An Wang, Innovator

views updated


In November 1971 An Wang (1920-1990) launched the Wang 1200, which by today's standards was an extremely primitive word processor. The Wang 1200's direct competition was IBM's MTST. In 1975, when Wang was well positioned in the word processing market, the Xerox 800 was introduced. It had a Diablo printer and was twice as fast as the Wang 1200. Wang ordered the design of a system that would offer features specifically requested by usersmost of whom were women and secretaries. The result, introduced in June 1976 at the New York Syntopican trade show, was the WCS (Wang Computer System). Its price was $30,000. People came in droves to see text editing done on a screen for the first time. The success of the WCS led to a new division of the Wang company devoted exclusively to word processors.