`Open Systems' May Be Dec's `Open Sesame'

For three years now, Digital Equipment Corp. has been trying to break out of a withering sales and profit slump. The minicomputer giant seems to have tried everything--revamping its VAX minicomputers, adding new families of workstations and personal computers, and even taking on IBM in mainframes. It has reshuffled its organization several times, cut 9,000 jobs (out of 126,000), and launched dozens of new sales and service programs. Still, Wall Street expects revenues for the fiscal year ending June 30 to inch up just 5% from the $12.9 billion recorded last year. Operating profits are expected to drop 10%, to $508 million from $563 million last year. And more of the same is ahead: Analysts figure it will cost DEC $300 million to eliminate an additional 8,000 jobs.

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