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HP cuts workstation prices

Reductions up to 17 percent is the latest move in what is turning out to be a busy month for workstations.

Hewlett-Packard (HWP) announced price cuts of up to 17 percent on its Kayak PC workstations, the latest move in what is turning out to be a competitive month for workstations.

The pricing action follows the release of new, low-priced Unix desktops from Sun Microsystems earlier this week, and anticipates a series of new PC workstations to come later in the month.

Intel is expected to release a 333-MHz Pentium II processor on January 26, to be followed by new 333-MHz workstations from Compaq and others, sources said.

HP's price cuts come across the company's entire PC workstation line and range from 7 to 17 percent. The cuts mean that the entry-level price for an HP workstation will drop to $1,920.

At the high end of the product line, HP's Kayak XW workstation with two 300-MHz Pentium II chips, 128MB of memory, and an advanced graphics subsystem is cut in price from $16,000 to $14,800, an eight percent discount.

The Kayak XU workstations, which occupy the middle rung of the HP line, will be reduced from 7 to 16 percent. A single-processor XU containing a 300-MHz Pentium II chip, 128MB of memory, and a 9.1GB hard drive has been discounted from $5,975 to $5,250.

A Kayak XU sporting a 300-MHz Pentium II, 64MB of memory, and a 4.5GB hard drive goes from $5,778 to $4,850.

At the bottom end, the Kayak XA with a 266-MHz Pentium II has been discounted from $2,463 to $2,150, a 13 percent discount, while a Kayak XA featuring a 233-MHz Pentium II and 32MB of memory will go from $2,150 to $1,920, an 11 percent discount.

While Unix remains the chief operating system for high-end workstations, PC-based workstations running Windows NT have gained considerable ground in the low-price segment of the market over the past two years.

Slightly more than 132,000 NT workstations were shipped in all of 1996, according to Dataquest, a market research firm. In the first half of 1997 alone, 133,000 were shipped. 1996 revenue came to $945 million; first-half revenue for 1997 came to $912 million.