Five years ago: Compaq RISCs another go at workstation market

Compaq goes head-to-head with IBM and others in the workstation market.

Compaq is once again aiming to make inroads into the workstation market, with plans to rebuild its CAD channel and introduce products in the October-December quarter that put it head-to-head with Sun, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Digital and other big iron brands.

Although the Texan PC vendor has long been strong in network servers, the specialist workstation market has eluded it. However, with Intel's Pentium Pro an attractive alternative to RISC chips and Windows NT expected to carve market share, the firm clearly believes that the time is right to try again. In preparation, Compaq has inked agreements with 3D graphics experts Elsa and Intergraph Computer Systems, and has reportedly been in talks with Unix software developers over ports of applications to the x86 platform.

Hugh Jenkins, systems product manager at Compaq UK, said the workstation business would be folded into existing corporate business areas. "The way you can cut the UK workstation business is that the two segments are CAD and financial. For CAD we're almost coming full circle from the late 1980s and early 1990s where we had a very strong CAD channel; we have to rekindle some of those agreements. For the financial area, we're already there from our corporate systems business. We hope to be competing hard in the market from the first quarter of 1997. We've definitely got our CAD hat back on."

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