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February 23, 1988

“ALL PS/2s WILL BE 80386 BY END-89” – WILLIAM LOWE

By CBR Staff Writer

By the end of 1989, all models in the Personal System/2 line will use 80386 microprocessors: IBM Entry Systems chief William Lowe has been at it again, frantically speculating on unannounced products at Ms Esther Dyson’s legendary Personal Computing Forum in Naples, Florida, only a week after the company’s unprecedented burst of glasnost in Boca Raton. Firming up what had been said about 80286 models at the bottom of the line, he said that the Models 25 and 30 would move to the Microchannel and get 80286 CPUs and there will be two major PS/2 announcements a year. Also promised are release 3.4 of PC-DOS during the current half-year, with the 32-bit version of OS/2 arriving next year. Lowe has also confirmed that the diskless version of the Model 50 already exists but is not widely available because IBM can’t make enough of the things. The developments effectively herald a price cutting blitz that will once again squeeze the weaker players out of the market: IBM is winding up the heat further by increasing the number of machines resellers must take to get maximum discount. That inevitably means that they in turn must pass some of the discount on to customers or feed boxes out onto the grey market. Also, except for the 80386, most parts are now freely available, and major companies that were backlogged last year have now caught up with demand, threatening over-capacity by the summer.

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