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June 23, 1987

IBM CALLS CONSULTANTS IN TO LEARN THE TRUTH ABOUT PS/2 OVER TEA AND CRUMPETS

By CBR Staff Writer

IBM is apparently worried that consultants are bad-mouthing the Personal System/2. The company has begun inviting groups of influential consultants to hush-hush meetings at which Big Blue will try to polish the micro family’s tarnished image. New York’s most privileged pundits, for example, were due to sample IBM’s excellent hospitality and mediocre sandwiches yesterday. Unlike most of the high tech the dansants IBM holds to keep consultants informed about its plans and practices, the PS/2 meetings are likely to degenerate into gripe sessions… at the encouragement of IBM. It seems as if IBM’s PS/2 image problems are particularly severe among the very important users (who are the only people who can afford the world’s leading consultants, anyway). The consultants’ lack of enthusiasm for the PS/2, generously shared with clients, has apparently gotten the attention of even Armonk’s biggest enchiladas. These very enchiladas have duly called upon their consulting relations wizards – the hand-holders’ hand-holders – to make nice with corporate America’s viziers, and make haste, too. If this carom-shot public relations effort in fact works, the next target is likely to be the computer press. Unlike their far wiser and much more trusting colleagues at such great organs as the Financial Times, the hacks who work for technical magazines have given the PS/2 mixed reviews at best. Notwithstanding that these hacks’ paychecks derive far more from the advertisements of IBM’s enemies than those purchased by Big Blue itself, IBM will doubtless appeal to their enlarged sense of fairness. Despite a preponderance of evidence that the trade press is ineducable, if incorruptible, any computer maker capable of wising up consultants (who already know everything) will surely consider itself equal to the challenge of enlightening the press. – Hesh Wiener.

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