Computers: Home Is Where the Heartbreak Is

Sales of low-cost machines are far less than anticipated

The International Summer Consumer Electronics Show in Chicago is the gaudy showcase of American high tech. By day, 100,000 industry officials throng the aisles of vast McCormick Place, surrounded by towering displays at 1,381 booths. At night, they dip shrimp into cocktail sauce at lavish corporate receptions and gossip about the competition. A year ago at the show, people were predicting that it was just a matter of time before there would be a computer in every house. But last week much of the talk...

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