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Compaq to enter workstation market

Compaq Computer today announced the formation of a new division to build workstations aimed at high-end users.

Hoping to steal market share from Unix vendors, Compaq Computer today announced that it is forming a new division to build workstations aimed at high-end technical users.

The workstations will be built using off-the-shelf PC technology, including Pentium Pro microprocessors from Intel and will run Microsoft's Windows NT operating system.

Workstations from Hewlett-Packard, Sun Microsystems, and other Unix vendors use proprietary operating systems, microprocessors and peripherals.

However, Hewlett-Packard, along with IBM, Netpower and other hardware makers plan to launch their own NT-powered workstations this year.

Compaq workstation systems are expected to begin shipping in the fourth quarter, priced from $7,000 and reaching as much as $30,000.

The company is also working to port Unix-only computer-aided design, content development, and financial services software applications to Windows NT.

This marks Compaq's second attempt at cracking the workstation market. The company formed an alliance with a handful of Unix vendors several years ago in an attempt to build a Compaq-branded workstation lineup. That alliance soon dissolved without resulting in any new products.