The company rolls out a new series of notebook computers - the ThinkPad. Featuring a distinctive black case and an innovative TrackPoint pointing device nestled in the middle of the keyboard, the ThinkPad is an immediate hit and collects more than 300 awards for design and quality.
The IBM Personal Computer Company is formed as a separate operating unit to focus exclusively on delivering leadership PC products. Within weeks of its formation, the new unit introduces more than 80 new products, many conceived, manufactured and shipped in fewer than six months.
IBM's storage products business is named ADSTAR.
The IBM Consulting Group is launched by the Application Solutions line of business with 1,500 consultants worldwide to provide management and information technology-related consulting services to companies and organizations in 30 countries.
Siemens AG of Germany acquires IBM's 50 percent interest in ROLM Company, making Siemens the sole owner of the telecommunications marketing and services venture.
IBM ships five new Enterprise System/9000 water-cooled processors - Models 520, 640, 660, 740 and 860. In the biggest RISC System/6000 announcement since the original product launch, IBM expands the performance and flexibility of its family of advanced workstations and servers with the introduction of five new POWERstation/POWERserver models - the 220, 340, 350, 520H and 560 - and a host of new software offerings, including AIX Version 3.2. IBM completely refreshes the Application System/400 product line with an enhanced operating system and 13 powerful new E model processors that boost system performance by up to 70 percent and offer the industry's first use of 16-million-bit memory chips.
IBM announces Screen Reader/2 to allow blind and visually-impaired people to use popular graphics-based personal computer software not previously accessible. Five years later IBM's Tokyo Research Laboratory unveils software that reads aloud information displayed on the computer screen. This technology is introduced in 1998 as IBM's Home Page Reader for Windows, a talking Web browser that opens the World Wide Web with spoken Internet access to blind and visually impaired users.
AMBRA Computer Corporation, a wholly-owned IBM subsidiary, announces its first product line of 16 high-performance, industry-standard personal computers, servers and workstations. IBM announces a new family of PS/2s, topped by the PS/2 77 486 DX2, which utilizes the industry's fastest processor, Intel's clock-doubling 66/33 Megahertz 486-DX2.
In storage products, IBM introduces one of the first 3.5-inch disk drives on the market to offer up to 1.2 billion bytes of storage - enough capacity to store more than a half million pages of typewritten information; the first 2-gigabyte 3.5-inch disk drive and the first 4-gigabyte 5.25-inch disk drive for the original equipment manufacturers market; and a new 9337 Disk Array Subsystem using a variation of RAID-5 storage and InfoWindow II displays. ADSTAR ships more than 250,000 1-gigabyte 3.5-inch hard drives in 1992.
IBM technology and people are on the scene at the Olympic Games in Barcelona during the summer. A communications network and more than 4,000 IBM Personal System/2 computers are installed to provide instant information in four languages to athletes, judges, spectators and journalists attending the games. IBM becomes the official computer of the National Basketball Association.
The State of California awards IBM an $80 million contract to develop, implement and maintain California's child welfare system. Two California health-care providers award IBM its first outsourcing agreement in the health-care industry.
Canada's Consumer and Corporate Affairs Department awards IBM Canada a $49 million systems integration contract to automate its patent office. IBM installs the first network of automated teller machines to operate online in Hungary. IBM's first systems integration in the Czech Republic is awarded by the Ministry of Finance for the implementation of a system for tax administration and collection. Japan's Sanwa Bank selects IBM Japan to develop a global banking network to link banking operations in 27 countries.
U.S. President George Bush awards the National Medal of Technology to N. Joseph Woodland, a former IBM employee, who pioneered the bar code and then helped to commercialize bar coding technology. Woodland is the seventh person affiliated with IBM to receive the award.
IBM ships its 200,000th AS/400 computer, a 9406 Model E35 to be installed at the main brewery and headquarters of Heineken Netherlands. Nearly 300,000 of its predecessor systems - the System/36 and System/38 - remain in service.
IBM researchers say they believe they have made the first observation of the escape of a virus from a living cell.
IBM creates the world's most-used multimedia kiosk system for Seville's World Exposition, a prototype for the "technopolis" or electronic city of the future.
IBM and Sears, Roebuck and Co. reach an agreement to form Advantis, a joint venture that will be the premier voice and data networking services company in the United States.
IBM, Siemens AG and Toshiba Corporation announce an alliance that will develop a 256-million-bit dynamic random access memory chip and its manufacturing process. The submicron technology will be the basis of future generations of highly-dense chips.
Hewlett-Packard Company and IBM form a strategic alliance to develop and manufacture a family of fiber-optic components for high-speed communication between computer systems.
IBM announces an expanded technology agreement with Lotus Development Corp. to include Lotus software products in IBM office system offerings for LANs. IBM begins a cooperative effort with nine major cellular carriers, including McCaw Cellular Communications Inc. and GTE Mobilnet, to advance the technology for transmitting data over cellular communication systems.
U.S. President George Bush honors IBM and 20 other recipients of the 1992 President's Annual Points of Light Awards as part of the celebration of National Volunteer Week.