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A Decade of Personalization (1980-1991)

Nowadays, when we think of computers, the first thing that comes to most people's minds is the personal computer. When people originally talked about computers, they usually meant mainframes and other large computers designed for business use. Fujitsu's original focus was also on these large business computers. Things changed, however, with the advent of Microsoft's Windows operating system.

Photo of FMV

In the 1980s, personal computers based on IBM's architecture became dominant as computer companies increasingly introduced IBM PC/AT compatible machines. In the 1990s, Microsoft's Windows operating system, which allowed these personal computers to perform many of the tasks that previously only large computers had been able to handle, grew to become the de facto international standard.

At Fujitsu, however, computers were still thought of in terms of mainframes for businesses and public institutions. The importance of personal computers for individual use was not recognized immediately, and consequently the company started late in pursuing their development.

Fujitsu introduced its first personal computers, including the FM-8 and the FACOM 9450 in 1981, and followed by the FM TOWNS with image processing capabilities in 1989. Although these computers had a strong following, Fujitsu lost ground to competitors because it followed an independent path and its computers were not IBM compatible.

In October 1993, Fujitsu changed direction and introduced its first IBM PC/AT- compatible computer. The release of the FMV series in 1994, pre-installed with all the necessary software, was a turning point for Fujitsu's personal computer business. With the FMV, Fujitsu aimed to become a major player in the personal computer market.

Thus, Fujitsu ventured beyond the business-use computers into the personal computer market. Strong profits from the semiconductor division at the time propelled Fujitsu to make this jump.

In the telecommunications area, Fujitsu's communications division also achieved breakthroughs during this period. In 1984, Fujitsu introduced COINS (corporate information network system) as a service to help build and support corporate networks. In the following year, Japan's telecommunications industry was deregulated, allowing businesses to build their own telecommunications networks. For companies, this offered a way to improve operational efficiency; after an initial investment into their own networks, companies could avoid expensive monthly telecommunication charges.

In 1988, Fujitsu's FETEX-150 digital switching system was used for Singapore's new commercial ISDN service.

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