Compaq will announce networking strategy today

Personal computer giant Compaq, will today make a major foray into the networking equipment business with the unveiling of a new family of networking gear.

Compaq would not discuss details of the announcement, but a spokeswoman for the company said the product rollout represented Compaq's deepest penetration into the networking space.

Analysts have speculated the company will unveil a family of switches and routers based on the pending Gigabit Ethernet standard, capable of shuttling information across corporate networks at a rate of 1,000 megabits per second. Earlier this year, Compaq officials stated that the company was working on Gigabit Ethernet products.

Compaq's timing, however, may be slightly off. In recent weeks, several traditional network equipment providers have predicted or turned in poor financial performances for the present quarter. Several analysts have attributed the earnings slowdowns to corporate customers' confusion over major strategic purchases, such as equipment based on Gigabit Ethernet technology.

ZDNet News will bring you the complete story by close of play today.