Sep 08 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Sep 06 - Philips and Intersil to Make
High-Speed DVD Recording a Reality. Royal Philips Electronics
(NYSE:PHG) (AEX:PHI) today announced an alliance with Intersil Corporation
to jointly develop a reference design based on a Philips chip set
and Intersil laser driver for DVD+RW/+R (DVD+ReWriteable/+Recordable)
The reference design for both PC and standalone DVD recorders will
support 4X record speeds, and has the potential to support record
speeds up to 12X. With DVD recorders based on this reference design,
consumers will have the ability to create 4.7 GByte video or data
DVDs in fewer than 15 minutes, twice the speed of existing DVD recorders.
Typical applications include producing home video and photo album
DVDs, and PC data backup and archiving.
The DVD+RW reference design will be based on an Intersil laser driver
IC, and Philips encoder and decoder semiconductors and firmware (software).
The reference design will be offered to a broad range of DVD+RW manufacturers,
including Philips. A DVD+RW/+R data drive allows consumers to store
up to an equivalent of seven data CDs on a single disc.
"DVD writer shipments for the PC and consumer electronics markets
are expected to grow from six million units in 2002 to 60 million
in 2006," said Michelle Abraham, senior analyst for In-Stat/MDR.
"We expect to see consumers adopt DVD rewritable quickly, because
of their familiarity with CD-RW technology."
"Intersil Corporation is pleased to collaborate with Philips,
a technology leader in optical storage, to bring high-speed DVD+RW
recording to the market. We plan to continue working with Philips
to achieve even higher DVD recording speeds," said Rich Beyer,
president and CEO of Intersil.
Philips is located online at www.philips.com.
Sep 06 - Home Phoneline Networking Alliance
Selects Version 3.0 Technology. The Home Phoneline Networking
Alliance (HomePNA), an organization driving the development and adoption
of a single Phoneline networking standard, today announced the approval
of a joint technology proposal by Broadcom Corporation (Nasdaq:BRCM)
and CopperGate Communication, Inc. for the HomePNA 3.0, next generation
Technologies developed by the two companies have been integrated to
reach an unprecedented throughput rate of 128 Mbps and to enable Quality
of Service (QoS) for reliable content delivery to the end-user.
HomePNA's new third generation technology coexists with other services
such as POTS, ISDN, and ADSL, and is fully backwards compatible and
interoperable with HomePNA version 2.0 network components that are
deployed in homes today.
Devices can simultaneously communicate at their native speed in networks
containing both HomePNA 2.0 and 3.0 nodes, and QoS is not degraded
in such mixed networks. Optimized for performance, HomePNA networking
enables broadband entertainment, voice, data file, peripheral and
Internet sharing applications throughout the home without affecting
standard telephone service. The Voice-over-HomePNA protocol, which
extends HomePNA 2.0 by enabling eight simultaneous high-quality voice
streams within the home, will also be supported by version 3.0.
"Best-of-breed" intellectual property contributed by Broadcom
and CopperGate achieves an overall superior solution meeting all of
the industry's requirements and objectives," said John Marshall,
president of HomePNA. Building upon proven HomePNA 2.0 technology,
the joint proposal exploits the capacity of telephony wiring by delivering
a rate of up to 128 Mbps, with optional extensions reaching up to
It also features a synchronous Media Access Control (MAC) protocol
layer, which is essential to handle future entertainment and multimedia
applications and services such as multiple HDTV, digital audio, and
voice streams within the home. Numerous HomePNA member companies will
offer the complete MAC/physical interface HomePNA 3.0 solution to
Applications and Availability
Silicon solutions incorporating the HomePNA 3.0 specification are
being developed to power a variety of devices including pre-configured
PCs, network interface cards, residential gateways, broadband modems,
printers, multimedia devices, Internet appliances, set top boxes and
consumer electronics products such as TVs, DVDs, DVRs and home entertainment
The HomePNA 3.0 specification is scheduled for completion by Q4 2002.
Silicon products supporting adapters and bridges are expected from
multiple vendors in early 2003.
HomePNA is already in its second generation, delivering up to 32Mbps
of performance over the phoneline, and enabling easy-to-use, high-speed,
affordable home networking solutions. For more information on HomePNA
Sep 06 - Broderbund Launches Highly Anticipated
MovieShop Deluxe 6. Broderbund(TM), a leading publisher of home
productivity and digital media software today announced the release
of its new video editing software program, MovieShop(TM) Deluxe 6.
Designed for consumers, Broderbund has created a program that makes
editing video as easy as 1-2-3. MovieShop Deluxe 6 delivers powerful
tools and step-by-step tutorials to easily capture, edit and enhance
home movies. Personalized productions can be burned to CD or DVD,
saved to VHS or shared on-line. The ability to preserve and share
home movies and favorite family memories such as the birth of a baby,
a vacation or a wedding ceremony, makes MovieShop Deluxe 6 the ideal
video editing solution.
It's a snap for beginners to get started, yet MovieShop Deluxe 6
delivers powerful and flexible tools that more advanced users will
appreciate. CD/DVD authoring and burning offer the ability to create
custom Video CDs and DVDs. Users can transfer their analog and digital
files from camcorder to computer, then edit with powerful tools to
slice, stretch and rotate video clips for the perfect combination
of scenes. Edits can be easily and quickly previewed in real time
-- no more waiting minutes or even hours for images to render.
"Our customers know our products and trust Broderbund to deliver
high quality and innovative software. Just as The Print Shop is known
for being an easy to use desktop publishing solution, users will find
MovieShop Deluxe to be a user-friendly, powerful, video editing product,"
says Joe Roberts, president of Broderbund. "MovieShop Deluxe
delivers a one-stop shop for users to edit, burn, author and share
their home videos."
MovieShop(R) Deluxe 6 is now shipping to stores with a suggested
retail price of $89.99.
Also shipping this week, Broderbund's flagship desktop publishing
product, The Print Shop(R) Deluxe 15, includes major feature updates
plus a lite version of MovieShop. This exciting new version introduces
users to the basics of video editing and lets them experiment with
adding transitions, effects and music to their video clips.
For more information, visit www.broderbund.com.
Sep 06 - Satellite TV Grows in Consumer
Popularity, Cable Sees Slight Decline. A trend continues this
year of growing consumer popularity for residential satellite TV service
versus cable TV service, according to the J.D. Power and Associates
2002 Residential Cable/Satellite TV Customer Satisfaction StudySM.
About 82 percent of U.S. households have some type of cable or satellite
TV service, according to a combination of U.S. government and J.D.
Power and Associates data. The J.D. Power and Associates study surveys
consumers who subscribe to the largest satellite or cable TV services.
"While the study shows the average expenditure for both information/entertainment
services is now nearly equal, more consumers are electing to switch
services to satellite TV providers," said Steve Kirkeby, senior
director of telecommunications for J.D. Power and Associates.
Satellite-only subscription continues to rise, increasing from 14
percent of total households in 2001 to 16 percent in 2002. Satellite
subscription in 1996 was only 5 percent. Cable-only subscription continues
a slow decline from 65 percent in 2001 to 63 percent in 2002.
"In overall customer satisfaction performance, DirecTV ranks
highest among the 14 major providers of cable/satellite TV services
nationwide-18 index points higher than the cable TV service average,"
Kirkeby said. "DirecTV performs well across all the factors that
comprise overall customer satisfaction. Their particular strength
is in the area of customer service. While the overall industry average
is declining in answering questions and solving problems the first
time, DirecTV's performance in this area is actually increasing."
The six factors driving overall customer satisfaction include: cost
of service; credibility/billing; program offerings; equipment and
service capabilities; customer service; and reception quality.
Following DirecTV in the rankings are DISH Network, Wide Open West,
Cox and RCN.
The study shows that one long-standing trend has been reversed. For
the first time, customer satisfaction with satellite company technician
visits to customers' homes falls below that of cable companies. In
addition, the cable industry's movement toward digital subscription
remains strong, growing from 27 percent in 2001 to 32 percent in 2002.
J.D. Power and Associates can be accessed through the Internet at
Sep 06 - AT&T Wireless Enters Final
Phase of Next-Generation Rollout. AT&T Wireless (NYSE: AWE)
today entered the final phase of the rollout of its next-generation
network throughout the United States and marked the event with an
unprecedented special promotion that offers unlimited calling.
People in the hundreds of cities served by the company's next-generation
wireless network - including Boston, Los Angeles, and Pittsburgh,
where the network went into service today - can sign up for the AT&T
Wireless Charter Plan, a limited-time special promotion. For $99.99
a month, consumers can make all the domestic calls they want while
on-network, with long distance included and no roaming charges.
The company said this is the first offer of its kind to place no
limit on monthly wireless minutes.
"We are confident that the AT&T Wireless Charter Plan will
let people experience first-hand the power and benefits of our next-generation
network," said Michael Sievert, chief marketing officer of AT&T
Wireless. "This on-net offer provides simplicity and value in
a way no other wireless carrier has. However, we urge consumers to
sign up soon. This truly is a "charter" offer to mark the
inauguration of our next-generation network and supplies, as the saying
goes, are limited.
"AT&T Wireless has a tradition of leading the industry with
simple, affordable, and innovative services. Our new on-net charter
offer builds on and extends that tradition," Sievert said.
The AT&T Wireless next-generation network is based on the GSM/GPRS
global standard and is already available in hundreds of U. S. cities.
In addition to providing reliable voice services, the next-generation
network gives customers access, through AT&T Wireless mMode Service,
to information, news, games, and, most importantly, each other. Using
a tiny camera that attaches to a wireless phone, customers can even
take and send photos to any e-mail address in the world.
"The power of our next-generation wireless network is that it
lets people stay free yet connected in ways they never imagined. The
network makes our customers' mobile lives - their mLives - better,"
Customers who do not need unlimited calling can sign up for other
promotional offers starting as low as $39.99 for 1,000 anytime minutes,
the company noted.
For more information on AT&T Wireless, visit www.attwireless.com.
Sep 05 - Philips and Sony Announce
Cooperation on Near Field Communication. Royal Philips Electronics
(AEX: PHI, NYSE:PHG) and Sony Corporation today announced that they
will jointly develop a new near field radio-frequency communication
technology, `Near Field Communication' (NFC).
The technology enables short-range communication networks between
consumer devices incorporating an NFC interface, and is set to greatly
improve the way consumers access data and services wirelessly.
Wireless NFC technology will operate on 13.56 MHz and allow for
the transfer of any kind of data between NFC enabled devices such
as mobile phones, digital cameras and PDA's as well as to PC's, laptops,
game consoles or PC Peripherals, across a distance of up to twenty
centimeters and aiming at speeds fast enough to transfer high quality
images. At communication speed up to 212 kbit/s the NFC technology
is fully compliant to both Philips' existing Mifare(TM) and Sony's
FeliCa(TM) contactless smartcard technologies.
The aim is to build a ubiquitous open infrastructure of NFC-compliant
devices which effectively incorporate smart-key and smartcard reader
functions, providing a convenient communication method for services
such as payment (including credit card), ticketing, and accessing
online entertainment content (e.g. gaming) through the devices. This
can be done simply by holding devices or smartcards near each other.
It is anticipated that the technology will play a key role in allowing
content and service providers to offer various new ways of accessing
their services. The consumer's primary NFC device (e.g. mobile phone
or PDA) acts as a smart-key to gain access to chosen services from
any NFC device, anywhere, anytime.
"This cooperation between Philips and Sony marks a breakthrough
in establishing a new solution for an easy communication network between
consumer electronic devices," commented Mr. Yuki Nozoe, Corporate
Executive Vice President, Sony Corporation. "Together with Philips,
we will study a vast range of new applications for NFC, and we look
forward to welcoming other electronics and service companies in support
of the technology."
Karsten Ottenberg, General Manager of Philips Semiconductors' Identification
business, said: "This agreement will revolutionize the way consumers
access services and see the penetration of identification chips move
far beyond smart cards, with NFC becoming a standard component of
new electronic devices, including those from Philips."
Sony's Home Page is www.sony.net
and Philips is located at www.philips.com.
Sep 05 - Covad Announces Wholesale Service
Agreement With America Online. Covad Communications (OTCBB:COVD)
announced today that it has signed a five-year agreement with America
Online, Inc. that provides America Online with the ability to purchase
wholesale Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) consumer services throughout
Covad's nationwide network.
America Online will now have access to Covad's nationwide network,
which currently covers more than 40 million U.S. homes and businesses
and includes service in 94 of the top Metropolitan Statistical Areas
(MSAs) across the United States. As a result, the agreement will increase
the number of options available to America Online in offering broadband
services to its members.
"The addition of America Online as a wholesale partner enhances
our distribution channel enabling us to provide services to the largest
Internet service provider in the country," said Charles E. Hoffman,
Covad CEO and president. "It also gives America Online the flexibility
and scalability of a single, national resource for their millions
of customers who want to upgrade from dial-up to a high-speed, always
on broadband connection."
In addition, Covad issued warrants to America Online to purchase
a total of 3.5 million shares of Covad common stock, which is equal
to approximately 1.5 percent of Covad's currently outstanding common
stock. America Online will have the option to purchase Covad's common
stock at exercise prices ranging from $1.06 to $5.00. Covad has determined
that the warrants have an aggregate estimated value of approximately
$3.5 million. Covad expects to record this value as a deferred customer
incentive and charge it against revenue over the term of the service
Covad can be found online at www.covad.com.
Sep 05 - SmartDisk Announces New PCI
and PCMCIA Cards for High-Speed Upgrades. SmartDisk Corporation
(Nasdaq:SMDK) today announced availability of USB2.0, FireWire and
combination PCI (Peripheral Component Interconnect) and PCMCIA (Personal
Computer Memory Card International Association) cards for users who
want to upgrade their desktop or notebook computers to the new high-speed
standards.All four cards allow powering of multiple devices and improve
For notebook users, SmartDisk offers a credit-card-sized, 3-port,
powered, Cardbus card that slides into any PCMCIA Cardbus slot and
allows the addition of FireWire technology to both PC and Mac notebooks.
The FireWire PCMCIA card enables the use of existing and upcoming
FireWire devices including external hard drives, digital cameras,
and DV camcorders.
SmartDisk also offers a variety of PCI cards with cutting edge technology
that allows users to integrate the latest in digital technology while
preparing a system for future connectivity devices. SmartDisk's USB
2.0/FireWire Combo PCI Card features 3 external and 1 internal Type
A USB ports, and 2 external and 1 internal 6-pin FireWire ports. The
USB 2.0 PCI Card features 4 external and 1 internal Type A USB ports.
SmartDisk's FireWire PCI Card features 3 external 6-pin FireWire ports.
The FireWire Cardbus card will be available at the end of September
for $69.99. The PCI cards, shipping now, are priced as follows: USB
2.0 PCI Card, $39.99; FireWire PCI card, $39.99; and USB2.0/FireWire
combination PCI Card, $89.99. The cards are available through retailers
and distributors, as well as through the company's Web site at www.smartdisk.com.
Sep 05 - New Stores Drive Best Buy Second-Quarter
Sales Increase of 20%. Best Buy Co., Inc. (NYSE:BBY) today reported
total sales of $5.00 billion for the Company's fiscal 2003 second
quarter ended Aug. 31, 2002, an increase of 20 percent over the second
quarter of fiscal 2002.
The increase was due to the addition of 76 Best Buy stores in the
past 12 months as well as the inclusion of sales from Future Shop
stores, which were acquired in November 2001. Sales also benefited
from a comparable store sales gain, fueled by the expanding digital
product cycle and increased online sales.
The Company's second-quarter comparable store sales rose 2.0 percent,
which was in line with the Company's guidance of a modest gain. Comparable
store sales at Best Buy stores increased 2.7 percent during the fiscal
second quarter, on top of an increase of 2.8 percent in the second
quarter of fiscal 2002.
The increase reflected a mid-single-digit comparable store sales increase
in June, followed by modest gains in July and August, tied to moderating
At Musicland stores - which includes Media Play, Sam Goody and Suncoast
stores - comparable store sales decreased 3.4 percent in the quarter.
Canada-based Future Shop stores posted comparable store sales gains
of 6.9 percent. Magnolia Hi-Fi comparable store sales declined by
the low single digits.
"Comparable store sales during August were fairly steady, as
were traffic levels in our stores," said Brad Anderson, vice
chairman and CEO of Best Buy.
Best Buy is scheduled to release its fiscal second-quarter earnings
on Tuesday, Sept. 17. For more information visit www.bestbuy.com.
Sep 04 - VIA Announces Microtel Design
Win for Sub $200 PC. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator
and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions,
today announced that the VIA C3(TM) processor will power the new Microtel
SYSMAR710, SYSMAR715, SYSMAR150 and SYSMAR151 PC systems available
The combination of the low power VIA C3(TM) processor and 128MB SDRAM
on a VIA Apollo PLE133 Chipset based motherboard with integrated 2D/3D
graphics provides consumers with all the performance they need to
enjoy everyday computing and connectivity applications including E-mail,
web browsing, CD/mp3 playback, productivity applications and games,
at system prices never seen before.
The Microtel SYSMAR710 $199 PC will be equipped with the new LindowsOS,
while the SYSMAR150 $299 PC will feature the Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
XP Home edition.
Offering full PC functionality at consumer electronics price points,
the Microtel systems look set to redefine the desktop PC market, initially
targeting the back-to-school, small office and home computer segments
through the hugely popular Internet shopping channel, www.Walmart.com.
"VIA is delighted to provide the computing power inside these
revolutionary new systems," said Richard Brown, Director of Marketing
at VIA Technologies, Inc. "Incorporating the cool processing
VIA C3 and the VIA Apollo PLE133 integrated graphics chipset, Microtel
has built an exciting system that is sure to prove a real hit with
customers at Walmart.com."
"VIA is a company that delivers high quality technology solutions,
providing satisfaction and affordability to our customers," said
Rich Hindman, vice president of Microtel. "The Microtel LindowsOS
SYSMAR710 system is a new benchmark in performance and usability for
mainstream PC buyers."
Visit www.buymicrotel.com and www.via.com.tw
for more information.
Sep 04 - Verbatim DVD+R/RW Burner Ships.
Verbatim Corporation and Peripherals Group, Inc., the exclusive licensor
of Verbatim(R) optical hardware products and subsidiary of CenDyne,
Inc., today together announced the Verbatim "Producer" DVD+R/RW
internal drive, the next generation in storage technology for businesses
The new Verbatim Producer drive is based on DVD+ R/RW storage technology,
which provides a solid bridge between consumer electronics and personal
computing devices and can write in the most popular formats today:
DVD+RW, DVD+R, CD-RW and CD-R.
The new high speed Producer DVD+R/RW burner is the perfect all-in-one
device for quickly and easily storing digital photos, video presentations
and large data files onto DVD+RW and DVD+R media. The new Verbatim
Producer drive can also burn CD-RW and CD-R media for burning smaller
amounts of data, such as MP3 files. Additionally, DVD+R and DVD+RW
discs written on a DVD+RW burner can be read and played on DVD-video
players and DVD-ROM drives.
The Producer comes with a blank DVD+RW disc, which is capable of
holding up to 4.7GB of data, making it more cost-effective than many
other forms of storage. The drive employs industry-fast speeds for
writing and rewriting DVDs at 2.4x rating of 3.24MB/second; and also
reads DVDs at a fast 8x rating of 10.8MB/second.
The Verbatim DVD+R/RW drive is available now at an average retail
price of $349 at leading computer and consumer electronics retailers.
Visit the company's web site at www.verbatim.com.
Sep 04 - Technology Leaders Establish
WiMedia Alliance. Nine leading technology companies today announced
that they have formed the WiMedia Alliance. The Alliance, a not-for-profit
open industry forum, was formed to develop and adopt standards-based
specifications for connecting personal area, wireless multimedia devices.
The founding member companies include international leaders in the
wireless networking, consumer electronic, and semiconductor industries.
The WiMedia Alliance will establish a certification program to accelerate
widespread consumer adoption of "wire-free" imaging and
multimedia solutions. Initial Alliance activity will be based on the
high data-rate IEEE 802.15.3 draft standard with amendments and enhancements
planned for future wireless systems such as ultra-wideband (UWB).
The WiMedia brand mark will certify the interoperability of multimedia
devices that use personal area wireless technologies. The brand will
also let consumers know which personal devices are WiMedia-compatible
and interoperable in a consumer-electronics-based networked environment.
The Alliance will manage the WiMedia brand and license its use to
organizations whose products pass certification tests.
"The rationale behind WiMedia solutions makes tremendous sense
as OEMs are increasingly looking to complement their wired networking
interfaces with wireless solutions that provide high-bandwidth connectivity
in a variety of digital devices," said Navin Sabharwal, Director
of Residential and Networking Technologies at research think-tank
Allied Business Intelligence (ABI). "WiMedia provides them with
a wireless technology optimized for their rapid data transfer and
multimedia distribution needs in uses ranging from portable products,
such as digital cameras and MP3 players, to line-powered devices,
such as HDTV, digital set-top boxes, and game consoles. The WiMedia
Alliance will play a pivotal role in making this vision a reality
through its efforts to accelerate industry adoption and ensure vendor
High-speed, low-power WiMedia-compliant solutions will enable a new
generation of untethered, interoperable consumer appliance, imaging,
and multimedia devices, ultimately bringing greater benefits to the
end-user. They will also provide an easy-to-use consumer experience
whether at home, office, or at a retail kiosk.
"WiMedia creates a personal area wireless capability not addressed
by any current standard," said John Barr, Director of Standards
Realization for Motorola and acting president of the WiMedia Alliance.
"Our activity targets high data-rate multimedia connectivity
with low-power needs, and therefore enables a broad range of applications
in the consumer appliance, imaging, and multimedia markets. The brands
supporting WiMedia indicate the potential for our work and ultimate
acceptance of the solutions."
The WiMedia Alliance's founding member companies are Appairent Technologies,
Inc.; Eastman Kodak Company; HP; Motorola, Inc.; Royal Philips Electronics;
Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd.; Sharp Laboratories of America, Inc.;
Time Domain Corporation; and XtremeSpectrum, Inc. As an open organization,
the WiMedia Alliance offers several levels of paid annual membership
and is open to all companies and organizations, which agree to abide
by the WiMedia bylaws and policies.
For more information on the WiMedia Alliance, visit the WiMedia website
Sep 04 - J. River Debuts MEDIA JUKEBOX
9.0. While the Microsoft (Nasdaq:MSFT) marketing machine has been
building up the buzz for a beta release of Windows Media Player 9,
a competitor, J. River, has been diligently developing its own award-winning
MEDIA JUKEBOX(TM) media management software into a superior alternative
that will debut at the same time.
MEDIA JUKEBOX 9.0, available now in a preview release, exceeds the
capabilities of WMP with playback of Real and QuickTime formats, open
formats like OGG and MPC, image playback, and support for a wide range
of entertainment hardware devices. MEDIA JUKEBOX can also serve as
a media center for a home theater system.
"We've built a powerful database management and playback tool
that can handle all popular media, including music, TV, DVD, and now
-something that no other jukebox software does - support for image,
photo and video organization," said Jim Hillegass, J. River's
"MJ's unique combination of features and flexibility make it
the ideal hub for home entertainment systems. While Microsoft's WMP
9 relies on the new XP Media Center Edition for full functionality,
MEDIA JUKEBOX is a stand-alone solution that works across all MS OS's
and a wide variety of hardware."
For the last year J. River has worked closely with the community
of audiophiles and forward-thinking audio/visual technology buffs
to push the envelope on their home theater systems by combining them
with PC's for DVD playback on big screens, and often controlled by
remote devices, such as Web tablets, Prontos, and PDA's.
MEDIA JUKEBOX has found a niche among users who are pushing their
PC's as the center of their entertainment world. It pioneered the
playback of audio files from networked PC's in the home. J. River
uses a lively interactive forum for support, for beta testing, and
has built a community of users interested in integrating their stereos
and TV's with their personal computers.
"We are significantly ahead of Microsoft in the integration
of PC's with home theater hardware. We already support the popular
TV tuner cards, and we're pushing on into TiVo-like recording of programs.
We believe hard drive capacity growth will allow users to manage their
recorded programs in the same way that they now manage MP3 files."
says CTO, Nikolay Sokratov.
MEDIA JUKEBOX is now the #1 rated jukebox software at both CNET's
download.com and at MP3.com. The 9.0 preview version is available
Sep 03 - Toshiba and Microsoft Prepare
to Make Tablet PC Initiative a Reality. Toshiba's Computer Systems
Group (CSG) today announced the receipt of Microsoft(R)'s Windows(R)
XP Tablet PC Edition Software.
Over the next two months, Toshiba will be working diligently to integrate
the unique software and other Toshiba enhanced utilities into its
future hardware design. Toshiba's Tablet PC will be part of the company's
award-winning Portege(R) family of computers, and enable mobile customers
to experience their PC in new and exciting ways.
Together, Toshiba and Microsoft will bring enhanced functionality
and capabilities to today's notebook PC including digital ink.
"The Tablet PC represents the future of mobile computing Toshiba
is excited to be working with Microsoft to bring customers pioneering
technologies and products," said Oscar Koenders, vice president
product marketing and worldwide product planning, Toshiba CSG.
"We believe digital ink is a breakthrough technology that will
improve information workers' productivity and this event brings us
that much closer to delivering on that belief."
Toshiba's Portege Tablet PC will be available this Fall via retail
channels including computer superstores, mail order, shoptoshiba.com
and traditional distribution. It will provide all the computing power
of a mobile computer and marry the simplicity of pen and paper. For
the Portege Tablet PC, Toshiba is targeting mobile professionals that
rely on notebook PCs as a critical business tool.
"The Tablet PC team has been working closely with Toshiba and
respect their expertise in delivering innovative mobile computing
devices," said Alexandra Loeb, vice president of the Tablet PC
division at Microsoft. "The Tablet PC offers customers the opportunity
to use their PCs in ways they never imagined."
For more information visit the company's Web site at www.csd.toshiba.com.
Sep 03 - Worldwide July Chip Sales up
2.9% from June. Global chip sales reached $11.7 billion in July,
a 2.9% increase over the June level of $11.4 billion, the SIA announced
today. On a year-to-year basis, chip sales in July were up 8% from
the $10.8 billion in revenue recorded in July 2001, the first year-over-year
increase registered since February 2001.
"The July data, and the year-on-year increase, confirm that
a moderate but sustainable recovery continues, putting us on track
for 7-9% sequential growth in the third quarter," said SIA President
George Scalise. "Growth continues to be most robust in the digital
consumer market, including DVDs, video games and digital cameras,
as reflected in increased demand for standard cells, consumer ASP's,
optoelectronics and flash memory chips in the month."
Wireless communications also recorded an increase, spurred by brisk
growth of handsets in Asia and consumers embrace of 2.5G technology.
Wired communications, which include routers and networking equipment,
are growing as inventory run-downs draw to a close and manufacturers
are now relying on new shipments to sustain consumption. Although
the PC sector grew modestly, it continues to lag historical trends,
reflecting subdued IT investment levels. As inventories and supply
and demand come into balance, the pricing environment has stabilized.
On a regional basis, Japan, once again the fastest-growing market
due to higher demand for digital consumer products, recorded an 8.5%
increase in chip sales in July. The Asia Pacific market registered
2.3% growth, as the strength of consumer electronics and demand for
wireless handsets outweighed continuing weakness in the PC sector.
Chip sales in the Americas and Europe were essentially flat, reflecting
weak PC demand in both markets, and continued outsourcing to the Asia
For the year as a whole, worldwide chip sales are expected to exceed
2001 levels by 3%. The industry continues to forecast accelerated
growth rates exceeding 20% in both 2003 and 2004, led by rapidly increasing
demand for digital consumer and wireless products, as the consumer
and communications revolution continues to unfold.
More information about the SIA can be found at www.sia-online.org.
Sep 03 - Price Key to Future Growth
in Set Top Box Market. As telecommunications providers move beyond
traditional voice and data service to video, the deployment of IP
and DSL Set Top Boxes (STBs) will continue to increase, according
to In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
However, the high-tech market research firm reports, that in order
for the market to move beyond its current size (only 51,000 units
in 2001), boxes will have to reach an average selling price below
In the meantime, deployments such as rural ILECs in North America,
FastWeb in Italy, TransACT in Australia, Chunghwa in Taiwan, and Scandinavian
utilities are expected to consume tens of thousands of set top boxes
in 2002 and 2003.
"In most cases the service provider buys the box and leases
it to the subscriber, so there is a lot of pressure from service providers
on box vendors to reduce prices," said Michelle Abraham, a senior
analyst with In-Stat/MDR.
"With the average bill of materials on a single stream DSL box
at $164 in 2002, $200 is still a long way away. Volumes are not high,
so economies of scale in manufacturing are not there, and vendors
still need to recover the research and development expenses from the
"Since the box is comprised of components that are all being
manufactured in volume we do not expect large reductions in the bill
of material in the future. The necessary decline in price will have
to come from the aforementioned economies of scale."
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- In Europe, FastWeb in Italy and HanseNet in Germany are marching
forward, wiring homes in major Italian cities and Hamburg, Germany.
They were installing several thousand boxes per month at the beginning
of 2002, and installations continue to climb. By 2004, Europe will
consume the largest share of the market.
-- In 2003, more rural ILECs and a few Canadian telcos (Bell Canada,
SaskTel, and Manitoba Telecom) will be consuming boxes in North America.
The U.S. RBOCs will not have much impact on this market until 2005.
Reductions in capital expenditure budgets are the greatest roadblock
to RBOC video deployment at present.
-- In Asia, in 2003, service providers in Korea and Japan are expected
to add to box demand from TransACT and Chunghwa. The number of service
providers, and the size of deployments, will keep growing and in 2004
that region will surpass the Americas in demand for DSL/IP set tops.
Sep 03 - Norton SystemWorks 2003 Delivers
Web Tools and Enhanced Virus Protection. Symantec Corp. (Nasdaq:
SYMC), the world leader in Internet security, today announced Norton
SystemWorks 2003, the new best-of-breed problem-solving suite that
offers a comprehensive, integrated solution to help keep PCs running
at optimal performance levels.
Available for purchase in late-September, Norton SystemWorks 2003
now features new Web optimization tools and improved antivirus protection.
The award-winning suite's new Web Tools feature helps users get the
most out of their online activities by integrating tools that maximize
hard drive space and maintain dial-up connections while online. Norton
SystemWorks 2003 also includes enhanced antivirus protection through
Norton AntiVirus 2003, which offers new, state-of-the-art Instant
Message scanning, worm blocking, and automatic removal of Trojans
"Symantec understands that a personal computer represents a
significant investment for many consumers. Norton SystemWorks 2003
can help ensure the longevity of that investment with award-winning
maintenance, optimization, and disaster recovery solutions in one,
easy-to-use package," said Steve Cullen, senior vice president
of Consumer and Client Product Delivery at Symantec. "We have
also added new features to address the growing demand for simple,
unobtrusive tools that help make using the Internet a productive,
efficient and trouble-free experience."
Key features in Norton SystemWorks 2003 include:
-- Norton AntiVirus 2003, the newest version of the world's most
trusted antivirus solution for home computer users.
-- Norton Utilities and Norton CleanSweep, providing integrated, comprehensive
PC maintenance, problem-solving, system optimization and file removal
-- Web Tools, a new feature offering easy-to-use tools for removing
Internet clutter, managing wanted and unwanted cookies, and keeping
dial-up connections alive while online.
-- One Button Checkup, with new customized scanning options, allowing
users to perform the system scans they want with the click of a button.
Users can also now easily accept or undo any or all of the changes
made to their system by One Button Checkup.
-- GoBack 3 Personal Edition, an advanced system recovery tool that
allows users to easily restore healthy system configurations and lost
or damaged data.
Symantec also offers Norton SystemWorks 2003 Professional Edition,
designed especially for small business and advanced users. This edition
includes all of the features in Norton SystemWorks, and adds three
additional tools - Norton Ghost 2003, Process Viewer and new PerformanceTest.
Pricing and Availability
Norton SystemWorks 2003 and Norton SystemWorks 2003 Professional
Edition are available now for pre-order at www.SymantecStore.com
at an estimated retail price of $69.95 and $99.95, respectively. Current
users of Symantec products and select competitive products can take
advantage of a $30 mail-in rebate when they upgrade to Norton SystemWorks
2003 or Norton SystemWorks 2003 Professional Edition.
Sep 02 - VIA Hosts AGP 8X Validation
Event with ATI and NVIDIA. VIA Technologies, Inc, a leading innovator
and developer of silicon chip technologies and PC platform solutions,
announced that it hosted a Plugfest event to validate the AGP 8X performance
of VIA Apollo P4X400 and KT400 chipset based motherboards.
VIA was joined by Microsoft and leading graphics vendors ATI and
NVIDIA in highlighting the importance of AGP 8X to the industry. Extensive
validation was performed on premium performance Socket 478 and Socket
A motherboards available from a broad spectrum of manufacturers, including
Abit, Albatron, Acorp, Aopen, Azza, Biostar, Chaintech, DFI, ECS,
EpoX, Giga-Byte, Iwill, Jetway, Micro-Star, Shuttle, Soltek, Soyo
Delivering 2.1GB/s of bandwidth to the graphics engine, the new AGP
8X standard enables improved image quality and 3D performance in the
highest resolution conditions, and looks set to be widely adopted
by the industry. Underlining VIA's commitment to open industry standards
and technical compatibility, the AGP 8X Plugfest will bring together
key players to validate the latest hardware supporting this new feature.
"VIA remains committed to driving technical innovation, and
working with our industry partners to facilitate - not impose - wide
and rapid market adoption of beneficial new applications such as AGP8X,"
commented Richard Brown, Director of Marketing, VIA Technologies,
Inc. "AGP 8X support enables end-users to realize unequalled
image quality and performance, so this event is vital to ensure greater
product compatibility, and we are delighted that key players are joining
us to achieve this goal."
"VIA's Apollo P4X400 and KT400 performance chipsets both support
the next generation graphics capability of AGP 8X, and OEMs and system
integrators are keen to incorporate this powerful combination into
their top of the range systems," said Chewei Lin, Vice President
of Product Marketing at VIA Technologies, Inc. "The AGP 8X Plugfest
is aimed at the harmonization of standards within the industry, so
facilitating a more rapid uptake of this high performance feature."
Additional information about VIA can be found at www.via.com.tw.
Sep 02 - HP Rises to Tie for No. 1 Position
in Worldwide Server Revenue. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today announced that
it has tied for the No. 1 position in worldwide server revenue with
27.8 percent of the market for the second quarter of calendar year
2002 according to figures released today by market research firm IDC.
HP also maintained its strong No.1 position in unit shipments with
30.8 percent of total server unit shipments.
In addition to its total market share leadership, in the standard
Intel(R) architecture server space, its HP ProLiant servers gained
more share than any other vendor in the United States and moved HP
into a tie for the No. 1 position. HP also continued its five-year
track record of leadership in the mid-range UNIX(R) server market.
HP claimed a strong 42.0 percent share of mid-range UNIX server revenues,
which represents a 9-point gain year over year.
HP also maintained its long-standing No. 1 position in the rapidly
growing Linux server market across all server platforms with 28.1
percent unit (30.2 percent revenue) market share. In the high-volume
worldwide market for industry standard servers running Windows(R),
HP holds a commanding No. 1 position with 33.2 percent of the market,
an almost 11 percentage point market share lead over its nearest competitor.
"The new HP is tracking well in this challenging economy and
we're moving quickly and aggressively to maintain and grow our leadership
position," said Janice Chaffin, vice president of enterprise
marketing and solutions, HP Enterprise Systems Group. "We continue
to refresh and enhance our product portfolio to offer customers even
more choice and value for their IT dollars. Don't blink, we're moving
In emerging technology, HP was No. 1 in blade servers with 54.8 percent
unit market share. In the 64-bit Itanium market, HP also holds a strong
No. 1 position with 58.3 percent of the market in units.
More information about HP is available at www.hp.com.
Sep 02 - IBM and USA Technologies Power
Web-enabled Washing Machines. IBM and USA Technologies (NASDAQ:
USTT) today announced that they will Web-enable 9,000 washing machines
and dryers at U.S. colleges and universities, eliminating much of
the hassle associated with laundry day at the dorm.
Called e-Suds, the systems replace traditional coin-operated technology
with a new method that allows students to pay with the swipe of an
ID card or the push of a few buttons on a cell phone.
American Sales (ASI), Inc will provide the e-Suds-enabled machines
to colleges in the U.S.
Far more sophisticated than traditional coin-operated laundromats,
the machines will be linked to an intelligent back-end systems hosted
by IBM. Using the system, students will be able to visit a Website
to find out when a machine will be available. They'll be able to select
various functions, such as the dispensing of soap and fabric softener
-- choosing from a range of products in storage bins attached to each
machine. When the wash is done, they'll be notified via an email sent
to their pagers or PCs.
Laundromat owners will go online to monitor machine performance and
conduct proactive maintenance, as well as check filter clogs, water
temperature and usage patterns -- helping to reduce the need for on-site
IBM will host the e-Suds transaction data and Web sites and integrate
the washing machines and dryers with customers' back-end systems that
handle inventory, payment authorization and reports. USA Technology
will provide the technology, which makes transactions of less than
a dollar cost effective for vendors.
Visit the companies online at www.usatech.com
Sep 01 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - Almost all desktops and notebooks were
good buys in the categories we follow, with the exception of high-end
notebooks, which were significantly higher than last week's prices.
(See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below
for specific system prices.)
Weekly Comparison. System prices were a little
lower than last week.
Notebooks - Notebook prices were lower for low-end
notebooks, however, high-end notebooks went up $300 or more compared
to last week.
Desktops - Pentium 4 and Athlon XP desktop prices were lower
Celeron prices were about the same as last week.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing.
In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales
are advertised this week. (Note that these
ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different
where you live.)
BestBuy is offering 6 months of free MSN with any computer purchase
and 12 month no interest financing on all notebooks.
Additionally, they are giving $200 mail-in rebates on all Pentium
4 desktop packages, $100 mail-in rebates on all Celeron desktop packages,
and $100 mail-in rebates on all notebooks.
Circuit City is now giving
away 3 months of free AOL (instead of a free year of CompuServe) on
any in-store computer purchase. In addition they are giving $100 off
all desktop packages and notebooks.
has 6 month no interest, no payment financing for purchases over $298.
CompUSA is offering 6 month no
interest, no payment financing on any HP product costing $249 or more.
They are also offering mail-in rebates of $150 on Pentium 4 or Athlon
XP desktops, $200 on Athlon XP notebooks, $150 on Celeron notebooks,
and $100 on Toshiba Pentium 4 notebooks.
Staples is offering $200 off any computer
purchase with 2 year MSN contract.
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to
those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer
Shopping Alert on Lower Priced
Desktops. Many lower priced Celeron/Duron desktops made
by almost all computer manufacturers should be carefully investigated
Most of these low priced desktops have no AGP video expansion slot,
no onboard dedicated video RAM, no CD-RW drive, and very few empty
PCI expansion slots. These computers will be very difficult to upgrade,
and they have poorer performance than other desktops that do not have
integrated audio and video chips on the motherboard.
Often by spending $200-$400 more for a Pentium 4 or Athlon XP based
system, you can get twice the performance, more features, and you
will have an upgradeable computer that will serve you well for another
If you choose the $700 Celeron/Duron system to save a few bucks, keep
in mind that in a year or two you will probably want to replace it.
Note on the "Loaded Celeron" Intel
Celerons at speeds of 1.7 GHz or faster are potentially upgradeable
to Pentium 4 processors. Slower Celerons are not socket compatible
with the Pentium 4.
These faster Celeron systems are more like a low end Pentium 4 system
as they often include: 400 MHz bus speed, DDR RAM, CD-RW or DVD drives,
and flat screen monitors.
About Windows XP. It has been a little over 10
months since Windows XP began to be bundled with new computers. Windows
XP became available for separate purchase on October 25, 2001. For
more information on Windows XP see our Windows
XP Upgrade Guide.
Internet Rebates. Most stores are no longer
advertising 3 year Internet rebates. Check with your local store before
you buy. Please see our article, What
You Need to Know About Internet Rebates and Free PCs, for an in-depth
discussion of Internet Rebates.
Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete
package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the
computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges
(if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain
store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better
Caution about advertised prices.
When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make
sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example,
many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor,
and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.
* Prices discussed in this article. We report
prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have
gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous
Best Ad Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
1. Best Celeron
HP 1.3 GHz complete
2. Best Celeron
Compaq 1.4 GHz complete
Best Low-cost Pentium 4
Sony 2.0 GHz complete system
Best High-end Pentium 4 System
HP 2.26 GHz complete system (build-to-order)
Best Low-cost Athlon XP System
Compaq 1800+ complete system
Best High-end Athlon XP System
HP 2000+ complete system
1. Best Low-cost Notebook
Toshiba 1.5 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Notebook
HP Athlon XP 1400+ with DVD/CD-RW (build-to-order)
Best High-end Notebook
Toshiba Pentium 4-M
1.7 GHz with DVD/CD-RW
Best Sunday Deal
$349 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 80 GB 7200 RPM hard drive
Best Sunday Deal
Radeon 8500 128MB DDR Video Card
$129 (after rebates)
Best Sunday Deal
Memorex 48X CD-RW
Additional Information. For additional technical
information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor
and manufacturer links, please see our Computer
Buying Advice page.
About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping
Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas)
in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio)
computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your
local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make
informed buying decisions.
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