Compaq to Unveil Lifestyle Products

Compaq Computer plans to introduce products and a new strategy emphasizing wireless communications that the company said will enable its business and consumer customers to "do what they want and need to do, anytime, anywhere." At a press conference in New York tomorrow, Compaq is expected to introduce two versions of the popular Blackberry wireless pagers developed by Research In Motion Ltd. (RIM) in Waterloo, Ontario, both branded with the "iPAQ" name.

Compaq also uses the name for its version of the PocketPC from Microsoft Corp. introduced last April. Compaq announced in February that it had formed a relationship with RIM to bring "Blackberry" products to market.

A Compaq spokeswoman stressed that the initiative in no way stems from any dissatisfaction with the PocketPC. That product, she said, is "wildly successful." Ken Dulaney, an analyst at Gartner Group in Stamford Conn., agreed.

"Compaq is sold out of the PocketPC [device]," Dulaney said.

The spokeswoman said the new strategy and products will help users address "the blending of their business and personal lives" with the company's commercial and consumer product groups both working on the initiative.

Alan Reiter, an analyst at Wireless Internet+Mobile Computing in Chevy Chase, Md., said Compaq's embrace of a variety of wireless devices to support "anytime, anywhere" computing is a "natural extension of their existing business." Reiter praised Compaq for its plans to sell Blackberry devices.

"Blackberry users know wireless data is for real," he said.

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