COMPUTERS: Ford or Edsel?

William C. Norris was once fond of claiming that Control Data Corp., the company that he formed nearly 15 years ago, was destined to play Ford in the computer industry to IBM's General Motors. And indeed he put together with astonishing speed a company that by 1968 was making more money selling and leasing computers than anyone except IBM. But now the Minneapolis-based CDC looks more like a computer Edsel. Its share of the global market has dwindled to 2.7%, from 4.2% four years ago, and in the past two years it has lost more than $45 million on...

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