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April 22, 1992


By CBR Staff Writer

With all of its efforts to establish itself in the Unix marketplace, Digital Equipment Corp has sometimes been in danger of convincing its own VMS customers that the traditional VAX lines have not been keeping up with Unix in the priceperformance race. But now it has revealed its plans for the next generation of VAXes to be built around the new Alpha RISC chip, DEC is again keen to push the advantages of staying with VAX. Accordingly it is no longer charging premium prices to the VAX Line – in the UK for instance, system prices for the VAX 4000 Model 500 have been reduced by between 14% and 21% across the range, with an unlimited open VMS user licence falling in price from #29,000 to #7,000 – a 76% reduction. MicroVAX 3100s, claims DEC, offer the best priceperformance in the business for transaction processing, set at under $8,000 per transaction using the TPS transactions per second benchmarking figures. VMS, it claims, also offers the best clustering facilities and host functionality, and has at least a measure of openness with the addition of VMS Posix compliance. In the UK, the VMS and Unix sales and marketing teams have been integrated into one, an initiative that other parts of the company are watching carefully. As for the transition to Alpha, DEC’s Chris Sarfas said the company would be shipping a huge number of Alpha machines to application developers this year, and that, with at least 1,000 applications ready and running, it would begin shipping Alpha systems to customers in 1993. Alpha as a transaction processing engine would begin to take off in 1994, he predicted, by which time 5,000 applications would be ready. But meanwhile, there will be new VAX products within every sector of the range within the next nine months, he promised.

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