COMPUTERS: Main Event: Japan vs. IBM

Main Event: Japan vs. IBM

) Just a few years ago, IBM dominated its Japanese rivals so completely that Tokyo experts quipped, "When IBM sneezes, Japanese computer makers are blown away." No longer. Last week Fujitsu, Japan's largest computer company, unveiled what it called the highest-performance general-purpose computer in the world. The timing of the announcement stole thunder from IBM, which the next day introduced its own new generation of mainframe machines. IBM touted the new computers as its most important roll-out in 25 years.

The head-to-head battle pits IBM's reputation for reliability against the raw number-crunching power of the Fujitsu machines. Fujitsu said its largest...

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