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Hardware/software schizophrenia Date: Mon, 18 Dec 89 14:19 EST From: uunet!CS.ROCHESTER.EDU!miller (Brad Miller)

       of the company was a refrain we heard, sometimes welcomed (that it was

   Is it? That is, are they really making more money these days, or just
   controlling costs better? I heard sales of equipment were very depressed...
   also a recent management reaffirmation that they are a *hardware* company,
   which is depressing in and of itself...

I beg to differ (about its being depressing).  I think if they had
thought of themselves as a hardware company to begin with, they would
have built Ivory and the various products based on it a good three or
four years earlier, and quite plausibly saved their corporate a*s.  If
there had never been a time when Suns had a better price/performance
ratio for running Lisp, they would have had a market that might not
have been very large, but would have been steady and loyal.  As it
was, the appearance of the Sun 4 at AAAI-87 was the all-but-fatal

I can't resist adding that had they concentrated on hardware volume,
they would have attracted more third-party software vendors who
collectively could provide far more functionality than Symbolics ever
could hack up.  And it's functionality that people buy machines for.

-- Scott