MPC Adds Offerings Beyond the Desktop

Readies new storage mobile devices.

MPC Computers LLC, which recently ended its sixth profitable quarter after a period of high losses in the PC market, is using the money its earning to quickly expand its product offerings beyond desktops.

The Nampa, Idaho, company this month will ship a laptop based on Intel Corp.s Centrino mobile computing package and by the quarters end, will have a full line of storage products, officials said. They said MPC will continue expanding its server line as it comes in sync with Intels cycle of processor upgrades.

MPC Chief Executive Mike Adkins said his company is moving down a well-defined path that includes a narrow target segment—midsize businesses with 500 to 3,000 employees and governmental agencies. Officials said service and support also differentiates MPC from its main rival, Dell Computer Corp. For example, MPC assigns a dedicated support staff member to each customer so that users are always talking to the same person when problems arise.

At midmonth, MPC will roll out the DataFrame 310fc, a Fibre Channel storage device that can scale up to 16.6 terabytes of stored data per system in either a 3U (5.25-inch) rack or pedestal chassis and will feature up to 512MB of cache and 14 hot-swap drives. Storage management software will enable users to cluster up to four systems at a time, officials said.

In mobile computing, MPC this month will unveil its TransPort T2100 notebook, which will feature a 14-inch screen and 8x Accelerated Graphics Port graphics. The system will have integrated biometric security and three Universal Serial Bus 2.0 ports. Also this month, MPC will roll out the Transport T2000 thin-and-light two-spindle notebook powered by Intel 2.6GHz Pentium 4-M chips.

In the second half of the year, MPC will launch a Tablet PC, officials said. And this summer, MPC will launch its sixth new server of the year—the NetFrame 600, which will offer up to two Intel 2.8GHz Xeon chips.

Good customer service first made Wiss Janney Elstner Associates Inc. an MPC customer almost three years ago, and support is making the company bring in MPC servers and look at MPC storage.

Ray Jaskot, IS manager at the Chicago-based architectural engineering company, said that when the company sought bids for PCs, it asked vendors to remove Microsoft Corp.s Office from the machines. Dell said it could do that but would still charge for the software. "MPC came back with an offer customized to what we needed," Jaskot said. "Weve been happy with the service. ... Thats why weve stayed with them."