On June 21, 1988, IBM introduced the Application System/400 (AS/400), a new family of easy-to-use computers designed for small and intermediate-sized companies. As part of the worldwide introduction, IBM and IBM Business Partners worldwide rolled out more than 1,000 software packages in the biggest simultaneous applications announcement in computer history.
Seen here are the AS/400 B-series models (IBM 9404 and IBM 9406), which illustrate the varying sizes and configurations available in the initial offering.
The AS/400 quickly became one of the world’s most popular business computing systems. By 1997, IBM had shipped nearly a half-million AS/400s. The 400,000th AS/400 was presented on October 9, 1996, in Rochester, Minn., to Greg LeMond, the three-time winner of the Tour de France bicycle race and a small business entrepreneur.
The AS/400 family was succeeded in 2000 by the IBM eServer iSeries — high-performance, integrated business servers for mid-market companies.