Talk:IBM/Archive 1

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Editing ideas (outline)

historical influence on business and computing -- punched cards and US census -- Selectric typewriter -- IBM-PC 5150 1981 'revolution' -- IBM mainframes -- IBM minicomputers -- OS/2 -- "THINK" -- mainframe -- Fred Brooks classic The Mythical Man-Month about OS/360 -- Winchester disk technology -- legal precedents(?): unbundling -- office automation -- research contributions -- Atomic force microscope -- Scanning electron microscope -- -- Binnig & Rohrer -- The role of IBM in automating the holocaust -- Deep Blue -- IBM deal with Microsoft -- does Microsoft now occupy the position IBM did in the 1970s? --

Furthermore sale of IBM's PC related activities incl. the right of using the IBM andTHINK trademarks for a limited time to some Chinese pc maker, in connection with a technical cooperation agreement. --Ernie 22:14, 8 Jan 2005 (UTC)

There's no mention of the IBM 360 or Thomas J. Watson, Jr. in here (Yes I just finished watching PBS' They Made America) Dols 04:05, 2004 Nov 23 (UTC)

Right, and there is no mention either of how much the IBM corporate culture owes to the influence of the time Watson senior spent working for John H. Patterson at NCR (National Cash Register) or how Watson senior got stung by his boss at NCR (a long time before IBM was formed) and ended up in jail eventually (see TJW doing time section below), or how Watson junior was in fact in the US Air Force during WW II, seeing to it that the Nazis got bombed to pieces while his dad allegedly (see the IBM and the holocaust section below) helped the same bad guys murder millions of jews. Worse of all, there is no mention of Gene Amdahl or Frederick P. Brooks. There is a tremendous amount of work to be done in the historical section of this article. --AlainV 04:31, 23 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Also, IBM built machine guns at one point. Too bad I don't know enough about it, but check out this site: This is an oft-overlooked part of the history.

Big, bad? Blue

does Microsoft now occupy the position IBM did in the 1970s?

Why is this relevant in an article about IBM? if you want it, put it in an article about Microsoft and explain what you mean by one entity "occupying a position that another entity occupied". What position? Arch-monopolist? Or what?

As a subject of fear and distrust by hackers yes, in all other matters no. The alleged IBM monopoly in the 70s covered both hardware and software, while Microsoft presently controls only the software aspects of desktop computers and some servers. Furthermore, IBM's control in the 70s was spread over all types of machines, in contrast with Microsoft's specialization in small business systems. AlainV 03:00, 2004 Mar 10 (UTC)


(In the early 1990's during a period of downsizing and retrenchment, a new motto was coined: "THINK or THWIM.")

(Actually, this lisping pun is much older - it appeared at latest in the early seventies)

Article title

Shouldn't this page be at [[IBM]]? I know one of the naming conventions is to spell out acronyms, but I think IBM is better recognised than "International Business Machines" - also, it is the most used name English, which is also a naming convention, creating a conflict for this situation.

A look at "what links here" and a Google search (17.4 million vs. 205,000) support the above proposal. Any objections? Jeronimo 11:01 Aug 4, 2002 (PDT)

I agree with Jeronimo. International Business Machines should redirect to IBM, not the other way around. Two Halves
I agree too. —seav
I disagree though. —Okay
IBM stands for other things too. Acronym Finder lists 7 meanings including Big Blue, most notably Inclusion Body Myositis (inflammatory muscle disease), so this page may need to link to that as well if a page for that exists yet or if one is ever created. Therefore, the text should be in [[International Business Machines]], not at [[IBM]]. I imagine that most TLA's have more than one meaning. -- Chris Gore 20:22, May 31, 2004 (UTC).
I just checked, and there is a page on Inclusion body myositis, so this really should be a disambiguation page for the two. However, I will just put a little note about that meaning on the top of the page. If somebody finds more entries that are also IBM, this should be fixed. -- Chris Gore 20:41, May 31, 2004 (UTC).
This should definitely be under International Business Machines Corp (as it's listed in the stock market) and IBM should be a disambiguation page. IBM stands for a plethora of things, including being a modified version of ICBM (as intercontinental really is just one word). IBM is not like KFC in that they changed their official name to be just the acronym. trentblase

TJW doing time

I shan't note this on the main page, but its true: IBM was founded by a criminal -- Thomas Watson served time in prison for deceptive business practices while he worked for NCR. -- Anonymoues 14:36 Oct 26, 2002 (UTC)

Specifically, anti-trust violations. NCR had a virtual monopoly in cash registers, and he set up a front company to buy all the available second-hand machines and then sell them at a loss, to drive all the second-hand cash register stores out of business. This is discussed in "The Maverick and His Machine" by Kevin Maney--metamatic 20040719T154800Z

Hard disk outsourcing

NB: though IBM invented the hard disk, it recently announced plans to spin off its hard disk division to a new company, which will in turn be sold to Hitachi: [1] [2] [3] [4] Someone more enterprising can figure out how to integrate this into the article. k.lee


I just want to say that I found this on IBM page quite useful and learned quite a few things. Kudos to those who wrote and edited it! --Mikhail Capone

IBM and the Holocaust

There is no mention of that question about Nazi Germany using IBM tabulating machines for the Holocaust. Can somembody throw some data? -- Error

Google gives about 48000 hits for IBM and Nazi, but I find it hard to find useful information... Guaka 13:07, 14 Mar 2004 (UTC)
Edwin Black's IBM and the Holocaust (see [5]) is the only comprehensive and even somewhat respectable source I've seen which gets into about this, and even it is too shrill and melodramatic to be taken totally at face value. However the basic gist of it is that IBM's German subsidiary played a key role in the Holocaust by allowing Germany to properly keep track of its Jewish citizens before the creation of the camps, and then to help keep track of camp prisoners within the camps themselves, using IBM Hollerith punch-card technology. Black seems to say that Watson not only would have known what his machines were being used for, but was willing to actively support Nazi ideals if it got him a good bottom line. Because of the IBM licensing scheme at the time, punch card machines were not bought by clients but leased and custom maintained and administered by IBM employees -- including ones who would travel to the death camps to work on the machines stationed there. To add insult to injury, Black says, after the war, IBM was not fined but instead able to claim all profits its German subsidiary accrued from this work, an exception Black implies was due to the work IBM was also doing for the Allied armies and the necessity of their help in establishing a post-war German government.
I think it's definitely worth noting in some article somewhere that the Holocaust required a level of personnel organization never before seen, and that IBM machines are what they used, and that perhaps IBM leadership knew what they were doing and willfully turned a blind eye, and that after the war they were apparently awarded special exceptions and have done their damnest to keep the lid on any possible controversy (notice that their own history page covers nothing except their work for the USA during this period, despite the apparent fact that a huge amount of their profits and activities were overseas)... but I'm not sure this is the place to do it, nor if there's any easy way to do it. If someone wanted to add a line like, "It has been asserted by some journalists and historians that IBM machines, perhaps with the full knowledge of the IBM leadership, played a crucial role in Nazi Germany's ability to incarcerate its Jewish population and to administer its death camps," I wouldn't be opposed to it, but I'm not going to do it... --Fastfission 01:21, 15 Jun 2004 (UTC)

I've taken a cut at it. The book got loads of publicity, so it can't be ignored. I'm guessing the IBM web site says nothing because of the ongoing lawsuit. -- metamatic 20040719T163200Z

I think that's just fine. I don't take the Black book too seriously personally -- I think he gets some things correct, but a lot of things are highly suspicious (and he's so overdramatic about it to a point that I can't tell if he's genuinely concerned or just wants to sell more books). (and I must also admit that in his interviews about his latest book, about the history of eugenics -- something I know quite a bit about -- do not lead me to think that he is a particularly gifted researcher, but that's neither here nor there) In my opinion, the most "correct" things Black has are that:
    • The Nazis required the sorts of machines that IBM/Deomag produced in order to have a systematic Holocaust in the manner they did (but... could they have slaughtered without them? Of course. But the logistics would have been entirely different -- for what that's worth).
    • Watson probably didn't give a damn about German Jews and certainly gave more a damn about money than anything else (but... what else is new in the world?).
    • After the Allies moved in, IBM was able to recover Deomag equipment and earnings without suffering the penalties imposed on other companies for their complicity with the Holocaust/World War II. If this is correct, then this is Black's best point, I feel -- that because IBM had become so essential to the US Army and government, they were given a pretty big break when it came to reincorporating Deomag after the war was over.
So... yeah. I don't necessarily feel this needs to get worried over too much quite yet though, maybe when that lawsuit is resolved it can be done through the POV of the court and that might just be the safest way to go about it... --Fastfission 17:13, 19 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Dehomag profits

I read somewhere that during the war, the Nazi authorities allowed Dehomag to send IBM's share of the profits to a Swiss deposit. I don't remember if that's the standard thing under international war law for goods of belligerant foreigners. If not, it should be mentioned. --Error 00:58, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

littleBlue, ACM

Is there any real reason why littleBlue and the ACM Programming contenst are mentioned in the See also section? looks like noise to me. I've removed them from the page. I'm keeping the links here in case someone thinks differently:

Mikiher 11:33, 15 Mar 2004 (UTC)

The ACM ICPC is sponsored by IBM. TheCoffee 05:40, 6 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Profit margin

That picture makes it look like the margin is evaporating.

Year            1980    1981    1982    1983    1984    1985    1986    1987    1988    1989    1990    1991    1992    1993    1994    1995    1996    1997    1998    1999    2000    2001    2002    2003
Revenue         26.2    29      34.4    40.2    45.9    50      51.3    54.2    58.6    62.7    67      65      64.5    62.7    64      76      75.9    78.5    81.7    87.5    88.4    85.9    85.9    89.1
Earnings        3.4     3.6     4.4     5.5     5.5     6.6     4.7     5.2     5.8     3.7     6.2     -2.8    -4.96   8.1     3.2     5.4     5.42    6.09    6.3     7.7     8.1     7.7     7.7     7.6
Profit          13.0%   12.4%   12.8%   13.7%   12.0%   13.2%   9.2%    9.6%    9.9%    5.9%    9.3%    -4.3%   -7.7%   12.9%   5.0%    7.1%    7.1%    7.8%    7.7%    8.8%    9.2%    9.0%    9.0%    8.5%

Overly positive

This article feels like the IBM marketing & propoganda department typed it up over a few beers. THe "trivia" section in particular feels like an advertisement, with a bunch of useless factoids about how wonderful IBM is, and a clumsy attempt to rationalize their cooperation with Nazi concentration camps. The whole section is ridiculous and should be deleted.

Software and Microsoft

IBM's Software Group, if it were a separate entity, would be the second largest software company in the world, behind only Microsoft in total revenue.

It depends what you include in "software". The part of IBM that produces retail software (DB2, Lotus, Rational, etc) has indeed less revenues than Microsoft. But a larger part of IBM's revenues is made up by solutions and services (i.e. custom software solutions) Nowadays, software and related services make up more than half of IBM's revenues.

Global Services ... $46.4 billion
Hardware revenues ... $31.2 billio
Software revenues ... $15.1 billion
Global Financing revenues ... $2.6 billion
Enterprise Investments/Other area ... $1.2 billion (from [6])

if you add the Software and Global Services you get more than Microsoft's revenues. bogdan ʤjuʃkə | Talk 08:22, 7 May 2005 (UTC)

I have the first logo of IBM, stripped from here[7], but where should it go? -- Xiong Chiamiov

I added the logo you mention in the link to the history section of the article. do you know the year that the logo was created? i would like to add that to the caption if possible. uri budnik 01:39, 2 Jun 2005 (UTC)

IBM acquired Ascential ETL and Data integrator this has been missed out in the List of acquisistions of IBM.- Prashanth R. India.

A larger logo is available on their online history[8], according to this document[9] we need a prior permission from IBM Corporate Archives. Did somebody already asked them? explopulator 14:37, 30 sep 2005 (CEST)

There is no requirement as the conditions in the first section state that non commericial and educational use is fine. Garglebutt / (talk) 13:32, 30 September 2005 (UTC)

The current logo, an SVG, shows as blue-on-grey to me. Does it to anyone else? The IBM logo appears in various colours, but most traditionally is blue-on-white. Mooncow 21:49, 24 June 2006 (UTC)

Still an IT company?

IBM may be, as the opening para suggests, "the biggest", but the biggest what? Is it still at IT company? It seems focussed on consultancy. It doesn't make PC's. Its servers are backwardly-proprietary and have small market share.

How the heck are you counting market share? IBM has more server revenue than ANYONE [10].
Let me remind you IBM still sells more than $30 billion worth of hardware. bogdan ʤjuʃkə | Talk 08:09, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

It's embrace of Linux is born of backtracking over the MSDOS mistake (trying to "right wrongs") and is a last gasp attempt to have some presence in software. IBM still exists as a concept and as a revenue stream, but as a player in computing - not really?

The logo of IBM should now be IBM "ON DEMAND BUSINESS" - Prashanth Ramachandra, India.

On Demand appears to be used as a buzzword. I see it everywhere on the IBM intranet. "Buy on demand", "On demand workplace", "Blog on demand", "On demand community" etc ;-) bogdan ʤjuʃkə | Talk 08:09, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

On Demand Operating Environment. It has four essential characteristics:

  • Integrated
  • Open
  • Virtualized
  • Autonomic

IBM give three steps to On Demand...

  • FIRST: Innovation drives step change business improvements. Technology insight is a good thing.

Business insight is a good thing. But uniting them is what breaks new ground. Every day we are proving this by applying the same discipline and rigor we use to solve technology challenges to solving business problems.

  • SECOND: This is a journey that happens in steps. And where a client starts is up to them, not us.

This is why we are committed to open standards and build modularity into everything we offer. Being built for change is a pre-requisite in an on demand world.

  • THIRD: Clients, large and small, want to do this on their terms. And we bring more options to the table

than any other partner. IBM leads in the range of choice in how solutions are accessed, deployed and financed.

Can I get a brochure to go? Garglebutt / (talk) 05:51, 25 August 2005 (UTC)

IBM and the Holocaust

The points about Black's language in "IBM and the Holocaust" being excessive are fine. How about when adding information about the participation of IBM in the Holocaust, only information from primary documents is included eg Watson recieved a medal from Hitler, Watson was regularly in contact with, and directed Dehomag, etc. User:pjanini1

This appears to be a notable enough topic to create an article and write about it in more detail. bogdan ʤjuʃkə | Talk 08:09, 22 July 2005 (UTC)

I have changed the phrasing from
"The credibility of Black's book has been questioned, as has its claim that the Holocaust would have been impossible without Dehomag's data processing systems."
"The conclusions of Black's book have been questioned, including its claim that the Holocaust would have been impossible on the scale it reached, without Dehomag's data processing systems."
The first change is because, as far as I know, no-one is attacking Black's sources or the accuracy of his factual statements. The second is because, again as I understand it, Black is not claiming the Nazis wouldn't have instituted the Holocaust without the Hollerith machines, but that the machines allowed them to organise the logistics more efficiently (as per 1st bullet point by Fastfission, several §s above). JackyR 16:48, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

Hollerith was also consulted on making a decryption machine for the Germans [11]. However, they were not informed on the purpose of the machine which may have resulted in Hollerith providing a two year manufacturing estimate.

Gaming consoles - missing Revolution!

From Nintendo Revolution: Nintendo has announced that IBM has been working with the development of the CPU, codenamed "Broadway." Seems like Nintendo should be given the honour of being listed with the XBox 360 and PS3. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 17:52, 6 November 2005 (UTC)

HUGE gap in history (between 1960s and 1992)

What on earth happened with IBM between its 1960s success and its 1992 ultra-loss? I mean I know there was the rise of Intel, Microsoft, Apple...things like that...what else...maybe the end of the Cold War? Did that do anything? Someone with knowledge of IBM history should fill in that big gap between 1960s and 1992... Even then, someone should specify exactly how IBM restructured AFTER 1992 to return to its current profitability and success. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 10:24, 21 January 2006 (UTC)

IBM Japan

I read that, unlike other Japanese branches of foreign companies, IBM Japan was successful and well-accepted in the protective Japanese market because it was run as a Japanese company rather than a Japanese branch. --Error 01:13, 30 March 2006 (UTC)

Working Mother Magazine's Top 10 for 2004 link

The link leads to the 2005 list which includes HP. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 20:45, 4 May 2006 (UTC)

Fixed - David Björklund (talk) 10:55, 27 June 2006 (UTC)

Paul Rand

Not a lot of mention of the Paul Rand-designed logo in this article? — Wackymacs 14:33, 29 June 2006 (UTC)

"Big Blue"

I just came here because I was curious to know the story behind IBM's nickname Big Blue. There doesn't seem to be one here, so I'm requesting that someone in the know adds it to the article. Thanks. Druff 16:37, 2 July 2006 (UTC)

Good point. I found some info and wrote a little piece about it. - David Björklund (talk) 08:56, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

History section

The history section begins with the heading "1888 – 1924: The founding of IBM" and the picture's caption reads "Tabulating Machine Corporation plant in 1893". However, below it says Tabulating Machine Corporation was founded in 1896. What's correct and what's not? Klehti 06:34, 22 August 2006 (UTC)

The 1588 date is way wrong (unless they were counting Gutenberg bibles); 1896 seems correct according to the Herman Hollerith entry on WikiPedia. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 10:06, 2 October 2007 (UTC)

I would suggest reworking the History section. It is somewhat inaccurate and a little random. What I would suggest instead is to write a brief blurb directing readers to the Main IBM History page. Are there any objections to this suggestion? Paul C. Lasewicz (talk) 21:45, 12 February 2010 (UTC)

Suggestions to fill out gaps in the article

  • Add in a timeline history of computers produced by IBM ( a single line with a link to related article on that computer)
  • I see no mention of System 34, 36, 38 - one transformed into AS400 which continues as "Iseries". For a good article, why not ask IBM for this input?
  • Move the diversity subsection towards the end of the article because it is significantly less important than IBM's other history
  • Add a seperate timeline of how IBM contributed to the development of modern programming languages, modern database systems (e.g., sequential tape -> direct access records -> isam -> vsam -> network databases -> relational databases)
  • Add a seperate subtopic on IBM research contributions
  • Add a seperate subtopic or article on IBM's point of sale products which are extensively used today even with some of them being 25+ years old
  • How can then date of foundation be 1888, all the the companies that formed CTR were founded after that (89, 91, 96), CTR istself forming in 1911
  • List of IBM campuses, sites, manufacturing facilities, etc?
  • footnote 7 no longer links to page. find new source.

Pop music hits from IBM

I am looking for an infromation on an unusual topic: pop music hits from IBM!

In late 1960s or early 1970s, IBM released an LP full of parodies of pop songs with context related to computers. My weak senile memory keeps only two of them:

The latter one goes something like,

I've bought a terminal
The day I lost my gal.
... etc.
Now I have girls galore
I my new mem'ry core
I put them on disk file
To store them for a while... etc.
Memory d'amour,
Put the core to the printer
Or to the display
Please without delay.

I'd very much like to find more info about this IBM music. Surprisingly, I cannot find its traces in the internet. I thought that April issues of Datamation could have kept them, but alas! mikka (t) 20:49, 8 September 2005 (UTC)

I did a search on the IBM internal newsgroup on IBM history for "music", but found nothing on such a LP. I found references to company songs (lots of them; here's a link: "We don’t pretend we’re gay / We always feel that way" is the start of one song :-) or early electronic music or how to make music using a punch-card reader, but nothing on this. Anyway, I'll post a question on that newsgroup. bogdan | Talk 21:21, 8 September 2005 (UTC)
I got an answer that said that there were some song parodies inside IBM, but it would be rather surprising if the IBM lawyers allowed them to be released. :-) bogdan | Talk 21:04, 14 September 2005 (UTC)
I've seen and listened them myself, and guess where? In the USSR! (It was the time when IBM/360 machines were sold to USSR, and the owner of the vinyl I am speaking about frequented IBM on this occasion (and he had a daughter, but this is another story... :-).) Of course, the songs were not released by some regular label. I guess it was a piece of promo, made very professionally, I must say. It is a pity that this piece of computer folklore is lost. mikka (t) 22:58, 14 September 2005 (UTC)

At Lotusphere 2006 they sang the Sametime song, there is an annual jamfest at Lotusphere. Also check out Red Box Panic which was the Iris/Lotus band and is still going

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Split away the History section

The history section is far too bulky for the main IBM article. I suggest it be spun off into a separate article, with just a short summary of IBM's history left in the main article.

As an example of this approach, have a look at Anglo-Saxons and the way that the history section links to History of Anglo-Saxon England.

Gavin Wilson 16:37, 25 September 2006 (UTC)

Agreed - this article is too long. Kat, Queen of Typos 22:24, 3 October 2006 (UTC)
Sure why not. (Wikimachine 23:36, 3 October 2006 (UTC))
Agreed.—a thing 07:18, 4 October 2006 (UTC)

IBM, DOS, and Microsoft

I think that the history behind DOS (disk operating system) and IBM/Microsoft is incredibly relevant to this article and to IBM's history. I feel it should be included.

MIcrosoft didnt need them anymore cuz they were sucessfull, hopefully more people use linux now, on this article and their site they say they support Linux, thats good payback for Micro$oft!! —The preceding unsigned comment was added by Realg187 (talkcontribs) 17:40, 23 January 2007 (UTC).


I think this article could use some more information regarding IBM's role during the Holocaust. Would this be relevant for a criticism/affairs section? 14:42, 11 October 2006 (UTC)

IBM and the Holocaust

This page needs "criticism/affairs section," reguarding IBM's tecnology manufacturing and willful collaboration with the Nazi regime directly corresponding to the systematic deaths of victims of the WW2 Holocaust. A usefull starting point would be Edwin Black's Book "IBM and the Holocaust" <>. Count of Cascadia 12:34, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

I think this has been discussed before, at length. I believe there was consensus regarding including information about roles by IBM, the US government, Spain, etc. CMacMillan 20:50, 18 October 2006 (UTC)

Was the "consensus" to Include information within this page under a criticism section, or within the holocaust page under collaboraters? Count of Cascadia 10:36, 20 October 2006 (UTC)

How is including mention of IBM/holocaust in summary on the main page "pov" pushing? I would direct you to the page of Ford Motor Company, I.G. Farben, and ITT as examples of how other companies have allegations listed on their front page. Thus, it would seem that IBM's particular exclusion would be POV insofar as one might infer the allegations are less important than the other inclusions. I'm not suggesting i believe them to be true, only that this particular exclusion seems rather glaring. --Chalyres 12:40, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Given the fact that "IBM and the Holocaust: The Strategic alliance between Nazi Germany and America's Most Powerful Corporation" became a long-running New York Times bestseller, it behooves Wikipedia to at least acknowledge the intense legal and political controversy. The book, written by Edwin Black in collaboration with over a hundred holocaust scholars, clearly established IBM's close ties to the Nazi government, development of census data used to identify, locate, and execute minorities, and collaboration with German military in 1939, 1940, and 1941 invasions of European countries. Of course, once America entered WWII, Thomas Watson downplayed his admiration for Nazi Germany. Yet, business was business, and he continued to directly control the German subsidary that made the trains run on time to the camps, kept detailed recornds of camp inmates and fates, and played a critical role in various German military divisions. The fact that Watson avoided trial as a collaborator seems stunning in light of the documented history. Regardless of one's admiration for various IBM products, services, or slogans, the bottomline remains that Wikipedia must include a discussion of this topic. Silence equals acceptance, if not consent. --

Your probably better putting that in the History of IBM page or it's own seperate page. To me to put it on this page appears to be breaking NPOV. --Archeus 11:17, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

That book was a best-seller for a while but it was largely discounted by the NY Times book review [12] as sensationalistic and not historically accurate. –Shoaler (talk) 13:05, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

But it must be mentioned on the main article I feel. I have added a mention of the holocaust to the history section, this time with a link to the main article. Please remove it if you feel it inappropriate. 19:03, 29 March 2007 (UTC)
First off, thank you for both being bold and making the change as well as discussing it here. After some consideration I have removed the sentence. No other historical accomplishments or controversies are mentioned in the main article, and doing so in this case violates the undue weight clause. /Blaxthos 19:49, 29 March 2007 (UTC)

Fair enough Blaxthos, but isn't that an argument for including a selection of all controversies, rather than for not mentioning the holocaust controversies? This said, I understand it must be discluded from the article untill this is implemented. (This the same person as User:| 23:28, 30 March 2007 (UTC)

The spanish version of this entry includes a brief comment about the allegedly relations between an IBM subsidiary and the nazi regime. At LEAST that should be included in this entry (you can underline the word "allegedly"). Besides, this entry looks like an extension of the IMB website, giving more importance to the corporation's product than its history.

If it's reasonably well documented, then it should be included. If there's already a good source of information on it, the discussion here should be kept brief, with links to where more information resides. Ben Hocking (talk|contribs) 13:29, 24 July 2007 (UTC)

I highly doubt the factual accuracy of this part... There is no definitive, verifiable evidance that points out ANYTHING about IBM willfully collaborating with the Nazi regime... On the side note, I did add an accuracy dispute to the article under controversy. Lets find out once and for all if this is factual ;) Javascap (talk) 19:56, 9 December 2007 (UTC)

It is certainly factual that some people -- including Edwin Black -- believe that IBM supported the holocaust in some measure. Black claims that IBM have never denied his claims, though in fact they have repudiated them. I believe that the best thing to do here is to try to be as neutral as possible about the controversy, and to point interested readers to other articles. NOTE: I work for IBM. I am not an agent for them in this matter, but one could certainly doubt my neutrality on the subject. --ubiquity (talk) 20:37, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
Hey Ubiquity, Thanks for that comment, but just something that I have been looking up. There is no verifiable evidance that I could find after looking around on the web for a while. Blacks claims seem to qualify as original research, and as per wikipedia guidlines, original research is forbidden. And on the side not, dont worry about working for IBM, one of my parents works there. Thanks for trying, as we all should, to be neutral =D Javascap (talk) 20:50, 9 December 2007 (UTC)
I totally, agree; it should have a crit section with info on the holocaust including info and refs from sites like these Japan Today art., book review site, IBM and the holocaust and info on the "Hollerith Machine" that was primarily used. Terrasidius (talk) 13:00, 29 February 2008 (UTC)
All of those sources fail WP:RS, and originate from Black's book (of which there is much skepticism, see concerns above and below). None of that really helps with WP:V problems, not to mention the obvious WP:NPOV concerns. Finally, wikipedia is not a vehicle for criticism, and as such a "crit section with info on the holocaust" runs far afoul of our stated purposes. /Blaxthos ( t / c ) 16:31, 29 February 2008 (UTC)

The section still needs improvement, including citations -M.Nelson (talk) 06:36, 20 January 2009 (UTC)


How can it be around for that long?? They didnt have computers!! unless it was a Babbage Box Realg187 17:13, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

Does History of IBM answer your question? — Aluvus t/c 19:44, 14 December 2006 (UTC)

So my computer is made by a company that made guns in WWII??? LOL!! And they mkaed punch card things?! RealG187 17:30, 15 December 2006 (UTC)

Um, "yes". /Blaxthos 00:41, 16 December 2006 (UTC)
WOw, she's as fast as a bullet! RealG187 17:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)
The company infobox gives its founding date as 1889, but the history section gives 1896. Which is correct? Reb42 (talk) 20:32, 8 November 2008 (UTC)

IBM also used to make mechanical cash registers, typewriters etc... long before computers86.16.153.191 (talk) 01:36, 28 June 2009 (UTC)


Please note the conflict with the Wikipedia reference for HP/Hewlett Packard: IBM: "IBM is the largest information technology company in the world" HP: "HP, is the world's largest information technology corporation" I think a little qualification is in order.

Though I don't have a source at the ready (will do some research), IBM dwarfs HP in terms of technology research & development, market capitalization, and corporate locations worldwide. /Blaxthos 15:30, 5 January 2007 (UTC)

Key market measure is revenue and IBM has lost the crown to HP in 2006. Article has been adjusted to reflect 2006 results. 22:28, 18 January 2007 (UTC)

To whoever asked for a citation for this, here's 2 sources (I don't know how to properly cite 2 sources for comparison: HP: IBM: $104B HP v $98B IBM Drhamad (talk) 20:04, 23 January 2008 (UTC)

Edit by different user: I edited the article because of that.The article only reflected 2006 results and the new quarter results are in and IBM is once again leading.Hence"It has been known through most of its recent history as the world's largest computer company".I simply think know it's more general,because if we decided to actually state the results of each quarter, it would never end.Every single quarter, somebody else is leading and it is kind of wrong to compare HP and IBM generally like that since they differ in alot of points.And i've always believed and have seen enough proof to think that IBM is the world's largest computer company especially after it's current revolution with the RFID Tags. It simply has more to offer.


These 'savings' are used each year to distort the company's balance sheet and pay ever inflated salaries to President Palmisano and his cronies. There is very little actual growth in revenues. Stock price has remained largely stagnant for several years - unlike Palmisano's pay package.

Staff who have been with the company for 20 years or more face severe cuts in their pension payments and huge hikes in their health care costs and general abondonment by the company they have given a large part of their lives to.

The general view within the organization is that the company has changed beyond recognition in the last 10 years - not for the better.

— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Definitely original research and doesn't really feel neutrally worded. /Blaxthos 05:11, 1 February 2007 (UTC)
However its worded its sadly true. When you look at their financial reports you see their costs going down slightly during some years and greater during others. While I would happily admit it was due to improvement in the business process removing massive amounts of ineficencies. However if you examine those years and compare the years they have a lay off you'll notice the trend that, for example, in 1998 they laid off X thousands of workers, in 1999 they reduced costs Y hundreds of thousands of dollars. A 1 year lag for severence pay, buy outs, other fees and costs associated with removing employees is easily found. Each year they cut more, sell the same, and then make more of a profit. Secondly, IBM has stated that employee benefits can not be garunteed, I take this from their law suit to use the IBMers' pension fund to an end that will benefit the company first and the employee second, however Mr. Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. was given and garunteed a $1 Million a year pension. IBM has also anounced a reduction of a significant portion of their work force, by some reports 1/3 of their total work force will be gone. The more menial positions will be filled by low paying temps, like in IBM East Fishkill and IBM Poughkeepsie, from Manpower or another temporary agency. Incase your wondering the IBM is approximatly 4 times greater in cost than a Manpower employee. The IBMer gets; hourly wages/salary, pension, 401k, paid time off, paid sick days, reduced medical insurence cost, and yearly raises if their preformance is good enough. The Manpower employee gets wages, no paid time off, no sick days, and pays for all of their medical coverage, and no yearly raises. Manpower employees at certain IBM sites have the opportunity to recieve a raise after 90 days so long as they have no days missed and recieve an excelent review. Note this is also only if their manager remembers to do the review and has the time to do said review. As one last note, has anyone checked out IBM's new initiative called LEAN? According to some Global Services employees they were 'strongly discouraged' from talking about or mentioning this initiative to their customers. Colour me confused but wouldn't a company that is trying to improve its quality of a product want their customers to know that the products are going to improve? 04:46, 26 August 2007 (UTC)

Merge from IBM Software Group

Old merge proposal on the IBM Software Group article page that doesn't appear to have been tagged or discussed here. No opinion. Pairadox 05:24, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

IBM SG is so tiny, might as well be bold and merge it and redirect. If anyone feels strongly about it, move it back. Dreadstar 05:29, 28 August 2007 (UTC)
I took care of the move, but if anyone feels it should be moved or restored, feel free. Dreadstar 06:37, 28 August 2007 (UTC)

Sincere Tie

Could someone elaborate just a but on what a "Sincere Tie" is. Maybe one or two words in a parenthetical? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:20, 27 September 2007 (UTC)

When I came across this page I was intrigued by the 'sincere tie' thing too. Clearly such is POV and would not be accepted in Wikipedia regularly because there is no common-knowledge of what a sincere tie looks like. I motion to remove this part unless the sincerity of the tie can be properly evaluated and cited in a NPOV fashion.

Buzzword or not its a tie and it doesn't hold any meaningful value emotionally and should be regarded as such. We should rewrite this as "They wear ties, too." Not really uncommon for those suit-type businesspeople, but we shouldn't take it too far by giving their clothes the functions of sentience.--Overdose&YellowJacket (talk) 02:33, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

Maybe it should be "sober tie". That's what I thought of when I read the sentence (being an IBMer who joined in 1985 i.e. in that era). Martin Packer (talk) 09:18, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

There is an internal document which describes it as meaing nothing e.g with santa claus on it, or some really psychadelic hawaiin pattern or something. E.g a normal weave or pattern in a conventional colour. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Hardware (was: Unbalanced short and long sections)

I think the history section should be longer. Also the article should mention that IBM sold its HDD division to Hitachi.

The "Jam" and "Project Management Center of Excellence" are too long. These seem largely to deal with internal affairs and I think not very concrete, notable or interesting (salient).

Why do the mainframes of IBM get so little attention in this article?

What hardware does IBM still develop apart from processors for video game consoles and what does it still manufacture and what hardware does it still sell? I guess IBM manufactures at the moment very little hardware. Andries (talk) 22:46, 15 January 2008 (UTC)

This Oct 16th 2007 article [13] says

[Quarterly] Revenue from IBM’s systems and technology group came in at $4.9 billion, down 10 percent from a year ago. System z server products fell 31 percent from a year ago. System i server sales fell 21 percent.

As far as I can see, that means 4.9 billion dollars were earned from their hardware division for three months (am I right?) Which is about 20% of their overall revenue. (About 5 billion, times 4 quarters, is 20 billion. 20 billion is 20% of about 100 billion annual revenue). So IBM does sell lots of hardware, even if the performance of their sales is poor as of late 2007, in terms of growth. (talk) 20:29, 4 March 2008 (UTC)

Major current products should be listed

Major money making products or notable products that are not end of marketing should be listed, I think. The article makes it now not very clear how IBM makes its money. See list of IBM products. Andries (talk) 22:24, 21 January 2008 (UTC)

Right, and most notable of these is System z - given how much money we make from it and its technical vitality. Martin Packer (talk) 09:19, 20 January 2009 (UTC)

IBM and the holocaust should be a footnote at most

I think the controversy about IBM and the holocaust is a footnote in IBM's history and not worth mentioning here. There is limited space here in the summary of IBM's history and this is not notable and important enough. Andries (talk) 16:46, 26 January 2008 (UTC)

This is a very serious allegation and merits mention, in my view. What's lacking, and makes this fail NPOV, is how IBM fits into the context of general international support for Nazi Germany. What were other corporations doing? Who else was trading with Germany? How did other corporations react when they learned what was going on? I don't know the answers to these questions, but the article needs them. Cc68 (talk) 17:32, 12 February 2010 (UTC)
I decided to WP:Be bold here and push the tone toward WP:Neutral point of view and organize. The most significant changes made are
  • A first paragraph identifying the facts agreed upon by IBM and Black – IBM sold the German Third Reich equipment and services and only those facts
  • Language changes to remove ambiguity, most importantly in the title of the section: “Business Relations” is more precise and less inflammatory than “Support for Nazi Germany.” Likewise “furnished” is vague, but “sold” makes clear the Nazis received the machines in an arm’s length business transaction.
  • A bit more information about the lawsuit.
I also intend to add a paragraph summarizing several book reviews I have in hand (NYT, NYRB, WSJ, Businessweek, Business History Review, Science and Technology, Newsweek, Washington Post) that are useful for putting the issue in context, including with regard to the business practices of other companies, an issue I raised above. There was also a later lawsuit by Gypsy groups based on the book that might merit mention. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cc68 (talkcontribs) 04:33, 15 February 2010 (UTC)

I think it should be a paragraph at least. IBM probably monitor there own page so I couldn't think it's possible. --Uwaisis (talk) 18:21, 4 February 2008 (UTC)

32 years of antitrust lawsuit

I'm wondering why the 32 years of antitrust lawsuit against IBM (1950-1982) is only mentioned in very passing in the article, and also not mentioned as missing in the TODO-list or on the talk page. Together with AT&T's and MS', these are the three big antitrust actions against technology companies, AFAIK, and certainly influenced the public image of IBM for a very long time. has a nice introduction at the start. jschrod (talk) 10:04, 8 February 2008 (UTC)

Sounds reasonable to me, but I don't have enough background on it to get it started myself. Anyone? Rhsatrhs (talk) 02:03, 9 February 2008 (UTC)
It is in History_of_IBM#1969.E2.80.931979:_The_System.2F370_era and a short mentioning in this article is, I think, okay. Andries (talk) 02:07, 9 February 2008 (UTC)

IBM Hit With Temporary Contract Ban

This is potentially really really big news, there is lots of it all over the net but as a starter here is one reference: IBM Hit With Temporary Contract Ban Mathmo Talk 08:08, 1 April 2008 (UTC)

The ban has already been lifted. --ubiquity (talk) 16:01, 4 April 2008 (UTC)


I don't know how important typewriters were for IBM, but for typewriters the Selectric was a major player. It should be mentioned. Kdammers (talk) 09:22, 5 April 2008 (UTC)

This was the first thing that came to my mind when I finished reading the article. (talk) 07:56, 20 October 2010 (UTC)

One big advertisment for IBM

Talk it up IBM, this whole article was obviously written by someone that works for IBM. An example includes the fact that the Wikipedia article contains the fact that IBM has anti-discrimitory views to homosexuality... So? Pealse make this article less like an advertisment and more like a Encyclopedia page. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:18, 15 April 2008 (UTC)


I may be missing something, but what's going on with the IBM logo page? If you click on it, it links to a page that appears to have been deleted. It has no history, and it warns me not to start a talk page for something that doesn't have an associated article. Something doesn't look right. It also looks like the license stated for the logo is incorrect. The IBM logo is not a type-faced logo, there is significant art in the logo. I think the only way we can use it is if we use a low resolution version and claim it under the WP:LOGO guidelines. Thoughts? Chaldor (talk) 05:07, 8 July 2008 (UTC)

I've deleted the logo from the page. The logo that was linked is this: Image:IBM logo.svg Chaldor (talk) 00:50, 10 July 2008 (UTC)
You can ignore my ramblings about the page not existing, I realize now it was linking to a page in the commons...but I don't think that's where this logo belongs. Given that it is a logo (and not just a general type-face) I think it should be considered non-free material and we should have a scaled down version of it placed in wikipedia, not the commons. Chaldor (talk) 00:53, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Issue closed. Logo had been long debated here and defined as as type face (I don't agree, but that's no matter). They really should have an easier way of finding those archives, otherwise people like me will keep flagging things to be taken down. Chaldor (talk) 10:36, 10 July 2008 (UTC)

Category:Monopolies? why?

Why does this article has the Category Monopolies? The word monopoly is nowhere in the article. Kinamand (talk) 09:05, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

antitrust actions against IBM are mentioned. Andries (talk) 21:20, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

2008 exercise

International Business Machines Corporation
Public (NYSEIBM)
Founded Endicott, New York, U.S. (1889, incorporated 1911)
Headquarters United States Armonk, New York, USA
Revenue Increase US$ 103.6 billion (2008)
Increase US$ 12.3 billion (2008)
Number of employees
386,558 (2007)[1]

Could someone source correctly these numbers ? --Eurobas (talk) 19:15, 3 March 2009 (UTC)

WikiProject IBM

I have made a proposal for an IBM WikiProject. All interested editors are encouraged to join!  :) //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 12:20, 10 July 2009 (UTC)

No mention of how Chinese computer maker Lenovo bought IBM's PC business in 2005?

The Bush administration is considering launching an extensive probe of whether the pending sale of International Business Machines Corp.'s personal computer business to a Chinese company might pose national security problems, according to members of a congressional oversight group. Such a probe could disrupt or delay a $1.75 billion deal that has been widely viewed as a dramatic sign of China's transformation into an economic power with ambitions to acquire businesses abroad and create global brands. Under the accord, announced last month, Lenovo Group Ltd., China's largest computer manufacturer, would buy IBM's PC business, which would make it the No. 3 maker in a market that the U.S. technology giant helped pioneer. BillyTFried (talk) 17:38, 10 October 2009 (UTC)

hey ibm —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:42, 16 February 2010 (UTC)

Fixes to "Diversity in the Workforce

In addition to my cleanup comments on the history of the page, I also reordered it so that nondiscrimination material was all together -- the genetic nondiscrimination information was after all the labor/layoff minutia (which doesn't seem to belong in this section but in its own, but I'll let someone else clean that up). Also: a separate section on "Gay rights" just after this section on "Diversity in the Workforce" also doesn't make much sense, but that's a re-org of sections that's probably beyond my ken. DAB-NYC (talk) 12:46, 21 May 2010 (UTC)DAB-NYC

Deep Blue

Shouldn't there be a section about Deep Blue, a 1997 computer which was the first one in the world to beat the world champion of chess, and was made by IBM? (Garry Kasparov in 1997) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:49, 30 June 2010 (UTC)

Coca-Cola not an IT Company

"IBM is the world's fourth largest technology company and the second most valuable by global brand[4] (after Coca-Cola)" —Preceding unsigned comment added by MrK4 (talkcontribs) 15:49, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

I think you're misunderstanding the meaning of the compound sentence. The meaning is: "IBM is the world's fourth largest technology company." Full stop. "[IBM is also] the second most valuable global brand (Coca-Cola is the world's most valuable global brand)." Hope this helps.  :) //Blaxthos ( t / c ) 17:21, 3 July 2010 (UTC)

"See also" list

The "See also" list as it stands is too long to be useful to readers. I've removed the individual product pages from "See also" and left the internal link to List of IBM products. Crysb (talk) 18:23, 12 October 2010 (UTC)


"Founded in 1911, IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware" - really very ineresting... computers in 1911 :-)))) — Preceding unsigned comment added by Vallenty (talkcontribs) 16:33, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

Does the current wording imply that in 1911 the company sold computers? If so, what would be a suitable fix? The way I read it, its conveys that IBM was founded in 1911 and that [today] it manufactures and sells computer hardware, etc. —Eustress talk 22:01, 6 January 2011 (UTC)

SAP and other IBM History discrepancies

re: "and spinning off companies like SAP (1972)". This statement is suspect. According to the history I've read, SAP was founded by former IBMers, but not as a spinoff (no corporate backing from IBM). —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:44, 4 February 2011 (UTC)

This is correct - SAP is not a spin off of IBM. Also, there are a couple of minor historical discrepancies that I'll raise here: there is legitimate doubt that this is a picture of Watson Sr.; The Social Security Act became law in 1935, but the actual tabulating contract was not awarded to IBM until late 1936; and it might be more accurate to say IBM people and equipment supported NASA's Mercury, Gemini, Apollo, and space shuttle programs. I'll wait a while to give folks some time to review this post and raise any concerns about these proposed changes. If not, then I'll come back and make them. Paul C. Lasewicz (talk) 22:19, 22 February 2011 (UTC)
Above editors are correct; SAP was founded by ex-IBM employees but that does not make it a corporate spin-off. EnglandsDreaming (talk) 18:49, 9 March 2011 (UTC)
Thanks for clarifying! —Eustress talk 19:55, 9 March 2011 (UTC)

IBM and Germany, 1930s-40s

Why is the IBM-Holocaust connection not articulated, including the company response? For many Wikipedia readers this is very relevant. The "country specific" exclusion makes no sense to me whatsoever. Truly, this needs at least a few sentences — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:16, 2 September 2011 (UTC)

I found the premise of to be interesting and slightly relevant. I note that someone has already added the book to the "further reading" section. The Siemens article has a section related to Nazi Germany, though I don't know if IBM's involvement qualifies mention. Anyone know enough about the topic to chime in on whether a mention should be included in the history of IBM? Woken Wanderer (talk) 00:45, 23 April 2011 (UTC)

This subject is discussed briefly at History_of_IBM#IBM_during_World_War_II. Country-specific material added to this article may be reverted, for the reason noted here. Best, CliffC (talk) 01:37, 23 April 2011 (UTC)
Hi, I don't understand why "country-specific material" may (or must) be reverted, as it is not the case for such articles as ITT or ford, who also did very "dark" actions during WW2. The dehomag article exists, the company existed, it was a part of IBM, and it is a part of it's history... The fact that it is not a part IBM should be proud of doesn't have to be taken in consideration in a wikipedia article. Unless you plan not to make a neutral article, but an ad. (talk) 00:11, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
I would say that it is not "country specific" that is the main issue, but where and how it was added. This is supposed to be a summary section of the History of IBM article. So should just cover the major sections of that article (although see other discussions). If there are reliable independent sources then by all means it should be on Wikipedia somewhere, with those sources cited. W Nowicki (talk) 17:30, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Ok, you supress allusion of the role of IBM in WW2 because it is not "country specific", once proved you were wrong, you still supress it because it's not the right time and place, and now, you suggest that it is not from reliable sources.1st question: Who are you working for ? dehomag existed, it was the more profitable subsidiary of IBM in the end of the 30's (follow the link), and it helped kill jews at a large scale. This subsidiary, who created the "hollerith" machine, created not only a system that permits to census the jews and gipsies in all invaded Europe, but to exterminates them with the most mechanical and systematic attitude. The number tatooed on every jews arm was directly an "output" of IBM'Hollerith machine. This, is History. And the minimum is to have a link about it on an article that pretends to present IBM'history. The best is that you do this yourself, so you can't supress it for any question of time and place or any presentation problem. (talk) 20:06, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
No. Although Wikipdia policy is to avoid personal attacks, for the record I am unemployed. I never worked for IBM, but at times for for competitors. This article is not about history of IBM, but the whole current corporation. Anyone who bothers to read the discussion would see that one editor offered their opinion, and I offered another. I did not "suppress" anything, but suggested in good faith that reliable sources be used to support as much information as we can in the best way for readers. W Nowicki (talk) 21:21, 28 May 2011 (UTC)
Well, a bit hard to understand, so, the chapter called "history" in the wikipedia article called "IBM" doesn't talk about IBM'S history ? It appears more and more that the problem is neither about sources (if you doubt about it, read the wikipedia article about dehomag, or search about it on history books) nor about presentation, nor the clarity we owe to the reader, but about not telling bad things (especially if they are true) about some companies. A company or a state honors itself when it says what it did wrong. The dark side of IBM and other companies exists, and is part of it's history. It is a minimum, for someone intellectually honest, to put a link in this article to an other existing article that talks about that truth. I tried unsuccessfuly, but I'm sure you are less clumsy than me, so I let you do that the right way. ;-) (talk) 23:30, 28 May 2011 (UTC)

Glaring omission??

I am amazed to see a gap in the historical record of IBM, spanning between 1978 and 1991. This is a critical period in IBMs history, when the chickens released by IBM's "partnering" with Microsoft came home to roost!

Relative to the S&P 500 IBM's share value crashed, from being approximatey +250% of S&P 500 index in 1985 to a low somewhere close to 20% of the value of the S&P 500 index in 1993. From my memory there was talk of IBM collapsing after drinking deeply of that poisoned chalice. LookingGlass (talk) 19:43, 9 May 2011 (UTC)

Agreed... although, we'll probably have to use more encyclopedic terminology than roosting chickens and poisoned chalices Face-smile.svgEustress talk 20:08, 9 May 2011 (UTC)
Maybe the larger question is how much history content to include in this main entry, given that there is an extensive History of IBM entry already? Paul C. Lasewicz (talk) 12:44, 11 May 2011 (UTC)
This omission doesn't look particularly accidental. It's beyond belief that this hasn't appeared in the history section at some point. And yet it isn't here, not even the vaguest mention. This page gets edited so often that trawling the history to see when (or more likely, I suspect, how many times) this has been removed from the article is difficult. Interestingly a tag suggesting expansion of the history section concerned was recently removed without any expansion being done in spite of this glaring omission. Odd. danno 20:37, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

Merger proposal

I propose merging Extreme Blue into this article. The main article already conveys much of what the spin off article does, and I feel the spin off offers little if any value. —Eustress talk 17:03, 17 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Support. --CliffC (talk) 19:27, 17 May 2011 (UTC)


Merge completed. —Eustress talk 22:56, 24 May 2011 (UTC)

Merge Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation into either this article or History of IBM

Computing Tabulating Recording CorporationIBM (or History of IBM): Why 2 articles on the same company? The articles have already basically said that CTR was simply renamed to IBM. Thus, they are the exact same corporate entity, the only difference being in the corporate name. That is not enbough to make them two different companies; CTR was simply renamed to IBM. So thus I suggest that we merge the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation in to either this article (IBM) or the History of IBM article. Those seem like two good relevant articles to choose from as a merge target. I would not be surprised if the Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation article has information that duplicates that found in either of my proposed merge targets either. Making this worse is that CTR's article has information, namely the infobox, that suggests that CTR is "defunct", when it is in reality alive and well today as IBM. This is not the only time where I have seen two Wikipedia articles on the same company for different names that company used over the years. Regards, [|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|] 01:14, 20 May 2011 (UTC)

  • Keep or merge to History of IBM: all three articles are of reasonable size and have citations. So in my opinion time would be better spent filling in totally missing sections, as noted above. I can also see grounds for a merge into the History article. Although the character of the company changed during the Watson era, the transition especially was not abrupt I think since the IBM name overlapped etc. Perhaps best would be to have the History article focus on the CTR and Watson era with a brief summary of post-Watson, and then this main article summarize those eras and talk more of the recent past. W Nowicki (talk) 17:09, 21 May 2011 (UTC)
  • Keep as MAIN Given the articles sizes, organize the CTR article as a "main" article (remove the "Defunct" infobox, etc.), with IBM History having only a brief (founding through 1924) paragraph & main link. (talk) 08:45, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Simpler: The IBM article History section has three subheadings: 1.1 1880-1929, 1.2 1930-1979, 1.3 1980-present. Change those to 1.1 1880-1924, 1.2 1925-present. The CTR article is the main article for 1880-1924, IBM History the main article for 1925-present. (talk) 16:09, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Perhaps the broader philosophical issue that should be discussed is how much historical content should be in the main IBM entry at all, given the existence of the more detailed IBM history entry? Seems to me that there would be less potential for user confusion and editorial angst if there was just the 'IBM History' heading with a link to the IBM history entry. Paul C. Lasewicz (talk) 19:00, 24 May 2011 (UTC)
Hmmm, seems like a good possibility would be to merge the CTR article into History of IBM, and replace the contents of the History sections in this main IBM article with a simple {{Main}} tag redirecting to the History of IBM article, possibly retaining a brief summary if that would be proper. In either case, relevant information not in the History of IBM or CTR articles could be merged to History of IBM if needed. [|Retro00064|☎talk|✍contribs|] 23:04, 24 May 2011 (UTC)


"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.[9]" I can't see exactly where in the source this is taken from (and it's a little surprising because 200 is more nations than are internationally recognised.) It seems likely to be at least misleading.

Here's a qoute from ibm's website on how many people it employs and it's global spread: "The IBM Corporation is today one of the world's largest and leading IT companies. Worldwide, IBM operates in some 170 countries and employs more than 390,000 people."

I may have missed something though... Wight1984 (talk) 13:37, 31 May 2011 (GMT) — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk)

Merge It

I agree that this page should be merged with IBM, at which point the name of this predecessor entity could be corrected. IBM's own archives refer to its origin as the Computing-Tabulating-Recording Company (note hyphens and Company, not Corporation).--Mfwills (talk) 13:01, 9 July 2011 (UTC)

Neutrality Dispute

I believe this article to be biased. The corporate affairs section sounds like an advertisement by only talking about how great it is to work for IBM. There are a number of criticisms for the company, such as old fashioned practices, and there is no mention of anything negative anywhere in the article.

--23:46, 7 January 2013 (UTC)anonymous

The nazi connection is also barely mentioned, at first glance. Karin Anker (talk) 04:52, 21 February 2013 (UTC)

Archived by Eustress

I've reverted Eustress's archiving. The discussion is still of interest. Wikipedia threads frequently lie dormant for several years before being taken up again, as they have ongoing relevance to the topic. This is the first time I've seen a Talk page archived because of inactivity of the threads. The usual reason is that there is an unwieldy amount of material that needs to be brought back to a manageable level. Koro Neil (talk) 01:30, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Archiving was done in accordance with talk page guidelines, which state, "When... a particular subject is not discussed any more, do not delete the content—archive it." If you feel a thread was archived prematurely, feel free to bring it back out of the archive or to simply reference the text in the archives. —Eustress talk 02:25, 28 February 2012 (UTC)

Late 1970's and PC's

The article says: "In the late 1970s, IBM underwent some internal convulsions between those in management wanting to concentrate on their bread-and-butter mainframe business, and those wanting the company to invest heavily in the emerging personal computer industry." As far as I know, this is incorrect. Mainframes and other proprietary systems continued to be IBMs main business at least for some two decades more. Yes, it was revolutionary for IBM to copperate with external firms (Microsoft and Intel) to launch the IBM PC, but IBM profits continued to be dependent on IBMs proprietary systems.

Law suits

An essential aspect of IBMs history is missing: the various law suits about alleged monopolistic practices IBM was involved in (was the article "cleaned" by IBMers who don't like to be reminded of that time?) I don't know enough of IBM history to update the article, but I do know that IBM was convicted as early as the 1950s to a consent decree that was only lifted some 10 years ago. In the 1970s IBM was again accused for monopolistic practices, and from 1974 prepared for a split-up, with a structure of divisions that might split off as independent companies. In the early 1980s, president Reagan allegedly told the "independent" prosecutor that a strong USA needs strong firms, so that he'd better focus his attention to other projects. Then the divisions merged again into a "customer set organisation".

Unlike some other companies accused of monopolistic practices, IBM was always keen on avoiding conflicts in this field, and employees who were found to violate the internal "business conduct guidelines" were dismissed immediately. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Rbakels (talkcontribs) 20:12, 27 March 2012 (UTC)

I too find it mind-boggling that none of the lawsuits, the *issues*, raised by IBM's past behavior are included in this article. The moves to crush any competitor who tried to either provide non-IBM parts or non-IBM service were stopped only after *much* agony. The omission here of any such mention is amazing, because this action and counter-action is what established for the whole industry that replacement parts and service were allowable and retribution against customers was illegal. If this were an individual I'm sure that industry-wide precedents established through their actions would be noted. Why not here? (talk) 02:52, 1 June 2012 (UTC)
This article does seem to be overwhelmingly positive. Do we need two lists of major inventions and two lists of company rankings? History of IBM seems a bit more balanced. Kendall-K1 (talk) 16:06, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

Classical business strategical mistakes

One example is Polaroid, which came into a crisis when the digital camera was developed. Polaroid actually researched and developed a digital camera model, but as its business idea was to sell cheap cameras and make profit on selling film packages it could not find a way to make continued profit on a digital camera, so it continued with its old business model, until it was bankrupted when the digital camera took over the market.

Another well known example was IBM's business strategy. For many years IBM thought that a few powerful computers would be enough for the whole world. IBM leased terminals, a keyboard, a monitor and a telephone modem, and to use the terminal the terminal was connected to a big computer. The company which leased this terminal from IBM had to pay for education from IBM, and use IBM's software. When the first personal computers appeared in 1979 IBM ignored them, seeing them as useless toys. During the first years of the 1980s hundreds of companies produced ever better personal computers, and in 1983 a number of companies developed the MSX standard to make these personal computers compatible with each other.

Suddenly IBM realized that they had made a big mistake. People wanted to own personal computers, and IBM was threatened by this new development. To counter this threat IBM did something they had never done before. IBM developed a personal computer, the PC, and did not protect it with a patent. This was necessary to make the IBM PC the market leader. The circuit was published in electronics magazines and companies all over the world started building PC's. Other personal computers like Sinclair ZX 80, ZX Spectrum and Sinclair QL, Commodore 64, and personal computers made by Toshiba and many other companies were quickly forgotten, together with the MSX standard. IBM only protected the BIOS circuit, so they could have some control over this new market. But the BIOS circuit was reverse engineered by other companies and IBM lost all control of the hardware. IBM made one more try to regain control over the PC, it produced the operating system OS2, to compete with Microsoft, but eventually gave up and went back to its traditional business idea, producing big computers. This chain of events gave us the PC, a standard personal computer which billions of people can use, and they can use the same programs and exchange data and programs with each other.

This chain of events also had side effects. Since IBM chose to use Intel's series of computer chips, 8088, 8086, and later 80286 and 80386, etc.. instead of the more powerful Zilog Z80 and its later models Z800 and Z8000, or the Motorola computer chips, 6800, MOS version 6501, 68000, Intel became the dominating supplier for computer chips for many years into the future.

And since Microsoft was chosen as the producer of the operating system for this PC Microsoft became the software giant it is today.

I think this should be mentioned in the article about IBM, and/or the article about the PC, but I don't have time to look up sources, so I leave it as a suggestion on the discussion page. Roger491127 (talk) 05:46, 30 April 2012 (UTC)

There is some truth to what you write, but also some falsehood and unnecessary negativity. First of all, IBM from its inception to the beginning of the 1980s was a business supplier first and foremost. When the first personal computers arrived in 1975 (not 1979), they were hobbyist contraptions that were useless for businesses. IMSAI tried to turn a kit computer into a serious business product and failed. When the first computers aimed at a general audience appeared in 1977 (again, not 1979), they were not capable enough to be useful for a business. Commodore attempted to make a personal computer targeted at businesses, the PET, and while it did not fail, it was not widely adopted. IBM went merrily on its way making big bucks selling mainframes to businesses. It probably could have looked into microcomputer development a few years earlier than they did, but so could have DEC, Data General, Hewlett Packard, or CDC. The whole industry missed the boat because there was not a large enough market to justify the expenditure needed for a quality business product. Home computers are really a fascinating development because it was a case of hobbyists releasing pretty useless products (talking more the Altair than the Apple II or TRS-80 here) that a small but fanatical tech community was just interested enough in to will a broader market into existence. You say IBM dismissed microcomputers as "useless toys," but the truth is that the very first computer products released were exactly that. Only a tech head who enjoys programming for the sake of programming could love a machine like the Altair.
Now unlike a few of the companies above and your intimations, IBM actually did see a potential microcomputer business market developing fairly early. When Frank Cary split the company into SBUs he created an entry-level systems unit that released a microcomputer in 1975 called the IBM 5100. It was not a great product, but it showed IBM was trying. Then something happened that no one expected, a guy named Dan Fylstra came up with a business application for microcomputers that did not already exist on mainframes, a spreadsheet program. It was the release of Visicalc on the Apple II in 1979 that finally allowed that computer to enjoy substantial sales (Apple loves to claim that its computer defined and led the microcomputer market from the moment it launched, but trust me, it didn't) and caused businesses to embrace the microcomputer for the first time. The entry-level systems unit at IBM immediately recognized that a sea-change had occurred and began taking the steps needed to get their own microcomputer into the marketplace.
When the IBM PC hit, the business computer market was still in its infancy. Even in the home computer market, there had not been a million seller, that would not happen until the VIC 20 passed that mark in 1982. The IBM PC did not reach the market first, and maybe IBM was not quite visionary enough to see the market before it began to materialize, but it responded pretty darn fast once the new era was upon it and before anyone had proven conclusively that there was a viable business market for microcomputers, so they were hardly a "me too" copying someone else's successful idea or an arrogant corporation ignoring a new development. In 1979, the year you accuse IBM of ignoring microcomputers, William Lowe was writing the marketing analysis that would form the basis for IBM's entry into the microcomputer market. The PC was released in 1981, two yeas before your MSX standard. It chased everything else out of the business market after the release of Lotus 1-2-3 in 1983, and has really never looked back. Even with the clones, IBM was the top computer maker in the country in the mid 1980s. Hardly a failure.
Now mistakes, there are certainly a few. The company erred badly in thinking that it could keep its BIOS proprietary and license it. It screwed up even worse by agreeing to let Bill Gates sell DOS to other computer companies. It did lose control of the PC market it created, and that was bad. Then, IBM tried to get the market back through the combination of hardware (the PS/2, which had a different architecture than previous PCs) and OS/2, and this was another disaster because no one was willing to shift to a new system that would make all their old stuff obsolete and IBM only ended up losing further ground to Compaq and others. IBM never really understood how to handle a mass market and failed to realize that individual components had become more important than complete vertically integrated systems, and they paid the price for it. Comparing IBM's response to the microcomputer market to Polaroid's response to the digital camera though is ridiculous. Whatever mistakes it made in handling the PC business in the 1980s, IBM did not dismiss, nor fail to take advantage of, the emergence of the microcomputer. Indrian (talk) 07:37, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
I largely accept your corrections and additions to the story I told. But I think this story you and I are talking about should be told somewhere in wikipedia, because it has so many far-reaching implications for the development of the personal computer, the computer market from the mid-1980s until today and into the future, and the development of Intel and Microsoft. I wonder if this is covered in one or more articles in wikipedia I have not discovered yet.
By the way, I have followed and collected electronics magazines since 1965 so I am well aware of the experimental kits sold in 1975-1979, including the TRS-80 motherboard and the IMSAI computer but the first more generally known usable personal computers started with the Sinclair ZX 80/81, as far as I know, and that's where I started the story.
Okay, it was not a mistake as big as the Polaroid example, but the move IBM made when they designed the IBM PC and published it and did not protect it was very exceptional in the history of IBM, it was a drastic move, maybe even a desperate move, to take control over the personal computer market. This move shows that IBM realized that they had made a big mistake and had to do something drastic to regain the initiative. And it was a success in the personal computer market, as most of the personal computers since then are based on the IBM PC design, but a failure for IBM, because IBM could not control the BIOS market as they had hoped.Roger491127 (talk) 07:53, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Right, I concur with all of that. IBM took an unprecedented step of using off-the-shelf parts and licensed software and ended up completely losing control of the market as a result and never getting it back, despite later failed attempts. My only real issue was with the first part of the narrative relating to IBM's failure to take the market seriously. To me, it looks like for the most part they had a measured response to the birth of the market, perhaps missing their window by a year or two but still striking when the market was just starting to heat up and experiencing a successful product launch, even if their future performance was severely impacted by some of their choices as discussed above. I also disagree that the ZX80/81 were the beginning of useable personal computers. The trinity of the PET, TRS-80, and Apple II in 1977 were all more capable than the early Sinclair machines, and they also outsold the ZX80. I am not sure that the ZX80 really qualifies as well known or useable, but certainly the VIC 20 and ZX81, both released in 1981, represent two of the earliest million-selling computers, and something akin to mass market penetration began with the release of the Commodore 64 and ZX Spectrum in 1982. Indrian (talk) 10:12, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
The PET, TRS-80, and Apple II in 1977 were not in a price range or usable for most people. The first usable and affordable computer I ever saw was when the owner of the local bookstore asked me to come into the store room, he showed me a ZX-81 and asked if I could help him understand how it worked. I showed him how to use it. My conclusion was that I should wait for a better model. My first ready-built computer was a Sinclair Spectrum 16k which I upgraded to 48k. I chose the Spectrum over the Vic/Commodore models because the Spectrum had much better documentation. I bought a book containing the full listing of its BIOS, with a comment for every line of assembler, so I could use its subroutines in my own programs. Before I bought the Spectrum I built an experimental computer with Z80 chips and some static memory chips. So my perspective is what the development looked like for a young man with a very limited budget but a lot of knowledge.
A few years later I could afford to buy a PC motherboard, I built a power supply of my own design and changed the frequencies of a surplus monitor so it could be used with the PC. At first it looked like it worked, I could write letters on the monitor. But something was wrong and after a few hours I realized that something was wrong with the BIOS. I called the company that sold me the motherboard and they were surprisingly ready to help. "If you can plug it in yourself we can send you a new BIOS immediately". I plugged in the chip and the PC worked as it should. I understood that the company pirated the BIOS, they had bought only one and burned pirate copies themselves. Sometimes they failed the burning process so they were happy to send a new BIOS.Roger491127 (talk) 17:15, 30 April 2012 (UTC)
Sounds like good times. I am sensing a British/Commonwealth/European perspective on the market though. In the United States, the home computer market was defined as a sub-$500 market back in those early days. The TRS-80 fits that market description, so long as you don't buy a monitor with it. It also moved 250,000 units, so it was performing well and connecting with an audience beyond the purely hobbyist crowd. If we are talking IBM, however, you can't start the story in 1979. IBM cared about selling computers to businesses, not people. Neither the PET nor the Apple II were really home products due to their price as you correctly state, but they were viable purchases for businesses. Therefore, if we are talking about useable computers that IBM would care to compete against, the story starts in 1977. If the ZX80 and ZX81 had been the first fully assembled microcomputers released in the U.S., IBM would have scoffed at them and would have been right to do so. Those were clearly consumer products that were never going to be viable for businesses. Indrian (talk) 01:33, 1 May 2012 (UTC)
Yes my perspective is from Sweden, but I bought a lot of electronics and computer magazines published in Britain and USA. For example the first time I saw a circuit schematic over the IBM PC, as far as I can remember, was in a magazine called Circuit Cellar, published in USA. So my perspective was heavily influenced by British and US-American magazines, because we had only one Swedish electronics magazine and it was mainly concerned with audio electronics. For example, I have a complete collection of the British Wireless World from 1965-1984 when the magazine was sold to a commercial company and became a lot thinner both physically and content-wise. I also bought a collection of several hundreds of issues of the magazine Communications of the ACM, the most prestigious magazine in the world about computer algorithms. My total collection of electronics and computer magazines weighs more than a ton, 1000 kg. I stopped buying such magazines completely in 1990, when I got access to internet. Roger491127 (talk) 17:48, 1 May 2012 (UTC)

There is no mention of IBM's sales to the Soviet Union in the article

IBM made considerable sales of computers to the Soviet Union, especially during World War II and during the Cold War. These are not mentioned in the article. I hope that this isn't because of a POV to deny the fact that sales were made by IBM to the Soviet Union.--R-41 (talk) 01:45, 16 June 2012 (UTC)

=== Needs to be mentioned ===
It's not ok that the Soviet Union stuff isn't mentioned but at the same time "produced small arms for the American war effort (M1 Carbine, and Browning Automatic Rifle)" is mentioned. I believe this claim needs to be cited as well.
— Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:31, 27 September 2012 (UTC)

There is absolutely no mention of their involvement in the Holocaust, with the exception of one sentence placing their involvement with the Third Reich on the same shelf as their involvement with the Social Security Act. Thomas Watson personally oversaw the relationship between IBM and the THird Reich by taking trips to Germany and meeting with HItler himself choosing to meet in person as opposed to corresponding on paper. He is on record for attributing this to being able to deny it in the future. Why isn't this listed? [2] (talk) 16:48, 27 October 2012 (UTC)

Indeed I read IBM had a deal to make a secret punch card database that had the ID of all American Jews in the advent that Germany invaded America. I'll try and find the link with all of the internal memo's and leaks on old Nazi projects. (talk) 05:08, 2 January 2013 (UTC)

Since this is the main article about IBM, only high-level detail is imparted here. Detail about sales to the Third Reich is included in History of IBM, but I believe this article already makes sufficient mention of it without dedicated undue weight. Regarding Soviet sales, please provide reliably sourced content, and I'm sure we can integrate it here. Cheers —Eustress talk 16:10, 8 January 2013 (UTC)

All those rankings

We already had two sets of rankings, one in the lede and one in the Corporate recognition and brand section, then someone added a third statment about IBM being the fourth largest by market cap. I think that's too many, so I removed the rankings from the lede. I see I've messed up the refs, sorry about that, I'll see if I can fix it. Kendall-K1 (talk) 17:02, 27 July 2012 (UTC)

These rankings have been long-standing facets of the lead, so discussion is needed first; however, I have gone ahead and removed the recently added redundant market cap ref. —Eustress talk 20:12, 27 July 2012 (UTC)
Ok, but I still don't think we need the same info both in the lede and in Corporate recognition and brand. Would anyone be in favor of cutting back one or the other?
I've re-inserted the phrase "by Interbrand" which I don't think you meant to remove, did you? Kendall-K1 (talk) 16:02, 28 July 2012 (UTC)

I often wonder how I became one (1) of 90 people sent off, under direction of Mr. Estridge to create the IBM dual floppy drive machine...that has little by little changed our world for the better good and some...well possibly not.

It was a most wonderful time for all of us....18 months from thought to the first functional machine! I wonder, if that plane crash @ Dallas Fort Worth had not taken so many shooting stars that day....if our cheif engineer and brain power(s) had been on separate flights, might we have maintained, expanded, and kept Boca Raton alive?

Many of that initial number of the design and manufacturing team are there a book that defines this historical task not from the cold corporate view, but from the employee elation perspective? I mention to folks I know now and then, I was a small part of the first "PC"....I usually get funny looks.

Dwayne (I wore a blue suit) Big Blue — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:55, 17 January 2013 (UTC)

  1. ^ About IBM
  2. ^