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April 5, 1988


By CBR Staff Writer

IBM says that sales of the Personal System/2 line will pass the 2m mark this month – but which models are generating the real volume? The West German market is not entirely typical, but may serve as something of a guide, and there, Chip magazine reports that the PS/2 Model 30 was the top-selling business personal computer in West Germany in March – the Model 30 is of course not a Microchannel machine, and therefore big sales of the 30 do nothing to help IBM establish the new standard. IBM accompanied it forecast of just less than 2m machines in the 12 months since the PS/2 was launched with a few pointers to the future, saying that it expects to ship OS/2’s Communications Manager and Data Base Manager as part of OS/2 Extended Edition, and that in October Presentation Manager is expected to ship as part of Standard Edition 1.1 of OS/2. All, it stresses, are important ingredients of Systems Applications Architecture. IBM and Microsoft plan to demonstrate more than 100 OS/2 applications at Comdex/Spring ’88 in Atlanta next month. Meantime the Chip magazine chart that puts the PS/2 top of the tree in March, has the Apple Macintosh II in the second spot, followed by the cheapo Commodore PC-20 MS-DOS clone. The Amstrad PC1640 is in fourth place – still attributed to Schneider, which has now cut ties with Amstrad, and the fifth rank goes to another PS/2 – not the Model 50, which has that much-criticised snail like hard disk, but the floor-standing 80286-based Model 60. The Zenith Easy PC, Apple IIGS, Compaq Deskpro 286, Commodore PC-40 and Tandon PCA occupy places six to 10. And in the US, InfoCorp has figures that seem to suggest that while IBM may be selling a lot of PS/2s into the corporate market, it is losing market share in the retail end of the business. InfoCorp’s most recent figures, for February, give IBM 21% of the retail market, against 27% in March 1987, the month before the Personal System/2 was launched. IBM’s low point was in September 1987, when InfoCorp recorded its US retail market share at 19%.

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