Gartner: Dell outpaces slowing workstation market

Dell Computer Corp.'s worldwide workstation shipments in the first quarter rose 35 percent year-on-year, while the workstation market as a whole slipped 9.2 percent, according to preliminary figures released on Thursday by Gartner Dataquest Inc., a unit of Gartner Group Inc.

Of the 361,298 workstations shipped in the first quarter, 109,905 came from Dell, according to the analyst's preliminary estimates of vendor shipments, giving the company a 30.4 percent share of the market, up from 20.5 percent a year ago. Dell stole most ground from rival Hewlett-Packard Co., which saw shipments drop 35.3 percent, and market share dwindle from 21.3 percent to 15.2 percent over the year, according to Gartner Dataquest figures.

The slowdown in the U.S. economy was only partly to blame for workstation vendors' poor performance, Gartner Dataquest analysts said.

Instead, the market for workstations based on Intel Corp.'s processor architecture may now be reaching saturation, with some users substituting high-end PCs for low-end workstations, according to Pia Rieppo, Gartner Dataquest's principal analyst for workstation coverage.

A lack of price differentiation between the two product ranges, and Intel Corp.'s changes in the positioning of scalable dual-processor systems are blurring the categories, while the introduction of Windows 2000 makes it even harder to differentiate high-end PCs from uni-processor workstations, according to Gartner Dataquest.

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