Hewlett-Packard Co has slashed prices on its Unix workstations by up to 37% following reductions and discounting competition from the likes of Sun Microsystems Inc, and the encroachment of Windows NT. HP says it can afford to make such drastic cuts because it has spent the last year or more consolidating its Unix workstation marketing, development and manufacturing operations in Fort Collins, Colorado and outsourcing the manufacture of some parts to third parties. We’re leaner and meaner, says product marketing manager Barry Crume. Some of HP’s NT workstation business is undergoing a similar consolidation but it will be nowhere as sweeping as the changes to its Unix operation. HP has pared the product line back to six workstations that account for 80% of Unix workstation revenue – the other 20% is from products that are being phased out. IDC says HP’s unit Unix workstation sales plummeted 20% from 134,995 in 1996 to 108,865 in 1997 and that the Unix market will decline slowly or remain essentially flat through 1998 with NT workstation sales rising 50%. HP, the number two Unix workstation supplier behind Sun expects revenue to be essentially flat but claims it is making a net profit on the business because of the economies it has made. The $10,000- to-$30,000 space is where the majority of its sales are made. It will introduce the 64-bit HP-UX 11.0 for workstations in mid- summer although the new PA-8500 PA-RISC, expected in server products this summer, won’t find its way into new workstations until early next year. HP says it will offer a mixture of board upgrades and trade-in programs for moving its customers to the next-generation Intel Merced chip. The high-end PA-8200-based J2240 workstation now costs $35,500, down 37% from $55,900 while the PA-7300LC-based B132/EG costs $7,000, 23% down on $9,000. á
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