Servers, direct sales, and software for "dumb terminals" headlined this week's PC Expo trade show in New York, which offered a glimpse of the near-future of corporate computing.
Anticipating the June 29 release of Intel's Xeon Pentium II microprocessor, leading PC makers such as IBM and Dell previewed upcoming servers and workstations based on the 400-MHz chip. Xeon is important to Intel because it offers the company a chance to recover shrinking margins in the consumer end of its business.
On the software side, Microsoft took the wraps off Windows NT Server 4.0 Terminal Server Edition, while Citrix Systems and a host of other companies touted software intended for companies looking to centralize desktop applications on a server computer. Whether Windows-based Terminals catch on or flop like the Network Computer remains to be seen.
Meanwhile, Compaq and Hewlett-Packard described major changes in their business models. Both will experiment with direct sales in an effort to reduce inventory costs; Compaq also announced its move into consulting and the importance of its newly acquired Alpha chip.
Of course, the show floor was teeming with products. Flat-panel monitors seemed to stand out the most.
New strategic directions
HP, others try direct sales
IBM may customize low-cost PCs
Pfeiffer: Web sales, Alpha key
Compaq investing in start-ups
Compaq moves into consulting
Customization coming, Intel exec says
Samsung announces Alpha subsidiary
Xeon-based servers and workstations
Xeon, terminals for PC Expo
Undaunted Toshiba sells servers
IBM debuts cheaper workstations
PC makers target the dumb terminal
Windows NT software ships
Other new products
Flat panel screens steal show
Sony continues portable push
Compaq, HP add to lineups
New Intel design to cut costs
Notebooks to get new Zip drives
Xerox takes on HP in printers