IBM Focus

A Look Back at IBM

In the USA, year 1911, the Tabulating Machine Company, the International Time Recording Company, and the Computing Scale Company of America, merged to form one company, the Computing Tabulating Recording Company.

This company was at the cutting edge of the hi-tech of its time, and quickly grew, and in 1924, the then CEO Thomas J. Watson Snr. Changed the name to International Business Machines Corporation, or IBM.

Research and development was then, as now, at the forefront of their focus, and they began to design and produce adding machines and calculators in the ‘30s, and by the mid ‘40s, pioneered with the University of Harvard, the first machine to compute long calculations automatically, called the Mark 1 computer.

The first commercial IBM computer started to be manufactured by them in 1953, this was the 701.

Although only nineteen of these were built, the statement was made, and in ’56 the 704 was built with much improved memory and reliability.

In 1960International Business Machines produced the first commercial transistorised computer, the 7090 which was the fastest computer in the world, and IBM became the global major in mainframe and minicomputers with the 700 series.

By 1980 IBM recognised that as computers were getting smarter and smaller, the phenomena of the home computer wasn’t simply a novelty but a vast market to tap, taking parts of the computer away from “mother mainframe”, and putting them in a convenient desk-top format, the revolution in a box.

They approached one Bill Gates of the foundling company Microsoft, to create a programme which he did, the MS-DOS, Microsoft Disk Operating System, for what would be the IBM PC. PC, being “personal computer”, making IBM the originator of the term.

In just four months from the commercial launch of the IBMs PC, it was named “Man of the year” by Time Magazine.

Bill Gates retained the marketing rights to MS-DOS, and did quite well out of it, IBM, not only the foremost name world-wide in computing in industry, commerce, medicine, military, science and education, became the global house-hold name it is today.

The company established Cloud computing, the availability of on-demand computer services, allowing a working cloud environment.

While IBM manage, monitor and maintain their equipment, it’s a common held belief that because of their size and scale they are often not the best, proactive and effective company to manage their own systems. It’s easily possible to source more cost effective IBM managed services from independent companies who headhunt the best and brightest IBM engineers enabling them to keep your systems running at their optimum without the huge expenses associated with an IBM maintenance contract.

The company is currently foremost in the emerging technology of cognitive computing with the Watson system, which is basically, an “artificial intelligence” that imitates the way the human mind thinks and reasons. The possible scope for future applications are virtually endless.