Compaq duly signed the death warrant this week on the Digital line of PCs and laptops and revamped many of its existing models to add the latest Intel processors.
Digital's 5100, 3010 and 3100 PC series are being killed off immediately while the 3500 and 5510 products with Pentium II models will be given three months until end of life. Instead of Digital products, Compaq will offer customers alternative models from its own Deskpro EN and EP series.
"None of the features of the Digital range have been brought into ours, other than the Ultra2000, but we have gained a very expert design team from Digital who will influence products being developed now," said David Petts, director of the PC business unit at Compaq.
From 14 September Compaq will add 450MHz Pentium II and Celeron 300MHz and 333MHz processors models, replacing all existing models in the shorter lifecycle EP series and add models to the longer lifecycle EN series.
Two weeks ago Compaq announced price rises on some desktop models, the first for some time, driven by Intel's manufacturing problems with its Pentium II 266MHz and 300MHz processors. Other vendors are expected to follow suit.
Meanwhile the laptop range will add models using Intel's new processor being announced next week. Only the well regarded Ultra2000 thin notebook is being retained from the Digital product range, being transformed into the Armada 6500 series.
The 3500 series is the new mobile offering while the 7400 series is Compaq's first magnesium case model for heavy wear and tear. The 1700 series will replace the 1500 series as entry level budget models.
Dell, IBM, Acer and Hewlett Packard have also announced new desktop models in the last two weeks based around Intel's new processor. This week Dell will reveal details of its 15-inch display notebook model running Intel's new Pentium II processor.
Compaq also announced its Solutions Adviser software for channel partners for automating product selection for up to 50 users. This provides selections from the Compaq product range for desktop, laptops, servers and networking products. If successful the software will also be given to customers.
Petts denied this would reduce the role of the reseller, claiming channel partners were already swamped with the vast array of product options to select from and would benefit from easy to use self select software tools.
He also confirmed that Compaq would not be introducing a Windows terminal variant, preferring to ride that technology wave from the server side.
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