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Current Events & Commentary
After months of customer speculation, IBM parted the curtains on May 3 to unveil its first step into the next generation of AS/400 computing. As the sheer number of announcements indicates, that step is a giant one. It includes a totally redesigned processor lineup, a new operating system version, a radically improved database management system, a fistful of new application development environments, and the kind of client/server performance customers have been demanding.
If there is one corner of the IBM midrange world where the competition between vendors is fiercest, it is the market for direct-access storage devices (DASD). One look makes it clear why this is so. During 1994, AS/400 customers worldwide will spend approximately $2 billion on DASD, more than any other product category with the exception of AS/400 systems themselves. Almost every penny will be spent among only six vendors: IBM, Decision Data, EMC, IPL, Memorex Telex and XL/Datacomp. Each of these vendors must design its products to be compatible with the AS/400 architecture, a requirement that limits their functional differences.