Major league manufacturers IBM and Compaq are expected to roll out systems through the trade bundled with a fresh iteration of Intel's video conferencing system, according to US sources.
The upgrade, Proshare 200, runs on the Windows 3.x and Windows 95 operating systems, but is backward compatible with existing Intel video conferencing systems.
Intel had promised a version more suited to the low end of the market, but the system, for a single seat, is still priced at around u1,000. Upgrades are free for existing users.
The Big Blue system is unlikely to ship until autumn but Compaq's system will arrive on the scene much sooner. Lotus will support the new version of Proshare.
The company is likely to face fierce competition from comparative upstarts in the video conferencing market using Internet protocols.
A low-cost system Cu-See-Me, which has been developed by Cornell University, is already in wide use.
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