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GIANT STEPS AHEAD FOR BIG BLUE

In order for IBM to reach double-digit growth again, it will have to change its view of the information industry fundamentally (''IBM: Back to double-digit growth?,'' The Corporation, June 1). Buying Lotus Development Corp. was a good move. A better move would have been to give Lotus OS/2 and support the company as an independent Microsoft Corp. competitor. Imagine a product mix comprising a robust operating system, the next-generation office suite, and Lotus Notes, all smoothly integrated!

IBM's possible next moves:
(1) Purchase Netscape Communications Corp., which has several forward-looking enterprise offerings that need marketing muscle. This would strengthen IBM's E-commerce initiative and allow it to capitalize on Netscape's portal strategy.

(2) Drive an industry task force of PC makers, including Apple Computer Inc., to develop universal operating system specifications fostering standardization and modularity. Then, any company could write new OS modules, and the market would reward the best.

(3) Launch independent companies to develop new software applications. Although it has a comprehensive software catalog, IBM must wonder why few consider it an applications leader.

Michael Avari
Garden City, N.Y.


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Updated June 11, 1998 by bwwebmaster
Copyright 1998, Bloomberg L.P.
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