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When Ben Rosen put Eckhard Pfeiffer out of a job recently, he was at pains to insist that no restructuring at Compaq was needed. Did we believe that at the time? No. And now Compaq has taken the first step in what looks like a big restructuring plan, laying off 900 people at its Alpha factory in Salem. Factories cost a lot of money and Compaq execs said that quite big savings will be made from the exercise. At the Intel Developer Forum earlier this year, Mr Paul Otellini, a senior manager at the chip company, described microprocessor manufacturing as "a bloody business" and predicted Compaq would have trouble making the Alpha a profitable business. ®

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