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November 24, 1995

DEC REVAMPS MULTIA WITH PENTIUM IN AN ATTEMPT TO PICK UP CUSTOMERS USING 16-BIT APPLICATIONS

By CBR Staff Writer

As expected (CI No 2,748) Digital Equipment Corp is offering Pentium-based versions of its Alpha NT-oriented Multia MI (Multia Intel) personal computer-terminal hybrid claiming the iAPX-86 unit will drive volume sales. DEC is now looking to pick up customers that have standardised on 16-bit applications, concentrating on integration – the initial Alpha systems were designed as high-end clients for Unix users moving to NT. Multia does not easily fit into a category, and DEC admits this has confused potential customers. DEC said that it is now positioning the Multia as both an enterprise client for migrating to NT from Unix or VMS and as a system which can access mainframe, Unix and personal computer applications. Components and Peripherals UK marketing manager Malcolm Lees claims DEC has sold over 10,000 Multias in Europe, and said that he will be disappointed if it does not double that figure in the next year. Powered by a 100MHz Pentium, the Multia MI boxes comes with custom management software on top of Windows NT 3.5, including Multia Desktop service and a configuration service for managing distributed desktops. The company said it has no plans for a Unix version. The Pentium machines come with a minimum of 16Mb RAM. The Alpha versions started at 24Mb and is expandable to 128Mb and 1Gb disk. It has a Kea! VT340 terminal emulator, Netscape Navigator and Multia Application Manager. There is an optional PCI slot, floppy drive, Ethernet, SCSI II, 16-bit audio, graphics accelerator and PCMIA slots. Prices start at $3,000.

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