Hardware giant Compaq has urged enterprise resellers to embrace its latest personal digital assistants (PDAs) or risk losing business to VARs that incorporate the devices into their customers' IT spend.
The warning came as Compaq, Hewlett-Packard and Casio unveiled their hand-held offerings based on Microsoft's compact operating system (OS), Pocket PC. A successor to the Windows CE platform, it is Microsoft's latest bid to take business from Palm in the nascent PDA market (CRN, 19 April).
Neil Dagger, senior product marketing manager at Compaq's PC group, said VARs had to "think of the big picture" when selling PDAs to corporates.
"Too many resellers think of PDAs as a gadget with a low return. Bigger resellers need to understand that it's a new technology, or they risk losing business to specialist resellers who already know this," said Dagger.
Compaq is using the launch of Pocket PC to push its 'everything for the Internet' message and aims to eventually take half of the hand-held market.
"We'll be working with our channel to encourage customers to standardise on Compaq, and sell hand-helds the same way PCs are sold," added Dagger.
But not all channel partners were impressed. "I know what (PDA is) sitting on my desk, and it's not a Compaq," said one.
Last week, Compaq launched an updated version of its Aero PDA, the Aero 1550. In June it will launch the iPAQ Pocket PC, a revised model incorporating a slide-on jacket allowing users to add features such as Web access.
HP has also unveiled its Pocket PC Jornada range. The Jornada 540 series is available in two versions: 545 with 16Mb of Ram, and 548 with 32Mb. The range will be available in the UK in May. The 545 costs #369 and the 548 is priced at #439.
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