Sony will finally fulfil its repeated promises to sell PCs in the UK with the launch of a range of machines next Thursday.
Sony refused to comment officially on the new machines in advance, saying only that the launch will be Sony's biggest since the Walkman.
However, Michael Kraftman, technical director of high street retailer Tempo, said there are likely to be about three or four models in the range.
He said Tempo would be likely to sell the whole range, which would be similar in specifications to Compaq or Hewlett-Packard PC ranges.
The company, which already produces PCs in Japan and the US, is rumoured to be pitching its European PC business headquarters in Brussels, where it already has an infrastructure. This is despite claims by Sony's German branch which last year said it would be responsible for the European push.
The new models are likely to use Intel chips. AMD's European market analyst, Rana Mainee, doubts whether the Celeron will be one of them. "I'd be interested to know if Sony has been persuaded to use Celeron," he said.
"Sony has worked with Intel on other projects, and that relationship is likely to carry through to its desktops," Mainee continued. "Other Sony products, like its television sets, are not cheap so I don't see why the PCs should be cheap either. I think it will start at the lowest Pentium II - say the 226MHz, and maybe go up to 350MHz."
If the company launches in Europe its latest US models, the PCV-E201 Vaio Micro Tower PC range, the machines will have Celeron processors.
Sony already makes set-top boxes and a large array of other consumer devices. A notebook PC Vaio, based on Intel's Celeron chip, was launched in the US last summer and the company also signed deals with Sun and Microsoft for Java and home networking technology projects.
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