Micron sells fed PC unit

Micron Electronics Inc. has signed a letter of intent to sell its PC business, MicronPC. com, which includes Micron Government Computer Systems Inc., to a large, privately held, information technology-investment company.

"I believe, if anything, this will be a very positive development for my subsidiary and its customers," said Harry Heisler, vice president and general manager of Micron's federal unit. "We're going to a situation with a lot more clarity and a lot more focus, rather than a holding company with mixed emotions about what business it wanted to be in — and not be in."

In addition to its PC business, Micron also runs HostPro, an Internet and Web-hosting subsidiary, and SpecTek, which processes and markets various grades of dynamic RAM products. Micron also plans to sell the SpecTek division, according to a company release.

Heisler said that since Micron had become a holding company for the three businesses that had "very little to do with one another," all three were competing for limited corporate resources. That will not be the case with the new ownership, which he could not name because of legal disclosure agreements.

The sell-off coincides with a March 23 announcement that Micron would be merging with Interland Inc. to run HostPro.

"We're going to be in a place where our business is very important, without any hesitation and without trying to divide scarce corporate resources across very different business models," Heisler said. "This should make us much more competitive" in the government space.

"I think one of the strongest parts of MicronPC was the federal systems group, and I think there will be an attempt by the new owner to maintain that," said Roger Kay, research manager for PC hardware at IDC.

The most pressing issue might be how quickly the sale goes through so Micron doesn't start to lose employees. "They've got about two months before people will start bailing," Kay said. "They have to work to maintain their [government] customer base by keeping the look and feel as close to the same as possible."

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