IBM announces new programs, 7 mainframes

September 12, 1991|By New York Times News Service C

IBM took a significant step yesterday toward opening its product line so that it could work more closely with its competitors, announcing seven new mainframes and more than 100 hardware add-ons and software programs.

The company also said the powerful water-cooled mainframes it announced a year ago would begin shipping next week. It said these mainframes had top speeds 15 percent faster than IBM had been projecting.

Analysts gave International Business Machines Corp. high marks for its new-found openness, which includes a version of the Unix operating system for its mainframe machines and a strategy called the Information Warehouse, which is designed to ease the process of sharing information stored in a variety of formats.

This would enable a company to link information stored in different, incompatible data bases.

IBM said the new Unix, which would initially be attractive to technical users of its machines, would be available during the second half of 1992.

Many people in the industry believe IBM is counting on strong sales of its new mainframe systems to help salvage what is becoming one of its most difficult years, with profit margins at historic lows.

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