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Author`s name Alex Naumov

Dell launches PC line for small businesses with 25 or fewer employees

Dell Inc. is launching a new line of notebook and desktop personal computers called "Vostro" that are aimed at small businesses with 25 or fewer employees.

"Vostro" PCs will come with a suite of subscription-based services and a dedicated tech support staff, said Frank Muehleman, senior vice president of Dell's small and medium business group.

Chief Executive Officer Michael Dell planned to debut the new machines at a "town hall" meeting Tuesday in New York.

Vostro, a Latin word meaning "yours," joins Dell's existing product lines, which include Inspiron for consumers, the Latitude and Optiplex for large companies, and the XPS for gamers.

Vostro systems will be available with Windows Vista or XP operating systems, but won't come with any so-called "trialware," or sample versions of software that expire after a few weeks or months, Muehleman said.

Muehleman also said Dell had assembled a staff of about 6,500 Dell employees to handle tech support for Vostro customers.

The systems include three notebooks with screens ranging from 14 to 17 inches and starting prices from $449 to $799. A desktop version will be available starting at $319. Exact specifications weren't available.

Vostro will also come with a 30-day money-back guarantee and services that Muehleman said would make it easier for small businesses to focus on productivity instead of technical computer issues, the AP reports.

The initiative comes as Dell takes steps to boost sales of computers to consumers, the fastest-growing PC segment, as it tries to catch up with Hewlett-Packard Co., which last year displaced Dell as the largest PC maker by unit sales.

Founder Michael Dell, 42, retook the CEO job in January after sales growth slumped and the company's past accounting practices came under scrutiny by federal regulators and prosecutors.

Dell on Tuesday said it would initially sell 4 notebook models in the Vostro line starting at about $450, as well as a desktop model and several printer options.

The Vostro branded products feature very little of the pre-installed software - such as games - found on most consumer PCs, but will have business tools such as data back-up and specialized networking support for customers without a dedicated technology staff, Reuters reports.

Source: agencies

Prepared by Alexander Timoshik

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