Compaq Computer Corp. is staking its future on the iPaq, a simplified PC modeled after the successful iMac from Apple Computer. The company’s goals for the iPaq include a simplfied design, direct delivery to customers, and internet-centered features.

The iPaq comes in two versions, the USB port only version and the USB with “legacy” connectors. Legacy models will ship with a Windows 95 or 98 operating system, and the non-legacy model comes with Windows 2000.

In designing the iPaq, Compaq relied on standard, off-the-shelf components in order to help shorten development time and cut costs. According to Michael Takemura, product marketing manager for Compaq, the iPaq was developed in about 100 days, compared to the 18-month development cycle for most products.

The entry level product comes with a 500 MHz Celeron processor, 64 MB of RAM, and 4.3 GB hard drive, and it starts around $499. Customers will not find many different prices for the model, as the eight models being released will have inflexible pricing in an effort to deliver the iPaq directly, at an aggressive price, and to simplify the procurement process. “It’s like going in and buying a Saturn,” Takemura said. “It’s a single price. You don’t have to haggle over it.”
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