Self-Cloning

Self-Cloning

IBM has long lost sales to low-cost competitors that make cheap PCs that work just like Big Blue's machines. The last straw came in June, when Compaq Computer Corp., a premium-priced clonemaker, came out with yet another inexpensive model. Now IBM is fighting back with its own set of budget machines, priced from about $1,100 to $2,800. They aren't the cheapest, but the company hopes their features will lure customers. Analysts predict rough times for the cloners.

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