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Dell bests Compaq in business PC sales

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Dell has topped Compaq in business sales for the first time. Last quarter saw Dell's market share climax at 29.8 per cent, surpassing Compaq's 23.6 per cent, according to ZD Computer Intelligence. This compares to the second quarter, where Compaq was hanging onto the leadership with 27.8 per cent to direct manufacturer Dell's 22.6 per cent. Texas-based Dell is the only name vendor currently showing significant growth in this area. In an IDC report, Compaq blamed losses in market share on distribution problems and difficulties with integrating Digital. Analysts say Dell's sales surge really started last year, with market share doubling over the last five quarters. Compaq, IBM and Hewlett-Packard are all lagging behind - either declining or staying flat in this area. An International Data Corporation (IDC) report also recorded Dell had by far the strongest vendor growth in Western Europe, standing at almost 90 per cent. This impressive performance outdid Compaq, which blamed distribution problems and difficulties with integrating Digital. IDC went on to record encouraging general PC sales growth of 20 per cent year-on-year during the third quarter in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. Despite his company's success, Dell CFO Tom Meredith has no intention of easing off on the competition. Meredith recently told Wall Street analysts the company planned to squeeze margins to maintain current 50 per cent growth rates. Dell customers can now also pay for their PC via the Dell credit card. Introduced in the US this Christmas season, the Dell Platinum Visa card enables customers to earn "Dell Dollars" for every purchase made. There is no payment or interest for 120 days, after that customers will pay a 9.99 per cent fixed rate.®

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