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Intel's Barrett predicts PC shortages for 18 months

Bad forecasting and low investment to blame

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Stockholm The CEO of Intel, Craig Barrett, has predicted continuing worldwide PC shortages for the next 12 to 18 months.

"The cause of the shortages is due to under-investment in 1996 and 1997. Inaccurate forecasting added to the problem. The only cure is to make more capital investment," he said.

Barrett claims the PC drought is the result of low supplies of all PC components and not just processors.

The Chipzilla chief has also repeated his call for Europe to drop the price of Internet access and urge businesses to re-vamp their plans to take better notice of e-commerce.

Barrett said that business leaders "should demand reduced telecommunications costs to increase Internet usage and to accelerate e-commerce".

The call is not the first time that Intel, and Barrett himself, have urged such changes in Europe and while it is obviously made in the self-interest of his company, he has a point.

"While many European companies have embraced e-business, all companies need to adopt it to improve business efficiencies and to take advantage of the Internet economy," Barrett said.

Europe is the leader in wireless communications and because the next generations of mobiles will have far better bandwidth, the continent has the chance to become the leader in that sphere, he added.

Business to business e-commerce worldwide will grow to seven trillion dollars in the next four years. By embracing the Internet, companies can increase both productivity and better supply chain management, he said.

Barrett is calling on business leaders throughout Europe to put pressure on political leaders to bring about more deregulation and cheaper access. ®

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