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Viewing the New Product as Part of the Big Picture 167
Table 8-2. Nelson-Bell Computer Classes.

Class No.

Where Used

Class

Price ($)a

Weight(Lbs.)

0

Wallet Calculator, personal data cardb

10

0.05

1

Pocket/palm Calculator, personal database

100

0.50

2

Briefcase Notebook and laptop portable

1,000

5.00

3

Office PC and workstation

10,000

50.00

  Personal supercomputer

50,000

150.00

4

Project, group Micro, graphics super, mini

100,000

500.00

  Department minisuper, supermini

500,000

1,500.00

5

Center Mainframe

1 million

5,000.00

6

Center, region Supercomputer

10 million

50,000.00

aAs of 1990, the price of each class may extend upward to encompass the price of the next class and downward by a factor of 2 or 3.
b"Smart card" with on-board micro storing thousands of characters to a million characters.

 

. PCs: IBM-compatible PCs controlled by Intel's 80X86 architecture and Microsoft's DOS operating system.

. Workstations: Sun Microsystems, UNIX, or an evolution of MS/DOS and OS/2. By 1995, it should be possible to determine whether workstations will remain a distinct computer class or merge and become competitive with PCs

Some Closing Thoughts on Computer Classes

Only computer classes that are available on a ubiquitous basis from competitive sources will survive and thrive. All proprietary systems, though not competitive, will continue to be available to serve a declining installed base at premium prices in 2001. These suppliers will not be significant.
As noted above, the range of computer classes extends from the few-dollar card computer to the $20 million supercomputer. It is unlikely that a company can be formed to exploit the over-$50-million computer market.

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