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Heard on the Beat

Worldwide PC Sales Climb 14% During First Quarter

April 27, 1998|KAREN KAPLAN

Personal computer sales are continuing to grow at double-digit rates this year, according to preliminary statistics to be released today by San Jose market research firm Dataquest.

Worldwide PC shipments were up 14.1% for the first quarter of 1998 compared with the same period last year. In the U.S., the growth was an even stronger 16.2%, according to Dataquest.

Compaq Computer retained its market share lead, registering 12.5% of worldwide shipments and 17.1% of those in the U.S. IBM came in second in worldwide shipments--with 7.6% of the total--but slipped from second to fifth place domestically. Dell Computer now stands alone as the No. 2 PC vendor in the U.S.--with an 11.7% market share--and is a close third in the worldwide standings. Packard Bell-NEC retained a slight lead over Gateway for the third spot in the U.S. standings.

Worldwide shipments by Hewlett-Packard and Dell exploded in the first quarter, up 72% and 66.1%, respectively, from the previous year. In the U.S., the big gainers were Dell (up 63.8%), Compaq (up 49%) and Gateway (up 43.6%).

Show of Support: Positive Support Review, a tiny Santa Monica firm, hit it big last week in Chicago when its flagship product, Zinnote 5.1, was named Best Productivity Software at the Comdex Spring '98 trade show. Zinnote was also one of three finalists for the even more prestigious Best of Show award.

Zinnote gathers data from an array of sources and fuses it into reports full of charts and graphs. It is part of the growing field of software seeking to make the most of raw data.

Positive Support Review has an 18-year history as an information technology consulting firm, but now its seven employees hope to grow by developing software. Zinnote is the firm's first title.

AOL Going Ape: After signing up 12 million people for its interactive service, America Online is branching out . . . to gorillas.

Koko, a native of the San Francisco Zoo, will participate in what AOL bills as "the first ever inter-species chat" today in honor of Earth Day. Koko has studied American Sign Language for 25 years and understands approximately 2,000 words of spoken English. But can she type?

Times staff writer Karen Kaplan can be reached at karen.kaplan@latimes.com

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