PC prices won't jump in the near term and innovation of the PC hasn't stopped, said Paul Bell, president of Dell in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA) yesterday at an industry get-together in Monaco.

Bell was responding to Michael Capellas, chairman and chief executive of Compaq, who on Monday said in a speech at IDC's European IT Forum that "brutal pricing" would last and "PC innovation would stagnate".

"We expect great bargains for a while," countered Dell's Bell. "You will continue to see massive amounts of innovation, if nothing else, in size — smaller and more portable. The PC is changing more rapidly now than in the previous ten years," Bell said in an interview.

Capellas had suggested Compaq is moving away from PCs, saying his company doesn't strive for leadership "in the past market", but is focusing on tomorrow's next-generation devices.

But Bell insists PCs aren't history.

"We don't have to turn around and evacuate the client side — the desktops and the notebooks — because they are very healthy businesses for us. They're in the past for the competition because they haven't figured out a business model that works. The PC is a very solid business; there is strong demand for desktops," Bell said.

IDC is a member of the IDG group of companies, as is PC Advisor.