Teaming Up Against Big Blue

Makers of IBM clones rally behind their own computing standard

Since IBM's first personal computers reached retail stores seven years ago, the industry giant and most of its competitors have adhered to a follow-the- leader tradition. IBM's product line has set the basic standards, while the smaller companies -- at least those that were not following Apple Computer's lead -- have manufactured compatible versions offering advantages like greater speed or lower cost. The copycats, though they have snared some of Big Blue's potential sales, have actually helped sustain the company's PC system as the industry standard by expanding the market for IBM-compatible machines and encouraging software companies to write thousands of...

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