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Analysts Advise Close Watch on News

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Computer-industry analysts suggest that educators keep abreast of market news so they can anticipate new developments and the effects they might have on the systems they have bought, or plan to buy.

For example, Anne Wujcik of talmis Inc., a marketing-research firm, notes that:

Commodore will attempt to shift buyers to the Commodore 128 while continuing to market the Commodore 64 as an ideal entry machine for those just beginning to work with computers.

The newer model, which will have more memory, will run Commodore 64 software. The company will continue to support both machines. The company is also planning to market the Amiga, which is similar to the Apple Macintosh, but costs less. Atari is also planning to market a low-cost, Macintosh-like system.

Apple might launch a school-version networking system as early as this fall. Commodore has a networking system under development. Radio Shack is marketing its fourth networking system and ibm sees networks as the future of educational computing. (The company is working with Maryland to install networks of ibm machines in five schools. See Education Week, May 15, 1985.)

ibm could release by the end of this year an "ibm PC II" model, which could cause price cuts in the ibm PC and further price cuts in the ibm PCjr

Apple is working on new developments for the Apple II family of computers, including new disk drives. Management changes will give "more life" to the Apple II group.

State education officials suggest that before they purchase computers, school officials should first consider what they want the computers to do, what software programs are available to carry out those functions, and on which machines those programs will run.

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