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Compaq wants an A in education market

Compaq announces two new computers in its Presario line to bolster its position in the education market, an area of increasing importance to top-tier PC vendors.

Compaq Computer announced two new computers in its Presario line to bolster its position in the education market, an area of increasing importance to top-tier PC vendors.

Compaq's new Presarios will feature an application called HyperStudio, one of the top multimedia authoring tools.

The HyperStudio software lets students capture images digitally, integrate Internet pages into presentations, and include other multimedia elements. This software will enable the production of multimedia projects that can be shared in the classroom or across the Internet, the company said.

"What is interesting here is that they are not just throwing retail consumer products at the education market...They're offering special leasing programs and offering exclusive agreements with software providers to embed the market with their technology," said Kevin Hause, an analyst with Dataquest.

Hause says that Apple still has a strong grip on the education market with a 58 percent market share, but that the time is right to try to drive products into the education market.

"[Compaq] is really going gung-ho for the education market...It definitely is a market with growth potential," Hause says.

The new Presario 4406 ES features an all-in-one design with the CRT monitor is integrated into the main PC unit, while the 4406 ES comes as a traditional desktop unit. The 4406 combines a 15-inch monitor with a 120-MHz Pentium processor, 16MB RAM, and 1.2GB hard drive, and is certified for Novell networks.

The 4104 ES comes with a 133-MHz Pentium processor, 16MB RAM, 1.6GB hard drive and 14-inch or optional 15-inch monitor. Other features include MPEG full-motion video and JBL speakers. Both the 4104 and 4406 models have a 6X CD-ROM drive.

Both models come with a Netelligent 10 mbps-100 mbps Ethernet controller that users can upgrade to Fast Ethernet settings. Teachers and network managers also have the ability to configure up to eight custom work spaces for classes with different curricula. Both features are targeted for use in the classroom.

Compaq has priced both models starting at $1,999 retail.

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