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Micron directs notebook plan

The emerging PC powerhouse is preparing to enter the low-cost notebook space, as it perfects its direct sales strategy.

Micron is preparing to enter the price-sensitive notebook market as it emerges as one of top direct sellers of desktop PCs and unfolds a Dell-like marketing strategy.

Micron has become one of the top-ten desktop PC vendors in the United States, according to International Data Corporation and markets a line of competitive desktop PCs as well as high-end notebooks. A number of industry observers cite Micron as the next Dell Computer or Gateway 2000, the two largest direct marketers.

Micron has yet to offer entry-level notebooks in the so-called "value" segment. These notebooks are typically priced between $1,500 and $3,000.

"This is the next big step for them [in notebooks],"said a source familiar with the announcement. In addition to expanding its presence in the notebook market, Micron is also expected to get more aggressive in the highly lucrative server business this year, according to sources.

Currently, Micron offers the Millennia Transport line of notebooks, but these are relatively expensive and are not priced below the $3,000 mark for typical configurations, which include large active-matrix LCD displays and fast Intel mobile Pentium processors.

In related news, Compaq is preparing to remake its high-end LTE 5000 line of aging notebook PCs. Compaq is expected to bring its Armada label into this segment of the notebook market. Currently, Compaq Armada notebooks are offered as midrange and low-end notebooks.