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International Business Machines (IBM) (NYSE: IBM) is an American multinational
technology and consulting firm headquartered in Armonk, New York. IBM manufactures and
sells computer hardware and software, and it offers infrastructure, hosting and consulting
services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.[2] As of September
2011, IBM is the second-largest publicly traded technology company in the world by market

The company was founded in 1911 as the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation through
a merger of four companies: the Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time
Recording Company, the Computing Scale Corporation, and the Bundy Manufacturing
Company.[4][5] CTR adopted the name International Business Machines in 1924, using a name
previously designated to CTR's subsidiary in Canada and later South America. Its distinctive
culture and product branding has given it the nickname Big Blue.

In 2011, Fortune ranked IBM the 18th largest firm in the U.S., [6] as well as the 7th most
profitable.[7] Globally, the company was ranked the 31st largest firm by Forbes for 2011.[8][9]
Other rankings for 2011 include #1 company for leaders (Fortune), #2 best global brand
(Interbrand), #1 green company worldwide (Newsweek), #12 most admired company (Fortune),
and #18 most innovative company (Fast Company).[10] IBM employs more than 425,000
employees (sometimes referred to as "IBMers") in over 200 countries, with occupations
including scientists, engineers, consultants, and sales professionals. [11]

IBM holds more patents than any other U.S.-based technology company and has nine research
laboratories worldwide.[12] Its employees have garnered five Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards,
nine National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science.[13] Famous inventions
by IBM include the automated teller machine (ATM), the floppy disk, the hard disk drive, the
magnetic stripe card, the relational database, the Universal Product Code (UPC), the financial
swap, SABRE airline reservation system, DRAM, and Watson artificial intelligence.

The company has undergone several organizational changes since its inception, acquiring
companies like SPSS (2009) and PwC consulting (2002), spinning off companies like Lexmark
(1991), and selling off product lines like ThinkPad to Lenovo (2005).


Starting in the 1880s, various technologies came into existence that would form part of IBM's
predecessor company. Julius E. Pitrap patented the computing scale in 1885;[14] Alexander Dey
invented the dial recorder (1888);[15] in 1889, Herman Hollerith patented the Electric Tabulating
Machine[16] and Willard Bundy invented a time clock to record a worker's arrival and departure
time on a paper tape.[17] On June 16, 1911, these technologies and their respective companies
were merged by Charles Ranlett Flint to form the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company
(C-T-R).[18] The New York City-based company had 1,300 employees and offices and plants in
Endicott and Binghamton, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Detroit, Michigan; Washington, D.C.; and
Toronto, Ontario. It manufactured and sold machinery ranging from commercial scales and
industrial time recorders to meat and cheese slicers, along with tabulators and punched cards.

Flint recruited Thomas J. Watson, Sr., from the National Cash Register Company to help lead the
company in 1914.[18] Watson implemented "generous sales incentives, a focus on customer
service, an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen and an evangelical fervor for
instilling company pride and loyalty in every worker". [19] His favorite slogan, "THINK," became
a mantra for C-T-R's employees, and within 11 months of joining C-T-R, Watson became its
president.[19] The company focused on providing large-scale, custom-built tabulating solutions
for businesses, leaving the market for small office products to others. During Watson's first four
years, revenues more than doubled to $9 million and the company's operations expanded to
Europe, South America, Asia, and Australia. [19] On February 14, 1924, C-T-R was renamed the
International Business Machines Corporation (IBM),[10] citing the need to align its name with
the "growth and extension of [its] activities".[20]


NACA researchers using a IBM type 704 electronic data processing machine in 1957

In 1937, IBM's tabulating equipment enabled organizations to process unprecedented amounts of
data, its clients including the U.S. Government, during its first effort to maintain the employment
records for 26 million people pursuant to the Social Security Act,[21] and the Third Reich[22],
largely through the German subsidiary Dehomag. Also in 1937, the company president met with
Adolf Hitler, and discussed issues on the supply of equipment, and in 1941 were made leasing
supplies to camps to accommodate the prisoners. During the Second World War the company
produced small arms (M1 Carbine, and Browning Automatic Rifle).

In 1952, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., became president of the company, ending almost 40 years of
leadership by his father. In 1956, Arthur L. Samuel of IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York,
laboratory programmed an IBM 704 to play checkers using a method in which the machine can
"learn" from its own experience. It is believed to be the first "self-learning" program, a
demonstration of the concept of artificial intelligence. In 1957, IBM developed the FORTRAN
(FORmula TRANslation) scientific programming language. In 1961, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., was
elected chairman of the board and Albert L. Williams became president of the company. IBM
develops the SABRE (Semi-Automatic Business-Related Environment) reservation system for
American Airlines. The IBM Selectric typewriter was a highly successful model line of electric
typewriters introduced by IBM on July 31, 1961.

In 1963, IBM employees and computers helped NASA track the orbital flight of the Mercury
astronauts, and a year later, the company moved its corporate headquarters from New York City
to Armonk, New York. The latter half of that decade saw IBM continue its support of space
exploration, with IBM participating in the 1965 Gemini flights, the 1966 Saturn flights, and the
1969 mission to land a man on the moon.

On April 7, 1964 IBM announced the first computer system family, the IBM System/360. Sold
between 1964 and 1978, it was the first family of computers designed to cover the complete
range of applications, from small to large, both commercial and scientific. For the first time,
companies could upgrade their computing capabilities with a new model without rewriting their

In 1973, IBM engineer George J. Laurer developed the Universal Product Code.[23]

IBM's Blue Gene supercomputers were awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by
U.S. President Barack Obama on September 18, 2009.


Financial swaps were first introduced to the public in 1981 when IBM and the World Bank
entered into a swap agreement.[24] The IBM PC was introduced in 1981, originally designated
IBM 5150. The IBM PC became the industry standard. In 1991, IBM sold Lexmark, and in 2002,
it acquired PwC consulting. In 2003, IBM initiated a project to rewrite its company values. Using
its Jam technology, the company hosted Internet-based online discussions on key business issues
with 50,000 employees over 3 days. The discussions were analyzed by sophisticated text analysis
software (eClassifier) to mine online comments for themes. As a result of the 2003 Jam, the
company values were updated to reflect three modern business, marketplace and employee
views: "Dedication to every client's success", "Innovation that matters - for our company and for
the world", "Trust and personal responsibility in all relationships".[25] In 2004, another Jam was
conducted during which 52,000 employees exchanged best practices for 72 hours. They focused
on finding actionable ideas to support implementation of the values previously identified. [26]
In 2005 the company sold its personal computer business to Lenovo, and in 2009, it acquired
software company SPSS Inc. Later in 2009, IBM's Blue Gene supercomputing program was
awarded the National Medal of Technology and Innovation by U.S. President Barack Obama.

In 2011, IBM gained worldwide attention for its artificial intelligence program Watson, which
was exhibited on Jeopardy! where it won against game show champions Ken Jennings and Brad

According on Bloomberg closing value in September 29, 2011 IBM has surpassed Microsoft on
closing value with $214 billion and $213.2 billion, respectively. It's the first time IBM has
exceeded its software rival based on closing price since 1996. However, it's only less than two-
third of Apple closing price value on $362.1 billion. [27]

Corporate affairs

IBM's headquarter complex is located in Armonk, Town of North Castle, New York, United
States.[28][29][30] The 283,000-square-foot (26,300 m2) IBM building has three levels of custom
curtainwall. The building is located on a 25 acre site. [31] IBM has been headquartered in Armonk
since 1964.[citation needed]

The company has nine research labs worldwide—Almaden, Austin, Brazil, China, Haifa, India,
Tokyo, Watson (New York), and Zurich—with Watson (dedicated in 1961) serving as
headquarters for the research division and the site of its annual meeting. Other campus
installations include towers in Montreal, Paris, and Atlanta; software labs in Raleigh-Durham,
Rome and Toronto; buildings in Chicago, Johannesburg, and Seattle; and facilities in Hakozaki
and Yamato. The company also operates the IBM Scientific Center, the Hursley House, the
Canada Head Office Building, IBM Rochester, and the Somers Office Complex. The company's
contributions to architecture and design, including Chicago's 330 North Wabash building
designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, were recognized with the 1990 Honor Award from the
National Building Museum.[32]

IBM's Board of Directors, with 14 members, is responsible for the overall management of the
company. With Cathie Black's resignation from the board in November 2010, the remaining 13
members (along with their affiliation and year of joining the board) are as follows: Alain J. P.
Belda '08 (Alcoa), William R. Brody '07 (Salk Institute / Johns Hopkins University), Kenneth
Chenault '98 (American Express), Michael L. Eskew '05 (UPS), Shirley Ann Jackson '05
(Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute), Andrew N. Liveris '10 (Dow Chemical), W. James
McNerney, Jr. '09 (Boeing), James W. Owens '06 (Caterpillar), Samuel J. Palmisano '00 (IBM),
Joan Spero '04 (Doris Duke Charitable Foundation), Sidney Taurel '01 (Eli Lilly), and Lorenzo
Zambrano '03 (Cemex).[33]

            Various IBM facilities
IBM Rochester (Minnesota), nicknamed the
             "Big Blue Zoo"

IBM Avenida de América Building in Madrid,

Somers (New York) Office Complex, designed
               by I.M. Pei

   IBM Japan Makuhari Technical Center,
       designed by Yoshio Taniguchi

    IBM Haifa Research Lab, Haifa, Israel
       IBM Kolkata Building, Kolkata, India

Corporate recognition and brand

In 2011, Fortune ranked IBM the 18th largest firm in the U.S., [6] as well as the 7th most
profitable.[7] Globally, the company was ranked the 31st largest firm by Forbes for 2011.[34]
Other rankings for 2011 include the following:[10]

       #1 company for leaders (Fortune)
       #2 best global brand (Interbrand)
       #1 green company worldwide (Newsweek)[35]
       #12 most admired company (Fortune)
       #18 most innovative company (Fast Company).

For 2010, IBM's brand was valued at $64.7 billion. [36]

Working at IBM

In 2010, IBM employed 105,000 workers in the U.S., a drop of 30,000 since 2003, and 75,000
people in India, up from 9,000 seven years previous.[37]

IBM's employee management practices can be traced back to its roots. In 1914, CEO Thomas J.
Watson boosted company spirit by creating employee sports teams, hosting family outings, and
furnishing a company band. In 1924, the Quarter Century Club, which recognizes employees
with 25 years of service, was organized and the first issue of Business Machines, IBM's internal
publication, was published. In 1925, the first meeting of the Hundred Percent Club, composed of
IBM salesmen who meet their quotas, convened in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

IBM was among the first corporations to provide group life insurance (1934), survivor benefits
(1935) and paid vacations (1937). In 1932 IBM created an Education Department to oversee
training for employees, which oversaw the completion of the IBM Schoolhouse at Endicott in
1933. In 1935, the employee magazine Think was created. Also that year, IBM held its first
training class for women systems service professionals. In 1942, IBM launched a program to
train and employ disabled people in Topeka, Kansas. The next year classes begin in New York
City, and soon the company was asked to join the President's Committee for Employment of the
Handicapped. In 1946, the company hired its first black salesman, 18 years before the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. In 1947, IBM announced a Total and Permanent Disability Income Plan for
employees. A vested rights pension was added to the IBM retirement plan.
In 1952, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., published the company's first written equal opportunity policy
letter, one year before the U.S. Supreme Court decision in Brown vs. Board of Education and 11
years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In 1961, IBM's nondiscrimination policy was
expanded to include sex, national origin, and age. The following year, IBM hosted its first
Invention Award Dinner honoring 34 outstanding IBM inventors; and in 1963, the company
named the first eight IBM Fellows in a new Fellowship Program that recognizes senior IBM
scientists, engineers and other professionals for outstanding technical achievements.

An IBM delivery tricycle in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1965

On September 21, 1953, Thomas Watson, Jr., the company's president at the time, sent out a
controversial letter to all IBM employees stating that IBM needed to hire the best people,
regardless of their race, ethnic origin, or gender. He also publicized the policy so that in his
negotiations to build new manufacturing plants with the governors of two states in the U.S.
South, he could be clear that IBM would not build "separate-but-equal" workplaces.[38] In 1984,
IBM added sexual orientation to its nondiscrimination policy. The company stated that this
would give IBM a competitive advantage because IBM would then be able to hire talented
people its competitors would turn down. [39]

IBM was the only technology company ranked in Working Mother magazine's Top 10 for 2004,
and one of two technology companies in 2005. [40][41] On October 10, 2005, IBM became the first
major company in the world to commit formally to not using genetic information in employment
decisions. The announcement was made shortly after IBM began working with the National
Geographic Society on its Genographic Project.

IBM provides same-sex partners of its employees with health benefits and provides an anti-
discrimination clause. The Human Rights Campaign has consistently rated IBM 100% on its
index of gay-friendliness since 2003 (in 2002, the year it began compiling its report on major
companies, IBM scored 86%).[42] In 2007 and again in 2010, IBM UK was ranked first in
Stonewall's annual Workplace Equality Index for UK employers. [43]
The company has traditionally resisted labor union organizing, [44] although unions represent
some IBM workers outside the United States. In 2009, the Unite union stated that several
hundred employees joined following the announcement in the UK of pension cuts that left many
employees facing a shortfall in projected pensions. [45]

A dark (or gray) suit, white shirt, and a "sincere" tie [46] was the public uniform for IBM
employees for most of the 20th century. During IBM's management transformation in the 1990s,
CEO Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. relaxed these codes, normalizing the dress and behavior of IBM
employees to resemble their counterparts in other large technology companies. Since then IBM's
dress code is business casual although employees often wear formal clothes during client
meetings.[citation needed]

On 16 June 2011, the company announced a grants programs, called IBM100, to fund its
employees participation in volunteer projects - the year long initiative is part of the company's
centenary celebrations.[47]

Research and inventions

An anechoic chamber inside IBM's Yamato research facility

In 1945, The Watson Scientific Computing Laboratory was founded at Columbia University in
New York, New York. The renovated fraternity house on Manhattan's West Side was used as
IBM's first laboratory devoted to pure science. The lab was the forerunner of IBM's Research
Division, which today operates research facilities around the world.

In 1966, IBM researcher Robert H. Dennard invented Dynamic Random Access Memory
(DRAM) cells, one-transistor memory cells that store each single bit of information as an
electrical charge in an electronic circuit. The technology permits major increases in memory
density, and is widely adopted throughout the industry where it remains in widespread use today.

IBM has been a leading proponent of the Open Source Initiative, and began supporting Linux in
1998.[48] The company invests billions of dollars in services and software based on Linux
through the IBM Linux Technology Center, which includes over 300 Linux kernel developers.[49]
IBM has also released code under different open source licenses, such as the platform-
independent software framework Eclipse (worth approximately US$40 million at the time of the
donation),[50] the three-sentence International Components for Unicode (ICU) license, and the
Java-based relational database management system (RDBMS) Apache Derby. IBM's open source
involvement has not been trouble-free, however (see SCO v. IBM).
Famous inventions by IBM include the following:

      Automated teller machine (ATM)
      Floppy disk
      Hard disk drive
      Magnetic stripe card
      Relational database
      Universal Product Code (UPC)
      Financial swap
      SABRE airline reservation system
      Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM)
      Watson artificial intelligence

Selected current projects

developerWorks is a website run by IBM for software developers and IT professionals. It
contains how-to articles and tutorials, as well as software downloads and code samples,
discussion forums, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and other resources for developers and technical
professionals. Subjects range from open, industry-standard technologies like Java, Linux, SOA
and web services, web development, Ajax, PHP, and XML to IBM's products (WebSphere,
Rational, Lotus, Tivoli and Information Management). In 2007, developerWorks was inducted
into the Jolt Hall of Fame.[51]

alphaWorks is IBM's source for emerging software technologies. These technologies include:

      Flexible Internet Evaluation Report Architecture – A highly flexible architecture for the design,
       display, and reporting of Internet surveys.
      IBM History Flow Visualization Application – A tool for visualizing dynamic, evolving documents
       and the interactions of multiple collaborating authors.
      IBM Linux on POWER Performance Simulator – A tool that provides users of Linux on Power a
       set of performance models for IBM's POWER processors.
      Database File Archive And Restoration Management – An application for archiving and restoring
       hard disk drive files using file references stored in a database.
      Policy Management for Autonomic Computing – A policy-based autonomic management
       infrastructure that simplifies the automation of IT and business processes.
      FairUCE – A spam filter that verifies sender identity instead of filtering content.
      Unstructured Information Management Architecture (UIMA) SDK – A Java SDK that supports the
       implementation, composition, and deployment of applications working with unstructured data.
      Accessibility Browser – A web-browser specifically designed to assist people with visual
       impairments, to be released as open source software. Also known as the "A-Browser," the
       technology will aim to eliminate the need for a mouse, relying instead completely on voice-
       controls, buttons and predefined shortcut keys.
Watson, an IBM artificial intelligence computer, is capable of "learning" as it operates.

Virtually all console gaming systems of the latest generation use microprocessors developed by
IBM. The Xbox 360 contains a PowerPC tri-core processor, which was designed and produced
by IBM in less than 24 months.[52] Sony's PlayStation 3 features the Cell BE microprocessor
designed jointly by IBM, Toshiba, and Sony. IBM will provide the microprocessors that serve as
the heart of Nintendo's new Wii U system, which will debut in 2012.[53] The new Power
Architecture-based microprocessor includes IBM's latest technology in an energy-saving silicon
package.[54] Nintendo's seventh-generation console, Wii, features an IBM chip codenamed
Broadway. The older Nintendo GameCube utilizes the Gekko processor, also designed by IBM.

In May 2002, IBM and, Inc. announced the Butterfly Grid, a commercial grid for
the online video gaming market.[55] In March 2006, IBM announced separate agreements with
Hoplon Infotainment, Online Game Services Incorporated (OGSI), and RenderRocket to provide
on-demand content management and blade server computing resources.[56]

IBM announced it will launch its new software, called "Open Client Offering" which is to run on
Linux, Microsoft Windows and Apple's Mac OS X. The company states that its new product
allows businesses to offer employees a choice of using the same software on Windows and its
alternatives. This means that "Open Client Offering" is to cut costs of managing whether to use
Linux or Apple relative to Windows. There will be no necessity for companies to pay Microsoft
for its licenses for operating systems since the operating systems will no longer rely on software
which is Windows-based. One alternative to Microsoft's office document formats is the Open
Document Format software, whose development IBM supports. It is going to be used for several
tasks like: word processing, presentations, along with collaboration with Lotus Notes, instant
messaging and blog tools as well as an Internet Explorer competitor – the Mozilla Firefox web
browser. IBM plans to install Open Client on 5% of its desktop PCs. The Linux offering has
been made available as the IBM Client for Smart Work product on the Ubuntu and Red Hat
Enterprise Linux platforms.[57]

UC2 (Unified Communications and Collaboration) is an IBM and Cisco Systems joint project
based on Eclipse and OSGi. It will offer the numerous Eclipse application developers a unified
platform for an easier work environment. The software based on UC2 platform will provide
major enterprises with easy-to-use communication solutions, such as the Lotus based Sametime.
In the future the Sametime users will benefit from such additional functions as click-to-call and
voice mailing.[58]

Redbooks are publicly available online books about best practices with IBM products. They
describe the products features, field experience and dos and don'ts, while leaving aside marketing
buzz. Available formats are Redbooks, Redpapers and Redpieces.

Extreme Blue is one of IBM's internship programs, which tasks students with developing high-
value technology.[59] In 2003, participants in the program filed 98 patents.[60]

In May 2007, IBM unveiled Project Big Green, a re-direction of $1 billion per year across its
businesses to increase energy efficiency.

On November 2008, IBM’s CEO, Sam Palmisano, during a speech at the Council on Foreign
Relations, outlined a new agenda for building a Smarter Planet.[61] In addition, an official
company blog exists. Smarter Planet @ IBM

On Aug 18, 2011, as part of its effort in cognitive computing, IBM has produced chips that
imitate neurons and synapses. These microprocessors do not use von Neumann architecture, and
they consume less memory and power. [62]

Environmental record

IBM was recognized as one of the "Top 20 Best Workplaces for Commuters" by the United
States Environmental Protection Agency‎(EPA) in 2005. The award was to recognize Fortune
500 companies which provided employees with excellent commuter benefits to help reduce
traffic and air pollution.[63]

The birthplace of IBM, Endicott, suffered pollution for decades, however. IBM used liquid
cleaning agents in circuit board assembly operation for more than two decades, and six spills and
leaks were recorded, including one leak in 1979 of 4,100 gallons from an underground tank.
These left behind volatile organic compounds in the town's soil and aquifer. Trace elements of
volatile organic compounds have been identified in Endicott’s drinking water, but the levels are
within regulatory limits. Also, from 1980, IBM has pumped out 78,000 gallons of chemicals,
including trichloroethane, freon, benzene and perchloroethene to the air and allegedly caused
several cancer cases among the townspeople. IBM Endicott has been identified by the
Department of Environmental Conservation as the major source of pollution, though traces of
contaminants from a local dry cleaner and other polluters were also found. Despite the amount of
pollutant, state health officials could not verify whether air or water pollution in Endicott has
actually caused any health problems. According to city officials, tests show that the water is safe
to drink.[64]

Tokyo Ohka Kogyo Co., Ltd. (TOK) and IBM are collaborating to establish new, low-cost
methods for bringing the next generation of solar energy products, called CIGS (Copper-Indium-
Gallium-Selenide) solar cell modules, to market. Use of thin film technology, such as CIGS, has
great promise in reducing the overall cost of solar cells and further enabling their widespread

IBM is exploring four main areas of photovoltaic research: using current technologies to develop
cheaper and more efficient silicon solar cells, developing new solution processed thin film
photovoltaic devices, concentrator photovoltaics, and future generation photovoltaic
architectures based upon nanostructures such as semiconductor quantum dots and nanowires.[67]

Company logo and nickname

The company used the "globe" logo until 1946, when it began using an acronym-based logo.

IBM's current "8-bar" logo was designed in 1972 by graphic designer Paul Rand.[68] It was a
general replacement for a 13-bar logo that first appeared in the public on the 1966 release of the
TSS/360. Logos designed in the 1970s tended to be sensitive to the technical limitations of
photocopiers, which were then being widely deployed. A logo with large solid areas tended to be
poorly copied by copiers in the 1970s, so companies preferred logos that avoided large solid
areas. The 1972 IBM logos are an example of this tendency. With the advent of digital copiers in
the mid-1980s this technical restriction had largely disappeared; at roughly the same time, the
13-bar logo was abandoned for almost the opposite reason – it was difficult to render accurately
on the low-resolution digital printers (240 dots per inch) of the time.

Big Blue is a nickname for IBM. There are several theories explaining the origin of the name.
One theory, substantiated by people who worked for IBM at the time, is that IBM field
representatives coined the term in the 1960s, referring to the color of the mainframes IBM
installed in the 1960s and early 1970s. "True Blue" was a term used to describe a loyal IBM
customer, and business writers later picked up the term.[69][70] Another theory suggests that Big
Blue simply refers to the Company's logo. A third theory suggests that Big Blue refers to a
former company dress code that required many IBM employees to wear only white shirts and
many wore blue suits.[69][71] In any event, IBM keyboards, typewriters, and some other
manufactured devices have played on the "Big Blue" concept, using the color for enter keys and
carriage returns. IBM has also used blue logos since 1947, making blue the defining color of the
company's corporate design, which might be another, more plausible reason for the

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