Canaan Computer Corp has admitted that the collapse of sales that forced it to abandon end-user marketing in the US could lead to its venture capital backers forcing it into the arms of its OEM business partners. The Trumbull, Connecticut manufacturer of workstations designed to run IBM’s VM/CMS operating system will not, however, confirm or deny a Computerworld story that it is already in negotiation with Wang Laboratories Inc and Harris Corp. Last week, hit by IBM’s announcement of the still-to-be- delivered 9370 last October, Canaan made 40 of its 90 staff redundant and announced that it would target its sales effort at companies selling 3270-compatible display terminals such as Telex Corp and Lee Data Corp, and at small business and minicomputer vendors seeking to surround IBM, such as Wang and Hewlett-Packard, which in the words of Canaan marketing director Tamim Shipchandler have lost business to IBM because their systems are not compatible with IBM mainframes. Its idea is that such firms should use its processors as access nodes to IBM hosts. Canaan is believed to have sold about 10 of DCS 6000 systems since shipping began in late February and around 75 machines in total since its founding in 1981. Canaan is estimated to have raised $37m in venture capital all told, so pressure for it to sell out is likely intense.
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