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IBM Announces Fourth Annual "Master the Mainframe" Competition

Competition Open to High School and College Students in the United States and Canada

POUGHKEEPSIE, NY - 19 Sep 2008: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today officially announced that registration for the fourth annual "Master the Mainframe" competition is underway. The annual competition is designed to familiarize students with concepts for the growing large enterprise computing industry and build mainframe skills, enabling them to become the business and IT leaders of tomorrow.

The announcement was formally made at IBM's Poughkeepsie, New York facility -- the manufacturing and development home of the IBM System z mainframe. Last year, more than 1,750 students from 325 high schools and colleges from across the United States and Canada entered the competition.

The "Master the Mainframe" competition began in 2005 and is comprised of three challenges which become increasingly more difficult as the contestant moves on to the next level. The students are asked to become familiar with and operate the mainframe user interface, perform systems programming and application developing tasks and complete real-life situations encountered by experienced systems programmers. The thousands of anticipated registered students will be able to remotely connect into an IBM mainframe from anywhere in the world they can access the Internet, further demonstrating the mainframe's feature-rich security and transaction capabilities.

The contest is part of IBM's Academic Initiative for System z program, a global project by IBM to align with colleges, universities and businesses across the globe to develop mainframe and large enterprise skills for future employment and Fortune 500 companies across the globe. The Academic Initiative for System z program has now worked with more than 400 colleges and universities across the globe to help train and educate more than 50,000 students.

"Since 2000, IBM System z market share has doubled -- growing from 17 to 34 percent, so it is clear clients have looked to the IBM mainframe as the foundation for their new enterprise data center," said Kathleen Pfeiffer, Program Manager, IBM Academic Initiative for System z. "Companies like HP and Sun have struggled for decades to try and create a technology platform as reliable as the IBM mainframe, which is why students looking for a career in a technology platform that has continually reinvented itself for 40 years and used by the top banks and retail companies all over the world can look no further than IBM and System z."

Registration for students is now open. The competition will run from October 1, 2008 thru December 29, 2008. The winners will be announced on or about February 2, 2009. Students can log on to the following web site to register for the competition and receive full instructions: http://www.ibm.com/university/contest.

Contact(s) information

Charles Zinkowski
IBM Media Relations
Office: 917-472-3415
charlesz@us.ibm.com

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