In his keynote speech at the PC Expo show in New York on Tuesday, Compaq president Eckhard Pfeiffer claimed his company is currently selling more PCs via the Internet than its rival Dell.
?Compaq and its resellers today sell more than $6 million dollars a day over the Internet, and that is more than Dell," Pfeiffer said - even though Dell's Web activities have received far greater publicity.
Compaq?s own attempts at ecommerce have so far been hesitant, but if Pfeiffer?s data is correct, the company?s partners more than make up for that.
Also on Tuesday, Compaq announced ?enhancements? to Direct Plus, its direct sales operation. Direct Plus will now also offer Compaq desktop, server and portable offerings specifically aimed at small and medium businesses.
But the Compaq boss has not become an overnight convert to online or direct sales. ?Mail order and Internet sales together are only 10 per cent of worldwide [PC] volume?, he pointed out.
Pfeiffer said he did think Compaq?s and Dell?s business models would, over time, converge. He said Dell would increasingly have to bring in third parties to supply services and support, while Compaq would build its Web sales. ?Compaq is going to cover every channel that is out there," he said.
In his keynote, Pfeiffer also talked about the integration of the Digital and Tandem acquisitions into the company. ?What will differentiate Compaq from our competitors is our ability to innovate with industry standard solutions?, he said. ?With the acquisition of Digital ... we are expanding our vision of global, industry standards to encompass every level of computing."
By 'industry standards', a phrase that recurred throughout his speech, Pfeiffer appeared to refer mainly to Windows NT Server. Little was said, for instance, about Unix ? and then only to claim that Digital?s 64-bit Unix is ?the most Windows NT-friendly Unix on the market?.
Pfeiffer suggested that the ? proprietary - high end systems from Digital and Tandem would all migrate over time to these 'industry standards'.
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