Altos Computer Systems Inc has revealed that it is in talks with Acer Corp that could lead to the ambitious Taiwanese company acquiring the San Jose builder of Unix supermicros. A price of $8.35 a share – $93m all told – has been discussed, which compares with $5.75 in the market a week ago, although well-founded gossip had driven the price up to $7.875 immediately before the announcement. Acer tried to get into the high-end Unix workstation business with its acquisition of Counterpoint Computers Inc but little is heard from that side of the business these days. Acer’s main business is Intel iAPX-86 family personal computers and its has OEM deals with Texas Instruments and ICL, as well as a worldwide network of some 10,000 dealers. The 12-year-old Acer had worldwide turnover of $702m last year, while Altos lost money on sales of $140m in the year to June 1989: full year figures, due in a few weeks, are expected to show some growth up to around $160m, with the final quarter the first break-even quarter following manageable losses for two years. Although it has failed to get onto the fast growth track with its Intel iAPX-86 multi-user systems, which were in the past were offered with a variety of operating systems includ ing Pick, Altos has been in a relat ively strong position because it has always had substantial cash reser ves, believed to approach $40m now. It also has a parallel but declining Motorola 68000 family line, and despite its relatively small size, could well look attractive to one or two other companies. Its product line would fill a gap in AT&T Co’s emerging new line, and its customer base would be welcome both to AT&T and to one of the bigger personal computer companies ambitious to move upmarket such as Dell Computer Corp.