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October 2, 1997updated 03 Sep 2016 6:58pm


By CBR Staff Writer

It seems the mere mention of the word Microsoft is still enough to ignite stock, and the announcement of a co-branding deal with the big M saw Viglen Technology Plc climb 28 pence to 86 pence per share, up 48% since Monday. Viglen now claims to be the third biggest direct supplier of personal computers in the UK, behind Dell Computer Corp and Gateway 2000 Inc, although the West London based company still only has a 9% share of the market. The introduction of the co-branded Viglen/Microsoft HomePro range of personal computers (CI No 3,259) sees Viglen making its first move into the indirect sales arena, prompted by industry forecasts which show the overall growth in the UK Personal Computer market beginning to slow down by a point to around 15%. Viglen CEO Bordan Tkachuk, sees the move as a natural way to boost sales and take up his factory’s excess capacity as the market begins to stumble. And any inference that Microsoft name is simply a sticker on the case meets with a frosty reception. Viglen approached Microsoft with the idea 12 months ago and the two have co-developed what they see as a unique sub-set of Viglen’s product range which will only be sold through an exclusive deal with the Dixons Stores Group (Dixons, Currys and PC World) rather than through Viglen’s existing direct channel. The aim was to create a range of high specification machines for the home user which would make the out of box experience as simple as possible, avoiding the intense disappointment of customers failing to get their new purchase up and running. The addition of input from Microsoft was also seen as a way of countering the perceived obsolescence problem whereby home users are scared to buy a machine which may be out of date by next year. People will trust Bill Gates to sell them a machine which will be capable of running his software for longer. But what’s in it for Microsoft? Well the move fits in well with its long term aim of pushing Microsoft products into a larger and larger proportion of the population. These new, reliable machines with plug and play everything and plenty of technical backup and support are aimed at those of us who might like to own a computer but who are short on technical skills and industry name recognition. Deliveries will begin within the next two weeks.

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