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A year ago: Fresh Intel price war to hit 3Com

Great Stan means Gigabit business

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Our friends at Intel confirmed what we all knew anyway and that is they want it all, even in the Gigabit Ethernet arena. Last week Intel cut prices on some of its products but everyone we've met during the last week say that this is just a precursor of an all out war on the Gigabit Ethernet front. At the beginning of last year, Intel put the fear of cost into 3Com's leaders when it unilaterally slashed the price of Ethernet adaptors. That saw 3Com's share price slump rapidly over the next week, prompting rumours that IBM, yet again, was going to snap'm'up. When Intel releases its Gigabit Ethernet adaptor this spring, it will be priced at around the $700/$800 mark and that is going to mean fresh trouble for the Old Man of the Modem Mountain. It also, non-coincidentally, means that a small hillock of other vendors will become non-price competitive with Stan and will also feel the Intel heat. Intel did say last year that it was gonna gopher the networking market. The Register hopes that our friends at the FTC are still readers and will grasp the idea which none of the US papers yet seem to have taken up seriously, which is that Stan wants it all, and we mean all its own way too. There is another, more serious aspect to this, and that is for the channel and is everything to do with 3Com and nothing to do with Intel whatever. One ex-salesman for 3Com we met during the last two weeks said that when he worked for the company, he was told to stuff the channel, despite every protest he made. Intel, on the other hand, might be going to stuff the channel eventually but all the time gives it every impression it loves it. ®

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