We’re a little worried about Rod Canion, president of Compaq Computer Corp down in Houston. Canion and his cronies who founded Compaq came mostly out of Texas Instruments, and Texas has traditionally been touchingly naive about the brutalities of the computer market, and Rod Canion is showing disturbing signs that he has not entirely shaken off the infection. According to Microbytes he is giving the strong impression that he is convinced that IBM’s new 80386 machines will deviate significantly from the de facto standard set by the IBM Personal AT. At the Personal Computer Forum in Phoenix, Canion told a story about a large company that had placed an order for Compaq Deskpro 386s and was then visited by representatives of a large computer company that Canion called Big Red. According to Canion, the representatives of Big Red told the customer’s data processing manager that the firm was making a mistake in buying the Compaq machines. You’re making a bad decision, the Big Red representatives said, because Big Red is going to introduce an 80386 machine that will be better, incompatible, and make the Compaq 386 an orphan. The DP manager asked what would happen to all his ATs if that was the case. But Mr Canion, you must know by now that IBM salespeople are trained from birth not to make dark imprecations about future products to customers – and that to a man and woman, they conveniently forget every word at the end of training.
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