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Compaq better off, but questions remain

Things are better than they were last year, but Compaq still faces an iffy 2000, based on its flat first-quarter earnings report and ongoing practices, analysts and users said.

Officials at Compaq last week said they expect to see 10 to 12 per cent revenue growth this year. However, Compaq announced revenue grew by 1 per cent in the first quarter, compared with the same period last year.

"Compaq is still a strong vendor, but I wonder what's the next step for them," said Paul Kirk, senior vice president of MIS at United Companies Financial Corp.

Compaq isn't being aggressive enough in beating competitors on desktop and server prices, say analysts.

One bright spot in the report was that PC sales jumped 35 per cent to $US1.8 billion, though net income was flat at $US82 million.

Intel announces 700MHz mobile PC processorsIntel has announced it has begun shipping its mobile PC processors which it claims will provide desktop-class performance in a portable form.

Intel's mobile Pentium III 700MHz and Celeron 550MHz processors were launched at the recent Intel Developer Forum in Beijing.

The postage stamp-sized processors feature Intel's SpeedStep Technology so they can switch clock frequency and voltage, depending on what power source the computer is using. When a user connects to an AC outlet, the notebook automatically switches to high performance mode, but the user is unable to detect power changes, even when they are running hefty applications.

In 1000 unit quantities, the 700MHz mobile Pentium III is priced at $950. The Celeron processor costs $290 in the same quantities.

Free iMovie offered to PowerBook users

PowerBook and Power Mac G4 users can now download Apple's video editing software iMovie from the Internet for free.

Apple's iMovie, which comes pre-installed on all iMac DV and iMac Special Edition systems, has established itself as one of the most popular editing software packages since it was introduced in October. The company plans to ramp up the software in future versions.

"The idea is to make the software more readily available across the whole line of Macintosh products," said Apple's corporate affairs manager, Myrna Van Pelt.

"Apple is really the only vendor to provide a free digital editing package and it has such broad appeal."

The 19.2MB download is available at www.apple.com/imovie.


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