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February 21, 1999


By CBR Staff Writer

Intergraph Corp, the workstation company now betting its future on Intel-based workstations running Windows NT, issued a press release last week intending to show how it had managed to regain some momentum following its lawsuit against Intel Corp. Citing the latest DataQuest Quarterly Workstation Market Statistics, which cover both Unix and NT workstation shipments, Intergraph said it posted a 21.3% growth in the number of workstations shipped in the Q2 to Q3 period of 1998 compared with the same period last year, while most of the other workstation vendors showed negative growth. Intergraph is claiming that Intel tried to bully it into giving up its RISC patents in return for continued access to its technology. After Intergraph filed the suit, if not before, Intel did shut Intergraph off from supply and technical information, so that just when the market started taking off, Intergraph ran out of components and fell behind on its new product design. The figures show how Intergraph managed to recover by getting an injunction against Intel in place and then got its own house back in order. But while Intergraph was struggling to get enough components, it seems as if most others were struggling with too many. The DataQuest figures, not cited by Intergraph, show only Dell Computer Corp with reasonable year- over-year shipment growth during the same Q2 to Q3 period, with 19.5% growth. IBM Corp workstation shipments grew 4.3%, Sun Microsystems Inc’s dropped by minus 0.76%, Compaq Computer Corp and Hewlett-Packard Co saw a minus 15% decline, while Silicon Graphics Inc saw a 33% plummet over the previous year’s shipments. DataQuest workstation analyst Peter Foulks believes the general decline was partly due to Intel stalling the market with a succession of product launches. Other factors also kicked in, such as Compaq’s use of the Reliance Computer chipset that fell behind Intel’s own breakneck development speed and left Compaq without competitive products for six months, and Silicon Graphics Inc’s well-publicized shift of focus from Unix to NT workstations. The figures also show how dependent the workstation market now is on Intel, with Sun the only major vendor that doesn’t ship Intel machines now. While Sun still leads Unix shipment figures, both HP at number one and Dell at number two in overall shipments are now moving some ways ahead.

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