After months of what observers have seen as waffling, Compaq officials now say they will move seriously into direct sales in EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa), selling both to corporate accounts and to individual consumers over the Web.
The direct sales will begin starting in the third quarter, said Kasper Rorsted, the new head of Compaq EMEA's personal computer and electronic commerce group.
Just what share of Compaq's products will be sold direct is still unclear. The company wants to address the quarter of the IT market in EMEA where products are sold directly, Rorsted said.
Compaq appears to have realised that it can no longer ignore this market segment. "There is a big shift going on in the market. If we don't change, we can die in solidarity with one another," he said. He was referring to the necessity for Compaq and its resellers to support what Compaq is calling its "customer choice model".