Compaq starts slowly in Web server market

Compaq took its first definitive step in the Internet solutions market with the release last week of the ProLiant line of Web servers. But electronic commerce isn't part of the company's product mix - yet.

Steve Lambley, Compaq's recently-appointed Internet solutions manager, said the release of the ProLiant Web server family reflects the evolution of client/server networks into Web-based computing models.

"The opportunities today for businesses of all sizes to grow and prosper from the Internet are substantial," Lambley said. "The ProLiant Web servers are designed to enable customers to tap into all these possibilities."

Together with the small and medium business sector, Internet technologies are a key potential growth area for Compaq, according to Lambley.

The five server bundles released this week form the basis of Compaq's strategy for the Internet market, targeting the spectrum of businesses from small and medium enterprises to large companies and Internet service providers (ISPs).

Lambley claims the ProLiant Web servers have been optimised for Internet applications with increased memory and additional hard disk drive capacity. All are bundled with Microsoft's NT Server 4.0, Internet Information Server (IIS) 4.0 and Site Server 3.0 Standard Edition software.

Lambley said Compaq Australia has chosen to preconfigure the server solutions because "customers and even resellers don't really understand Web technologies".

Compaq is scouting for specialists in the Internet arena to become Compaq Specialised Associates supplying the Web server bundles or consultancy services to customers and other resellers.

The different Web server configurations released this week are the:

· ProLiant 1200 Web server - priced at $9690; it targets small businesses and workgroups · ProLiant 850R Web server - priced at $11,140; it is a rack-mountable solution designed for high-density data centre environments in large corporations and ISPs · ProLiant 1600 Web server - priced at $13250; it is suitable for medium-sized businesses, multiple workgroups and large departments · ProLiant 3000 Web server - priced at $31,195, it is designed for high-traffic Internet user groups running business-critical applications · ProLiant 5500 Web server - priced at $38,995 - caters for large enterprises with mission-critical or high-volume Web environments All prices include tax.

Lambley also foreshadowed the introduction of additional Internet commerce solutions "shortly", but declined to elaborate further until the products are officially announced.

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