International Business Machines
(IBM) The best known American computer manufacturer, founded by Thomas J. Watson (born 1874-02-17), known as "Big Blue" after the colour of its logo. IBM makes everything from mainframes to personal computers (PCs) and has been immensely successful in selling them, chiefly to business. It has often been said that "Nobody has ever been sacked for buying IBM".
The IBM PC in its various versions has been so successful that unqualified reference to a "PC" almost certainly means a PC from IBM, or one of the many brands of clone produced by other manufacturers to cash in on IBM's original success.
Alternative expansions of "IBM" such as Inferior But Marketable; It's Better Manually; Insidious Black Magic; It's Been Malfunctioning; Incontinent Bowel Movement, illustrate the considerable antipathy most hackers have long felt toward the "industry leader" (see fear and loathing).
Quarterly sales $15351M, profits $689M (Aug 1994).