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November 8, 1995

COMPAQ REMAINS COY ABOUT PLANS FOR FUN-AND-GAMES END OF THE BUSINESS

By CBR Staff Writer

Compaq Computer Corp has killed off Mr PC Head, a portable computer with the capability of a typical Compaq laptop, as well as a stereo, telephone and television, which was to have been cleverly disguised in a doll with purple feet, a chubby belly, big ears and flat round cap (CI No 2,539). It said the prototype, espied by a Wall Street Journal reporter on a tour around the company’s labs and then announced to an unsuspecting world, was only ever that. But Compaq is quite serious about carving out a presence in the edutainment field and has, as reported, partnered with the Fisher-Price toy manufacturing subsidiary of Mattel Inc to design educational and entertainment-oriented multimedia personal computer products for young children. One of the first products looks likely to be a computerised version of the toy company’s very successful learning centre. Taking its notion of end-to-end computing to the extreme, Compaq appears to be operating on the principle that if you can get children to use and like your products, then when they become chief operating officers they’ll go on to buy Compaq kit for the office. But should they drop out of the rat race, Compaq reckons it can still pick up some business. It has equipped a house in San Francisco with 15 personal computers and servers that operate all the household’s electronic equipment and can be used remotely. The Information Highway House is intended as a laboratory in which the company is testing new ideas and refining them for future sale.

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