PC Briefs: Intel. Compaq, MS

PC Briefs: Intel. Compaq, MS

Intel ups mobile processor

Intel is set to roll out a faster version of its Pentium 4 processor for notebook users this week, according to a source familiar with the company's plans. In addition, the chipmaker has cut prices by as much as 27 per cent on some existing mobile chips. Intel's Mobile Pentium 4 Processor-M running at 1.8GHz will hit the market, an improvement on the existing speeds in that family of 1.7GHz and 1.6GHz. Intel will also introduce slower versions of the chip to round out the product line, the source said.

Compaq still turns profit

Compaq sustained last quarter's return to profitability, posting $US44 million in net income for the quarter to March 31, despite across-the-board revenue declines. Compaq's revenue dropped 16 per cent year-over-year to $7.7 billion. Compaq's Access unit, which includes consumer and commercial PCs, continued dragging on the company's bottom line, declining by 18 per cent. Handhelds were one bright spot in the gloomy hardware market. Unit sales of the iPaq Pocket PC grew 14 per cent over the year, while iPaq revenue grew 18 per cent. Compaq Global Services was the company's most profitable segment, posting an operating profit of $229 million on revenue of $1.9 billion.

MS revenues steady

Microsoft's fiscal third-quarter revenue climbed 13 per cent from a year ago, to $US7.25 billion, helped along by what it said were brisk sales of its recently launched Windows XP operating system. But the results fell short of what financial analysts had been expecting. Net income for the period, to March 31, was $2.74 billion, including an $847 million after-tax gain from the sale of its Expedia online travel subsidiary and an $806 million after-tax charge related to investments. Windows XP shipped on nearly 60 per cent of all new PCs sold during the quarter, marking a faster penetration rate than any of Microsoft's previous operating systems. That helped drive revenue growth of 11 per cent in its desktop platforms products.

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