John Opel, IBM: Not buying Microsoft during the PC-DOS/MS-DOS negotiations / Gary Kildall, Digital Research, not licensing CP/M to IBM
Information Technology, software and computer companies are certainly not without their share of poor executive decisions and mismanagement. While dozens of notable examples could have made our list, these were by far the top top 10 worst in the history of the technology industry, causing many billions of dollars of lost revenue or resulted in the downfall of entire companies.In the late 1970's, a small team within IBM began development of its legendary 5150 PC, which recently had its 30th anniversary. But to run this PC, IBM needed an operating system.At the time, there was only one serious contender, Digital Research's CP/M, which ran on a number of early personal computers including the Apple ][, The Osborne and the Kaypro, all of which had substantial market share in a small but quickly growing industry.In 1980, Under the direction of CEO John Opel, IBM attempted to contact Digital Research's founder and CEO, Gary Kildall, to license CP/M for use on the 5150 and other future PCs, but when negotiations failed, IBM went looking for another suitor.Bill Gates, Steve Ballmer and Paul Allen at Microsoft, seeing an opportunity in the making, approached a tiny software company, Seattle Computer Products, which had an x86-compatible OS which used a similar command interpreter to CP/M called 86-DOS. Microsoft purchased the OS and perpetual usage rights, which they then re-christened as "DOS", for a mere $75,000.After negotiating an almost unheard of non-exclusive licensing agreement with IBM, the company would be established as the leader in personal computer software for decades to come.Microsoft's MS-DOS would go on to sell tens of millions of licenses, and the software business for Windows and related follow-on products that Microsoft would generate which would build upon it would turn the company into an industry giant.Digital Research could very well have had the same licensing deal and IBM could have imposed stricter licensing terms on MS-DOS, or could have purchased either of the two companies outright, giving the company an exclusive. But it was not to be.Digital Research's CP/M became an also-ran and the company eventually attempted to produce it's own DOS clone, DR-DOS, which although having a number of technical improvements over Microsoft's OS, was a dud. It was eventually sold to Novell, then Caldera and then later on became the property of SCO.Eventually, the highly competitive MS-DOS based PC clone business made Digital Research's CP/M irrelevant and also would eventually force IBM to exit their own PC business in the late 1990s and early 2000's.
Adam Osborne, pre-announcement of next Osborne computer
The year was 1982. British computer pioneer Dr. Adam Osborne, a man who has been universally credited with creating the portable computer industry announces the “Executive” OCC-2, the the successor to his current shipping product, the CP/M-based Osborne 1. In fact, over the next year, he also publicly discusses a second, smaller model, the “Vixen”, one which would follow on after that.Not many people will remember Adam Osborne and the significant contributions he made to help establish the personal computer industry. Many people reading this article weren’t even born when the Osborne 1, let alone the Vixen was shipped.However, there is one particular event in computer history in which Mr. Osborne’s name will forever be associated with:The Osborne Effect.What happened to the Osborne Computer Company after the announcements of the “Executive” and the “Vixen” is now classic business school material. Due to the pre-announcement of the newer, better products while the current inventory in the reseller channel was still full, buyers were no longer interested in current products.Despite the fact that the company had a number of advantages, one of those being that it bundled application and OS software with its computers, Osborne was also facing heavy competition from companies like Kaypro, Apple and IBM, so the timing couldn’t possibly have been worse.By November of 1983, the company went bankrupt, and Osborne Computer Corporation was no more.
Lew Platt, Hewlett-Packard: Entering Itanium Partnership with Intel and discontinuing processor fabrication operations for PA-RISC and Michael Capellas, Killing off the DEC Alpha
In the late 1980's, HP determined that their PA-RISC systems architecture for enterprise-class servers was going to hit a performance scaling threshold and began to investigate a new systems architecture, VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word).In 1994, under the direction of CEO Lewis E. Platt, believing that it was no longer cost-effective for HP to have its own microprocessor foundry, the company ceased production and development of PA-RISC, shut down its own foundries and instead partnered with Intel to produce this new VLIW 64-bit enterprise chip, which came to be known as the IA-64.Released by Intel and HP as the "Itanium" in 2001 after seven years of development and billions of dollars of R&D invested, the chip earned the early nickname of "Itanic" due to its low performance compared to less expensive, commodity x86 chips in most regular business applications. IA-64 also proved to be horribly slow when executing x86 instructions, which it had to do using software emulation.Eventually, both AMD and Intel would produce 64-bit x86 systems, which when clustered in HPC configurations would easily outperform equivalent IA-64 systems for significantly less money.IBM and Sun would continue to develop their POWER and SPARC architectures for their high-end servers, which eroded most of HP's high-end market share.While other vendors such as Dell and IBM briefly introduced and sold Itanium-based systems, they shortly discontinued them. An executive at Dell publicly referred to the product as an "Albatross".As if this wasn't awful enough, in 2002 HP merged with Compaq, which had only just acquired Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) four years before, along with its powerful 64-bit Alpha RISC chip and Windows NT/Digital UNIX servers that had seen some moderate success in High-Performance Computing environments.Seen by both executives at HP and Compaq as a redundant overlapping product under the new merged company and with Intel's IA-64 efforts underway, the Alpha -- arguably a much more mature, better supported and more desirable platform was phased out.Third-party OS development for Itanium other than HP's HP/UX UNIX derivative is now practically non-existent, as Microsoft no longer produces an IA-64 version of Windows Server. Itanium is considered to be a deprecated and legacy architecture by the Linux Kernel Project and is no longer actively supported by mainstream Linux distributions such as Red Hat, SuSE, Debian and Ubuntu.HP is now the only company to sell Itanium-based servers under their Integrity brand, and Oracle recently announced that it would no longer be developing software for the chip.
Carly Fiorina, Hewlett-Packard: Compaq Merger
While the Itanium partnership with Intel surely started HP down the road to hell, it was accelerated in 2001 when HP, under the guidance of CEO Carly Fiorina decided to merge with Compaq in a $25 billion dollar deal.Many large shareholders opposed the merger, including Walter Hewlett, the company's outspoken director and son of the company's co-founder, who engaged in a proxy battle in an attempt to prevent it. The prime objection was that Compaq had many overlapping product lines and would get the company involved in the low-margin PC business that its main competitor, IBM, was already in the process of exiting.Under Carly Fiorina's reign, the merged "New" HP lost half of its market value and the company incurred heavy job losses. Fiorina stepped down in 2005.Since the Compaq merger, HP has endured numerous problems with failed initiatives, dubious acquisitions (3COM, EDS) and has been plagued with ineffective management, including two major ethics scandals that have forced Chairwoman Patricia Dunn and CEO Mark Hurd to resign.The PC business that HP gained from the Compaq merger is now in the process of being spun off, after losing money in the face of tremendous low-margin industry competition.
Steve Ballmer: Windows Vista Project Mismanaged
Mention the name "Windows Vista" in most circles, you'll probably get a mixture of reactions. Groans, snickers, and utter disgust.Windows XP wasn’t supposed to last as long as it did. As soon as XP shipped in 2001, work got under way for the next version, code-named “Longhorn.” The feature list got bigger and more ambitious as time went on, and Longhorn was shown off with great fanfare at Microsoft’s Professional Developers Conference in 2003.Those plans were tossed aside completely in August 2004, with what later became infamous as the “Longhorn reset.” In September 2005, Windows boss Jim Allchin publicly acknowledged the do-over, acknowledging that Longhorn had been “crashing into the ground.”The design goals of what was eventually named Windows Vista were admirable: improve Windows' security model, introduce widespread 64-bit technology into the desktop OS, improve networking performance, refine the user interface, and better integrate search capabilities. Unfortunately, the unwieldy and disorganized project took more than five years to deliver unsatisfactory results.Windows Vista was released to manufacturing in November 2006, with a consumer debut in January 2007. Vista got mostly negative reviews, thanks to significantly higher resource requirements, incompatibilities with some popular hardware and software programs, and a controversial security feature called User Account Control (UAC) that was derided as overly intrusive. Service Packs would later resolve many of Vista's issues, but its reputation as a slow, buggy failure was sealed.Eventually, the technologies that were created for Windows Vista were refined and re-engineered. Vista’s successor, Windows 7, was released a little less than three years after Vista's introduction to much better reviews.Nobody knows how much the Vista debacle really cost Microsoft, but it damaged the company's reputation and almost certainly amounted to billions of dollars of stalled upgrades and a significant exodus of users to Apple’s Mac platform.
John Sculley, Apple Computer: Throwing out Steve JobsIn 1985, Apple Computer was in the midst of a technology transition. In the previous year, the company had just launched its first Macintosh computer, which had replaced the Apple ][ and Apple III line it had been selling successfully for the last several years.Founder Steve Jobs had recruited former Pepsi-Cola executive John Sculley to act as Apple's CEO, in order to help grow the company. While Jobs was considered to be a charismatic and dynamic employee at Apple and at the Macintosh division which was under his direct leadership, he was also erratic, difficult to work with and temperamental, and it was beginning to put a strain on his relationship with his team members as well as on the Board of Directors of the company.Facing a sales slump due to overwhelming competition from companies like IBM and Compaq that were selling PCs and clones, Jobs' relationship with Sculley deteriorated which resulted in his ouster from the company he and Steve Wozniak founded.The 11-year period that Apple continued on without Steve Jobs is universally considered to be a major low point for the company. Without Jobs' vision and guidance, innovation slowed and Apple underwent several leadership changes. Revenue and stock valuation plummeted, the company was on the verge of financial oblivion, and by the mid 1990's the company was in desperate need for a replacement to the aging Macintosh OS.In 1996, Apple purchased Steve Jobs' NeXT, which would serve as the foundation for what would become OS X and later on the iOS which powers the iPhone and iPad. Gil Amelio, the current CEO, was ousted in 1997 in a boardroom coup and Steve Jobs returned as Chairman and CEO.Jobs would guide the company into the release of the iMac, the iPod, OSX and and x86-based Macs, and then later the iPhone, iPad and Apple TV, ushering in a new golden age for Apple.
Darl McBride, SCO: Attacking LinuxOnce a prosperous, medium-sized and laid-back Northern California software company that produced successful and reliable vertical market UNIX operating systems for x86-based servers throughout the 1980s through the early 2000's, the Santa Cruz Operation (SCO) began its demise shortly after being acquired by Caldera, Inc., based out of Provo, Utah.Part of the Nay Noorda-backed family of companies known as the Canopy Group, the company re-named itself "The SCO Group" and soon began to find itself in a bit of an identity crisis. SCO Group's first incoming CEO and former CEO of Caldera Ransom Love wanted to merge Caldera and SCO's Linux and UNIX product lines, and create a best of breed OS.SCO had partnered with Intel, IBM and Sequent briefly during the mid-1990s on "Project Monterrey", an attempt to unify, merge and port the best aspects of the company's UNIXWare OS and IBM's AIX to the new Intel Itanium as well as IBM's POWER processor.With the rise in popularity of Linux and 64-bit x86 chips, interest in Itanium waned and the effort to market the completed IA-64 variant was scuttled.SCO's failure to market the IA-64 version of Monterey resulted in Ransom Love being pushed aside and succeeded by Darl Mcbride. With McBride at the helm of SCO, the company became entirely focused on litigation as opposed to product development.SCO not only sued IBM for alleged contributions of Monterey code to the Open Source Linux kernel, but also large customers, end-users and vendors of various Linux OSes, including Red Hat and Novell.This turned the company into a pariah not only among the legion of Open Source and Linux developers but SCO's own customers and the entire technology industry. The litigation debacle went on for years, chronicled in gory detail on sites such as Groklaw.SCO's sales of UNIX products went down the toilet, and was forced to lay off virtually all of its employees to focus entirely on its lawsuits.In 2007, SCO filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In 2009, Darl Mcbride was fired. Early in 2011, UnXis Inc purchased SCO's remaining UNIX software assets.As of August 2001, SCO Group remained active only as a shell in order to continue its appeals processes on litigation against Novell regarding transfer of UNIX copyrights during its UNIXWare sale in 1995.This appeal found in favor of Novell (which is now a fully-owned subsidiary of Attachmate, Inc.) as exclusive holder of the UNIX copyrights on August 30, 2011 by the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit.
Steve Case and Gerald M. Levin: AOL / Time Warner MergerFacing challenges from the growing Internet/Web and broadband industry in the late 1990s that was encroaching on its bread and butter dialup services and "walled garden" of content, on-line services provider America Online pursued a strategy of re-invention as a content and broadband giant by purchasing Time Warner in the year 2000 for a whopping $164 billion.The merger, executed by AOL CEO Steve Case and Time Warner CEO Gerald M Levin, turned out to be a total fiasco, with the new company unable to capitalize on Time Warner's strengths. Total subscribers of AOL went from an estimated 30 million at the height of its popularity to less than just over 5 million in 2007, with no significant quarterly growth since 2002.The company's market valuation has plunged significantly from a high of $240 billion to $1.66 billion as of August of 2011.In 2009, shortly after appointing a new CEO, Tim Armstrong, AOL announced it would spin off Time Warner into a separate public company, ending a fruitless eight year relationship.AOL has since gone on a New Media purchasing spree, including Patch, Techcrunch and The Huffington Post, which joins their other New Media properties such as Engdaget which it acquired as a result of its Weblogs, Inc. purchase in 2005.
Jerry Yang,Yahoo!: Refusal of Microsoft Acquisition OfferYahoo! grew rapidly during the early 1990's as one of the first search engine companies and went on a steady path of acquiring smaller Web companies and offering other Internet portal services such as financial news, web and image hosting (such as Flickr) but its failure to adapt to competitive forces, notably the rise of Google and FaceBook, caused the company's revenue to go into decline as it was unable to monetize these properties effectively.Looking to expand its online presence, Microsoft made an unsolicited offer to purchase Yahoo! Inc. In February 2008 for approximately $47 billion. CEO and co-founder Jerry Yang, playing hard-to-get, formally rejected the bid, stating that it "substantially undervalued" the company and was not in the interest of shareholders.Weeks of back-and-forth of highly publicized meetings between the two companies resulted in a standoff.Shareholder and Yahoo! investor Carl Icahn attempted to patch things up in a last ditch attempt to get the Redmond-based software giant to come back to the table and attempted to force Yang out via a board room coup, but Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer had enough and walked away completely exasperated, directing his company to create its own search engine and web properties under the Bing and Windows Live brands.As of August 2011, the market capitalization of Yahoo! Inc. has plunged to a low of $17.8 Billion, a far cry from Microsoft's original offer of $47 Billion. Jerry Yang eventually found himself ousted and replaced with CEO Carol Bartz in 2009, who ironically ended up entering a partnership agreement with Microsoft in a 10-year deal to use Bing as the search engine for Yahoo!.While Steve Ballmer and Microsoft's investors are probably quite happy in retrospect that they walked away, for Yahoo, it will always permanently scar the company for what might have been because Jerry Yang decided to play hard-to-get.
Mark Hurd: Penile Priorities mixing with company business/Leo Apotheker: TouchPad development and Infanticide, Hewlett-PackardIn September of 2006, When Hewlett-Packard Chairwoman Patricia Dunn resigned after being involved a highly-publicized ethics controversy, the company sought to rebuild its reputation with the media and with stockholders. Mark Hurd, a member of HP's board of directors was selected to take Dunn's place.With over 25 years of industry experience at NCR and two years spent as the company's CEO marked by strong leadership and improving the company's efficiency and net income, Hurd was thought to be HP's white knight.Up until August of 2010, Hurd's tenure at HP was indeed a model one -- it remained the #1 vendor of desktop PCs and laptops, as well as maintaining its lead in consumer and enterprise printer market share. Hurd was also a major cost cutter, but this came at the expense of at 10% workforce reduction at the company, arguably a difficult decision for any CEO to have to make.Under his leadership, the company also acquired EDS, a large IT services player, which would make HP on par if not a larger company than IBM, its largest competitor.Additionally, with Hurd at the helm, HP also acquired Palm Computing for $1.2 Billion, which would enable the company to compete with Apple and Google in smartphones and tablets.Things were looking up. At least until Hurd started prioritizing his activities as CEO with his other head.Following an internal investigation of sexual harassment and misconduct with an HP contract employee, former reality TV actress Jodie Fisher, Hurd resigned in disgrace, only to land a job at Oracle, run by his close friend Larry Ellison, where he now leads what remains of Sun Microsystems.Thrown into complete disarray, in September of 2010, HP's board of directors decided to recruit an outsider to run the company, Leo Apotheker, a former SAP executive.During the July 4th holiday weekend of 2011, HP's TouchPad tablet computer, the first product of the Palm acquisition engineered by Mark Hurd (who had resigned just under a year before) was finally released for $499 to highly unfavorable reviews. HP quickly attempted to price adjust by discounting the product $100, in the hopes that consumers would latch on.Weeks went by without any news of the product's sell-through, until Mid-August, when it was reported that Best Buy had only sold about 10 percent of its inventory.During HP's 3rd-quarter earnings call, and less than two months after the TouchPad's launch, Apotheker dropped a bombshell -- that it would be scuttling HP's mobile hardware division which produced the TouchPad, Pre and Veer WebOS devices, and would be looking for an alternative strategy for the mobile OS.In addition, HP was announcing its intention to leave the PC hardware business, in hopes of becoming a more streamlined enterprise software and services company like IBM.Whether it was Apotheker's intention all along to scuttle the last remaining vestiges of Mark Hurd's legacy is unknown, but many have speculated that HP's chief executive has wanted to clean house since he started, and has been attempting to reverse over a decade of the company's mismanagement, starting with the Compaq merger completed by Carly Fiorina in 2002.
Which ranks as the worst tech decision ever?
Which of these rank as the worst tech executive decision ever? Take our poll
John Opel, IBM: Not buying Microsoft during the PC-DOS/MS-DOS negotiations / Gary Kildall, Digital Research, not licensing CP/M to IBM
Information Technology, software and computer companies are certainly not without their share of poor executive decisions and mismanagement. While dozens of notable examples could have made our list, these were by far the top top 10 worst in the history of the technology industry, causing many billions of dollars of lost revenue or resulted in the downfall of entire companies.
It's so nice to know I'm not the only one to have made bad decisions. However, I suspect mine had a much bigger influence on my income and affected less people than those chronicled in this article. What happened to the income of these CEOs while they were riding their companies into the ground?
...the history of technology started in 1980 and is identical to the history of personal computing in the US?
No mention of Ken Olson (Digital Equipment Corp.'s) CEO who decided there was no market for small computers instead focusing the company on mid-range and mainframe class systems in the early-to-mid 80s? Had he decided otherwise, everyone might be running with VAX-inside instead of Intel-inside.
A very sad and classic example of when too much politics/too many scandals bring a company down. Sad for Palm though. Was a very smart company and mobile platform.
HP was pretty greegy and did not do a good evaluation of the market when they priced their wonderful tablet near the Apple iPad. That was unrealistic. When HP reduced the price (of course unreasonably), Touchpad became the number one best-seller in the tablet market, to be discontinued?! Bad Bad pricing strategy from the start until now! Pitty and sad. Palm had the best mobile platform for searching, productivity, and browsing. SAD!
And is definitely still very successful. Maybe not as much as it used to be, but imagine if the dummies at micros... were running it. Mr. Yang was really smart to refuse micros...'s offer. The life of corporations is stages, some are up and some are down. Look at Apple.
Well you forget to mention Microsoft Windows ME, the worst virus never designed as an O.S... ;-) Sergi
Steve Jobs' story. The most honerable story, not only in the technology field, but certainly in the history of business as we humans know it :)
Since when were micros... OSs not slow and guggy?!! Apple never needed a Vista to attract users to it's systems. It's innovations that were blantly stolen by micros... Since the early eighties were enough to eventualy lead to what we see nowadays. It would surely have come much earlier if it weren't for Apple's high-pricing and controling/restrictive attitude.
DISAGREE OF COURSE. maybe in retrospect it was a bad decision for IBM not to buy MS-DOS or PC-DOS, but at the time this was a great decision and the ONLY decision any respectable company would take, with regards to buying those two primitive systems/jokes. The only reason for the success of the company having them later was NOT their technical merits, but Microsoft's marketing ploys and it's stealing the innovative "Windows" concept/system from APPLE.
IBM declining purchase of Haloid Corporation (that became Xerox) ranks up near the top in lack of foresight...
I don't know how selling to MS can be a good decision for Yahoo - that is suicide. only one company has ever escaped after being engulfed by MS. Would it have been a good monetary decision for Yahoo shareholders? Maybe, but that isn't a tech issue, and the shareholders are free to go elsewhere. Look at the list of other bad decisions, and see how many of them are caused by the idiocy of the "growth by acquisition" mindset. This destroys jobs, destroys companies (sometimes both), and usually does no good, and the consumer is left with fewer choices among poorer products and services.
Eric Schmidt.... Just for being an idiot. His companies [past and present] buys other companies only to drop their products. Look at Google recently. Dropped over 10 products - some were from purchases.
There is so much wrong with that simplistic analysis it's difficult to know where to start. MicroSoft wasn't some unknown software company. Gates had borrowed several hundred thousand dollars from his parents to buy a used VAX, and they had figured out how to write hardware emulators on it to develop boot OS's for mini-computers at a fraction of the cost for a hardware manufacturer to develop one. Microsoft did a lot of business with Japanese manufacturers. Gates had also gone to Harvard, his parents knew people. IBM decided to deal with Microsoft because Microsoft moved in that world. Gary Kildall was a great programmer and became a multi-millionaire thru his business savvy, but he was no where near that level. And no one knew the IBM PC was going to be so successful. Everyone was testing the market, and not making much. The fact of the matter is, Joe Blow consumer didn't know anything about mainframe manufacturers. The surprising success of the IBM PC was due entirely to the IBM Selectric, which every office in the world knew about. If someone went to their boss and said they wanted to buy a DEC Rainbow, hell, the boss wouldn't know anything about DEC. But if he goes to the boss and says "I'd like to add an IBM PC to the 20 IBM Selectrics we're ordering", that's almost a slam dunk. And everyone talks about how IBM should have grabbed the PC market. Well, what happened to all the other companies, like Compaq, who did go after that market? IBM had like 60,000 employees in the 80's, Compaq during it's heyday had a few thousand. Right now IBM makes a mint selling mainframes, if it had gone after the PC market it would probably belong to a Chinese company now.
AT&T's decision to spinoff Lucent. AT&T lost Bells Labs in this one. CEO Henry Schacht was quickly replaced by Rich McGinn
A catastrophe by IBM trying to reclaim the PC market that arguably started the process whereby it eventually gave up with the PC altogether
Why didn't IBM acquire Microsoft? They lacked lateral vision. I was working for IBM when they, very reluctantly, agreed to venture into the personal computer arena. The project was assigned its own business unit precisely because IBM had no real faith in it, fully expecting they would have to spin it off. After all, Henry Ford didn't make his fortune marketing a flying car, right? With no serious R&D appropriated, only off-the-shelf parts and 3rd-party software were allowed. Acquiring Microsoft was a ludicrous notion. Locked into their vertical "mainframe" mentality, no one at the helm envisioned that this could ever develop into a serious industry that, as it turned out, actually relegated the mainframe to a mere supporting role.
I agree that slide shows are passe and should be replaced by a video, PowerPoint, or PDF as Bob B recommends.
Apotheker came from SAP and it appears he is trying to turn HP into another SAP, not that SAP is anything to aspire to.
There should be an entire section devoted to Novell's all-time worst tech industry executive decisions!
You forgot about one of the worst mergers of all time. The year before the merger Sperry had revenue of $5.2 Billion and Burroughs had revenue of $4.8 Billion. The year after the merger their combined revenue was only $4.2 Billion. That's a bad merger when you lose 58% of your revenue in the first 12 months!
Particularly since the law allows them to take their stock options at the highest price available during their tenure (in these cases, usually day one). You certainly don't expect them to have sacrificed anything, do you?
started closer to the time of the invention of such hall-of-fame tech marvels as the 'sharp stick', the 'wheel', and the 'inclined plane'; the operative word in this article's title is 'industry'. The tech 'industry' (as we know it) kind of DID begin around the time you suggest, especially the consumer end of it. Prior to that time, a 'high-tech gadget' was something like a Minox camera or a Texas Instruments (or fledgeling HP) 'scientific' calculator. In even earlier times, tech innovations such as the sextant, the guilliotine, the catapult et al were not indicative of a 'tech industry' such as exists today. Technology: as old as imagination; 'tech industry' (as in, "Mom, I want to pursue a career in hi-tech!") might predate 1980, but not by much, historically speaking. I'd call Archimedes' workshop/lab a 'high-tech facility' of its day, but I'd not infer that it was part of a tech 'industry'....
It reads like you're pitching a TV mini-series ("Tonight, Steve Jobs gets caught in a deadly game of cat and mouse....."). Please elaborate; your comment seems laudatory, but out of place.
I think it's funny how people point to Microsoft and say they stole the GUI from Apple. Apple lost their lawsuit against Microsoft. Part of the reason was because Apple could not prove they created the interface. They actually licensed it from Xerox. The courts also stated that the Windows interface did not violate the Xerox copyrights.
Tech isn't the only industry failed by this mentality. As my personal experiences of the tanning industry for one show. Renault and Nissan bought out GST Autoleather in Md. Then closed it to consolidate operations in Mexico. They lost a lot of talent, threw-way or trashed good equipment and moved into the middle of a drug war in Nuavo Laredo, Mexico. The Idea was to save the company but now GST and Seton are only paper companies with no one from the old companies still employed.
Another missing/incorrect piece of that story is that IBM didn't actually go to Microsoft and ask for an OS, they asked for and got a BASIC language compiler and mentioned during those discussions that they also were looking for an OS. Gates then talked to the folks with the OS and bought half interest, showed it to IBM and they liked it so he then went and bought outright. The rest as they say is history.
Both were a series of decisions (and non-decisions) culminating in failure. The PS/2 and the MicroChannel Architecture were an attempt by IBM to undo their open licensing of the x86 architecture and regain control of the PC market. As with all such attempts, it was the equivalent of closing the barn door after the stock was in the pasture, and was doomed to failure. OS/2 fell prey to the same IBM groupthink that hobbled the development of the 5150: PCs are just a fad and will never replace big iron, therefore we don't need to pay much attention to them. This same mindset helped create the business conditions that ultimately resulted in the spin-off of their PC division to Lenovo.
Ha. I don't think so. The majority of large companies still do most of their business critical processing on Mainframes.
I was working as a COBOL programmer when I began to develop PC databases and networks. My supervisor told me that I really needed to focus on the mainframe end of the business because these PCs were never going to amount to anything. I'm glad I ignored her advice. But it just shows you that IBM's lack of vision was shared by many others in the computer oriented world.
All I remember is the difficult choice between the IBMs and the IBM-compatibles. It looked like a serious effort from the user side. Your information helps explain how quickly it changed after that, when competition became more real. If they had wanted to, I guess they would have owned the market for a lot longer.
Our bandwidth usage is monitored fairly closely so I almost never watch videos at work. If they switch to videos I won't ever see another one, but then maybe that is a good thing.
This is what he knows. He doesn't know to sell manufactured goods, but BS on paper. So, he eliminates everything he doesn't understand and keeps only what his clients don't understand: the huge services contracts covering systems implementation such as SAP. Eventually, HP will become only another name for EDS.
...scan the page; it's an obnoxious slideshow. To avoid them, just stop getting "PhotoGallery at TechRepublic". Plenty-cool space photos is about the only slideshow topic I'll wade through 10-30 screens to see/read.
If they hadn't merged, the revenue drop would have been even greater. Many folks felt that they (rightfully so) should deal with the more successful. As two of the "seven" dwarfs, they were doomed either way.
...but mainframes and fridge-sized "minicomputers" were widespread, and even microprocessors were indutrialized before 1980. If we limit the discussion to tech industry "as we know it", we'll probably find that, by definition, it started in our/my/your lifetime. Putting personal perspectives aside and looking backwards in time, we can list several industries that precede modern computing and pushed the limits of technology: arms, aircraft, cars, fertilizers, light bulbs, railways, spinning machines, printing, various forms of energy production, just to mention a few.
No they don't. Our company supports 50 of the US Fortune 100 companies and very few have mainframes at the center of their computing strategy. The exception is oil companies that still use them to crunch geological data. For most companies their ERP system is their most critical system. That is usually SAP running on Windows or UNIX hosts (I don't consider most UNIX hosts to be mainframes). The second most critical application at most companies is their email system. For the vast majority of companies that is Microsoft Exchange which of course only runs on Windows servers.
That merger took place in 1986, several years after the Osborne and original IBM PC decisions. Maybe it's because most people don't know that Unisys once had about a 12 percent share of all computing revenue (hardware, software, and services). That's a larger percentage than Apple has today.
The reason they lost 58% of their revenue was because of the bad decisions made after the merger. They eliminated the competitive product lines and retained the obsolete high margin product lines. They actually thought that if they didn't innovate that their customers would continue to buy the same expensive stuff. Guess what, other companies didn't stop innovating.
Dont forget the banking sector. They use mainframes for processing. Fiserv(ITI) Uses Unisys and IBMs mostly.
I actually worked in the engineering group in Sperry during the merger. We had several products that would have increased revenue. Burroughs immediately killed those projects after the merger. One in particular would have brought in many new customers. If the merger hadn't taken place, Sperry alone would have had more revenue than the two combined.
I though that merger was much further back. I suspect anthemwebs@ may be right they would have lost revenue anyway.