IBM to launch NC division
Company's network computer strategy takes shape
Tokyo (11/11/1996) -- Nearly a year after chairman and CEO Louis Gerstner first outlined the company's plans to build a network computer, IBM will set up a new division to build and market the devices, a company official says.
The division initially will be announced internally, meaning that details of the division will be posted electronically within IBM, and in time will be announced to the public, according to the company.
"When this new division has something concrete to announce and offer to customers, then we will strike up the band," he says.
IBM's network computer strategy, kicked off at last year's Comdex trade show in Las Vegas, has started to take shape in recent months. In September, IBM launched its Network Station product, a 66-MHz PowerPC-based terminal that uses Netscape Communications Inc.'s Navigator to link to IBM's AS/400 and RS/6000 systems and PC servers over Ethernet and token ring networks.
The division will be based in Somers, N.Y., and will be headed by Bob Dies, currently general manager of IBM's AS/400 division. The choice of Dies appears to be in line with IBM's strategy to target the unit at its installed base of midrange systems. Many users of those systems are looking to upgrade RS/6000- and AS/400-attached clients with Network Stations, according to IBM officials.
Former AS/400 division vice president William Zeitler will replace Dies. Zeitler currently serves as vice president of software development for IBM in the Asia-Pacific region.
Based in Tokyo, Zeitler oversaw the regional integration of Lotus Development Corp. following IBM's $3.5 billion acquisition of the groupware vendor last year. --Rob Guth, IDG News Service, Tokyo Bureau
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