Open Source and Standards       

While many people initially believed that standards and open systems could diminish an individual company's dominance of a technology, IBM has long supported both standards and open source. From the start, IBM has felt that the growth of the whole industry is more important for IBM than any economic or technology control we may relinquish.

We supported the standardization of Fortran as early as 1962. Later many believed that open source -- code given away for free -- would jeopardize all software profits. But IBM understood that open source and standards would ensure our own profitability when customers used more of our software because they could combine it with open software.  Hence, as far back as 1959, we supported SHARE, releasing the source code for the operating system of the IBM 709 computer. IBM was also the first large company to support the Apache Software Foundation, a decentralized community of developers that freely distributes its software. And we led in the formation of the Eclipse Foundation, where IBM has been the largest contributor of content as well as financial and personnel resources.


  1. 1954:  16-Digit Credit Card Numbers
  2. 1972:  DES - Data Encryption Standard
  3. 1992:  JPEG
  4. 1999:  Postfix - Secure, Scalable Replacement for Sendmail
  5. 1999:  First Computer Systems Company to Embrace Linux
  6. 2001:  Eclipse IDE - Integrated Development Environment
  7. 2001:  Jikes RVM for Java Research
  8. 2006:  Wala - Static Analysis Capabilities for Java Bytecode and Related Languages