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A Quarter Century

AIX turns 25 in IBM's centennial year

AIX turns 25 in IBM's centennial year
Illustration by John Dykes

It’s highly unlikely that you’ll attend an IBM event this year and not hear about its 100-year anniversary. The yearlong celebration has been full of great looks at significant moments in the company's history. Also significant this year was the debut of Watson on the “Jeopardy!” quiz show. What better way for IBM to demonstrate its cumulative contributions to technology than creating a talking, thinking epitome of smart computing?

But perhaps lost amid the centennial and the amazing Watson debut is another IBM achievement. While the AIX* platform is a “mere” one-quarter century old this year, this too is a milestone.

A citation from the 1983 ACM Turing Award presented to Kenneth Thompson and Dennis Ritchie, two key developers of the UNIX* OS, reads: “The genius of the UNIX system is its framework, which enables programmers to stand on the work of others.”

AIX is still a cornerstone of the UNIX family, running IBM clients’ critical business environments with elegance, manageability and high performance.

Since AIX launched Jan. 21, 1986, let’s take a moment to reflect on the rich history and significant events along with milestones in UNIX’s 42-year life span. To help, IBM Systems Magazine asked William Sandve, retired director of AIX product management, and Jay Kruemcke, former AIX offering manager and current Power Systems* software program director, about AIX’s past, present and future.

The dramatic scalability and functionality in AIX today would have been unbelievable when it was introduced. -William Sandve, Retired Director of AIX Product Management, IBM

Susan Schreitmueller is an IBM-certified senior consultant. Susan can be reached at rovrallovr@us.ibm.com.

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