The IBM Corp Power Personal Systems Division people are still refusing to talk about prospective market share for their new Power Series boxes (CI No 2,700). Tony Santelli, general manager stated several times at the personal computer Expo that this is not a year for market share. So how then should success be measured? Quite […]
The IBM Corp Power Personal Systems Division people are still refusing to talk about prospective market share for their new Power Series boxes (CI No 2,700). Tony Santelli, general manager stated several times at the personal computer Expo that this is not a year for market share. So how then should success be measured? Quite simple, come back in a year’s time and see how many applications there are [for the new system]. Unfortunately, he didn’t give figures on target number of applications either. Santelli wants to attract commercial and corporate software developers; it’s applications that sell machines, after all. Initially, the super clients are being aimed at a few high-end markets; telecommunications, financial, petrochemical and the like. The press launch of the machines was dominated by a videoed testimonials from MCI Communications Corp, Bankers Trust, Yale and Esso in the UK, all singing the praises of the power the machines deliver. It sounds like niche marketing, but the very mention of the ‘n’ word, or the suggestion that IBM is abandoning the bulk of the desktop market to Intel Corp-compatibles, raises hackles.
Instead, it characterised this year’s sales as a strategic push to get machines into these key developers. Unfortunately, while it is trying to woo corporate developers, it also just cut off the supply of cheap machines it has previously been supplying to them: it’s replaced the old Power Personal developer programme with an almost identical Power Series Developer’s ToolBox Programme. The main difference is that it is open only to commercial developers; in-house corporate software developers have been shut out and will have to buy their machines at the standard commercial rate. This is particularly puzzling, given that IBM’s own documents on the personal computer environment say shrink-wrapped applications will follow the lead of custom line-of-business applications that are being written as part of corporate re-engineering efforts. For those who qualify, the programme includes support for AIX 4.1 for Clients and Windows NT Workstation 3.51 OS/2 Warp Connect and Solaris will be added. The programme is the w ay for commercial developers to join the Solaris and OS/2 beta list. Certified developers can buy a maximum of 15 customised systems of each of the Power Series machine types every year at a special developer’s price: just how special? – you have to apply to find out.