Dutch computer manufacturer Tulip Computers NV continued the most high-profile year of its history to date with the launch of a machine billed as the ideal low-entry machine to exploit Windows 3.0. In a marathon press event spanning Wednesday to Friday at the end of last month, it – eventually – announced the 20MHz Intel […]
Dutch computer manufacturer Tulip Computers NV continued the most high-profile year of its history to date with the launch of a machine billed as the ideal low-entry machine to exploit Windows 3.0. In a marathon press event spanning Wednesday to Friday at the end of last month, it – eventually – announced the 20MHz Intel 80386SX-based Tulip Vision 1 for a recommended retail price of around UKP3,000 in the UK market. If this initially seems high, says Tulip, it is because the price includes a 17 70Hz screen, a fas-ter implementation of the Western Digital Corp 8514A video interface on the motherboard, 4Mb of RAM and 100Mb on the hard disk, bundled with MS-DOS and Windows 3.0. Also included is Tulip’s standard system password protection device, and a multi-lin-gual auto-install feature designed to appeal to the European market. Justification for the 17 screen and video interface is that Windows 3.0 needs the room to function at its best. The Hertogenbosch, Netherlands-based company demonstrated the machine using a 3270 emulation package, collecting changing data from an IBM Corp mainframe, feeding that to an Excel spreadsheet and finally graphically, displaying the information in a Microsoft Word file. Under Windows, all three files were displayed simultaneously, with dynamic links throughout. While Vision 1 generally met with a good reception, some of those present wondered why they had been made to sit through three days of speeches just for that. But Tulip feels that it needs to make a big splash if it is to fulfil its dream of being a major independent European computer manufacturer, and this announcement, which allows it indirectly to bathe in the perceived glory of Windows 3.0, is one of several this year designed to improve its visibility: previously, it has launched the Vision Line range intended to be its core offering for the 1990s; and it unveiled a prototype 80486SX machine on the same day that Intel officially announced the chip itself. Persistent questioning from the local press here centred on the attainability of Tulip’s dream: was the $203m a year, Amsterdam-quoted company capable of adding value? Needlessly dismissing rivals like Dell Computer as box shifters en passant, vice-president of international marketing R Dietz claimed we are strong enough to implement large projects by ourselves. – Mark John.