IT & Network Infrastructure : IBM at 100: 20 Technologies That Soared and 10 That Failed

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2011-06-03 Print this article Print
Top 20 IBM Products/Innovations

Top 20 IBM Products/Innovations

As IBM celebrates its 100th anniversary in June, eWEEK decided to take a look at the products and technologies that were perhaps the best the systems giant could muster, as well as come up with a group of technologies that did not fare so well for the company. With its rich heritage in research and development—IBM touts an annual R&D budget of $6 billion—Big Blue turns out a lot of innovative technology. In fact, in January, IBM announced that its inventors received a record 5,896 U.S. patents in 2010, marking the 18th consecutive year it has topped the list of the world's most inventive companies. IBM became the first company to be granted as many as 5,000 U.S. patents in a single year. It took IBM's inventors more than 50 years to receive their first 5,000 patents after the company was established in 1911. As such, IBM has had more than its share of hits—from its delivery of a fine-tuned punched card and the debut of the mainframe computer, to magnetic tape storage, the PC and the new Watson computer. But the company has also seen some failures. Yet, even IBM technologies that did not make it commercially were not simply misguided technologies or just plain duds. Many were either before their time, too far-reaching, not sufficiently supported or marketed, or ran into stiff competition. eWEEK identifies 20 IBM technologies that clearly took off and shone. And with the help of noted industry analysts Judith Hurwitz, Rob Enderle, Amy Wohl and Al Hilwa, eWEEK identifies 10 other IBM technologies that, while innovative, did not gain the commercial success IBM had hoped for.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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