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November 25, 1987

WANG AND DIGITEXT SUSPEND MARKETING OF FAST KEYBOARD PENDING MODIFICATIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

Digitext Inc, Thousand Oaks, California, and Wang Laboratories Inc, Lowell, Massachusetts, have hit problems with their joint venture on the Digitext-ST high-speed text entry keyboard and are temporarily scaling back their joint marketing efforts for the product pending the integration of an improved keyboard subassembly into the product. The companies say that in the course of moving from pre-production to production quantities in manufacturing, Digitext was pulled up short by component reliability problems in the keyboard subassembly. The company has moved quickly to develop a new keyboard subassembly using Hall Effect keys, which it hopes will offer significantly greater reliability and product life, but the process of moving over to the new keyboard subassembly will take several months. Despite the use of conventional Hall Effect keys, the new board still permits separate adjustment of the touch sensitivity of each key, a vital feature of the original board. The early production versions of the new board will be used to retrofit the ones already out with customers, and all new units manufactured will also incorporate the new subassembly. Digitext and Wang will provide existing customers with special support on an interim basis, and eventually all units will be replaced by the new model. Digitext also will continue its direct marketing to training institutions. The effect of all this makes it highly unlikely that Digitext will achieve profitable operations for its fiscal year to March 31, 1988.

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