Line of Personal Computers Planned by Microsoft Corp

Article excerpt

By Christmas 1995, the biggest and most important manufacturer of computer software _ Microsoft Corp. _ may be offering its own line of personal computers.

The Redmond, Wash.-based software giant wants to cash in on the growing market created by people who want a low-cost computer that'll hook them up to the Internet and give them access to the massive amounts of information there and on CDs.

That's why the new computer has the internal Microsoft nickname: Information Highway PC. The company would not confirm the report of the new PC published in the Dec. 19 issue of trade magazine InfoWorld.

The magazine said the company planned to keep the PC's price below $1,000 and include a built-in CD drive for that price. It'll also come with a modem.

"Although unannounced, Microsoft has already started promoting the platform to software developers," the magazine reported.

If it happens, the introduction of the new low-priced machine could be bad news for Apple, which has been thinking along the same lines, InfoWorld said.

Apple has announced a licensing agreement with a Japanese toy maker _ Bandai Co. _ which will build a $500 machine called the Pippin that will have a built-in CD drive and be able to use some Macintosh applications. . . You probably already know Intel has changed its tune on replacing defective Pentium chips, but you may have missed the directions for getting in a reservation for a replacement.

Just call 800-628-8686 and, when the new and presumably error-free Pentiums are ready, you'll get a replacement in the mail. Intel also promises to give you help by telephone for the fairly simple do-it-yourself job.

However, the company also will pay for having the replacement done for you. That may be worth considering since it is easy to damage a processor chip. Static electricity can scramble its brains and it is also possible to bend the tiny spider-like legs of the Pentium when you poke it in its socket.

The company said earlier this week it would be a few weeks before it will have the details worked out for folks who don't want to replace the chip themselves. . . If you want to chat, America Online seems to be the place for now.

Of the three major online services, it's by far the most popular place to chat. …