Feeds

Compaq tunes into MP3

2 July 1999

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

It was five years ago today... Back in 1999, Compaq supremo Michael Capellas said that "The Internet will demand different types of devices to service different purposes". He was talking about cool kit like digital music players, and he was right:

Compaq tunes into MP3

By Tony Smith
Published Friday 2nd June 2000 16:09 GMT

Compaq will hop onto the MP3 bandwagon later this year courtesy of CEO Michael "Groovin'" Capellas's pet project: the Big Q's consumer division.

"We're coming out with MP3 players. The Internet will [demand] different types of devices to service different purposes," he told a gathering at Santa Clara, California's Churchill Club, according to CNET.

That means kit like digital music players and Net access set-tops - both products Compaq's consumer division has been working on since its formation in July 1999, not long after Capellas joined the company.

"It is time to take these beige boxes and transform them into interesting access devices," he added.

It's also time to take a stand against the controversial MP3 sharing software, Napster, said Capellas: "It will ultimately be destructive if we don't take a stand." The Big Q Capo's concern here is the ease with which Napster can be used to distribute unauthorised copies of mus#ic and other intellectual property, as demonstrated by the open source Napster knock-off Gnutella, which he didn't appear to mention. Perhaps he hasn't heard of it.

Capellas didn't go into much detail about either the MP3 player or Compaq's set-top box, so it will be interesting to see when - and if - the company does indeed make a foray into the consumer electronics space. Comdex launch in time for Christmas, anyone?

After the speech, Churchill Club members boogied away the night in single-minded pursuit of the groove.


As history records, HP swallowed Compaq in 2002 after much legal wrangling, but retained the brand name.

Later that year - having pocketed a cool $14.4m from the deal - Capellas jumped ship to join, er, Worldcom. The bankrupt giant was able to rustle up enough cash to promise Capellas a $2m sign-up fee plus first-year salary of $3m - something which raised a few eyebrows at the time.

Still, men of vision demand a salary to match their farsightedness. In March, we reported that "Apple posts Compaq iTunes as HP music store goes live". This was followed by the news that HP will imminently punt an HP-branded iPod.

Rival Dell, meanwhile, is offering a $100 trade-in to customers who ditch their iPod in favour of the company's Digital Jukebox MP3 players. The age of the digital music player is truly upon us. As for the "interesting" set-top box, well, it's early days.... ®

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

More from The Register

next story
Canadian ISP Shaw falls over with 'routing' sickness
How sure are you of cloud computing now?
Don't call it throttling: Ericsson 'priority' tech gives users their own slice of spectrum
Actually it's a nifty trick - at least you'll pay for what you get
Three floats Jolla in Hong Kong: Says Sailfish is '3rd option'
Network throws hat into ring with Linux-powered handsets
Fifteen zero days found in hacker router comp romp
Four routers rooted in SOHOpelessly Broken challenge
New Sprint CEO says he will lower axe on staff – but prices come first
'Very disruptive' new rates to be revealed next week
PwC says US biz lagging in Internet of Things
Grass is greener in Asia, say the sensors
Ofcom sees RISE OF THE MACHINE-to-machine cell comms
Study spots 9% growth in IoT m2m mobile data connections
O2 vs Vodafone: Mobe firms grab for GCHQ, gov.uk security badge
No, the spooks love US best, say rival firms
Ancient pager tech SMS: It works, it's fab, but wow, get a load of that incoming SPAM
Networks' main issue: they don't know how it works, says expert
Trans-Pacific: Google spaffs cash on FAST undersea packet-flinging
One of 6 backers for new 60 Tbps cable to hook US to Japan
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Top 8 considerations to enable and simplify mobility
In this whitepaper learn how to successfully add mobile capabilities simply and cost effectively.
Solving today's distributed Big Data backup challenges
Enable IT efficiency and allow a firm to access and reuse corporate information for competitive advantage, ultimately changing business outcomes.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.