If Windows XP worth wait, why buy a PC now? MICROSOFT CORP.’s (MSFT) Windows XP operating system hits stores October 25, raising high hopes for sales in the flagging personal computer industry — but also fears that no one will buy a PC ahead of the rejuvenated operating systems’ release. Some consumers might decide to wait for computers to be loaded with the new software, stifling third quarter sales. To counter those concerns, Microsoft has rolled out a “Windows XP Ready PC” program to qualify computers sold now for the upgrade later. The top computer makers, potentially facing the industry’s first year of shrinking sales, said it was a good idea. “The bottom line is we wanted to make sure nobody had an excuse for not buying a Presario between now and the October time frame, when XP will get preloaded on our systems,” said Mark Vena, COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. (CPQ) Director of Consumer Desktop Product Marketing. (Reuters) Full article at
Compaq flees PC price wars for higher ground COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. (CPQ), in a further retrenchment in the face of brutal price competition in its core personal computer market, will carry out a restructuring to expand its position in software and computer services, according to a memo sent to employees and obtained by Reuters on Monday. “Reducing structural costs is absolutely necessary in order for us to price competitively and improve profitability. Our goal is to reduce structural costs by $200 million,” the company said. A Compaq spokesman said this mean the company needs to reduce costs by $800 million per year — more than it had said it sought in April. In its first-quarter earnings report Compaq said the plan was to reduce structural costs by between $500 million and $600 million annually. (Reuters)