Digital Equipment is expected to fall into line with the rest of the PC industry this week when it launches a new range of low priced NT workstations, running on its Alpha processor.
The product range, known as Miata, will be priced as low as $5,000. This is still 12 per cent more than competing Compaq workstations but, according to Richard George, Digital's workstation manager, Miata offers twice the performance of Compaq models in the same bracket.
The low margins on the new products will not be very attractive to Digital?s distributors and resellers but George expects the new workstations to sell in PC volumes. ?The personal workstation market is growing at over 200 per cent? he said ?Users of Windows 95, Windows 3.1 and Unix are all moving to Windows NT.?
A spokesperson for Metrologie, one of Digital?s main distributors in the UK, seemed resigned. ?Margins are getting thinner and thinner. Digital has to match the industry pricing to enter the game," he admitted. "We?ve been half expecting this. It is just lining itself up with everybody else?s strategy.?
For $5,000, customers get a base configuration - with a processor running at 433MHz, this model will feature 32Mbytes of memory, a 2.5Gbytes IDE hard drive, an eight-speed CD-Rom and 128-bit memory bus. It also comes with the Millennium graphics card sourced from Matrox Graphics and network support for 10BaseT/10Base2.
George claims the new stations will offer the performance of high end workstations from the likes of Sun, HP and Silicon Graphics for half the price. They will be aimed, he said, primarily at the engineering and mechanical design engineering industries.
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