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October 31, 1988

ITEMS CLOSE TO THE FRONT OF THE PIPELINE

By CBR Staff Writer

One way and another, subscribers could be forgiven for thinking from last week’s front pages that we had suddenly been cut off from all our sources of news, but the fact is that while there was plenty of second line news and feature material around, it just happened to be the dreariest week for hold-the-front-page news we can remember, which is quite remarkable at this time of year, when the industry is traditionally at its busiest – but those who look for news of hot new products to liven their mornings can take heart from the roster of items that are now very close to the front of the pipeline: Intel Corp must shortly lift the last of the veils off the 80486 – certainly if Apricot Computers Plc is to have a machine out using it early next year as it promises; equally near the front of the queue is the workstation family built by DEC around the MIPS Computer Systems Inc RISC, and there’s the Personal VAX not too far behind; the IBM product pipeline is looking a little thin at the moment, but there must be a PS/2 laptop (stop yawning at the back, it’s not fair) fairly soon, although there is still no firm answer to the question of whether there will be a distinct successor to the 4381, or whether the 3090 and the 9370 will be stretched down and up to close over the 4381; Hewlett-Packard Co must have a few more Spectrum RISC architecture 3000s and 9000s on the front burner – and what about the RISC-based 1000s? – and business Unix machines based on various iterations of the Sun Microsystems Sparc should start appearing from the likes of Xerox Corp, Unisys Corp and others soon.

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