the government, to Loral for $1.5 billion. That same year, in a challenge to Intels dominance of the microprocessor business, IBM agreed to manufacture computer chips designed by Cyrix. Several of IBMs highest- ranking executives including chief strategist James Cannavino, left the company in 1995 as Gerstner continued to clean house. Also that year Apple released its first Power Mac computer that use the PowerPC chip developed by Apple, IBM, and Motorola. IBM also acquired Footprint software, a banking industry software developer whose programs are sold with OS/2.
Only 10 years after IBM first produced them, personal computers (PCs) have radically changed the way many offices operate. At first, PCs were intended to reduce time-consuming tasks both at home and work. However, many people are still skeptical about the supposed benefits of the personal computer. High expectation have left many PC users disappointed because considering technical knowledge is often necessary to obtain the computers full benefits. Some critics question whether workers are more productive with computers at their desks. With new changes constantly being introduced proponents of PCs hope that two devices, which .