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JAPANESE POLICY PULLED THE PLUG ON CRAY'S BID
In regards to "Why Cray's number cruncher got crunched in Japan" (Information Processing, Nov. 2), I accept the reality that, as a matter of industrial policy, the Japanese government regularly awards "competitive" contracts to Japanese firms in order to nurture critical industries. (I accept it, I don't necessarily like it.) Where they went too far was in cloaking this policy decision in a technical competitive-bid process. In the National Institute for Fusion Research (NIFS) procurement, Cray Research Inc.'s offering won handily in virtually all categories measured.
Also, the claim that Washington is practicing the same trade management as the Japanese government is patently false. Cray Research wins because we outperform the competition. That's true in Washington, Bonn, Paris, and London. Sad that overall performance has a different value in Japan, at least in the case of NIFS.
John A. Rollwagen
Chairman and CEO
Cray Research Inc.