Toshiba will exhibit notebook and desktop PCs connected to a server product that is currently sold in Japan. The company will also show off clustering technology, which is used to allow one server to take over for another if a second one fails. And Toshiba says it expects to have servers targeted at the demands of the U.S. market ready by the second quarter of 1998.
Servers are the last critical element missing from the company's product mix. Analysts have said Toshiba's lack of diversity is one of the reasons its position in the notebook market has been on a slide of late. The company's market share in the combined retail and dealer notebook channels fell from 41.5 percent of sales in September 1996 to 25 percent in September of 1997, according to Computer Intelligence. This partly results from the tendency of large companies to buy the majority of their notebooks along with large enterprise-wide deployments of new servers and desktops.
Toshiba launched a desktop effort for the corporate market earlier in the year, but so far it has yet to generate much interest. Companies tend to stick with vendors with which they have long-term relationships, according to analysts. Although Toshiba has long sold notebooks into corporate accounts, it has not been able to replace other vendors as providers of desktop PCs yet.