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Computer-industry veterans chuckled when Sony (NYSE:SNE) unveiled the Vaio, its purple personal computer, in 1996. But with PC giants including IBM, Taiwan's Acer Inc. and now Packard Bell NEC are phasing their desktops out of stores, Sony is one of just four big PC brands left standing on U.S. retailers' shelves. Story to follow. --Robert A. Guth and Evan Ramstad, Wall Street Journal