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International Business Machines Corporation, abbreviated IBM and nicknamed "Big Blue," NYSE: IBM, is a multinational computer technology and consulting corporation headquartered in Armonk, New York, USA. The company is one of the few information technology companies with a continuous history dating back to the 19th century. IBM manufactures and sells computer hardware and software, and offers infrastructure services, hosting services, and consulting services in areas ranging from mainframe computers to nanotechnology.
IBM has been known through most of its recent history as the world's largest computer company; with over 388,000 employees worldwide, IBM is the largest information technology employer in the world. Despite falling behind Hewlett-Packard in total revenue since 2006, it remains the most profitable. IBM holds more patents than any other U.S. based technology company. It has engineers and consultants in over 170 countries and IBM Research has eight laboratories worldwide. IBM employees have earned three Nobel Prizes, four Turing Awards, five National Medals of Technology, and five National Medals of Science. As a chip maker, IBM has been among the Worldwide Top 20 Semiconductor Sales Leaders in past years, and in 2007 IBM ranked second in the list of largest software companies in the world.