Sales and marketing staff at Silicon Graphics Computer Systems Hong Kong had an exciting time last week when boxes containing the products built on SGI's S2MP architecture arrived in the office. SGI executives could be seen playing with colourful building blocks, taking visitors by surprise. The toys symbolise how the new architecture will make it easy to build the next generation of computers. The products, based on SGI's new architecture, are exhibited for the first time in Asia at Asian IT Expo '96. The new series, which took two years to develop, consists of workstations, sub-computers and servers as well as desktop machines. The delivery coincided with a worldwide training organised by SGI's United States headquarters in California. The first product to be demonstrated was a sleek purple machine, called Onyx 2, which Steven Lau, general manager Hong Kong, Silicon Graphics, said was a 'truly multimedia desktop workstation'. The same scene was likely to be taking place in Taiwan, Singapore, Malaysia, China and all over the region, and would be happening a few hours later in Europe, as all the Silicon Graphics sales force, divided by time zone, was being trained on the new products at the same time via the Web. More than 4,000 people, including 1,000 in Asia, were being trained on-line. One-way presentations with audio and video were alternating with on-line sessions held by SGI executives in Mountain View. The whole presentation, according to Mr Lau, represented about 200,000 A4 pages scattered on hundreds of Web sites. The whole operation required less than five people to manage it. 'Only the Web could make a worldwide launch and a training with such a scope possible,' Mr Lau said. 'I can still remember how I used to fight to have a product launch in Hong Kong first before other countries in Asia.' The on-line training is only one of the many possible applications of the new series of products. 'Today's launch is the first major announcement of the company in the past 15 years,' Mr Lau said. 'It symbolises the New Silicon Graphics, which has evolved from a niche company to a multi-market company.' The operation is also meant to illustrate the company's new slogan: See What's Possible . . . With the Right Tools. 'SGI's philosophy is to introduce high-quality products at a very high end and over time to make the technology in high volume at a relatively low price,' Mr Lau said. 'Basic Web features such as Webforce will be built up in the low-end products. We will have a roll-out of Web products announcement in the next two months. Our ultimate objective is to have the Internet in a box.'