IBM Contradicts Reports of AS/400 Delays

Several weeks ago, two publications reported that IBM was delaying its Year 2000 AS/400 hardware and software announcements, which the reports said were scheduled for February 2000.

The reports were, in a word, false, says IBM AS/400 spokesperson Matt McMahon. "The reports said we were postponing the AS/400 announcements, but that's not true," he says. "There wasn't ever any plans to make AS/400 announcements in February."

According to McMahon, a gaffe enabled one of the publications to listen in on a teleconference between IBM and its business partners. "We were telling our business partners that despite what they may have heard, there was not going to be any AS/400 announcements in February," he says. "The publications reported we were pushing back the announcements. In the past, we have made AS/400 announcements in February, but that hasn't always been the case. We haven't even finalized AS/400 plans for 2000."

Although the reports cited Y2K concerns as the major reason IBM is not making AS/400 announcements in February, McMahon says, "Despite what you may have heard, Y2K is not an issue." And while nothing is finalized, he added that, "It looks very likely that we (IBM) will not be making AS/400 announcements until the second half of 2000."

McMahon says the market should not read anything into the fact that IBM will not be making AS/400 announcements in February--as they've done in most years--and offered a few reasons why. "We just introduced our 700 series this year and right now it's meeting our high-end customers' needs. For our smaller customers, we now have the two-way 170 series. V4R4 is also very powerful, so if a customer needs added capabilities, we're telling them to go to V4R4," says McMahon. "Plus, we're getting the feeling that our customers prefer one major announcement each year instead of two."