Compaq has begun selling refurbished PCs on the Internet, a move which could take it a step closer to direct selling.
The service, launched at the beginning of the month, is currently only available in the US but industry analysts believe it could herald a full-blown assault on the direct sales market.
Arch rivals Dell and Gateway 2000 already sell desktop systems on-line, although Compaq's venture is on a much smaller scale and offers only refurbished machines.
Dell has had the most notable success selling PCs on-line. Earlier this month, the company announced it was taking $1 million worth of orders a day selling PCs by this method alone.
The Compaq Works web site sells mostly Presario consumer desktop and notebook machines, although customers can also buy some business products such as refurbished DeskPro desktop PCs and LTE 5000 notebooks. Customers buy the items by clicking on them and entering a credit card number.
Speculation over Compaq's ambitions in the direct channel began when the company announced it would take orders direct from small and medium-sized companies, instead of them going through its usual reseller channel.
According to reports, the company attempted to buy Micron Electronics, a direct sales PC company, and Gateway 2000 earlier this year. Both deals would have allowed the number one PC manufacturer to sell direct while keeping its existing resellers happy.
Compaq UK was unavailable for comment.
Cotton seedling freezes to death as Chang'e-4 shuts down for the Moon's 14-day lunar night
Fortnite easily out-earns PUBG, Assassin's Creed Odyssey and Red Dead Redemption 2 in 2018
Meteor showers as a service will be visible for about 100 kilometres in all directions
Saturn's rings only formed in the past 100 million years, suggests analysis of Cassini space probe data
New findings contradict conventional belief that Saturn's rings were formed along with the planet about 4.5 billion years ago