IBM announces the eServer zSeries 990, the world's most sophisticated server and the new flagship of the eServer family. The new z990 sets a new standard for enterprise-class computing and is the result of a four-year, more than $1 billion investment in the zSeries platform involving 1,200 IBM developers. IBM delivers the first z990 in June to Farmers Insurance Group as the backbone of a new state-of-the-art, Web-based claims processing system.
IBM introduces an ultra-fast high-end eServer p690 system that provides a 65 percent performance boost over its predecessor. Each Power4 chip contains 174 million transistors -- about 10 times more than those used in today's PCs -- and are interconnected by one mile of microscopic copper wiring.
As part of the broadest transformation of its eServer iSeries in more than a decade, IBM announces iSeries 825 and 870, which join the iSeries 890 at the high-end of the iSeries family. Used by more than 200,000 customers around the world, the IBM eServer iSeries is one of the industry's most popular servers.
In November IBM sells the 20 millionth ThinkPad -- a T41 -- since launching the ThinkPad line in 1992. The computer is presented later that month to the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University in recognition of the business school's leadership in the application of technology to improve business performance.
ABB and IBM complete a 10-year agreement to outsource nearly 90 percent of ABB's information systems infrastructure operations, including the transfer of more than 1,200 employees to IBM. The agreement is valued at $1.1 billion and builds on a well-established relationship between the two companies.
IBM earns 3,415 U.S. patents in 2003, breaking the record for patents received in a single year and extending its run as the world's most innovative company to eleven consecutive years. Led by growth in patents that fuel the company's latest on demand computing and services offerings, IBM eclipses the nearest company by more than 1,400 patents. During the past eleven years, IBM innovations have generated more than 25,000 U.S. patents -- nearly triple the total of any U.S. IT competitor during this time.
IBM introduces a first-of-its-kind initiative -- the IBM On Demand Community -- to encourage and sustain corporate philanthropy through volunteerism. The program will arm employees with valuable IBM technology tools targeted for non-profit community organizations and schools in 91 locations around the world. By linking IBM's tradition of community service with its on demand business strategy, the company creates a new model for helping employees improve the communities where they all live and work.