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Dell thinks small with Windows server

The computer maker is joining the push to woo small and medium-size businesses with its latest product--a server with a Windows operating system for $1,000.

Dell has unveiled a server bundled with Microsoft's Windows operating system, targeted at small and medium-size businesses.

On Monday, the Round Rock, Texas, company said its new PowerEdge 400 SC server would come with preinstalled Windows Small Business Server 2003 software and would cost around $1,000.

Dell joins industry bigwigs Hewlett-Packard and IBM in targeting the growing small and midsize business segment. Earlier this year, Big Blue expanded its efforts to court medium-size companies with its WebSphere software and Global Services products and services, which it generally reserves for larger customers. HP, too, has unveiled a suite of hardware and services aimed at small businesses.

Small companies typically have between one and 1,000 employees, and consequently buy fewer PCs and sign up for fewer information technology services than their larger competitors. But the sheer number of smaller businesses amounts to a large market. Research firm IDC has predicted that this segment will account for 53 percent of the growth in IT spending this year.

The PowerEdge 400 SC server comes packaged with the Windows Server 2003 operating system and with Exchange Server 2003 messaging software. Dell is also offering the business server package across its line of PowerEdge SC and selected PowerEdge tower servers.