Digital will kick off 1997 with a dramatic reduction to its desktop model menu.
The move, codenamed Project 30, is aimed at simplifying the buying process for corporate customers and minimising overheads. It will see the company's Venturis and Celebris PC lines reduced by over three quarters.
Currently, Digital's PC range sports over 200 different models in the US and 50 in the UK. These will be cut to around 30 of the most popular models in both regions once the rationalisation is complete.
Digital said it hopes the move will help reduce the risk of being stuck with old technology no one wants. Steve Keilen, director of product management for Digital in the US, said machine configurations will change quarter to quarter to reflect the latest CPU, memory, hard drive and chip-set updates.
"We're putting a huge emphasis on end-of-life planning and will quickly discontinue systems that are not moving," he added.
Under Project 30, which will officially begin in the first quarter of next year, the Venturis line will be reconfigured to feature models with at least a 133MHz Pentium processor. Most models will be pre-loaded with Windows 95. The higher-end Celebris line will be fitted with faster processors, including Pentium Pro, and loaded with Windows NT.
Digital will also offer custom-configured models on a build-to-order basis for large customers who meet a volume criteria.
Although there are no current plans to reduce model line-ups in other product areas, the company's workstation division could adopt a similar initiative, confirmed Keilen.
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