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September 8, 1995

OLIVETTI TO FORM FIVE COMPANIES; ENVISION LAUNCHED

By CBR Staff Writer

Launching its new Envision line of multimedia personal computers, Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA announced that as well as a separate personal computer company – to be created by January 1 – it would turn the monolithic Olivetti into four other companies. In addition to personal computers there will be companies for office computers, telecommunications, including its cellular telecommunications venture, Omnitel Pronto-Italia, and telemedia for electronic newspaper operations. The fifth company will be Olivetti itself, which will retain control of computer services. The company confirmed Olivetti’s widely-doubted commitment to personal computers, currently 20% of total turnover, and said the division was the only one that had not yet reached financial equilibrium, asserting that it would do so next year. Olivetti is making about 800,000 personal computers annually and aims to pass the 1m mark in 1996. In order to be competitive, it said it was necessary to improve both the time-to-market and price-to-market, and indicated that the task had been accomplished with Envision, a multimedia personal computer with Windows95, designed to connect to a television set. Olivetti also announced 25 new products in a complete renewal of its personal computer line. At the start of the month, it cut prices an average 26%. The Envision costs about $1,875, and comes in a matt black case. It is said to look something like a video recorder. Olivetti says it needs to raise revenue in the personal computer division to at least $700,000 per employee, although we’re aiming for $1.0m: today’s levels are only half or even one third that, it said. The company looks to the Envision family to take its share of the European home computer market up to 10% from the present 7.5%.

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