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Amdahl is pulling the plug on its mainframe business - it is getting out of the market for System 390-type servers.

The IBM copycat is heavy-hearted about the move. CEO Yasushi Tajiri said: "This is a difficult step, given we have 30 years experience in mainframes, but it is a necessary one."

Tajiri believes customers prefer using 64-bit open Unix on servers rather than on mainframes. "The resources we would have used on mainframes will generate a higher return elsewhere," he said.

IBM dominates the mainframe business and holds 80 per cent of the $2.5 billion market. Mainframe sales accounted for 20 per cent of Amdahl's revenues, which last year were about $1.5 billion. Software and services account for 70 per cent of sales and storage products the remaining 10 per cent.

Tajiri took over the top job last month when David Wright resigned after 14 years with the company.

Amdahl is 100 per cent owned by Fujitsu. ®

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