Virginia Waterbased computer leaser Meridian International Ltd owned by Inspectorate International SA – says that with 200 IBM AS/400 orders now under its belt, definite trends are beginning to emerge in the marketplace. Overall, customer reaction depends on their existing systems, explains leasing and brokerage chief, Patrice Courbey. Cautious is the word used by Courbey to describe the way in which System/36 users have approached the range, with top end, Model D customers constantly surprised by the cost involved in upgrading. In order to make real gains in performance and capacity gains, Model D users need to move to the B40, an increase in price compounded by IBM’s sliding scale for the AS/400 software, argues Courbey. Meanwhile, System/36 Model B users appear to dither between moving to a small AS/400 or upgrading to a S/36 Model D, which are in short supply. All in all, Meridian has experienced a relatively static System/36 market, postAS/400. The picture is very different among System/38 users, who appear eager to exploit the opportunities presented by the new range. At the top end, Meridian findings suggest that customers are keen to upgrade, particularly to the B60, which offers twice the power of the largest System/38. Meanwhile, users of smaller System/38 models appear to be gaining low cost upgrades, via seconduser machines. Major orders placed with Meridian since the launch of the AS/400 include BritvicCorona, the supermarket chain Safeway, and the Dutch transport company, van Gend en Loos. Meridian says it will use 1989 to consolidate its position as leading independent European supplier, and will continue to commit considerable resources to meeting the demands of its customers.