The Zurich laboratory unveiled the world's fastest chip this week. The chip, code named "Timeless", is based on high temperature superconductors and is capable of transferring data signals faster than the speed of light. This makes it possible for a computer based on this chip to produce answers before questions are asked.
Using this technology, the Austin laboratory has been able to produce a program product before the user requirements were known. Industry analysts found the Austin announcement humorous, citing that IBM has been writing program products without user requirements for years. Products created using the Hursley method are still expected to miss their ship dates due to the excessive length of the Fall and Spring planning cycles.
The Programming Systems Products organization is using the same technology to test program products in zero days. Said a spokesperson in Austin, "It's amazing. Just preparing to test the software thoroughly causes it to be tested. It's like the system can read your mind." Oddly enough, planning experts in System Test are reporting that regardless of the productivity gains realized by the Timeless chip, the average test duration is expected to be nine months.
There have been rumors of some odd side-effects of the Timeless chip. Some customers have been receiving products before they order them. Most customers we interviewed did admit that they were planning to order the new software when it arrived. They said that they liked the speed with which the products arrived, but they disliked IBM's new policy of billing them before they ordered anything. Said an IBM billing expert, "We knew they were going to think about ordering some software, so we thought we would think about billing them."
IBM Service has made some exciting advances in hardware and software maintenance based on these side-effects. IBM Service worldwide has begun a free preventative maintenance program in which the IBM Customer Engineers think about fixing all the problems of every customer. Said an IBM Service representative, "The program is working very well. Service calls are down 99%. The only calls we are getting now are to fix hardware and software that hasn't been invented yet."
If you are thinking of ordering computer systems which uses the Timeless chip, forget about ordered from IBM, because it is probably on its way to you right now.