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TECHNOLOGY : AST Expects to Profit From IBM Push Into Japan

Compiled by Dean Takahashi/Times staff writer

AST Research Inc. is hoping to piggyback on the coattails of International Business Machines Corp. as the computer-industry giant makes a big push into the Japanese personal computer market.

James Ashbrook, senior vice president of marketing, said that during the company’s current quarter, which ends Sunday, AST expects to book some large sales to Japanese clients. He wouldn’t identify those clients.

IBM said two weeks ago that it will challenge the dominant Japanese PC standard, the NEC Corp. 9800 series, by licensing to NEC’s competitors an operating system tailored to the Japanese market.

Ashbrook said AST could benefit from IBM’s move because its computers can run software made for both the IBM and NEC standards.

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