IBM Chairman Louis V. Gerstner, Jr. announces to IBM employees the debut of a major strategic campaign built around the IBM-coined term "e-business." In his first major customer address on e-business - a speech considered by many as the first "wake-up call" to Wall Street on the implications of the networked world - Gerstner describes to the Securities Industries Association the Internet's ability to challenge centuries-old business models and transform the nature of all important transactions between individuals and institutions.
In a six-game match, a chess-playing IBM computer known as Deep Blue defeats chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov - the first time a reigning world champion loses a match to a computer opponent in tournament play. Deep Blue is an IBM RS/6000 SP supercomputer capable of calculating 200 million chess positions per second.
IBM announces plans to become sole proprietor of Advantis - the U.S. data network services arm of the IBM Global Network - by buying Sears' 30 percent equity interest.
The company acquires Eastman Kodak's share of Technology Service Solutions, which was formed in 1994 by IBM and Eastman Kodak. TSS becomes a wholly-owned subsidiary of IBM.
IBM and NetObjects, Inc., announce that IBM has purchased a majority interest in NetObjects, a leading provider of website development tools for designers and intranet developers.
IBM completes one of the most important product transitions in the company's history with the debut of a new generation of System/390 servers, all powered by advanced microprocessors. The microprocessor "engines" help make the S/390 Parallel Enterprise Server - Generation 4 (G4) more powerful and less costly to produce and maintain than previous models, which used bipolar processor technology.
IBM introduces Netfinity, a new line of enterprise PC servers beginning with the Netfinity 7000 supporting the Microsoft Windows NT computing environment. Netfinity servers range from entry level models to high-capacity symmetric multiprocessing machines.
IBM introduces the IntelliStation, a line of Microsoft Windows NT-based workstations for commercial users. The new family complements IBM's RS/6000 line of UNIX workstations and servers. The first in that line of professional workstations is the IBM IntelliStation Z Pro.
The Travelstar 5GS is rolled out as the world's first 5-gigabyte laptop disk drive, and the company announces the 8.1-gigabyte Travelstar 8GS, the first drive to exceed 3 billion bits per square inch on each of its disk platters, a world record. Not much larger than a music cassette tape, it will hold enough information that when printed, would constitute a stack taller than the Empire State Building.
IBM announces the world's highest capacity desktop OPC disk drive. The 16.8-gigabyte drive incorporates breakthrough technology called giant magnetoresistive (GMR) heads. No bigger than the head of a pin, the GMR head is the world's most sensitive sensor for reading and writing computer data on magnetic disks.
With the introduction of eSuite, Lotus becomes the first company to offer a complete set of business productivity software written in Java for the network computing environment. The total installed Lotus Notes seats base reaches 20 million, up from 2.2 million when Lotus joined IBM in 1995.
IBM unveils ViaVoice continuous speech recognition technology for Mandarin Chinese. In developing the product, researchers identified and classified thousand of vocal tones and homonyms, created an algorithm that deconstructs syllables into parts, and developed a new language model to transform spoken words into the right combination drawn from 6,700 Chinese characters. IBM also announces ViaVoice Gold, software that gives people a hands-free way to dictate text and navigate the desktop with the power of natural, continuous speech. IBM introduces software that reads aloud information displayed on the computer screen. The software allows the visually impaired to access and use the Internet.
The State Hermitage Museum of St. Petersburg, Russia, and IBM announce an art and technology partnership. Also announced during the year are technology projects with the Library of Congress and with Yale University's Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library to use IBM digital library technologies to preserve art and scholarship while protecting ownership rights.
IBM says that the National Football League, NBC Sports and IBM will jointly produce the official Super Bowl XXXII Web site.
For the fifth consecutive year, IBM receives more U.S. patents - 1,724 in all - than any other company.
Three IBM scientists - Robert Dennard, Mark Dean and Dennis Moeller - are inducted into the U.S. National Inventors Hall of Fame. To date, only 137 people have been so honored. IBM Fellow Emeritus Richard L. Garwin receives the Enrico Fermi Award for contributions to national security and arms control, and for his achievements in nuclear and particle physics. IBM scientists announce CMOS 7S, a breakthrough semiconductor manufacturing process that uses copper instead of aluminum to link transistors in chips, the culmination of 30 years of experimentation and inquiry. With copper technology, which conducts electricity 40 percent more efficiently than aluminum, semiconductor devices like microprocessors and memory chips can be more powerful and more energy efficient.
NASA's Pathfinder, equipped with IBM RS/6000 technology for its onboard flight computer, lands on Mars. The flight computer is responsible for more than 100 pyro events, including deploying the parachutes, inflating the airbags and firing the retro rockets that allow Pathfinder to land safely.
IBM and EDS announce a software agreement - believed to be one of the largest in the history of the software industry - that gives EDS access to a wider range of products to support its clients' global needs while streamlining costs associated with software purchases.
IBM dedicates its new state of the art corporate headquarters in Armonk, New York in September. Although smaller than previous headquarters, the new 280,000 square feet facility has an open office design and many more meeting areas for team and customer interaction. The building is equipped with a high-speed wire and wireless communication network, and a technology gallery that features IBM products and innovations throughout the company's history.
IBM announces plans to invest $700 million to build one of the world's most advanced microdevelopment facilities at IBM's site in East Fishkill, New York The facility will be among the first to produce chips on 12-inch silicon wafers and will use IBM's unique copper manufacturing process and advanced X-ray lithography technology.
IBM announces a five-year, $25 million investment to establish the Solutions Research Center - its eighth research center in the world - in Delhi, India. As part of its mission, the Center will foster joint research projects with India's top universities and educational institutions, and will focus initially on weather forecasting.
IBM provides $10 million in new Reinventing Education grants to 12 U.S. school districts and state education departments, bringing the total to $35 million since the program was established in 1994. IBM Reinventing Education grants in South Africa - part of a $35 million IBM initiative - help equip schools and train teachers on how technology can help them develop innovative curricula.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recognizes IBM for outstanding contributions in protecting the Earth's ozone layer. Since 1993, IBM has completely eliminated the annual use of more than 12 million pounds of CFCs and three million pounds of methyl chloroform from its products and processes. More than two-thirds of the nonhazardous waste generated by IBM during the year is recycled.