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IBM Denies Slipped Ship Date

Many customers will have to wait until the end of March for the new IBM Corp. (NYSE: IBM)
high-end storage systems -- more than three months after the general availability date.

Big Blue says that was its plan all along, while one financial analyst says the delay is a sign of trouble.

When IBM announced the TotalStorage DS8000 enterprise and TotalStorage DS6000 midrange systems in October, it gave December 3 as the general availability date (see IBM's New Shark Tale). But IBMs Website now says orders for the DS8000 are scheduled to ship March 30, 2005.

“According to our checks, IBM has encountered problems with its TotalStorage DS8000,” analyst Kaushik Roy of Susquehanna Financial Group
wrote today in a research note. “Such a product delay is highly unusual for IBM, especially considering the importance of the December quarter... The expectation was that it [DSS8000] would ramp in December -- the most important month for high-end storage sales."

The IBM Website apparently distinguishes "availability" from "shipping." The site still says the general availability date for the DS8000 is December 3 -- but it also states all orders worldwide will be initially scheduled to ship March 30, 2005. The site makes no mention of the DS6000.

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