AT&T Company (Unix)

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AT&T Company History

Website 2007 AT&T can look back at a long history and numerous innovations. Named as American Telephone & Telegraph Corporation developed the founders Alexander Graham Bell the telephone in 1875. Gardiner Hubbard and Thomas Sander financed the enterprise. They founded Bell Telephone company together in 1879. AT&T has his business fields in the complete previous company history in the communication and electronic industry. The computer business line joined later. Since they reached a monopoly, they had to open the market opposite other providers. The number of the telephone companies of 1 climbed through this to about 6,000 between 1894 and 1904. The number of the telephones rose on 3,317,000 from 285,000. 1984 became the AT&T group by the U.S Department of Justice split up. The enterprise shrank to 1/3 of his original size with that. The name Bell only still was allowed to be used by Bell Labs and AT&T International. It formed:

- AT & T Communications Division, market area for Telephone connections
- Western Electric Co., production of telephones, telecommunication equipment, new electrical products
- Bell Laboratories, research and development in the telecommunication and computer area
- AT&T information Systems, before American Bell, marketing
- AT&T International, for worldwide activities of the group outside the the USA

Different researches and developments were advanced to Bell Labs in 1969. Dennis Ritchie developed the programming language C and later Bjarne Stroustrup C++ these have a high value up to this day. Another project with Ken Thompson and Dennis Ritchie dealt with the development of one single user system which can take standalone tasks after the time sharing principle. Starting out from the multiuser operating system Multix resulted UNICS respectively UNIX which had at least a considerable technology lead in the field of the operating systems for the next 30 years. Advantage of the single user system is, that UNIX is used on usual microcomputers, PCs and on the Internet. The first UNIX version was published under the name UNIX time sharing system V1 in November 1971.
A restructuring which provided 3 separate companies took place at AT&T on September 20th, 1995.

- NCR, computer manufacturer, independent as of January 1st, 1997
- AT&T, communication and services with AT&T WorldNet® service
- Lucent Technologies, before Bell Laboratories, systems and accessories, Network Systems

Lucent Technologies proceeded independently as of end Spetember 1996 and provided the sale of public switching equipment, software for network operators and cable TV enterprises. The enterprise devision of Business Communications Systems (till now Global Business Communications Systems), the division Consumer Products for communication equipment for final consumers was taken over too.
A renewed restructuring was announced in October 2000 into 4 separate companies: AT&T Broadband, AT&T Wireless, AT&T Business and AT&T Consumer.


- Invention of the telephone
- Invention the solar battery
- Development of C (Dennis Ritchie) & C++ (Bjarne Stroustrup)
- Development of UNIX®
This list does not claim to be complete


- 1882 take-over of Western Electric Company for a improved production
- 1899 AT&T took Bell System and built up the telephone network
- 1913 for the first time are Transatlantic connections possible
- 1913 AT&T were obligated to open the telephone network for other companys
- 1950 development of the solar cell by Bell Labs
- 1969 development of C and UNIX
- 1974 AT&T (American Telephone and Telegraph Co.) and her daughter companies Western Electric Co. and Bell Telephone Laboratories, worldwide installation of 300 million telephones
- 1983 AT&T developer Bjarne Stroustrup develops the first version of C++. OOP (object oriented programming)
- Agreement on the common further development of the operating system "UNIX System V" with Intel Corp., Motorola Inc. and National Semiconductor, standard operating system for microprocessors created
- 1991 AT&T takes computer manufacturer NCR for 7.3 billion dollars
- 1994 AT&T takes McCaw Cellular for 11.5 billion dollars
This list does not claim to be complete


[ AT&T ][ Bell-Labs ][ Lucent ]