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April 6, 1989


By CBR Staff Writer

While most of the special offers from IBM described on page four today are intended primarily simply to tone up a flaccid US large systems market, there is clearly an ulterior motive in the new Memory Special Installation Offering, which supersedes the already interesting Expanded Storage Installation Offering announced only in February: EMC Corp and Cambex Corp both entered the 3090 add-on memory business in the US at the beginning of the year, and according to Hesh Wiener of Technology News of America, EMC at least has had some success in selling its upgrades by undercutting IBM; when memory is upgraded, EMC and IBM both remove part of the installed memory and replace it with a larger memory subsystem, and the old memory can be reused in reconfigured systems – and IBM would no doubt deny it, but it can also be used in new-build machines (it’s got a life of about 40 years, dammit!): the memory upgrade price cuts now made by IBM focus on the 3090-180E in a way that takes the profit out of the business for the third parties but not for IBM, because IBM is able to use the boards removed in building new 170S and 150S base machines, whereas the third parties, which of course don’t build machines from the ground up, have no use for it.

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