Compaq, which took its first step into the large systems market only a few months ago with the purchase of Tandem Corp., has in a single leap reached the number two position in the industry-behind IBM and ahead of Hewlett-Packard-by purchasing Digital Equipment Corporation for $9.6 billion.
Compaq will now be able to supply almost any size computer from a $1,000 budget PC to a $10 million multi-processor 64-bit Digital Alpha server. It will have strength in Windows 95, Windows NT, and UNIX. It will also have a worldwide field-support staff for the first time.
One potential benefit for libraries is that it may become possible to purchase packaged systems that include both servers and clients from the same vendor. In the past, libraries have generally purchased the PCs needed as clients from a variety of sources.