November 14, 1995
Web posted at: 7:20 p.m. EDT
From Correspondent Dennis Michael
LAS VEGAS, Nevada (CNN) -- The computer industry is looking at its future at the semiannual "Comdex" trade show in Las Vegas. Although technology stocks have lost some of their shine recently, companies are moving forward with new products to entice consumers to improve and upgrade the equipment they use at home and at work.
There's still plenty of time for the computer industry to make a turn around from the recent instability in technology stocks, according to IBM CEO Louis Gerstner, who gave the keynote speech for Comdex. "IBM researchers see no limits for at least a decade to the underlying technologies that drive our industry," Gerstner said.
A lot of impressive new technology is displayed at Comdex. Intel, for example, is showing the next processor chip beyond the Pentium: the Pentium Pro.
"What this allows is really advanced technology that brings new capabilities to the desktop. Basically it will allow Hollywood-quality animation, very cost effectively, on the desktop," said Dennis Carter, vice president of Intel.
The next big thing in home entertainment also may be the next big thing in computer data handling. A new high-density compact disc is intended to replace the current CD-ROM technology the way the digital video disc is set to replace VHS.
"It's going to mean you'll be able to put 15 times as much data on the same disc you have now as a CD-ROM. This will mean new applications can be developed that can be much more exciting," said Carl Yankowski, COO of Sony Electronics, U.S.
Then you may be able to see the new multimedia CDs on new "Plasmatron" monitors that are bright, clear, flicker free and thin.
"A flat screen TV with a plasma-activated liquid crystal which is only four inches deep." Yankowski said. "So you've heard about the Jetsons and those thin TVs? It's here, it's real, it's now -- we're showing it for the first time in the U.S."
It's an ongoing race to keep up with the relentless march of technology as computers become more powerful and more sophisticated. Yet market veteran IBM may be bucking that long-established pattern, having purchased Lotus and its popular Notes software, which emphasizes sharing data between systems and users.
IBM is touting the birth of something it claims is better than the personal computer: the "interpersonal" computer that relies on information networks and forces users to give up a few things, like having to upgrade their PC every year to get the next fastest processor (221K AIFF sound or 221K WAV sound).
The 200,000 attendees at Comdex in Las Vegas this week are finding only one thing in the computer industry that remains the same: the fact that things change.
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