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No repeat of Inacom deal in Europe, says Compaq

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Compaq has no plans to repeat its Inacom purchase in Europe, Michael Capellas said today. The vendor's president and CEO told journalists in London: "If you're asking me if we're thinking about making an acquisition of a distribution capability in Europe, the answer is no". Last month Compaq stepped up its direct business by paying $370 million for the US distributor's PC assembly facilities. But Capellas' comments should not be taken for misguided loyalty towards the channel. Today's presentation, which set out Compaq's plans for Europe in 2000, was littered with promises to up direct sales in all areas as the vendor embraces the Internet. Compaq also said it intended to return the commercial PC business to profitability while beefing up online sales. Mike Winkler, senior VP and head of Compaq's personal computer groups, said the company aimed to "simplify the PC environment" and "Internet-optimise everything we do". He said business PCs needed to be simplified in terms of choice and price, with fewer components and a more straightforward distribution system – with products sold directly over the Web. Compaq's consumer side was also beating the simple PC drum. Sean Burke, VP for the Presario division, told journalists to watch out for more EasyPC machine types. He described this year's home PCs as being a fusion of personality and style. Compaq said it would launch an MP3 player and bring its printers to Europe this year.® Related stories Compaq buys Inacom's PC operations Compaq's Capellas thinks W2K key to future growth

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