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Better Prices, Basic Products
Dell is offering astonishing discounts on equipment purchased through its small business division. Its most basic computer, a Dell Dimension 4300 1.5 GHz unit, is priced at $539 and includes a free Palm m100, 20 GB drive, 128 MB of SDRAM, NIC, speakers, or modem and the most basic CD-ROM. Of course, a monitor is extra. Most of Dell's computers are running for $100 off regular prices and include a free Palm m100, plus free ground shipping through September 26th. The bus speed of the 4300 series is 133 MHz, although a slightly more expensive unit, the 8200 series, features a 400 MHz system bus, if you need to significantly speed up operations.
Compaq's basic unit, the Evo D300s, is priced at $849 and comes with sound as well as a 400 MHz Front Side Bus. This deal also includes free shipping through September 30th.
At press time, a similarly featured Gateway computer, the 500S was prices at $859 USD.
Further up-market, IBM's configure-your-own-server offers far fewer options than Dell and Compaq, but offers greater discounts on pricier items. For example, an IBM x220 is offered at a 10 percent discount, currently $3,725.10 with a 1 GHz Pentium III, 384 MB of 133 MHz SDRAM, and other enterprise-level features. Note that some top-of-the-line products feature a 400 MHz system bus.
Signs of the Times
Reacting to market conditions, MagneTek (NYSE: MAG) joined a slew of other companies that intend to buy back company stock. There are about 22.6 million shares outstanding after the company completed a buyback of 10 million shares in July. The transaction was authorized by the board back in 1999. The current buyback is 2.26 million shares—about 10 percent of the remaining outstanding stock. MagneTek manufactures power products used in data centers and storage applications.
In another timely announcement, Standard Networks demonstrated its siLock, a Microsoft Windows 2000-based product that is designed to allow enterprises to securely store and retrieve sensitive data over the Web. The product will be released on October 15, 2001. Pricing is not available at this time, but a free 30-day trial is available.