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Software giant SAP was born out of IBM in 1972. SAP was founded by five former IBM engineers, and initially was called System Analyse und Programmentwicklung ("System Analysis and Program Development"). The engineers were Dietmar Hopp, Klaus Tschira, Hans-Werner Hector, Hasso Plattner and Claus Wellenreuther. As Xerox exited from the computer industry, Xerox hired IBM to migrate its business systems to IBM technology. Part of IBM's compensation for the migration was Xeroxs DS/SAPE software, reportedly for a contract credit of $80,000. The SAPE software was given by IBM to the founding SAP members in exchange for about 8 percent of founding SAP stock.

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In 1984, IBM spun off Prodigy Communications, formerly a joint venture with Sears, Roebuck and Co. Prodigy was an online service that offered subscribers access to a broad range of networked services, including news, weather, shopping, bulletin boards, games, polls, expert columns, banking, stocks and travel. By 1990, it was the second-largest online service provider, with 465,000 subscribers, trailing only CompuServe's 600,000.

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Satellite Systems

IBM in 1985 sold Satellite Business Systems to MCI Communications. Satellite, abbreviated as SBS, was a company founded by IBM, Aetna and Comsat—before the MCI—that provided private professional satellite communications through its SBS fleet of FSS geosynchronous satellites. SBS was founded in 1975 with the goal of providing a digital satellite communications network for business and other professional clients.

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Copier, Duplicator Business

In 1988 IBM sold off its copier and duplicator business, including service and support contracts, to Eastman Kodak.

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In 1991, IBM spun off Lexmark, which sold keyboards, typewriters and printers, with IBM keeping a 10 percent interest. Lexmark has since sold its keyboard and typewriter businesses, and now develops and manufactures printing and imaging products, including laser and inkjet printers, multifunction products, printing supplies, and services for business and individual consumers.

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IBM in 1991 spun off Kalieda, a joint multimedia software venture with Apple. Kalieda Labs was one of several joint ventures between Apple and IBM during the early 1990s. The two computer giants sought to counter the influence of Microsoft and the growing dominance of its Windows operating system. Other ventures between Apple and IBM in this period included the Taligent operating system, and the PowerPC reference platform, a hardware chip alliance that included Motorola.

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IBMs work with Apple in 1992 created Taligent, a joint software venture. Taligent was the name of an object-oriented operating system and the company dedicated to producing it. Initially started as a project within Apple to produce a replacement for the Mac OS, it was later spun off into a joint venture with IBM to build a competing platform to Microsoft Cairo and NeXTSTEP, as part of the AIM alliance. Taligent was dissolved in the late 1990s.

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In 1992, IBM spun off IBM Commercial Multimedia Technologies Group to form a private company, Fairway Technologies.

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IBM in 1992 sold its remaining 50 percent stake in the Rolm Co. to Siemens AG of Germany.

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In 1994, IBM spun off its Xyratex enterprise data storage subsystems and network technology, formed in a management buyout from IBM.

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Federal Systems

In 1994, IBMs Federal Systems Division, which performed work for NASA, was sold to Loral, becoming Loral Federal Systems. Loral was later bought by Lockheed Martin in 1996 for $9.1 billion. Loral became Loral Space and Communications.

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In 1995, IBM spun off Advantis, a voice and data network company. It was a joint venture, with IBM holding 70 percent and Sears holding 30 percent. AT&T bought the infrastructure portion of Advantis in 1999, becoming the AT&T Global Network. IBM retained business and strategic outsourcing portions of the joint venture.

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IBM Global Network

IBM in 1998 sold Gobal Network to AT&T to form AT&T Business Internet.

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Dominion Semiconductor

In 1999, IBM sold its 50 percent share of Dominion Semiconductor to joint venture partner Toshiba. DSC became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toshiba.

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Hard Drives

In 2002, IBM sold its hard disk drive business to Hitachi Global Storage Technologies for about $2 billion. Hitachi now provides many of the hardware storage devices formerly provided by IBM, including IBM hard drives and the microdrive. IBM continues to develop storage systems, including tape backup, storage software and enterprise storage.

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Chinese PC vendor Lenovo Group in December 2004 bought 90 percent of IBMs Personal Systems Group, inheriting 10,000 employees and $9 billion in revenue.

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In January 2007, IBM launched a three-year joint venture with IBM Printing Systems division and Ricoh to form new Ricoh-owned subsidiary, InfoPrint Solutions, for $725 million.

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Video Advice

In September 2009, IBM launched an online business IT video advice service in association with GuruOnline.

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