NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd have both come out with new models in their office computer series. Office computers may be gradually going the way of the dinosaur in Japan, as their turf is claimed by Unix workstations – but all the domestic manufacturers are quick to stress that the office computer still has lots […]
NEC Corp and Fujitsu Ltd have both come out with new models in their office computer series. Office computers may be gradually going the way of the dinosaur in Japan, as their turf is claimed by Unix workstations – but all the domestic manufacturers are quick to stress that the office computer still has lots of life in it – particularly as there are far more business applications for the machines than for Unix workstations, which have rapidly gained currency in the technical marketplace rather than in the office. Dealers – the preferred channel for selling these machines – also prefer the familiarity and profit margins of office computers. Fujitsu’s new K6000-K1500 series now supports greatly expanded networking with other company’s machines such as IBM Japan’s PS/55, NEC’s PC-9801 and Apple Computer Inc’s Macintosh. They also support remote access to software such as 1-2-3, Excel and Wingz. Ease-of-use has been improved, with a new windowing system known as K-Windows, and use of the RDB-6000 relational database accessed via industry-standard SQL. New hardware such as semiconductor secondary storage with 65Mb and 132Mb capacity and magneto-optical disk with 128Mb capacity supplement the range, and a degree of fault-tolerance has been provided – a one-touch low-power feature and mirrored disk features. The new MC68030-based K-series fits into the new Propose system of configuration and services announced by Fujitsu earlier this year. The K-series was first announced by Fujitsu in May 1983 and a total of 486,000 machines have been sold. Fujitsu expects to sell another 25,000 over the next three years. The new models are priced from $80,000 for the baby K-1500 model to $473,500 – no wonder dealers like them. NEC’s new machines, the OP-X Models R-30, R-40 and R-50, in contrast, actually support a variant of Unix known as OP-X/V, as well as other popular software such as NetWare V3.11J. They include communications support for NEC’s ACOS mainframe series, as well as previous models of the 3100 series. Prices are from $30,000 for the R30 model and shipments start at the end of December. Dataquest Japan forecasts that while the office computer market at $4,600m is currently double the size of the workstation market, the market will decline at 7% annually over the next few years to 1996, while Unix workstation shipments will grow at 29% a year over the period. Dataquest forecasts that the Japanese market for Unix systems will grow on average at 23% by number to reach a value of $9,500m by 1996, against $3,375m in the year to last March.