Compaq's Power Play

How the Compaq-Digital deal will reshape the entire world of computers

Since taking over the world's largest maker of personal computers six years ago, Compaq Chief Executive Eckhard Pfeiffer has regularly sent shock waves through the PC business. Back in 1992, the Houston-based PC maker slashed prices by up to 32%, sending competitors scrambling to lower costs and match Compaq Computer Corp. Last year the German-born executive set the consumer-PC business on its ear with a line of home computers priced below $1,000, again forcing rivals to react swiftly or lose out on one of the fastest-growing segments of the PC business.

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