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Unisys Corp is so thrilled with its new PW2 line of Personal Workstations that it is splitting infinitives as if they were atoms to get the message over. The new machines are part of its programme to aggressively expand its $1 billion-plus workstation and office automation business ($400m of which is accounted for by Personalikes). The new machines, built for Unisys by Multitech Elec-tronics of Taiwan, the company that is buying a substantial stake in Counterpoint Computers, the machines are designed to support multi-user environments, integrate into and support local area networks and take advantage of Unisys and other mainframe processors and departmental computers. They incorporate zero-wait-state 16MHz and 20MHz processors, fast disks and high-speed memory. A key feature of the new machines is that they run BTOS, the Unisys version of Convergent Tech nologies’ proprietary CTOS operating system as well as MS-DOS, Xenix and OS/2. BTOS provides sophisticated multi-user, multi tasking capabilities to a higher level than even OS/2 and can access IBM’s SNA and the full range of industry standard networks. We have not targeted the huge IBM-clone market of home and individual users, the company says. Despite a more restricted market, we are, according to industry sources, the fifth largest PC supplier in the world. We intend to steadily increase (whoops, there goes another one) our share, particularly by continuing to enlarge a strong network of independent distributors. There are three levels to the PW2 family. At the bottom, the Series 300, based on the 80286 processor, is designed as a low cost, low-end system replacing the Unisys PC/HT from Mitsubishi. The Series 500, also based on the 80286 chip, represents an enhanced version of the Unisys PC/microIT and is aimed at both single users and at entry-level multi-user environments. And top of the line is the Series 800, based on a 20MHz 80386. The company has also enhanced its Usernet local area network: Usernet2 adds compatibility with IEEE 802.5 standard Token Ring, and now supports 12 different network types. The Unisys Personal Workstation2 Series 500 and Series 800/16 will be available in the US late this month and the Series 300 and 800/20 will be available in the first quarter of 1988. Prices go from $1,305 to $8,085 – and a major user of the company’s micros, the California Department of Forestry has placed an order for Unisys Series 800 and 500 PWs.

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CBR Staff Writer

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