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The Register's IT Company of the Millennium Award

Clean sweep for computing giant

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A panel of seven sages has decided that the prestigious Register IT Company of the Millennium Award go to International Business Machines (IBM). The judges, meeting in closed session in the Freemason's Arms, close to Vulture Central, unanimously agreed that IBM deserved the award because of the services it had delivered to others. "IBM had a better Windows than Windows with its OS/2 operating system," said one judge. "It selflessly allowed a small company from Seattle to grow larger through allowing OS/2 to enter the city of Desuetude. Another judge was glowing about IBM's services to the PC industry. "Although it wasn't the first company on the market by any means to have a personal computer, it could have had the whole market to itself, especially when corporate America adopted Lotus 1-2-3 as the spreadsheet of choice." However, she added, IBM kindly stepped out of the way and allowed first Compaq, and then Dell to dominate the x86 PC market, and then bought Lotus 1-2-3 when it was a minority piece of software eclipsed by Microsoft Excel. The semiconductor judge cited the performance of IBM Microelectronics as "peerless". He said that although it had own advanced fabrication plants, every bit as good as Intel's, it decided to make x86 processors using a Cyrix design and not use them in its own machines, losing a heaven-sent opportunity to compete with Chipzilla. Special mention was given to IBM's faultless inability to execute its sales strategy properly. One judge observed that for a long period of time, IBM had allowed several different internal sales forces to all compete with one another for the same corporate users. In particular, the decision to sell all of its systems through the distributor channel, then its decision to sell all of its systems direct, then to sell all of its systems through the distributor channel and then to sell all of its systems direct showed an inconsistency that took some beating. The judges recommended that the current CEO of IBM, Lou Gerstner, be nominated for the IT CEO of the Millennium prize, which is currently being judged. They felt that Mr Gerstner's contribution of electronic boots, which first gave rise to The Register's Bootnotes column, was a service to all humanity, and would persist well into the new Millennium. The prize, a can of London Pride (kindly donated by Compaq), will be awarded at a conference of the Glitterati on the eve of the next century. ®

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