Compaq has released a series of servers and workstations bundled with Internet software from Microsoft, Adobe, and others in an attempt to woo more of the small to medium-size Internet service provider market.
The deal reflects the increasing importance of small business for computer makers.
The Compaq ProLiant Web Servers are essentially the ProLiant 850R 6/200H and ProLiant 2500 servers with Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0, Compaq Laptop Battery IIS (Internet Information Server), and Site Server. ProLiant servers are generally designed for small businesses and departmental use. The 850R comes with a Pentium Pro 200-MHz microprocessor, while the 2500 comes with a Pentium Pro running at 180 or 200 MHz. Both can accommodate dual processors and start with 32MB of memory and a 1GB hard drive.
Pricing for the Web servers starts at $8,000. Unbundled, Compaq Laptop Battery Compaq Armada M700 Battery, Compaq EVO N400c Battery, Compaq EVO N410c Battery,the ProLiant 850R 6/200H starts at $3,200.
The Compaq Professional Workstation Web Series, on the other hand, consists of the Compaq Professional Workstation 5100, the low-end model in the company's workstation line, bundled with one of five software packages. Among the software included in the five bundles are Adobe's Photoshop and Illustrator, NetObjects' Fusion, and Microsoft's Visual Studio.
Small business has lately become one of the buzz words for major computer makers, including Compaq, especially with the growth of the Internet. Industry pundits and executives believe that server sales will skyrocket as small organizations move to the Net.
The server hardware-software bundles cost the same as if the customer purchased them separately, while the workstation bundles offer a 10 percent discount, said Mary Christ, product marketing director for Compaq's Internet solutions business unit. The idea behind the bundles is to ease the decision-making process.
"If you don't want to mess with it, here's the solution,"Compaq Armada M700 Battery, she said.
Still, serving this market has never been an easy task, according to Eric Lewis, an analyst at International Data Corporation. These customers are fairly cost conscious and harder to reach than large enterprise customers. As a result, profit margins tend to be lower.
Large vendors, he added, do not enjoy the same brand-name cachet in this market.
The deal in some respects also reflects the increased competition among software providers to seal OEM deals. It's noteworthy that Compaq did not announce a similar bundle with Netscape software, although Netscape has entered into similar server deals with Compaq in the past. Yesterday, Microsoft announced that 50 computer vendors have chosen to bundle Internet Explorer 4.0 on upcoming desktops.
"Competition for that channel has been fierce lately," said Abishek Gami, Internet analyst at Nesbitt Burns Securities in Chicago.
Compaq delivers a fresh look
Compaq Computer (CPQ) has updated its 15- and 17-inch CRT monitor line.
The new monitors are the Compaq P50 and the Compaq V50,Compaq Laptop Battery Compaq Armada M700 Battery, Compaq EVO N400c Battery, Compaq EVO N410c Battery, both of which are 15-inch designs, and the Compaq P70, a 17-inch monitor.
The P50 (13.67-inch viewable) offers a 0.28mm dot pitch and a maximum resolution of 1,280 by 1,024 pixels for $443. The V50 (13.77-inch viewable) value-line monitor is priced at $385.
The Compaq P70 monitor (15.68-inch viewable) is specifically designed for high-end, graphic-intensive environments,Compaq EVO N400c Battery, such as CAD/CAE, and uses a 17-inch Trinitron CRT. The P70 is designed with a 0.26 stripe pitch and supports resolutions of up to 1,600 by 1,200 pixels. It has a refresh rate of 85 Hz. Compaq will offer the Sonnetech Colorific software to further boost the color display capabilities of the Compaq P70 monitors. The price for the P70 is $949.
Compaq has designed its line with AssetControl technology to enable the monitors to deliver key information electronically for inventory management purposes. For example, with Compaq AssetControl, a Compaq Deskpro, and appropriate software, customers can retrieve a monitor's make, model, and serial number across a network, saving the time and support costs of physically checking each unit on location, the company said.
In addition, the P50, V50, and P70 monitors are Plug-and-Play compatible for easy setup and configuration with Windows 95.
Compaq will show off a new handheld device at Comdex next week that, although not ground breaking, will put the Houston manufacturer back in the mainstream of the small device market.
The C Series PC Companion will offer a 640-by-240-pixel resoluton screen and come in a slightly larger form factor than the current PC Companion. The machine will use a 75-MHz microprocessor from MIPS. When released in the first quarter of 1998, it will become Compaq's first Windows CE 2.0 device.
The specifications roughly match the current mainstream CE 2.0 products from other vendors.
The C series will come with a color or monochrome screen and be priced at $499 to $699.
As an additional feature, the new device will support Intelligent Manageability,Compaq EVO N410c Battery, the company's PC management software that comes with most of its desktops. Intelligent Manageability will allow users to synchronize the Series C with their regular computers.
"Compaq designed and developed it," said Emily Campbell,Compaq Laptop Battery Compaq Armada M700 Battery, Compaq EVO N400c Battery, Compaq EVO N410c Battery, product manager for hand held devices. Casio designed the first generation device, according to Campbell.
Handheld devices will be one of the key stories at Comdex. NEC Computer Systems is expected to roll out a CE 2.0 device in a large form factor.