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September 9, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 11:25am


By CBR Staff Writer

PC direct marketer Micron Electronics Inc likens its industry to a war, and it is gearing up to combat rivals Dell Computer Corp and Gateway 2000 Inc. Micron, which has traditionally sold to the small business and consumer market, is eyeing the enterprise market and keeping abreast of changes in the current landscape. At an event in New York on Tuesday, chairman and chief executive Joe Daltoso was only too proud to point out that of the three recent acquisitions of server manufacturers by PC makers, Micron was the first – with its purchase of NetFrame Systems Inc back in June (CI No 3,179) – beating Gateway (ALR) and Compaq Computer Corp (Tandem) to the punch. Daltoso was also happy to point to the shift of companies like Compaq toward the direct sales model. But while Micron may have the right ideas, it needs to sell more of its products before it can compete with the industry leaders, or even guarantee its own survival in a market which it admits is seeing increased pricing pressures. Beefing up its product line for the fall, the company introduced two new desktops and a loaded notebook and announced the rollout of Windows NT across all of its product lines. On the desktop front, the ClientPro MRE includes a 200- or 233-MHz Pentium with MMX and incorporates remote LAN administration features, starting at $1,750. The ClientPro VXE, starting at $1,450, has a 166MHz Pentium with MMX and its feautures include mix-and-match memory types, as it supports both SIMMS and DIMMS at the same time. The TransPort XKE notebook, with Intel’s new mobile Pentium chip, has standard cellular connectivity and is the first notebook to bundle Dragon Systems Inc’s Naturally Speaking voice recognition software – it starts at $5,350. Micron also announced a leasing program for its desired corporate customers in conjunction with AT&T Consumer Credit. On the corporate level, Micron is attempting to establish an expanded global presence and has plans in place to establish manufacturing facilities in the Far East and possibly Europe in the next 12 months. It also plans to increase its long term visibility and brand recognition by investing more heavily in advertising. Instead of its old model of using industry trade magazines as its storefront in hopes of a quick payoff, the company says it will be placing ads in general business publications and on television by the end of the year. And to better effect its desired position as an end-to-end provider, Micron has revamped its management structure, creating three new vice-president positions to oversee specific market segments.

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