How At&T Plans to Reach Out and Touch Everyone

Aggressive and acquisitive, it's not just a phone company anymore

The postmodern building that houses AT&T's microelectronics division is obscured from view by the thick forests of suburban New Jersey, and to some it once seemed an apt metaphor: for much of the 1980s, the unit was really lost in the woods. It was expected to lead AT&T's charge into the computer business, but its microchips sold poorly because they were overpriced, and the company's first commercial computers -- from PCs to a midsize system -- were flops. With losses topping $3 billion, AT&T was forced to pull back from the market. Says William Warwick, president of AT&T Microelectronics: "We were...

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