Digital halved the price of its Alpha microprocessors last week in an attempt to make the chips more competitive with Intel processors.
The company said systems based on Alpha chips, which now start at about #300, are nearly twice as fast as Pentium Pro systems for Windows NT.
Digital is trying to persuade users that its chips, which have previously occupied a niche, high-end market, are better value than Intel's.
In the past there have been a limited number of applications for Alpha-based systems, but Digital has brought out FX!32, a translation software package which allows the systems to run software written for Windows 95 or NT.
David Cousins, Alpha server marketing manager at Digital UK, said increased volumes on the chips had enabled the firm to bring down its manufacturing costs. 'We are now within 10 per cent of some Intel-base architecture,' he said. 'The price cuts will enable us to be more competitive in the mid range and at enterprise levels.'
The price cuts came on the same day that a US District Court jury in Brooklyn, NY, ordered the firm to pay nearly $6 million to three women who complained Digital's keyboards gave them carpal tunnel syndrome, a serious form of RSI.
The verdict is believed to be the first of its kind against a keyboard manufacturer. The jury did not find that the Digital keyboards were faulty, but that Digital had failed to warn of the dangers of RSI with high keyboard use.
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