IBM has often been described as having a sales-centric or a sales-oriented business culture. Traditionally, many of its executives and general managers would be chosen from its sales force. In addition, middle and top management would often be enlisted to give direct support to salesmen in the process of making sales to important customers.
Over time, the company has become increasing technical; in 2003 over 178,000 of its employees were considered part of its technical community, with 38,000 of them  working on software.
Historically, a blue suit, white shirt and dark tie was the public uniform of IBM employees in the 20th century. By the 1990s, IBM relaxed these codes, and currently the behavior and dress of IBM employees does not differ appreciably from that of their counterparts in most other large technology companies.
IBM Japan is one of the few foreign companies successful in the Japanese market.
IBM's culture has been recently influenced by the open source movement. The company invests billions of dollars in services and software based on Linux. This includes over 300 Linux kernel developers. IBM's open source involvement has not been trouble-free, however; see SCO v. IBM.
- The IBM Logo was designed by Paul Rand
- IBM invented many of the core technologies used in all forms of computing, including the first hard disk drive and the Winchester hard disk drive, the cursor (on computer screens), Dynamic RAM (DRAM), the Relational database, Thin Film recording heads, RISC architecture, the Scanning Tunneling Microscope, and the floppy disk. While the floppy disk is rapidly falling into disuse, the infamous Control Alt Delete keystroke, also invented at IBM, is still frequently used on PCs running Windows operating systems.
- The first black employee was hired in 1899 by the Computing Scale Corporation (as it was known at the time).
- IBM began hiring women to work as professional systems service staff in 1935. Thomas J. Watson Sr. wrote: "Men and women will do the same kind of work for equal pay. They will have the same treatment, the same responsibilities and the same opportunities for advancement."
- From 1933 to 1944, IBM punch card machines were installed at various German concentration camps. It has been alleged by the journalist Edwin Black that IBM president Thomas J. Watson, Sr., willingly turned a blind eye to their usage. 
- In 1944, IBM was the first corporation to support the United Negro College Fund.
- In 1953, IBM published the first US corporate mandate on equal employment opportunity, stating that the company would hire people based on their ability, "regardless of race, color or creed". Sexual orientation was not added to the nondiscrimination policy until 1984.
- Whilst IBM did not invent the personal computer, architectures cloned from its design (which relied on third-party componentry) became the industry standard, now simply called the PC, introduced August 12th 1981; Microsoft and Intel became monopoly suppliers of two of the key components of PC-compatible systems
- Taligent, a joint-venture with Apple Computer.
- Lexmark, the printer division.
- Hitachi Global Storage Technologies now provides many of the hardware storage solutions formerly provided by IBM, including IBM Harddrives & The Microdrive. IBM continues to develop storage solutions, including Tape Backup, Storage software, etc.
- ScanSoft now sell and support IBM's speech technology products under the ViaVoice brand.
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