For A Mainframe Software Giant, A Window Into P Cs

By acquiring dozens of rivals in the mainframe software industry, Computer Associates International Inc. has become the No.2 software maker, after Microsoft Corp. But, despite buying several software makers in the faster-growing PC market, it has never been more than an also-ran in PC software. Now, the Garden City (N. Y.) company is trying a new tack.

Computer Associates is counting on Microsoft's hot-selling Windows graphics system to make its latest thrust. With remarkable speed, it has assembled a family of 15 Windows packages. Among its new offerings is the $550 dBfast program, which is among the first Windows-compatible data-base packages. Like the company's new Textor word processing program and UpToDate personal organizer, the data-base program was acquired during the past few months from small, little-known software houses. Chairman Charles B. Wang says his goal is to build PC software sales into 25% of the company's total revenues. In 1990, such software accounted for 10% of the company's $1.3 billion in sales.

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