Exactly how won't be clear for months, but educators who buy technology products and services from the Hewlett-Packard Co. (HP) and Compaq Computer Corp can now be sure they'll feel the effects of the largest tech merger in history. After months of legal wrangling and corporate fighting, Hewlett-Packard Co. is finally on the verge of closing its $18 billion acquisition of rival Compaq Computer Corp.

The new Hewlett-Packard Co. that will result from the merger between HP and Compaq will be launched officially next week, along with comprehensive details of the company's plans for

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