IBM System/360 mainframe (1964)
In the early 1960s, IBM bet the company on the 360, and ended up with a product line that more than any other popularized the use of computers in business. You can't beat the IBM System/360 mainframe for longevity -- some are still running. At the 40th birthday party for the 360 in 2004, Fred Brooks, who led the machine's development, credited its success to OS/360, "the first industrial-strength, 24/7 operating system." The 360 -- and its descendant the 370, introduced in 1970 -- so dominated the mainframe market that IBM and its competitors were referred to as "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs" (Burroughs, Control Data, General Electric, Honeywell, NCR, RCA, and UNIVAC).
Republished with permission from InfoWorld. (View original version.)
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