Compaq to unveil Net appliance strategy

Compaq Computer Corp. will unveil the next stage of its Internet appliance strategy on Aug. 15, as the company continues to seek new business opportunities beyond the desktop PC.

At a launch event in New York City, Compaq executives will talk about “a new approach to Internet access and experiences that will enable customers to do what they want and need to do any time, anywhere,” according to a Compaq statement issued Wednesday.

Mike Larson, Compaq senior vice-president and general manager, consumer products group, will host the event. Also present will be Mike Winkler, Compaq senior vice-president and group general manager, commercial personal computing group, and Rick Belluzzo, Microsoft Corp. group-vice president, consumer group.

A Compaq spokesman Wednesday declined further comment on the event, but noted that the Houston-based company has been increasing its focus on non-PC appliances that provide consumers and business users with new ways to access the Web.

Compaq showed its first Internet appliance at the Comdex trade show in November of last year, a prototype device codenamed Clipper that was designed to provide consumers with a quick and low-cost way to access the Internet. Clipper hasn’t appeared yet as a commercial product.

At about the same time, the company launched the iPaq, a small form-factor desktop appliance priced at US$499 that’s designed to give business users an easy and low-cost way to access the Net. In April this year, Compaq unveiled its iPaq handheld computer, based on Microsoft Corp.’s Pocket PC design.

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