Apr 30 - iTunes Celebrates Its First Anniversary. Apple®
today celebrates the first anniversary of its iTunes® Music
Store. Launched one year ago today, the iTunes Music Store has
revolutionized the music industry with its 99 cents-per-song pricing,
free previews, one-click purchasing and downloading, and groundbreaking
personal use rights. In its first year, music fans have purchased
more than 70 million songs, making it the number one online music
service in the world with more than 70 percent market share of
legal downloads for singles and albums. iTunes customers are currently
purchasing 2.7 million songs per week, a rate of 140 million songs
iTunes has exceeded our wildest expectations during its
first year, charting a new direction for the music industry,
said Steve Jobs, Apples CEO. The unbeatable combination
of iTunes and the market-leading iPod offers music fans a seamless
experience for discovering, buying, managing and enjoying their
To kick off its second year, Apple today launched the third generation
iTunes Music Store, featuring the industrys largest online
music catalog of over 700,000 songs from all five major music
companies and over 450 independent music labels, as well as groundbreaking
Honoring Apples commitment to discourage music theft while
preserving fair personal use rights, the number of times a user
can burn the same playlist onto CDs with iTunes is being reduced
from ten burns to seven. Users can still burn a single song an
unlimited number of times and listen to their music on an unlimited
number of iPods.
Apple is marking the first anniversary of its iTunes Music Store
by thanking its customers with a free song of the day for the
next eight days from artists who have helped make iTunes a runaway
success, including Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love,
Annie Lennox, Janes Addiction, Counting Crows, Renee Fleming
and Nelly Furtado. Following the anniversary celebration, the
iTunes Music Store will continue to offer a Free Single
of the Week from up-and-coming bands, spotlighting emerging
artists and offering iTunes customers a risk-free way to discover
The iTunes Music Store continues to lead the industry with exclusive
tracks from more than 150 artists, and starting today, offers
dozens of out-of-print recordings from Motown Records, including
the first 45 singles and 45 hard-to-find albums from the Motown
archiveavailable digitally for the first time.
The iTunes Music Store features the exclusive digital music catalog
of Walt Disney Records, including soundtracks from Disneys
classic animated films and Disney/Pixars computer-animated
films. New exclusives available today include the new Beastie
Boys single, Ch-Check it Out from the groups
first studio release in five years and the exclusive digital release
of The Foo Fighters catalog.
Pricing & Availability
iTunes 4.5 for Mac® and Windows includes the iTunes Music
Store and is available as a free download immediately from www.apple.com/itunes.
Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for
Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a U.S. billing
address. Further information about Apples digital music
products can be found at www.apple.com/ipod
Apr 30 - NVIDIA Unveils New 64-Bit
Drivers for NVIDIA nForce Platforms. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq:
NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today
announced the immediate availability of new 64-bit software drivers
for systems and motherboards based on the NVIDIA nForce3
media and communications processors (MCPs).
This new beta driver release is the first NVIDIA nForce3 driver
package to support the Microsoft® Windows® XP 64-bit Edition
for Extended Systems beta operating system, and provides valuable
system management support for the Gigabit Ethernet, advanced RAID
storage configurations, and hardware-optimized security features
that are integrated into the NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs.
Optimized for the AMD64 processor family: the AMD Athlon 64,
AMD Athlon 64 FX, and AMD Opteron processors, the NVIDIA
nForce3 MCPs provides high performance, advanced scalability,
and unmatched system stability, addressing the most demanding
needs of technical users who are using the next-generation Microsoft
64-bit beta operating system and AMD64 platforms to create next-generation
games, developer tools, and applications.
AMD is leading the way to pervasive 64-bit computing and
NVIDIA is helping make it possible for developers to take advantage
of this technology with the release of these 64-bit drivers,
said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager, AMDs
Microprocessor Business Unit. NVIDIA and AMD share the vision
of promoting an immersive cinematic computing experience that
wasnt possible with 32-bit memory limitations, and we are
one step closer to this reality.
The NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs integrate hardware and software technologies
that expand PC desktop, gaming, and digital media functionality.
By providing the industrys only high-speed, native Gigabit
Ethernet solution, fault tolerant and high performance RAID storage
functionality, and integrated security features, the NVIDIA nForce3
MCPs deliver accelerated performance for multiple computing environments,
including professional, consumer, and mobile computing platforms.
Systems based on NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs and the AMD Athlon
64 and AMD Opteron processors provide a compatible, stable, and
reliable computing platform for users who wish to exploit the
benefits of both 32-bit and 64-bit computing environments,
said Dwight Diercks, vice president of software engineering at
NVIDIA. With the release of our beta 64-bit drivers, NVIDIA,
along with AMD and Microsoft is delivering a computing platform
with the leading-edge features, performance, and stability that
content developers require to develop stunning next-generation
games, tools, and video with an extraordinary level of realism
and 3D images.
For more information on NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs, please visit www.nvidia.com.
Apr 30 - Nintendo's Game Boy to Maintain
Dominance in Market it Pioneered. Long the sole territory
of Nintendo's Game Boy line, the handheld gaming market has suddenly
become crowded with competition, reports In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com).
However, the high-tech market research firm finds that, with
three new handheld consoles coming to market, Nintendo is not
intending to rest on its laurels, offering new product lines and
accessories in an effort to maintain its hold on this market.
As a result, Nintendo will enjoy continued success in the market
segment that it pioneered with both its Game Boy and its new DS
While the Nokia N-Gage, Tapwave Zodiac and Sony PlayStation Portable
(PSP) focus on gaming, they do offer other features, ranging from
digital audio players to Bluetooth capability to mobile phone
functionality that make them new types of consumer convergence
devices. However, according to Brian O'Rourke, a Senior Analyst
with In-Stat/MDR's converging markets and technologies group,
"Nintendo is the most successful company in the history of
handheld games. While all three of these new platforms have higher
prices, and are targeting an older demographic than the incumbent
Game Boy platform, none will be able to escape Nintendo's long
In-Stat/MDR has also found that:
-- Sony will also be successful in this market as it should be
able to draw on its PlayStation experience and substantial software
library to succeed in the handheld market. The PSP is scheduled
to make its debut in Japan in the fourth quarter of 2004.
-- Nokia, though it may struggle at times, has initially shown
the resources and determination to succeed in this market. Nokia
will face substantial challenges in establishing the platform
and assuring the availability of sufficient software to entice
-- A start-up company founded by ex-Palm executives, Tapwave
may be the odd man out, as it has difficulty competing with the
heavyweights in this market. Tapwave has the most difficult task
of the three competitors in establishing its platform. It is currently
available only on the web and does not have the deep pockets of
its competitors. As a result, it will be challenged in attracting
third-party publishers to develop game software, the lifeblood
of any game platform.
Apr 30 - 8.5 Million US Homes to Add
Broadband In 2004. 2004 will be another banner year for broadband
in the United States, with the number of homes using high-speed
Internet service growing from 25 million today to 33.5 million
by year's end.
According to a new report from global research firm Strategy Analytics,
cable modem users will account for 5.2 million of these new subscribers,
while 2.9 million households will add DSL service. About 400,000
homes will use alternate broadband access technologies such as
fiber, wireless, and two-way satellite services.
The report, "Broadband in the US: Service Provider Strategies
in a Changing Market," also predicts that the year ahead
will see major changes in the competitive positioning of telephone
and cable TV companies delivering broadband. While lower prices
and branded content have helped DSL attract first-time customers
making the switch from dial-up to broadband, cable operators can
target a wider range of consumers by delivering faster access
speeds and multi-service bundles.
"Cable's combination of higher access speeds, wider availability
and more compelling bundles lets the leading operators target
several classes of consumers," notes James Penhune, Director
of Strategy Analytics' Broadband Media & Communications practice.
"These include new users as well as a growing number of consumers
seeking advanced video services such as High Definition TV (HDTV)
and Video On Demand (VOD). At the same time, aggressive cable
telephony deployments from leaders like Time Warner, Comcast and
Cox will help these companies reach customers seeking simplicity
and savings from triple-play bundles combining video, data and
"To match these advantages, regional phone companies, like
SBC and Verizon, must make the most of their partnerships with
satellite TV operators," adds Penhune. "Previous telco-satellite
partnerships often failed to produce the simplicity and reliability
that bundling is meant to deliver. But if tighter strategic alliances
like SBC's deal with EchoStar prove credible to consumers, they
will help the telcos keep pace with cable on bundling and postpone
the need to consider more costly video strategies such as fiber
Apr 30 - Ulead Brings More Simplicity
to Home Movie Making with New Version of Video Editing Software.
Due to confusing technology and lack of time, many consumers have
shied away from editing and sharing their home videos. Ulead Systems,
a top developer of digital media software, has eliminated these
traditional barriers to video editing by making home movie creation
simpler with VideoStudio 8.
With years of fine tuning, VideoStudio 8 now offers refined automated
video editing tools for consumers who want to quickly and easily
turn home videos into polished movies to share on DVD, CD, or
the Web. VideoStudio 8 offers a unique approach to video automation
with tools that enhance the story-telling process. The newly added
three-step MovieWizard provides just the right mix of theme-based
intro and exit graphics, transitions, text effects and music to
tell a story, without losing the intended message in confusing
cuts and edits. At the same time, VideoStudio 8's full featured
Video Editor includes new and enhanced effects and filters, as
well as overlay and audio tools for more advanced editing techniques
"You can't create a great film just by knowing the latest
video editing techniques -- you have to also be a story teller,"
says Travis White, video editing product manager of Ulead Systems,
North America. "This is no less true for people who shoot
home videos. They want to re-create the story for important moments
in their lives. VideoStudio 8 lets them do this easily and quickly
without losing their message."
For further time savings, VideoStudio provides an Auto Analysis
tool that examines and removes poorly shot video clips and syncs
video to the duration of a music track. A new Music Generator
instantly creates musical scores to match the exact duration and
mood of a movie, while real-time audio mixing, a rubber band timeline,
and audio filters such as Normalization, Remove Noise and Amplify
provide more audio control. Sharing home videos over the Web is
now just as easy as sharing photos. With a one-click upload button,
VideoStudio 8 users can seamlessly transfer home movies for immediate
and convenient viewing via Neptune.com MediaShare.
VideoStudio 8 is available at www.ulead.com
and will be in North American retail stores and catalogs in May
for $99.99. Current VideoStudio users can purchase the upgrade
for $49.95 at Ulead.com.
Apr 29 - Acer Unveils Next Generation
Notebook - TravelMate 8000. Acer(R) America Corporation, one
of the leading worldwide suppliers of laptop PC solutions, today
introduced the TravelMate(TM) 8000 to its award-winning line of
TravelMate notebooks. Based on Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Mobile Technology,
the TravelMate 8000 delivers cutting-edge performance, multiple
connectivity options through 802.11b/g, and up to 5 hours of battery
life in a thinner, lighter notebook PC.
Designed as both a mobile workhorse while also offering the performance
of a desktop replacement, the TravelMate 8000 is an ideal system
that meets the needs of users of business professionals regardless
of their location, environment or workload.
The TravelMate 8000 is the next-generation offering of Acer's
award-winning TravelMate 800 platform. Originally announced in
March 2003, the TravelMate 800 was widely acclaimed as the highest
performing thin-and-light notebook available while receiving many
industry accolades, including Editors Choice designations from
C/net, ZDnet, and Tech Edge Magazine and a Best Buy award from
The low power design of Intel(R) Centrino(TM) Pentium M processor
enables the TravelMate 8000 to offer an unprecedented set of features
-- such as 15" SXGA+ LCD, 1.8GHz clock speeds and built-in
wireless connectivity -- without sacrificing long battery life
or lightweight design.
The integrated Wi-Fi 802.11b/g LAN support allows users to connect
to widely available wireless networks, while Bluetooth wireless
connectivity is provided for the new generation of printers, cell
phones, and other peripherals. In addition, offering ATI MOBILITY(TM)
RADEON(TM) graphics with up to 128MB of DDR VRAM, the TravelMate
8000 delivers stunning graphics that have previously only been
available with high-performance desktop systems.
"Improving on a system like the TravelMate 800 that has
been universally lauded by the media is not an easy proposition.
However, with the addition of an enhanced graphics engine, more
wireless options and an increase in overall processing horsepower,
we've managed to not only advance this platform, but also notebook
performance across the industry," said Sumit Agnihotry, mobile
product manager for Acer America.
"The TravelMate 8000 offers a level of performance that's
never before been available in a mobile system. Its combination
of raw muscle and battery life in a thin-and-light chassis will
allow end-uses to handle any computing task regardless of their
The TravelMate 8000 is available through Acer Authorized Resellers
throughout North America starting at approximately $1999.
For more information about Acer America, please visit the website
at: www.acer.com/us. Online
support is available at www.acersupport.com.
Apr 29 - Turbolinux Announces First
Linux Support for Microsoft Windows Media Format. Turbolinux,
a global provider of Linux solutions and the best-selling Linux
distribution in Asia-Pacific, today announced "Turbolinux
10 F...", a new Linux operating system designed for home
computer users. With 10F, Turbolinux becomes the first major Linux
distributor to ship a media player capable of streaming pure Windows
Media format audio and video. 10F is based on Turbolinux 10 Desktop.
"Japanese consumers are moving in large numbers to Linux,"
said Koichi Yano, president and COO of Turbolinux, Inc. "Turbolinux
Desktop has long had the best Asian language support and with
10F we now have the best multimedia system for consumers."
Home users can now watch feature DVD movies and Windows Media
streaming video on "Turbolinux 10 F...". CyberLink's
PowerDVD for Linux is included in the new "Turbolinux 10
F..." and supports Content Scramble System (CSS), an encryption
system widely required by studios to protect popular Hollywood
and theater movies.
Turbolinux engineers developed new software called Turbo Media
Player that works with xine, a widely-used Linux media engine,
to make it possible for customers to watch streaming video in
Windows Media format. Turbolinux is the first Linux company to
form a relationship with CyberLink to allow viewing of encrypted
movies in different international DVD regions established by the
Turbolinux 10 Desktop was ranked as one of the top 10 best-selling
system software packages in Japan in the first quarter of 2004,
including proprietary vendors such as Microsoft and Apple, according
to market research firm BCN. Last month Turbolinux announced an
OEM agreement with HP to distribute Turbolinux Desktop in 12 Asian
markets on new HP business desktop computers.
New features in "Turbolinux 10 F..." include:
-- Streaming video and audio support for Windows Media Format,
RealVideo/Audio and MP3;
-- PowerDVD for Linux enables legal playback of DVD movies and
supports Dolby stereo sound and simultaneous display of sub-titles,
-- Sun's Java applet and Macromedia Flash browser support.
"Turbolinux 10 F..." will be available for purchase
in Japan on May 28, 2004 and is priced at $149 per copy. Customers
upgrading from the previous version of Turbolinux Desktop can
purchase 10F for $64. Customers outside Japan can purchase "Turbolinux
10 F..." starting June 30, 2004.
For more information, visit www.turbolinux.com.
Apr 29 - SBC Yahoo! DSL Returns to
Best-Ever Price of $26.95 a Month for High Speed Internet Service.
Extending its leadership in delivering the most choices and best
value in broadband Internet service, SBC Communications Inc. (NYSE:
SBC) today announced the return of its most popular promotional
pricing for SBC Yahoo! DSL: $26.95 a month when ordered online
or through retail outlets. (Other monthly charges apply; see below.)
The offer was first introduced in October 2003 on a limited basis
and has also been available for customers who subscribe to SBC
Total Connections, a premium SBC bundle which includes local and
long distance services, call management features and wireless
Now, the new price promotion is also available to any new residential
SBC customer who orders online at sbc.com or at any of the more
than 2,000 retail outlets where SBC Yahoo! DSL service is offered.
Additionally, to simplify choices for customers and make it even
more convenient for them to personalize their SBC Yahoo! DSL service,
SBC Internet Services now offers two levels of speed offerings,
designed to meet customers' bandwidth and budget needs. Customers
can choose from:
-- SBC Yahoo! DSL Express: Offered for as low as $26.95 a month,
the standard SBC Yahoo! DSL service, with speeds of 384 Kbps -
1.5 Mbps x 128 Kbps, provides plenty of capacity for activities
like surfing the Web, sending e-mail messages and online shopping.
-- SBC Yahoo! DSL Pro: Starting as low as $36.99 a month, this
new flagship package delivers up to twice the bandwidth with 1.5
- 3.0 Mbps x 384 - 416 Kbps. (Other monthly charges apply; see
below.) It's ideal for downloading music, streaming video, playing
online games, and sending and receiving large files.
"With simplified packages, great promotional pricing and
speeds of up to 3.0 Mbps, SBC Yahoo! DSL subscribers can do more,
even faster than before, and save money while they're at it,"
said Ray Wilkins, group president, SBC marketing and sales. "Our
leadership in delivering innovative DSL Internet offers, value
pricing and more choices is the cornerstone of our success as
the nation's largest DSL provider."
In addition to the multiple speed offerings, ongoing enhancements
to SBC Yahoo! DSL deliver personalized content for home and business
users, powerful communications tools, industry-leading safety
and security features and a comprehensive parental controls and
content filtering package. To learn more about SBC Yahoo! DSL,
customers can visit www.sbc.com/sbcyahoo.
Apr 29 - EA to Return Fans to Middle-earth
in the Lord of the Rings, the Third Age Roleplaying Game.
Return to Middle-earth(TM) to forge a new adventure... Electronic
Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS) announced today that The Lord of the Rings(TM),
The Third Age(TM) roleplaying game is under development for a
planned fall 2004 release.
The epic quest, in which players will take on the roles of new
characters choosing their own path through Middle-earth while
interacting with the heroes and villains of the trilogy, will
be available for the PlayStation(R)2 computer entertainment system,
the Xbox(R) videogame system from Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM),
and Game Boy(R) Advance under the EA GAMES(TM) brand.
Based on New Line Cinema and Peter Jackson's acclaimed film adaptations
of J.R.R. Tolkien's classic The Lord of the Rings trilogy, The
Lord of the Rings, The Third Age videogame allows players to adventure
through Middle-earth, building a party of heroes as they journey.
Players battle on the side of the Fellowship, but can unlock additional
encounters where they fight on the side of Sauron as they progress.
In the game, players will interact with the characters of the
Fellowship in a unique structure, taking on individual quests
while intersecting the major events of the film trilogy that drive
the story forward. Parties will traverse through both familiar
and seldom-glimpsed locations, using an innovative turn-based
battle system as they fight, encountering the demonic Balrog in
the Mines of Moria, defending the fallen city of Osgiliath, or
trying to destroy Helm's Deep.
The Lord the Rings, The Third Age, is being developed by EA's
Redwood Shores studio, the same studio that developed the hit
The Lord of the Rings; The Return of the King(TM) game. The Game
Boy Advance version is being developed by Amaze Entertainment,
Inc., d/b/a Griptonite. For more information on EA's The Lord
of the Rings games, visit the official franchise website at .
Under an exclusive licensing agreement with New Line Cinema,
EA has the rights to create and publish interactive entertainment
games based on the movie trilogy. A real-time strategy game for
the PC, The Lord of the Rings, The Battle for Middle-earth(TM),
is under development for release in the fall of 2004.
Apr 28 - Toshiba and UPS Join to Set
New Standard for Laptop Repair. The Digital Products Division
of Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. and UPS (NYSE:UPS)
today announced a new laptop computer repair process designed
to reduce turnaround time for customers to four days or less.
The move is part of a wide-ranging customer service initiative
by Toshiba designed to raise the bar in the highly competitive
PC market. Toshiba expects to build customer loyalty as its customers
recognize that if they ever do have a problem with their laptop,
downtime will be held to an absolute minimum.
While improving customer satisfaction, Toshiba expects to save
millions of dollars by streamlining its service operations and
gaining better inventory visibility by using UPS's information
technology. The computer maker also expects to gain valuable data
about product performance that will help improve future product
design and manufacturing.
"This move is an industry first that will streamline our
service and support efficiencies and give Toshiba an edge in the
fiercely competitive PC market," said Mark Simons, vice president
and general manager for Toshiba's Digital Products Division. "With
this program, we are way ahead of the competition in terms of
efficiencies and quality and our customers are the ultimate beneficiaries.
It will eliminate multiple transportation steps, centralize parts
and repairs, and reduce costs."
The new repair program will utilize The UPS Store retail network
for professional packaging and convenient drop-off of laptops;
UPS's package delivery network for movement of customer computers,
and UPS Supply Chain Solutions for parts management and technical
repair. The new process benefits Toshiba's United States laptop
customers, including consumers and business professionals.
The process utilizes a specially-designed repair center at UPS
Supply Chain Solutions' logistics and technology campus in Louisville,
Ky. The 2 million-square foot campus, which specializes in high-tech
support, is adjacent to the UPS Worldport global air hub. The
proximity to the air hub means it is possible that a laptop can
be received, repaired and shipped directly to the owner in the
same day, with delivery as early as 8:30 a.m. the next morning.
UPS Supply Chain Solutions repair technicians are certified to
repair the entire laptop.
Getting a Toshiba laptop computer repaired is easy. Customers
call Toshiba's toll-free customer service center to obtain repair
consent and the address of the most convenient The UPS Store.
Or, they can log onto www.theupsstore.com
to get directions to one of the 3,300 The UPS Store locations.
Toshiba also can send their customers easy-to-assemble packaging
that can be shipped via UPS or shipped by another carrier. The
laptop also can be taken to a Toshiba Authorized Service Provider.
"As a leader in the PC industry, Toshiba has recognized
that post-sales service and ease-of-use are critical ways to build
positive, long-term relationships with customers," said Dan
Brutto, vice president and general manager, global transportation/shared
services, UPS Supply Chain Solutions. "With this solution,
Toshiba is telling its customers that if they ever do have a problem,
the return and repairs process will be hassle-free."
The new repair process is now in effect. For more information
visit www.toshiba.com. The
UPS Store locations are available at www.theupsstore.com.
Apr 28 - StarBand and NomadISP launch
WiFi Hotspot Service. StarBand, America's leading high-speed,
two-way satellite Internet provider, and NomadISP, a division
of LinOra Corporation, today launched the NomadISP AH-1 'Anywhere
Hotspot' product powered by StarBand.
The Anywhere Hotspot turnkey solution offers high-speed Internet
connectivity through the StarBand network via NomadISP's industry
standard WiFi technology. Because StarBand's satellite provided
high-speed Internet service is powering the Anywhere Hotspot service,
it is available to any location across North America and is particularly
well suited for those unable to get affordable broadband connectivity
via DSL or Cable.
The Anywhere Hotspot allows remote, yet heavily populated places
such as campgrounds, RV Parks, marinas, convention centers, hotels,
libraries, airports and train stations to access public wireless
broadband network services for their visitors with a WiFi enabled
laptop or other Internet device.
"Many recreational area site owners are impressed with the
extensive feature list of the Anywhere Hotspot product suite offering
a complete solution to High-Speed WiFi Internet access for guests.
However for most, the needed broadband connectivity to power the
AH-1 product was not available," says Kelly Hogan, CEO and
founder of NomadISP. "Our partnership with StarBand solves
this problem and makes offering a turnkey WiFi solution to owners
not only affordable and quite profitable, but also insures the
owners have a local contact for installation and support."
"Increasingly, today's travelers need to stay connected
to the Internet wherever they travel," claims StarBand Chairman
and CEO Zur Feldman. "The Anywhere Hotspot powered by StarBand
is a great solution for a wide array of hospitality, lodging,
and recreational businesses seeking to provide this service to
their customers while profiting from this opportunity."
StarBand and NomadISP already have service agreements in place
with campgrounds across the country and responses have been overwhelmingly
The NomadISP Anywhere Hotspot powered by StarBand ranges from
$1,795 to $1,995 for a complete hardware package and as little
as $149.99 per month. The site owner can recover the monthly service
fee with usage by as few as five end-users per day. The expansive
StarBand dealer network will distribute this turnkey WiFi hotspot
For more information, visit www.nomadisp.com.
Apr 28 - Worldwide Handheld Device
Shipments Decline 12% from Previous Year. The worldwide market
for handheld devices declined in the first quarter of 2004 due
to seasonally sluggish demand and vendor re-focusing. According
to IDC's Worldwide Handheld QView, device shipments decreased
11.7% year-on-year in 1Q04 and dropped sequentially 33.1% to 2.2
While vendor commitment to entry-level devices at lower price
points has helped to grow the handheld user base, many would-be
handheld purchasers obtained their devices during the holiday
shopping season in the fourth quarter of last year. As a result,
despite growth in the European market, the seasonal slump hit
vendors particularly hard during the first quarter of this year.
The market was also strongly impacted by a number of vendors focusing
on trimming down their product offerings and clearing their channels
in preparation for spring product launches.
"Despite increasingly powerful handheld devices reaching
market, the consumer uptake of entry-level devices available from
nearly every vendor calls into question the upgrade path and value
posed by the high-end devices. If entry-level devices prove to
be the most successful products adopted by consumers, the long-term
impact could be acceleration away from hardware differentiation
and a further loss of value in the handheld industry," said
David Linsalata, analyst in IDC's Mobile Devices program. "Handheld
device vendors must continue to search for consumer and enterprise
solutions for their products, such as GPS device bundles, that
utilize the range of capabilities contained in a handheld device."
-- palmOne - Hit particularly hard by the seasonality of the
handheld market, palmOne posted a sequential decline of 38.7%
and a corresponding decrease in market share from 39.4% to 36.1%.
However, palmOne will announce two Zire handhelds this quarter
and, given the fact that the Zire family has surpassed 3 million
units in fewer than 18 months, palmOne's shipments are expected
to increase in the near future.
-- Hewlett Packard - Despite the declining handheld market and
a 32.9% sequential drop, HP posted the strongest year-over-year
increase among the top 5 vendors with a rise of 24.8%. This increase,
based on the strength of an array of devices hitting the entire
spectrum of price points, enabled HP to maintain its market share
position of 25.7%.
-- Sony - Caught in the middle of a strategy shift to a streamlined
set of products and a focus on improved PIM and other core handheld
applications, Sony's market share dropped to single digits on
a sequential drop of 57.2% and year-over-year drop of 49.6%.
-- Dell - Riding the benefit of a fiscal year-end sales push
in January as well as Dell's direct sales model, Dell experienced
a 1.1% sequential decline in shipments, the lowest drop among
the top 5 vendors. Seasonality did take its toll, however, as
the company only increased 2.2% year-over-year, bringing its market
share up 4.7% to 7%.
-- Toshiba - Despite a relatively lackluster first quarter with
a year-over-year shipment decrease of 34.1% and a sequential decrease
of 48.4%, Toshiba reentered the top 5 vendor list this quarter.
Toshiba, a constant member of the top 5 vendors since Q302, was
knocked out of the top 5 vendor list last quarter by newcomer
Medion's strong sales. Medion did not, however, repeat last quarter's
Additional information can be found at www.idc.com.
Apr 28 - All-New Yahoo! Messenger
Offers Exclusive Features. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO), a leading
global Internet company, today announced the newest public beta
version of its popular Yahoo!(R) Messenger (http://messenger.yahoo.com)
Leading the instant messaging industry in time spent per user,
Yahoo! Messenger continues to drive innovation in the instant
messaging marketplace by introducing unique features and deeper
integration with Yahoo! services including LAUNCHcast, Yahoo!
Games, Yahoo! AddressBook, and Yahoo! Search.
Yahoo! Messenger is the only major instant messaging service
to provide consumers with access to pre-programmed or customized
radio stations available directly in their instant messaging application,
enabling an advanced music connection experience among friends
through LAUNCHcast, a leading Internet radio music service. It
is also the first major instant messaging service to offer U.S.
consumers Avatars, graphical and customizable characters that
represent people; and Audibles, expressive, verbal animations.
In addition, Yahoo! Messenger improves people's ability to get
the best of what they want from other popular Yahoo! services.
Integrating services such as Yahoo! Games, makes it easy for fans
to play two-person games including Chess, Checkers, Dominoes and
Word Racer, directly in the instant messaging window.
Deeper integration with Yahoo! Search through new search shortcuts
makes sharing results with friends easier than ever. New features
like enhanced access to contacts including e-mail and mobile information
through Yahoo! AddressBook and the ability to be seen by certain
friends of choice through the Stealth mode feature, provide an
easy, efficient and fun way for people to manage relationships
and communicate in real time.
"With this newest version of Yahoo! Messenger, we are changing
the instant messaging landscape by introducing new ways for people
to express, share, and manage, making instant messaging more essential
to their lives," said Lisa Pollock Mann, senior director
of messaging products at Yahoo!. "By integrating unique features
with compelling services from across our network, Yahoo! Messenger
continues to enable powerful interactions between friends and
Apr 27 - Apple Introduces New PowerBook
G4 Line. Apple® today announced a new line of PowerBook®
G4 notebooks with faster PowerPC G4 processors running at up to
1.5 GHz; faster graphics performance; and a 4x SuperDrive
(DVD-R/CD-RW) for burning professional-quality DVDsall housed
in the industry-leading aluminum enclosures that have defined
the latest generation of PowerBooks. All new PowerBook G4s come
standard with AirPort® Extreme 54 Mbps 802.11g pre-installed
for wireless networking right out of the box.
Apples PowerBook G4 notebooks continue to lead the
industry with an unrivaled mix of performance and portability,
said Philip Schiller, Apples senior vice president of Worldwide
Product Marketing. No other notebook packs so much performance
and so many cutting-edge features, including large widescreen
displays, high-speed wireless networking, advanced connectivity
and industry leading graphics, into such a thin and light design.
Both the 15-inch and 17-inch PowerBook G4 now offer up to a 1.5
GHz PowerPC G4 processor and phenomenal graphics performance with
the ATI Mobility Radeon 9700 graphics processor. For customers
who want the highest graphics performance, the 1.5 GHz 15-inch
model and 17-inch PowerBook can now be custom configured with
up to 128MB of graphics memory. The new 12-inch PowerBook G4 features
a 1.33 GHz PowerPC processor, NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5200 graphics
with 64MB of dedicated video memory and a larger 60GB Ultra ATA
Offering the latest in wireless communications, every new PowerBook
G4 notebook comes with built-in AirPort Extreme wireless networking
and an internal Bluetooth module for wireless connectivity to
a range of peripherals such as cell phones, PDAs, printers and
headsets, as well as the Apple Wireless Keyboard and Apple Wireless
Pricing & Availability
The new 12- and 15-inch PowerBook G4 models are available immediately,
and the new 17-inch PowerBook G4 is expected to be available in
early May through The Apple Store® www.apple.com,
at Apples retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
Apr 27 - IDT to Deploy America's First
Commercial WiFi Phone Service. IDT Corporation today announced
plans to deploy the first commercial WiFi phone service in the
US. IDT's WiFi phone service will allow users to bypass local
phone companies and make domestic and international phone calls
via a wireless connection to the internet.
IDT plans to initially roll out the WiFi service in select areas
of the Ironbound section of Newark, New Jersey. This initial deployment
will provide research to help IDT develop the new service as it
is rolled out in other areas. The new phone service will utilize
Net2Phone's innovative Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) platform.
"IDT is opening up the next frontier in telecommunications,"
said Howard Jonas, Chairman of IDT Corp. "By combining WiFi
wireless technology with IDT's global telecommunications network
and retail distribution, Net2Phone's VoIP platform and the fixed
wireless infrastructure of IDT Business Services (Winstar), IDT
is providing residential consumers with a more affordable and
flexible phone service."
WiFi phone customers will not need their own expensive broadband
connection to access the service. IDT will provide wide area WiFi
coverage in the targeted neighborhoods. Calls will be routed via
Net2Phone's VoIP platform, and terminated by IDT's worldwide telecommunications
network and infrastructure. IDT Business Services' (Winstar) fixed
wireless network will provide backhaul services for the traffic.
IDT is currently deploying its initial network and expects to
begin service in Newark within 30-60 days.
"While many are still talking about WiFi phone service,
IDT is making it a reality," said Jim Courter, IDT's CEO.
"IDT is bringing the first commercial WiFi phone service
into the marketplace. Not only have we found a profitable application
for WiFi, but we're creating a new industry within telecommunications
that can provide basic phone service for a fraction of the cost
of traditional phone service."
IDT's network is being designed to be compatible with advances
in wireless technology. IDT's WiFi customers will benefit from
a seamless transition to WiMax service as that technology matures
and becomes more widespread.
"Net2Phone pioneered VoIP," said Stephen Greenberg,
CEO of Net2Phone. "Now, together with IDT, we are launching
the next generation in telecom. With IDT's reach and infrastructure
expertise and Net2Phone's innovative VoIP platform, we are well
positioned to ride the burgeoning WiFi network explosion to offer
consumers and businesses affordable telephony services."
"Companies like IDT have led the renaissance of Newark,"
said the Honorable Sharpe James, Mayor of the City of Newark.
"Believe it or not, there are still people in America who
cannot afford basic home phone service. Now IDT is using its technology
to bridge the "telecommunications divide." Because of
IDT, Newark becomes the first city in America where affordable
WiFi phone service will be commercially available."
Apr 27 - VoIP is a Turning Point for
Us Telecoms. The rapid growth of voice over IP (VoIP) services
in the USA represents a turning point in the development of the
US telecoms market, according to a new report, VoIP in the US
Market: services, business models and regulation, from Analysys
Research, the global advisers on telecoms, IT and media (www.analysys.com).
"VoIP will have a fundamental impact on all aspects of US
telecoms because it causes fragmentation of supply and services
offered," says Michael Kende, co-author of the report and
a principal consultant within Analysys' Washington DC office.
"The US voice market will finally lose its monolithic character
but VoIP is unlikely to replace traditional PSTN voice during
According to Analysys forecasts, by 2008, VoIP penetration is
expected to reach 17% of broadband-enabled households (growing
from under 1 million at the end of this year to 11.7 million in
2008), and 23% of broadband-enabled small-business establishments
(increasing from less than 100,000 in 2004 to 800,000 in 2008).
Together, consumers and small businesses are expected to provide
almost 13 million VoIP subscriptions and USD5.7 billion in annual
service revenue in 2008. Although this is a significant amount,
it represents 2.5% of the 2003 total US telecoms revenue of USD224
For medium and large businesses VoIP growth is also very strong.
Analysys expects the estimated installed base of IP station lines
to increase from just over 3 million in 2004 to more than 18 million
by the end of 2008. This represents a compound annual growth rate
of over 50%.
The report states that during 2003, VoIP broke simultaneously
into the market consciousness of the US consumer, major industry
telecoms players and regulators with its promise of huge cost
savings. Major service providers, such as AT&T, MCI, Time
Warner Cable, Verizon and others, made startling announcements
to roll out and expand VoIP services and network deployment.
"VoIP has now moved from a behind-the-scenes network-migration
strategy to a distinct billable service, separable from the underlying
network, controllable by the end user, and with its own pricing
schemes, features and terminal equipment," says Michael Kende.
"In doing so it has the potential to shift market power to
the end user and new service providers, to disrupt the balance
of universal service subsidies, and to redefine the geographical
and technological basis of the US telecoms industry and its regulatory
The report acknowledges that VoIP providers face a raft of potential
regulatory impositions and decisions that will have a major impact
on their business models.
"Actions undertaken in 2004 could represent a turning point
in the development of the US telecommunications sector as decisions
made by the FCC will determine the playing field under which operators
can compete with the incumbent," says Michael Kende.
Apr 27 - CNET Download.com Expands
with Free, Legal Music and Game File Services. Download.com,
the world's leading download resource and a property of CNET Networks,
Inc. (Nasdaq:CNET), today announced the addition of free, legal
music and game file discovery and download services, expanding
beyond its core offering of software downloads.
The move is manifested on the site's home page (http://music.download.com),
which today unveiled three tabs -- software, music, and game files
-- as clear entry points into CNET Download.com's expanding offerings.
On a monthly basis, tens of millions of people turn to CNET Download.com
to discover free-to-try, legal software, easily navigating between
more than 30,000 latest-version offerings in 12 primary categories
for virtually any purpose, business or pleasure. Users download
more than 75 million software files each month. An unbiased resource,
CNET Download.com makes software discovery easy, directing users
to "most popular" and "most talked about"
lists, new releases, product spotlights, and top-rated programs
in each category.
Now, CNET Download.com is adapting its proven, intuitive interface
and unbiased approach to meet the needs of music and gaming fans,
helping them find and download free, legal music and game files
from a broad selection of offerings that will become increasingly
comprehensive as the year progresses.
"CNET Download.com earned its popularity by making it easy
for people get the most out of their computers and handheld devices,"
said Scott Arpajian, senior vice president of CNET Download.com.
"As digital music and gaming technologies break into the
mainstream, it is natural for us expand into these categories,
providing the digital fuel that brings them to life."
CNET Download.com Music
CNET Download.com's user base includes a heavy following of music
fans, as evidenced by the fact that the "Audio and Video"
software category steadily ranks as the number-one download category
on the site. Now, the people who turn to CNET Download.com for
software such as CD burners, media players, rippers and encoders,
music management, and MP3 search tools will also be able to fill
their audio devices with free, legal songs.
CNET Download.com's music service debuts today with thousands
of songs, which it has gathered since it invited artists to upload
their music starting last month. CNET Download.com expects this
database to rapidly increase in size and variety, as more artists
discover the unmatched opportunity to stage their music in front
of tens of millions of music fans. Currently featuring basic functionality
only, it will roll out a number of new community, discovery, and
technology features as the year progresses.
This CNET Download.com music launch is separate from CNET Networks'
coming launch of the all-new MP3.com site, which will take place
in the next few weeks.
CNET Download.com Game Files
CNET Download.com co-developed its game files feature with CNET
Networks' GameSpot, and launched it late last year as a new category.
The category quickly grew in popularity, and is currently among
the most popular categories on CNET Download.com. Now broken out
as one of the three featured digital fuel genres on the CNET Download.com
home page, the game files offering stands apart from other game
file services in that it offers the largest selection of fast,
free and secure game files.
Apr 27 - EA To Own the Streets This
Fall with Need for Speed Underground 2. Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:ERTS)
today announced the development of Need For Speed(TM) Underground
2 under the EA GAMES(TM) brand. Need for Speed Underground 2 is
the sequel to Need for Speed Underground, which has sold more
than five million copies worldwide since its release in November
Need for Speed Underground 2 will challenge gamers to immerse
themselves in the tuner culture, exploring an expansive, free-roaming
city divided into five distinct neighborhoods. Gamers will encounter
rival racers who will initiate events, tip players off to the
hottest racing spots, and show them where to buy the most sought-after
licensed aftermarket upgrades.
The game will feature new game modes, deep new performance customization
and tuning, and more than 30 licensed cars. The game also delivers
twice the visual customization upgrades as the original game,
providing a staggering 70 billion possible car combinations for
total automotive self-expression.
Need for Speed Underground 2 is currently under development by
EA Canada and is scheduled for release in fall 2004 for the PlayStation(R)2
computer entertainment system, Xbox(R) video game system from
Microsoft, Nintendo GameCube(TM), PC, and Game Boy(R) Advance.
This game has not yet been rated by the ESRB.
EA's homepage and online game site is www.ea.com.
Apr 26 - One Year Later, the AMD
Opteron Processor Transforms The Enterprise. AMD (NYSE:AMD)
today celebrates the one-year anniversary of the AMD Opteron(TM)
processor, which transformed the enterprise with groundbreaking
architecture, world-class 32-bit performance and an ecosystem
committed to the development of an industry-standard 64-bit solution.
One year ago, AMD introduced the AMD Opteron(TM) processor, the
world's first 32-bit and 64-bit processor compatible with the
x86 architecture. As a result of overwhelming customer demand,
leading OEMs -- Fujitsu-Siemens Computer, HP, IBM and Sun -- are
currently shipping AMD Opteron processor-based systems. More than
250 OS and ISV partners support AMD64 technology including Computer
Associates, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, RedHat, Sun, SUSE LINUX and
Enterprise customers in diverse industries such as computer-aided
engineering, digital content creation, entertainment, automobile
manufacturing, petrochemical, pharmaceutical and financial services
have installed AMD Opteron processor-based systems. Additionally,
the AMD Opteron processor has garnered 14 industry awards, including
the InfoWorld Readers' Choice Award for Best Processor/Component
and PC Magazine's Technical Excellence Award.
"Just one year ago, 64-bit computing was an elite class
of computing accessible to only a small percentage of the market.
This all changed with AMD64," said Dirk Meyer, senior vice
president, Computation Products Group, AMD. "AMD is leading
the industry to pervasive 64-bit computing with industry-standard
AMD64 technology featuring our Direct Connect Architecture --
a smart approach to architectural design that vastly improves
"AMD has helped change the industry landscape by establishing
the AMD64 technology as the first platform to bring 64-bit computing
to the x86 architecture. OEMs who have added AMD Opteron processor-based
servers to their portfolios have expanded their addressable market
for the x86 marketplace," said Vernon Turner, group vice
president of Global Enterprise Server Solutions at IDC. "The
AMD Opteron processor gives enterprise customers flexibility and
scalability with the investment protection of an industry-standard
"A year ago, we showed the world the best way to get to
64-bit computing was with the AMD Opteron processor. We have continued
to revolutionize the server market by essentially making 32-bit-only
servers obsolete and forcing others to follow in our lead,"
said Marty Seyer, vice president and general manager of the Microprocessor
Business Unit, AMD. "AMD has paved our way into the enterprise
with an industry-standard architecture that delivers world-class
32-bit performance and a simplified path to 64-bit computing."
A true enterprise-class solution
"We chose to expand our product offerings with the AMD Opteron
processor because we recognize the immediate performance advantages
in 32-bit environments, which accelerates ISV adoption and further
advances the future of 64-bit ecosystems," said James Mouton,
vice president, platform division, Industry Standard Servers,
HP. "The ProLiant servers and blades incorporating the AMD
technology simply gives us the ability to offer our customers
more performance and more choice."
"As the first OEM to announce support of the AMD Opteron
processor and the first to introduce an AMD Opteron processor-based
workstation to the market, IBM has worked closely with AMD to
give customers the flexibility and performance to power intense
computing applications," said Dave Turek, vice president
of Deep Computing at IBM. "As our customers continue to pursue
new achievements in business and science through high-performance
computing, we will continue to work with companies like AMD to
offer the choices customers require."
"Increasing customer demand for x86 solutions that are 32-bit
and 64-bit capable, and deliver maximum performance led us to
pursue a collaboration with AMD," said Souheil Saliba, vice
president of marketing and strategy, Sun Microsystems Inc. "With
the addition of AMD Opteron processors, we now have a competitive
set of high-performance x86 systems that support the Solaris Operating
System x86 platform, RedHat Linux and SUSE Linux. Our strategic
alliance with AMD and collaboration on future joint technology
development will result in a broad set of enterprise servers based
on the AMD Opteron processor."
AMD64: The direct connection to performance
With Direct Connect Architecture, AMD64 offers the enterprise
more than just 64-bit extensions. AMD removed the bottleneck of
a front-side bus and directly connected the processors, the memory
controller and the I/O, resulting in improved overall system performance
and efficiency. AMD is now positioned to target the key four-way
server market for the data center that withered over the years.
The flexibility of AMD64 with Direct Connect Architecture uniquely
addresses the complexity and costs of bringing four-way solutions
Also targeting low-power solutions for the data center, the AMD
Opteron processors HE (55 watt) and EE (30 watt) for servers and
workstations offer the most performance per watt of any processor
in their class.
Going forward, AMD plans to continue to drive widespread adoption
of AMD Opteron processor-based systems at all levels of enterprise
environments -- from high-performance clusters to blade servers.
By working with OEM partners to deliver reliable, secure solutions
with industry-leading performance, AMD will continue its tradition
of customer-centric innovation.
For more information, visit www.amd.com.
Apr 26 - Huge Surge in Phishing Scams
as Fraudsters Seek Financial Gain. There has been a vast increase
in the number of phishing emails in circulation over the past
six months, according to MessageLabs, the leading provider of
managed email security services to businesses worldwide. In September
2003, the number of phishing emails seen by MessageLabs was 279.
By March 2004, this figure had risen almost 800-fold to 215,643.
The number of phishing emails peaked in January 2004 at 337,050,
an increase of more than 1200 percent.
"Phishing" is the latest online financial "scam"
targeting computer users. Emails claiming to be from legitimate
organizations direct recipients to an often perfect replica of
that organization's website. At this point victims are asked to
update personal security information that is then used to make
online financial transactions, defrauding businesses and their
"In just six months the number of phishing emails seen by
MessageLabs has increased exponentially -- evidence that the number
of individual scams has also risen dramatically," noted Mark
Sunner, Chief Technology Officer at MessageLabs. "For targeted
organizations the impact can be high -- including lost productivity,
customer confusion and complaints, damage to the brand and legal
implications. For individual users, the financial losses can be
excessive. If allowed to continue unchecked, online phishing scams
threaten to undermine confidence in e-commerce as a whole."
To date, phishing has occurred on every major English-speaking
continent. The latest recorded victim is one of Switzerland's
largest regional banks, Basler Kantonalbank. With headquarters
in Basel, the bank has warned customers to be wary of emails claiming
to come from the bank asking for sensitive personal details.
In the United States, Citibank, eBay, PayPal, Wachovia, Visa
and Bank of America are on the list of major banks and online
transaction companies that have been targeted, and in the United
Kingdom, the perpetrators have gone after customers of Barclays,
NatWest and Lloyds TSB, among others.
While perpetrators are hard to track, last month the Federal
Trade Commission and the Justice Department arrested a Texas man
accused of creating bogus emails posing as messages from AOL and
PayPal. Recent investigations have uncovered phishing is becoming
more sophisticated and is increasingly being carried out by gangs
in Eastern Europe and Russia rather than by individuals.
Overall it is impossible to determine how many users have fallen
victim to online phishing scams but analysts estimate that up
to five percent of fraudulent emails succeed in obtaining the
victim's financial data.
There are a number of options available to organizations wanting
to protect themselves against phishing scams:
-- Consider a fraud protection service that proactively monitors
international email traffic and provides immediate notification
upon the discovery of new phishing emails.
-- Add or update existing incident response procedures so that
security teams can quickly contact the right law enforcement bodies
and work with them to identify and shut down fraudulent websites.
-- Educate customers on a regular basis to ensure they are aware
of how they will be communicated with, the kinds of information
they will be asked for and the potential threat posed by phishing
For more information on MessageLabs and its industry-leading
email security and management services, please visit www.messagelabs.com.
Apr 26 - Toshiba's New 100GB 2.5-inch
HDD Offers World's Highest Capacity. Toshiba Corporation today
confirmed its leadership in the fast growing market for 2.5-inch
hard-disk drives (HDD) with the announcement of the "MK1031GAS,"
the highest capacity drive yet achieved in this increasingly important
Making full use of Toshiba's latest advances in HDD technologies,
including the highest areal density yet commercialized, the new
HDD delivers a 100GB storage capacity, and does so in a drive
only 9.5mm high. "MK1031GAS" is ideally suited for integration
into portable PCs, especially those with advanced audio-visual
capabilities that need the capacity to handle large video sources.
"We are delighted to announce the world's highest capacity
2.5-inch HDD," said Seiji Kawagoe, Senior Manager of the
HDD Product Planning Department, Storage Device Division, in Toshiba's
Digital Media Network Company. "We made improvements to push
the capacity, increase shock resistance and to lower power consumption
and noise. The resulting drive is perfect for integration in high
spec portable PCs and other portable devices. Our strategy is
to create the technologies and products that make a reality of
ubiquitous computing, and we are sure the "MK1031GAS"
makes a valuable contribution to that."
Toshiba achieved the world's first 100GB 2.5-inch HDD by establishing
a new benchmark for areal density: 80-gigabits of data per square
inch. The key to achieving this was replacing the Pico Sliders
attached to the drive's heads, and which maintain the appropriate
distance from the disk during read and write operations, with
Femto Sliders that are 35% smaller and much lighter. Advances
were also achieved in the thin-film technology for both the head
and the platter.
The new drive's shock resistance of 3,185 m/s(2)(325G, 2msec)
is 50% higher than in Toshiba's current 2.5-inch HDD, due to employment
of the smaller, lighter Femto Sliders in combination with a lighter
head-suspension and head arm.
Power consumption of the "MK1031GAS" is approximately
20% lower on average than the company's current drive* due to
pulse width modulation (PWM) that controls disk rotation speed
by switching the power supply to the spindle motor on and off
at a certain frequency. A DC-DC converter is also used in the
Low noise operation, as low as 21dB in an idle state, is achieved
by an optimized sinusoidal waveform to control the operational
current of the spindle motor.
Samples of the MK1031GAS will be available in May.
Apr 26 - Sonic Debuts eDVD 3.
Sonic Solutions (Nasdaq:SNIC) today introduced eDVD 3, the latest
upgrade to its industry-leading application for linking DVD to
the Internet. The new version of eDVD(R) allows corporate and
creative producers to web-enable their DVD titles and provides
significant technology enhancements including the ability to link
to documents such as PDFs or high-resolution JPEG files from a
DVD, the ability to add URL links to a finished DVD volume, and
cross-platform playback on both the PC and Macintosh.
"With millions of people watching movies on their PCs and
connecting to bonus content via the Internet, Hollywood has proven
that web-linking technology adds significant value to DVD titles,"
said Rolf Hartley, senior vice-president and general manager of
Sonic's professional products group. "Now, producers of business-to-business,
special interest, and event titles can create connected DVDs for
their customers with the same technology that drives Hollywood."
eDVD 3 is based on InterActual's well-known Player 2.0 web-enabling
technology which was incorporated into over 80% of the top selling
(U.S. market) DVDs of 2003. eDVD 3, which is a stand alone PC-based
application, offers functionality that previously was available
only as an integrated component of Sonic's DVD Creator workstation
for the Macintosh. eDVD 3 is compatible with the majority of DVD
authoring applications on the market today, enabling corporate
and creative producers to easily add web-links and other connectivity
features to their DVD titles.
"Our clients request web links for their DVDs 75% of the
time, and with eDVD 3 we can now offer comprehensive connectivity
with industry-standard technology for their titles," said
David Weissman, general manager, Video Arts, Inc., a San Francisco-based
digital video design studio. "eDVD 3 provides an excellent
opportunity to enhance DVD projects with true cross-platform playability
and links to the Internet. This represents an immense value for
eDVD 3 is expected to ship in May 2004 through Sonic's worldwide
network of value-added resellers at a U.S. suggested list price
Sonic Solutions can be found online at www.sonic.com.
Apr 26 - Semiconductor Market to Outshine
2003 with 29% Growth in 2004. After its disastrous 32% decline
in 2001 and a lackluster 2002, the worldwide semiconductor market
turned up in 2003 and grew by 18.3%. In-Stat/MDR (www.instat.com),
the high-tech market research firm whose 2003 forecast was a mere
.2% higher than actual, now projects that growth will be an even
stronger 29% in 2004, bringing total revenue to $214.7 billion
and vying with 2000 for record-high annual revenue.
However, "Although we do not expect a replay of 2001 anytime
soon, the strength of the current recovery should not be interpreted
as a return to the good old days," said Mark Kirstein, In-Stat/MDR's
general manager. "Fundamental changes are taking place in
both the demand and supply aspects of the semiconductor market
that will cause the next decade to be significantly different
from the last."
Specifically, In-Stat/MDR notes, on the demand side, there lacks
the existence of a single new "killer app" on the horizon
to drive future market growth as PCs and mobile phones did in
the 1990s. And, the wide variety of lower volume products that
have emerged are subject to standardization and/or extreme competition,
both of which tend to suppress ASPs and limit revenue growth.
On the supply side of the equation, commoditization of the CMOS
process is holding prices down. The growth of the foundry industry,
particularly in China, is expected to keep competition high, and
therefore wafer prices low, in the long term. On the design side,
the shift of design work to low-cost locations will ease growing
design costs, while the growth of standards-based designs will
limit intellectual property (IP) costs.
In-Stat/MDR's newest semiconductor market forecast also reports
-- Although semiconductor prices are expected to rise moderately
in the short term as capacity tightens, over the long term, In-Stat/MDR
expects that price erosion will cause revenue to grow somewhat
slower than unit shipments.
-- While 2005 will also see some growth, 2006 will experience
a downturn. Growth is expected to resume in 2007 and 2008 as unit
growth continues and ASP remains relatively flat, at a level lower
than any recent year except 2002.
Apr 25 - Sunday Shopping Watch.
Best Sunday Deals - See our Best
Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.
Weekly Comparison. Good deals can be found
in stores this weekend, however the sales are not as good as last
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.)
Best Buy is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all
advertised desktop packages and laptops, and $150 mail-in rebate
on advertised laptops and desktop packages.
Circuit City is offering
12 months no interest financing, and up to $150 mail-in rebates
on advertised desktop packages and notebooks.
is offering rebates on advertised systems.
CompUSA has an online
Staples has no store-wide promotions
to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices
to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online
InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages
Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital
cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other
XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.
What You Need to
Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and
cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ
Tech Watch Newsletter; Free
PC and Free Internet Deals.
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 warranty).
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 Sunday Ad Deals
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Best Celeron Deal
eMachines 2.7 GHz complete system
with 17" monitor
Best Buy, Circuit City, Office Depot
1. Best Pentium 4 System
eMachines Pentium 4 3.0 GHz complete
system with HT Technology, 15 inch monitor, and DVD-RW
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP Pentium 4 3.0E GHz complete system
with HT Technology, 17 inch monitor, and DVD-RW
3. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz complete system
with HT Technology, 15 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
4. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony Pentium 4 3.2 GHz complete system
with HT Technology, 17 inch flat panel, and DVD-RW
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3000+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD/CD-RW drive
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD-RW drive
Best AMD Athlon 64 System
HP Athlon 3200+ complete system with
17 inch monitor and DVD-RW drive
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.8 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP Athlon 2800 + with DVD/CD-RW
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
HP 2.8 GHz Celeron widescreen with
1. Best High-end Notebook
HP Pentium 4 widescreen 2.8 GHz
2. Best High-end Notebook
eMachines Athlon 64 3000+ widescreen
3. Best High-end Notebook
Gateway widescreen Centrino 1.5
GHz with DVD/CD-RW
4. Best High-end Notebook
Sony Pentium 4 2.8 GHz with DVD-RW
5. Best High-end Notebook
HP 17" widescreen Pentium 4
3.06 GHz with HT Technology and DVD-RW
6. Best High-end Notebook
HP Centrino 1.6 GHz widescreen with
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 120 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
Seagate 200 GB 7200 RPM Hard Drive
with 8 MB buffer
Best Sunday Deal
ATI 9600 XT Pro 128 MB
Best Sunday Deal
Sony 52X DVD-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.