Compaq plan gets back to PC basics

Compaq plan gets back to PC basics

At a conference focused on addressing major enterprise accounts and complex electronic-business solutions, Compaq proved that it has not forgotten its roots by unveiling an aggressive product plan for its PC business.

"The Internet and the Web are fundamentally changing the way we interact with our customers," said Mike Winkler, senior vice president and group general manager of PC products at Compaq, who spoke during the company's Innovate '99 conference in Houston. "But the client is the end-user window and remains a point of concern."

Compaq recently announced its PC Lifecycle Solutions program, a series of hardware, support, services, and tools to help IT buyers manage changes in PC platforms. The suite consists of 29 mix-and-match solutions, depending on customers' needs.

Later this year, the company will introduce its first Jupiter-class Windows CE product, called the Aero Handheld PC Pro. This "ultramobile" device is designed for light e-mail and Web access. With no hard drive, the device will sport a full-size keyboard and an 11.5in LCD, and will cost about $US1000.

Complementing the WinCE line from Compaq will be common docking and component compatibility across the entire Armada line by the end of 1999, officials said. The changes will come in the next release of each Armada family (the 7000, 1500c, 1750, and 3500).

High-mobility model

Those future Armadas will be in the form of a new thin and light "high-mobility" model - weighing a little over one kilogram with two bays - and a full-function, "professional-mobility" line - weighing less than two kilograms with three bays. The company also plans to add to its sub-$1500 range of PCs with new Celeron-based systems. Compaq is also testing its DeskPro line of corporate PCs for Linux readiness.

Compaq is also expected to expand its non-PC hardware offerings to include printers and projectors in May.

Holding the customer's hand

Compaq's PC Lifecycle Solutions program is designed to walk customers through all stages of a complex networked PC environment.

Planning: total cost of ownership (TCO) assessment and analysis; TCO Snapshot toolDeployment: PC Custom Configuration Service, PC integrationManagement: Change Control and Change NotificationTransition: OS migration services

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