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Micron discounts business PCs

Direct vendor Micron Electronics cuts prices by up to 20 percent on its entire line of business desktop systems.

Direct vendor Micron Electronics (MUEI) said today it cut prices by up to 20 percent on its entire line of business desktop systems.

Of the more noteworthy price reductions, a ClientPro VXE with 166-MHz MMX Pentium processor, 16MB of memory, 1.2GB hard disk drive, and 15-inch monitor was priced at $1,466 and is now priced at $1,299, a reduction of 11 percent. The ClientPro systems are Micron's line of PCs for use in networked environments such as the corporate, government, and education markets.

Micron, the third largest direct vendor in the United States, is facing increasingly stiff this year competition from its other direct rivals. Gateway 2000, for example, was the fourth-largest vendor in the last quarter of 1997, registering 45 percent growth over the same quarter a year ago.

Meanwhile, Compaq, Dell, and other top manufacturers captured almost 70 percent of PC unit growth worldwide in 1997, according to Dataquest, with Compaq seizing the lion's share of that growth. Vendors such as Micron will find it harder to gain market share as these large vendors capitalize on economies of scale.

In response, Micron recently became the first direct vendor to launch a sub-$1,000 PC to help it capture that rapidly growing segment of the consumer market. Today's price cuts will help the company to stay competitive in the corporate PC market as well.

The ClientPro MRE received the biggest price cuts. A system with 233-MHz MMX Pentium processor, 32MB of memory, 2.1GB hard disk drive, and 15-inch monitor was priced at $1,934 and is now priced at $1,549, a reduction of 20 percent. The 766Xi with a 266-MHz Pentium II processor, 64MB of memory, 3.2GB hard disk drive, and 17-inch monitor is priced at $2.399, down 8 percent from its previous price.

Both the MRE and 766Xi systems offer administrators the ability to remotely start up and service PCs from a central location, a feature is offered on other Micron systems.

The company says the entire ClientPro PC line will now ship with the Windows NT 4.0 operating system.