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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Silicon Launches Graphics PC in Russia

U.S. computer company Silicon Graphics has launched the Russian versions of two affordable graphics PCs that it hopes will take a bite out of Apple's dominant market share.

Silicon Graphics officials, along with representatives from project developers Microsoft and Intel, presented the Silicon Graphics 320tm and 540tm to potential customers at a news conference late last month.

The PCs, praised by officials as a new generation of graphics computers, can be used for activities such as visual modeling, animation, geoinformational research and industrial design. U.S. aircraft-maker Boeing bought 8,000 of the new computers after their U.S. unveiling in January.

With a price tag of $3,900, the powerful graphics stations are the least expensive PCs boasting a Windows NT interface, said Sergei Karelov, director of Silicon Graphics' Russian operations. Previous graphics stations produced by this computer troika cost tens of thousands of dollars each.

"A much wider circle of users will be able to experience the adventure of these computers' graphical possibilities, which earlier could only be achieved through expensive and specialized systems," said Gamid Kostoyev, marketing manager for Microsoft.

Computer companies such as Silicon Graphics have been trying for years to get a larger slice of the computer graphics market, which Apple Macintoshes have dominated.

Not surprisingly, DPI, which represents Apple's interests in Russia, greeted the new PCs with skepticism, saying they did not offer anything significantly different from what was already on the market.

"In my opinion, analogs of what they presented already existed on the market," said one DPI representative, who asked not to identified.

However, computer experts attending the presentation appeared impressed with the new technology.

"So far Macintosh was better at solving these types of problems," said Vitaly Nazaryev, a chief programmer at publishing technology group UUSIMAA in Moscow. "But now personal computers [with Microsoft software] may well compete against them."

Sergei Galperin, a specialist from the Tupolev aircraft design bureau, said his company was seriously considering buying the new computers.

Silicon Graphics' Karelov said he estimates some 1,000 of the new PCs will be sold in Russia within the next few weeks.

Business is booming for Silicon Graphics despite Russia's financial turmoil.

Silicon's sales amounted to $10 million in the last quarter of 1998, a figure Karelov says is the highest since the company entered the market in the early 1990s.