Are Ibm And Apple A Day Late?

For the moment, at least--it looks like a done deal and a mean game of catch-up. Three years after forging an alliance around the ultrafast PowerPC chip, IBM and Apple Computer Inc. are close to an agreement to create a single hardware "platform" around the PowerPC. From that one design, computer makers around the world could create clones that run software for either IBM or Apple personal computers--forging a universal standard that just might do what IBM and Apple separately have failed to do: shake Intel Corp.'s mighty grip on the world's personal computer business. Just the rumors of a deal sent Apple and IBM shares climbing--from Oct. 6 through Oct. 12, IBM was up 5%, to 73 1/8, while Apple jumped 10%, to 42 1/8.

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