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HP to roll out cheaper Pentium Pro PCs

Hewlett-Packard will roll out new Pentium Pro desktops in June priced as low as half that of its current Pentium Pro systems.

Hewlett-Packard will roll out new Pentium Pro desktops in June priced as low as half that of its current Pentium Pro systems.

The new models will be part of the company's Vectra line of corporate desktops and will sport Intel's newest Pentium Pro chipset known as Natoma. The systems will help further the company's newly aggressive push on all fronts of the personal computer market.

Pentium Pro-based Vectra PCs--ranging in performance from 150 MHz to 200 MHz--are now priced in the $5,000-to-$6,000 price range. The new Vectras, however, are expected to hit the $3,000 mark in certain configurations, said one source.

"Systems right now are a bit pricey. This will help [HP] combat this trend," said a source familiar with HP's strategy, referring to the existing Vectras.

The Pentium Pro push will complement offensives on other fronts: HP is now making a foray with Microsoft into small-office PCs and continues a successful onslaught on the consumer PC market with its popular Pavilion series.

"HP will make a very aggressive push into Pentium Pro [systems]," said Richard Zwetchkenbaum, an analyst at research firm International Data Corporation.

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