Compaq to rebrand Digital Unix

In a campaign which will see the rebranding of Digital Unix and the introduction of new Alpha-based server products, Compaq is aiming to be to the Unix market what it is to the Windows NT market, company officials have disclosed.

Compaq will launch the wide-ranging campaign in February to beef up sales of its high-end, 64-bit Alpha servers running the Digital Unix operating system.

The campaign is Compaq's latest effort to grow market share in Unix, which is the area of "strongest absolute growth," in terms of IT spending by corporations, according to Tom Yeates, Digital's business development manager for Open VMS in Europe. Unix worldwide is experiencing about 20 per cent growth in revenue, he said.

From February 1 on, all Digital Unix will be known as Compaq Tru64 Unix. Digital Unix is one of the operating systems that Compaq inherited when it completed its acquisition of Digital Equipment in June 1998. The brand, Compaq Tru64 Unix, will be extended to cover future server products, Yeates said.

As part of the strategy, Compaq is officially announcing the Alphaserver DS20, an "entry-level" Unix server that runs on the Alpha processor, but is priced less than $US20,000, according to Yeates. "We expect it to be used heavily as an entry-level intranet and Internet server," he said. Compaq quietly started shipping the product in December, and it is being used as an entry-level commercial server and as a technical server for mechanical modelling, said Yeates.

Moving from domination of the NT server field to lead the Unix field, as Compaq intends to do, won't produce a conflict in the sales pitch of the company, said Yeates. "We are selling with a consistent message. It's not one-size-fits-all," he explained. The same clients who are purchasing NT-based servers for some client and application servers are sticking with Unix for business-critical applications, Yeates said.

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