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  1. Technology
October 31, 1991


By CBR Staff Writer

Does Digital Equipment Corp actually believe in the products and concepts that it markets? There is a host of disconcerting evidence that many of the companies in the information processing industries have no real belief in and do not use the systems that they promote so assiduously to their customers, and DEC’s major announcement on Wednesday is a prime example. Most modern publications receive the bulk of the material that they use in electronic form these days, so much so that trying to put an announcement story together from a folder of multiple releases that have to be correlated in order to educe the full details seems a quaintly old-fashioned activity. Yet that was what everyone was reduced to doing on Wednesday in order to put together a highlights story on the string of new products from DEC. The company has its own electronic bulletin board for making its announcements available in the US – yet Wednesday’s news did not go up until 6pm New York time, 11pm London time. By midday yesterday, there was still nothing from DEC on Business Wire, the US electronic announcements distribution system. Those that have done both quickly realise that starting with the source material on screen rather than on paper greatly speeds the production process. AT&T Co is an honourable exception to the technophobic rule among publicity departments in information technology companies – all that was needed to get into the AT&T announcements distribution system was to key the phone number into an existing communications software file and there were all the announcements from AT&T and NCR Corp going back months available for retrieval. If large companies that have something new to say almost every day want to get their messages across, there is no alternative to making it easily available in electronic form – and fellahs, if a launch runs to more than four separate releases, put the thing on a 360Kb MS-DOS floppy.

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