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October 29, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Digital Equipment Corp’s president Ken Olsen was in sombre mood for his cover story interview in InformationWeek last week, in a piece preparing for the launch of upgrades to its proprietary VAX line, due today. The impression that the minicomputer is dead is nonsense, he said, explaining a drop in DEC’s share of the market from 19% in 1987 to 15% today. IBM took it away from us. When the AS/400 first came out, it had a lot of problems. But they kept tweaking it, put a lot of money into it, and now look how it’s doing. IBM has taken over DEC’s dominant position in the mini market, and now has a 20% share, according to Dataquest figures. Along with the new VAXes will come Release 5.5 of VMS, which will be Posix-compatible as of January next year, according to VMS marketing manager Richard Kittle. On the possibility of his retirement, the 65-year old Olsen said; I haven’t made any plans to retire. Choosing a successor is the kiss of death. And on the accuracy of the press he said; never believe anything you read. Anything you’ve read is wrong, and that’s a safe assumption.

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