Around the middle of next month, IBM Corp is expected to announce new RS/6000s that use two Power2L processors, but can be upgraded to four, a feature due to follow in the fourth quarter. Power2Ls are optimised for workstations and have good floating point performance, but it is said that users will be able to board-swap to PowerPC 601 chips if they want to use the machine for more commercial applications. The Pegasus symmetric multiprocessing machines that IBM has jointly developed with Compagnie des Machines Bull SA may also appear under any new notation, PowerMax or otherwise, especially now the launch of that technology has apparently been put back from May 24 to the second week of September. A few customer shipments could go out as early as June, but general availability is scheduled for October. The reason for this we are told is that IBM has had some trouble incorporating the symmetric multiprocessing extensions developed by Bull into the Symmetric Multiprocessing version of AIX version 4.1. That release – thought to be PowerOpen-compliant – is not expected until at least the last week of July. But independent software vendors such as Micro Focus Plc, Uniplex Ltd and all of the relational database vendors are understood to be working with a beta version of the system software to get native applications ready for Pegasus. The PowerPC Rainbows are now set for release in June.