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April 15, 1994

GLOVES OFF AS POWERPC, iAPX-86 SQUARE UP AT THE TOKYO RIGHTSIZING SHOW

By CBR Staff Writer

Last week IDG World Expo and the Japan Industrial Journal co-sponsored the RightSizing show, held at Makuhari Messe outside Tokyo. Targeted at data processing managers and staff, the show attracted 27,000 people, up from attendance at last year’s DownSizing Show which had the same target audience. The exhibitors this year included Apple Computer Inc and Compaq Computer Corp, placed strategically across from each other and variously touting the merits of the PowerPC and Pentium chips. Apple’s stand included a display of native versions of software running on the PowerPC machines, announced in Japan on March 31. Already at least 20 companies have native versions of their software available in Japanese for the PowerPC, with this doubling to 50 products within 60 days. IBM Corp, Motorola Inc and Intel Corp also had major presences. However according to the organisers, while the show appeared to be a forum for PowerPC versus Intel, data processing managers were most interested in the information from database vendors, such as Sybase Inc, Informix Software Inc, OpenIngres from the ASK Group Inc, and Uniface BV. At the concurrent forum, the keynote speech by Bob Epstein, senior vice-president and tool technology director at Sybase was the best attended. In addition, David Nagel senior vice-president of Apple and AppleSoft director, and Nobuo Mii, director of IBM, provided information new to Japanese attendees about Apple strategy in an age of technical discontinuities, and IBM PowerPC positioning and research and development efforts, respectively; in particular IBM gave a clever demonstration of one of the systems being developed at IBM laboratories involving human speech recognition with an (almost) instantaneous translation system. Concurrently with the RightSizing Show, two companies announced new models of computers based on 80486 chips. Dell announced four models in its 80486DX2-based Optiplex 4100 series (prices starting from $2,555), as well a Pentium and Peripheral Component Interconnect bus-based OmniPlex 590 model costing from $6,260. At the same time, Matsushita Electric Industrial Co added seven models to its ProNote Jet series of 80486-based notebook computers, which included a choice of screens, either a monochrome, a super-twist nematic mode screen or a thin-film transistor screen.

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