Compaq has formed a workstation division which is setting its sights on Sun Microsystems' share of the Cad market.
The first products from Compaq's new division will be released during the last quarter of 1996 as the PC vendor prepares itself for a big push into Sun's traditional stronghold in Q1 1997.
Compaq believes its lower cost workstation solutions will make it attractive to Cad software users.
Hugh Jenkins, head of Compaq's systems group, said the vendor expected to take significant market share away from Sun, initially in the Cad and dealing-room markets. 'We will be offering the same hardware solution, but with Windows NT. It will really count in our favour and against Sun.'
Jenkins said Compaq will eventually be looking at the design and graphics end of the market which is dominated by Silicon Graphics. He admitted that Compaq will be relying heavily on its channel for the success of its workstations and dismissed rumours that co-operative marketing funds would be trimmed back from its channel partners.
Silicon Graphics desktop marketing manager Martin Baines thinks the PC vendor will need to work hard to succeed. 'If Compaq wants to play in this market it will have to adapt its whole approach to service and channel support.
'There is a lot of integration needed with workstations. It is not just about getting the technology right,' he said.
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