Compaq is to follow Dell and start selling PCs over the Internet.
The move will take place within the next 12 months, the company's UK managing director Joe McNally revealed to PC Week.
According to McNally, the framework for Internet selling has already been set up but he believes the UK corporate market is not ready to purchase PCs in this way.
"To be honest, most of our major clients as yet wouldn't be interested.
People don't trust the technology yet, particularly in the UK. We're nowhere near the level Dell is at, but I can see it happening sometime in the next 12 months" he said.
Dell currently makes around $2 million (#1.3 million) a day selling PCs over the Internet. McNally said although customers would be able to place orders directly with Compaq via the Internet, the deals would continue to be fulfilled through the channel.
Chris Goodhue, vice president and research director for end-user computing at researcher the Gartner Group, applauded Compaq's move. "Dell has obviously been very successful. The world is changing and customers are becoming more comfortable with different methods of buying. In the future much of the procurement level will be handled electronically. The only drawback is that many dealers are using electronic ordering already and this move could cause further consternation in the channel."
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