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In an extraodinarily convoluted announcement, Stratus Computer Inc says that IBM Corp is phasing out its System/88 machines, which it buys OEM from the Marlborough, Massachusetts-based fault-tolerant systems builder. In its place will be geographic reseller agreements between Stratus and IBM sales organisations under which local IBM offices will be able to deal directly with Stratus to resell machines under the Stratus name. There are currently local agreements in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Hong Kong, and others are under negotiation on a local basis. Stratus and IBM also are developing plans to continue supporting, servicing and providing Stratus products to IBM System/88 customers and the work may end up being done by either alone or by the two together. IBM business for Stratus, which stood at $102m in 1989, had shrunk to just $8.1m in first half 1993. Separately, announcing mid-term figures (page five), Stratus said it sees 1993 earnings per share down slightly from 1992.

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