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The group of mainframe computer competitors to IBM in the 1970s became known as the BUNCH: Burroughs, UNIVAC, NCR, Control Data Corporation, and Honeywell. These companies were grouped together because the market share of IBM was much higher than all of its competitors put together.[1][2]

During the 1960s, IBM and these five computer manufacturers, along with RCA and General Electric, had been known as "IBM and the Seven Dwarfs". The description of IBM's competitors changed after GE's 1970 sale of its computer business to Honeywell and RCA's 1971 sale of its computer business to Sperry, leaving only five "dwarves". Fortunately, their initials lent themselves to a new acronym, BUNCH.[3]

Where are they now?[edit]

Burroughs & UNIVAC
In September 1986, after Burroughs purchased Sperry (the parent company of UNIVAC), the name of the company was changed to Unisys.
In 1982, NCR became involved in open systems architecture, starting with the UNIX-powered TOWER 16/32, and placed more emphasis on computers smaller than mainframes. NCR was acquired by AT&T Corporation in 1991. A restructuring of AT&T in 1996 led to its re-establishment on 1 January 1997 as a separate company. In 1998 NCR sold its computer hardware manufacturing assets to Solectron and ceased to produce general purpose computer systems.
Control Data Corporation
Control Data Corporation is now Syntegra (USA), a subsidiary of British company BT Group's BT Global Services.
In 1991 Honeywell's computer division was sold to the French computer company Groupe Bull.

Other mainframe manufacturers during the 1960s and 1970s[edit]


  1. ^ Jones, Douglas (1997). "University of Iowa Department of Computer Science, 22C:18, Lecture 28, Summer 1997". Archived from the original on 21 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  2. ^ Hamm, Steve (2004-06-14). "Thomas J. Watson Jr.: Junior Achievement". Business Week. Archived from the original on 13 October 2007. Retrieved 2007-09-15. 
  3. ^ Greenwald, John; van Voorst, Bruce (1983-07-11). "The Colossus That Works". Time Magazine. Retrieved 2008-10-09.