In a move that will help the minimaker to keep third party maintenance companies at bay, as well as winding up the pressure on IBM’s disappointing 9370 (see below) DEC France has announced a new DECservice-Systeme contract that bundles software support with hardware maintenance – at the old price for hardware maintenance alone. All machines shipped from January 1 1988 will come with one year’s free DECservice-Systeme, so that software support as well as maintenance will be free for the first year. The saving for those currently paying for both maintenance and software support will be between 15% and 25% according to the size of the machine. As well as the existing remote hardware diagnostics, users will benefit from remote diagnostics of software bugs, and an expansion of the DEC Te’le’base software support database. DEC UK said it was unaware of the announcement by its French sibling.