Q&A (2): Toshiba's Seabrook on desktop PCs

Continued from previous story.

Your pricing certainly puts you in that rank

There's a huge commonality of parts used by competing PC vendors. We're all buying at the same price so, surprise, surprise, we tend to come up with roughly the same pricing. In the advertising we're using the theme of an X-ray machine cutting through to what makes a really good PC firm. Not just the outside but a good quality channel, a range of services and a support infrastructure.

What about the systems themselves - how will they be differentiated?

There will be differentiators. We make a lot of key components: memory, screens, hard drives, CD-ROM drives. Early on you'll see some competitive advantages such as Toshiba-made DVD drives and a unique monitor with a tube that gives us a better contrast.

Do you plan to make servers?

Will we do servers? Yes. Do we already? Yes.

In Japan, there's been a proprietary minicomputer for years [and] that's been moved to the Intel architecture. We've learned things like how to implement clustering to achieve good resilience, but we don't want to run before we can walk. Looking at the list of aborted PC brands, a big reason they failed is trying to do too much at once. We eventually want to embrace a wide span from handhelds to servers. We will have servers and NetPCs here from early in 1998.