Mainframe computers, which once dominated the computer hardware and software markets, have become increasingly unpopular with users. Major mainframe manufacturers have felt this decline in user demand. In 1994 mainframe computers amounted to only about 30 percent of IBM's total computer sales, compared with 90 percent in 1984. UnisysCorporation announced in 1994 that it would entirely discontinue manufacturing its line of mainframe computers, electing to concentrate on more profitable areas of the computer market. Despite a trend where users abandon mainframe solutions, computer processing demand by business, industry, government, and private users is growing at a geometric rate. Unfortunately, the growing demand for computer services has been imperfectly sustained by smaller-scale but more user-friendly computers, especially networks of personal computers. However, evidence suggests that the decline of the mainframe computer will soon end. Based on this information, we believe that the mainframe will reemerge to prominence. However, it will do so in a transformed state--as a superserver. In its metamorphosis, the superserver will replace the general purpose processor as a multi-purpose processor which will perform a broad spectrum of functions, including functions of the legacy system, the database server, and the windows server
Azadmanesh, M.H. and Peak, Daniel A., "The Metamorphosis of the Mainframe Computer: The Superserver" (1995). AMCIS 1995 Proceedings. 176.