Just as his father saw the company's future in tabulators rather than scales and clocks, Thomas J. Watson, Jr., foresaw the role computers would play in business, and he led IBM's transformation from a medium-sized maker of tabulating equipment and typewriters into a computer industry leader.
Under Thomas J. Watson, Jr., there were also innovations in marketing. In 1969, IBM changed the way it sold technology. Rather than offer hardware, services and software exclusively in packages, marketers "unbundled" the components and offered them for sale individually. Unbundling gave birth to the multibillion-dollar software and services industries, of which IBM is today a world leader.
On April 7, 1964, IBM introduced the System/360, the first large "family" of computers to use interchangeable software and peripheral equipment. It was a bold departure from the monolithic, one-size-fits-all mainframe. Fortune magazine dubbed it "IBM's $5 billion gamble."
System/360 offered a choice of five processors and 19 combinations of power, speed and memory. A user could operate the same magnetic tape and disk products as another user with a processor 100 times more powerful. System/360 also offered dramatic performance gains, thanks to Solid Logic Technology - half-inch ceramic modules containing circuitry far denser, faster and more reliable than earlier transistors.