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Technology / AI and automation


Why would it be crazy for IBM to switch horses in mid-stream and tell System/36 users that if they don’t like the AS/400, why don’t they take a look at RPG II on the next generation AIX boxes, yet sensible for it to offer California Software Products Inc’s OS/2 version of Baby 36 on PS/2s? One reason is the end of the market at which the latter is pitched, the other is the faintly unfortunate one that OS/2 will have increasingly to be seen as an IBM-owned rather than an open operating system: add that to the fact that Baby 36 is only really a solution for low-end or incoming System/36 users – where there is a very significant applications base to be picked up to lead new users into the product stream that leads to the AS/400 and it becomes a very logical decision.

But for complete success, the strategy once again depends on IBM abandoning the habits of a lifetime and very quickly coming out with a special model of the AS/400 pitched solely at System/36 users in terms of both performance and price: the brute force and ignorance method that has worked reasonably well for other manufacturers would be to integrate a top-end System/36 processor into B10 and B20 models, so that users could initially run their existing applications on that CPU under OS/400 supporting SSP as a guest – instead of under the System/36 emulation mode, while they built their native databases and converted their continuing applications to RPG/400 – and crucially, charge no more for the B10/36 and B20/36 models than it does for the existing versions – which of course would remain the right solution for low-end users coming completely new to AS/400.

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CBR Staff Writer

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