It wasn't too long ago that Intel Corp. executives were so dismissive of personal computers priced below $1,000 that they called them Segment Zero--a dumping ground for inventory close-outs and bottom-feeding PC cloners selling yesterday's technology. Instead, Intel held to the high ground, pushing pricey chips that could run the newest, coolest software. Not coincidentally, those chips helped produce the juiciest gross profit margins, some 60% overall, one of the highest in high tech.
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