IBM and the PC

Essay by swayerCollege, UndergraduateA+, December 2004

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Module 1

Section 5

5.1 IBM and the PC - Introduction

IBM - International Business Machines - (also referred to as 'Big Blue' because its corporate color is blue).

IBM's Timeline:

1924 It was founded

1950 It began to sell large computers to companies

Mid-1960s IBM launched its range of mainframe computers, known as 360s


5.2 Independent Business Unit

The Boca Raton Group: A small independent group that was set up and did not have to conform to the everyday operations of IBM, they produced the PC.

Independent Business Unit (IBU): a small development team within a larger structure which has a degree of freedom in the way it operates and its own budget.

The reason the smaller, partly independent team seems to be a successful approach:

Computer-product development.

Particular software development.

What makes a good programmer, a good program or a good team?

The software designer must take into account

What is possible?

What the customers would like

What different features will cost in terms of time

How long a product will take to complete

What will happen if it is late?


5.3 The Open Standards

These standards must cover

Physical factors.

Procedural factors.

Who decides the standards?

Official bodies.

The market.

De facto standard: standards developed through the sheer volume of use by the market such as IBM PC and the Operating system for the PC (DOS and Windows).

Apple's Macintosh is an example of a computer which does not match the standard.

Open architecture: an architecture whose specifications are publicly available. This includes officially approved standards as well as privately designed architectures whose specifications are made public by the designers.

The open architecture led to an open standard, which made the PC the de facto standard for microcomputers.

Open standards: standards that are available to...