“New Machine, New Strategy”

“DIGITAL’S BID FOR A COMEBACK”, David E. Sanger, The New York Times, May 14th, 1985

“One of the most important pieces of its strategy will fall into place Tuesday, when the company introduces its Microvax II, a computer that puts one of Digital’s most successful minicomputers on a chip.”

The machine is a desktop version of the VAX 780, the star of Digital’s minicomputer line. It will sell for a base price of about $20,000 – less than a fifth of the price of its older cousin. […] The Microvax II will extend the VAX line in the opposite direction, toward desktop users rather than mainframes. […] The new machine’s biggest selling point is that it runs hundreds of programs available for the larger VAX machines, winning it enthusiastic reviews from engineers and scientists, long Digital’s most loyal following.

”It’s dangerous; there are a lot of things we don’t know, […] We know that in the long run, this is the direction Digital has to go. […] We didn’t go after digital watches, hand-held calculators, home computers, […] We are committing ourselves to picking the best projects, the toughest problems. Growing any faster […] would be suicide.’– Ken Olsen

“The problem for us now is that computers are getting too easy to make. Anybody with a collection of integrated circuits and an instruction book could screw them together […] What we have decided to do is far harder: a single, integrated system.” – Ken Olsen

”People are disillusioned about PC’s right now, […] The machines are great for working alone. But the future is in making them work together.” – Ken Olsen