Hayes Microcomputer Products Ltd launched three new products, announced price cuts of up to 10% and enthusiastically proclaimed its feuding co-founder and his wife, currently undergoing divorce proceedings, wonderful people, all in the space of two days last week. Garry Betty, senior vice-president of the US parent, Hayes Microcomputer Products Inc based in Atlanta, Georgia, assured prospective customers that any squabbles between Dennis Hayes and his wife, Melita, concerning the future of the $135m-a-year modem manufacturer, had no bearing on the company’s operations. He said Mrs Hayes had never owned shares in the company – and never would, and declared that Hayes’ reliable track record would see it through any future problems.
Small proportion in Europe
Hayes still does only a very small proportion of its business in Europe by comparison with competitors such as Racal and CASE. It claims this is because Europe is a relatively new area for the company while its competitors have been in the market since leased line modems were the norm. It reckons the Personal Computer market has only begun to develop and British standards, regulations and approvals procedures make it more difficult to launch new products in the UK. Hayes UK, based in Stockley Park near Heathrow, launched two triple speed Smartmodem 1200’s together with a communications software package specifically designed for the UK market. The Smartmodem 1200B is aimed at the office market and home users and has V21 300bps, full duplex V22 1,200bps, V23 1,200/75bps, communication speeds and is available as an internal plug-in board for IBM Personalikes. Smartmodem 1200, V21, V22, V23, communicates at 110 and 300 bps full duplex; 1,200 bps full duplex; 1,200/75, 600/75 bps full duplex and 1,200, 600 bps half duplex respectively and is used as an external unit. The new software package is Smartcom III which comes complete with Prestel emulator, a choice of menu operation and a Simple Communications Programming Environment, Scope, which is designed to enable experienced users to create applications but can be used by staff with minimal experience. Smartcom III also features a high capacity buffer enabling text to be scanned while the system is still on-line, and printed and captured to disk simultaneously. It uses both 5.25 and 3.5 disks and will run on hard disk versions of the IBM Personal and compatibles using MS-DOS 2.0 and above with a minimum of 512Kb RAM. It is aimed at everyone from analysts and value added resellers to business executives and insurance agents. Hayes also announced price reductions in the UK of up to 10% which it hopes will improve the company’s competitive position in the market. The recommended price of Smartmodem 2400 is now UKP649, a reduction of UKP76, and the Smartcom II package is down to UKP99 from UKP140. The new products cost UKP499 for Smartmodem 1200, Smartmodem 1200B and Smartmodem 1200B combined with Smartcom III. Smartcom III is UKP149 unbundled.