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May 5, 1994

PRICING POLICY MAY BE DELAYING IBM POWERPC

By CBR Staff Writer

It was intriguing that – in echoes of John Akers and his exasperation a few years back at the non-appearance of Token Ring – that in his interview with Der Spiegel, Louis Gerstner should let slip his frustration over the fact that Apple Computer Inc had got to market with PowerPC-based machines before IBM Corp, which created the chip (CI No 2,407) – so why are the IBM PowerPC personal computers so late? It can’t be technology, because IBM’s task in creating a desktop version of AIX for the machines was trivial compared with what Apple has achieved, so it would seem to be political, with arguments raging within IBM over how the thing should be priced, and what hot features should be bundled in the price – but the delay strongly suggests that there is still someone – or a group within IBM’s topmost brass that doesn’t believe in the new machines at all, and wants to ensure that they are fatally handicapped – as the mainframe people largely succeeded in doing when the AS/400 was poised to scale the heights a couple of years after its launch, and as the AS/400 people in turn have done to the RS/6000.

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