COMPUTERS: Pacific Overtures

IBM was taken aback early this year when a longtime customer, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co., bought a brand-new Amdahl 470-V-6 mainframe computer for its Springfield headquarters. The computer, developed by ex-IBM Scientist Gene Amdahl, was manufactured by Japan's Fujitsu Ltd., to which the cash-strapped designer had turned for assistance. Fujitsu now owns some 30% of the Amdahl Corp. of Sunnyvale, Calif. "The technology is ours, and the marketing know-how is ours," insists Amdahl, whose computer cost Mass Mutual $5.5 million, or $1.3 million less than its IBM counterpart, the model...

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