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March 22, 1996

COMPAQ SEEN WARMING TO POWERPC HOME, SERVER BOXES

By CBR Staff Writer

Compaq Computer Corp has never said for definite that it has no plans to diversify its processor base and embrace the PowerPC, it has simply remained non-committal whenever the subject is raised of the PowerPC-based machines it has in the labs. A bromide like no immediate plans is as far as it has been prepared to go, and when the PowerPC Platform was finally settled a few weeks ago, the issue moved towards the front burner again (CI No 2,742). PC Week picked up at Hannover that Compaq is negotiating with several PowerPC-related companies to develop Macintosh clones and enterprise servers using the PowerPC which would go out under the Compaq name. The desktop machines would be aimed at the consumer market and would run Mac OS and other PowerPC operating systems – perhaps including the planned Power AmigaDOS, several sources familiar with the discussions told the paper, adding that talks were with Motorola Inc and Apple Computer Inc rather than IBM Corp. It is thought that Compaq may sign Mitac International Corp, Taipei, Taiwan, which already makes its Presarios, to build the consumer desktop machines, and that the forthcoming 200MHz PowerPC 603 or 604 processors may be its target. On the server front, the paper heard that Compaq is also in serious talks with Motorola and Compagnie des Machines Bull SA on the forthcoming – and ill-starred – PowerPC 620 for use in symmetric multiprocessing high-end servers.

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