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For Sale, Cheap: Infotech Advice Online

Bits & Bytes


INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY is evolving and mutating practically by the minute, so corporations that make and use information products gladly pay $50,000 a year or more to subscribe to technical advisory services. Now, Gartner Group Inc., a Stamford (Conn.) consulting firm, is out to make technical advice accessible to perhaps tens of thousands of new individuals with an online service initially priced at just $40 a month.

Running as part of AT&T's Interchange network, Gartner's @vantage service will give customers access to selected reports analyzing new products and trends, to moderated discussion groups, and to electronic-mail services. The consulting firm plans to include more than its own market research and technical advice. It has signed Dataquest, a market-research company owned by Dun & Bradstreet, and Pathfinder Research, an outfit that tracks the semiconductor business, to make some of their reports and research available online, too. Gartner is also creating @xpo, a section of @vantage in which computer suppliers can pay to present information about new products and services in a standardized format. Eventually, Gartner officials say, computer companies will be able to pay a fee to have @vantage offer links to their database sites on the Internet's World Wide Web.EDITED BY IRA SAGER

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