International Business Machines Corporation is a multinational computer technology corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century; it was founded in 1888 and incorporated (as Computing Tabulating Recording Corporation (CTR)) on June 15, 1911, and listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1916.
IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware, software, infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology. With almost 330,000 employees worldwide and revenues of US $91 billion annually (figures from 2005), IBM is the largest information technology company in the world, and holds more patents than any other technology company.
Since 2001, services and consulting (IBM Global Services) revenues have been larger than those from manufacturing (Hardware). Significantly, IBM has also been steadily increasing its workforce in developing countries (notably, in IBM India) and retrenching in the US and Europe. Samuel J. Palmisano was elected CEO on January 29, 2002 after having led IBM's Global Services, and helping it to become a business with $100 billion in backlog in 2004. Palmisano replaced Louis V. Gerstner, who held the job from 1993 to 2002, taking over from John Akers, who left during a period of financial difficulty for the company.
IBM has engineers and consultants in over 170 countries and IBM Research has eight laboratories, all located in the Northern Hemisphere, with five of those locations outside of the United States. IBM employees have earned five Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science. As a chip maker IBM is among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders.
The Wikipedia entry for the term IBM can be found here.
In the video below, you will learn a bit more about the history behind IBM and how the company shook its roots to become one of the largest service and IT companies in the world.