Digital Equipment Corp. said Thursday that it is re-entering the personal computer market after a four-year absence with a private-label machine made by Tandy Corp., operators of the Radio Shack retail chain.
The private-label PC deal is part of a set of agreements between the two companies covering manufacturing, service and an exchange of technology.
The agreement calls for Tandy to make microcomputers to Digital’s specifications. Digital officials declined to describe the computers in detail
Although analysts had speculated previously that the deal would center on Tandy’s top-of-the-line model 5000 personal computer, Digital officials said they are not interested in that system, which mimics the operations of IBM’s new Micro Channel data pathway.
Digital officials said the pact relieves the company of trying to produce its own personal computer, something the company tried--and failed at--four years ago.
“The personal computer market has moved more and more into a commodity orientation. Digital doesn’t feel that we (should be) using our resources to try and compete in manufacturing that kind of product,” said Geoffrey Burr, a Digital group manager for strategic relations. “So we cut out and made an agreement with a company” that makes PCs.
Under the agreement, Digital also agreed to service and certify certain Tandy personal computers to operate in Digital computer networks.