Saturday, June 18, 2011

100 Years of IBM

IBM celebrates 100 years this year, although it didn’t take that name until sometime in the 1920’s. That company has always been a favorite of mine and I have always used a PC type computer. I have no doubt that Apple’s Mac products are excellent, but I prefer to give my business to companies who are less self-serving.

When IBM designed and released its “personal computer” it used a concept called “open architecture.” They knew that design could be copied and modified sufficiently to produce like products which circumvented their copyrights, but they had a broader view than the end of their nose. They knew that their decision would lead to a larger market in personal computing overall, and that in the long run they would benefit along with society from that larger market. We all know the outcome of that decision.

Apple went for the “closed architecture” which could not be copied or emulated, and they have never occupied anything but a niche market. It has worked for them and made them very wealthy, but without the larger market of the computing world created largely by IBM, Apple would most likely be a toy of limited interest and small value.

Vision? Not Apple, really. Apple has some really great ideas, but the company with true vision has been IBM.

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