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Systems builders must avoid complacency, says Microsoft

Big name PC brands are ready to swoop on independents' traditional markets

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Delegates at the European integrators forum in Monte Carlo were issued with a stern warning from Microsoft that they must not miss out on NT workstations or the Internet if they want to survive. Laurent Delaporte, Microsoft OEM European marketing director, told system builders that customers were getting smarter and had higher expectations. "The last 12 months has caused a lot of uncertainty in the European market," he said. "But the Internet is changing our lives, and system builders need to recognise this and adapt." According to Delaporte, the EMEA PC market saw 16 per cent growth in this period, with 30 million new PCs shipped. He added that the consumer market was driving this strong growth. But cautioned that new players are always coming into the retail channels. Microsoft was putting a lot of effort into NT, said Delaporte - an effort being matched by the major multinational PC vendors. "Multinationals are increasingly recognising the importance of small businesses, but you cannot afford to miss the NT workstation trend, or you might miss out financially." The second warning concerned the Internet. He said global penetration of the Internet had reached 40 per cent, and PC builders must also incorporate this into their business. ®

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