Oct 31 - Sub-3 Pound Sharp Notebook Features 256
MB SDRAM. Sharp Systems of America, a U.S. business unit of
Sharp Corporation, the recognized world leader of LCD technology,
today announced general availability of the PC-UM10M, a 256 MB SDRAM
version of their newest ultra-mobile notebook computer, the PC-UM10.
Engineered for mobile professionals, the Sharp PC-UM10M combines
ultra-mobility with full functionality. Weighing less than three
pounds and just 0.65" thick, the PC-UM10M is more than capable
of providing the power and performance required by today's demanding
Featuring Sharp's legendary LCD technology in its 12.1" XGA
display, powered by the Ultra Low Voltage (ULV) Mobile Intel(R)
Pentium(R) III 600 MHz processor, configured with 256MB RAM and
a 20GB hard drive, and offering up to nine hours of battery life,
the PC-UM10M is the perfect blend of form and function.
"The new PC-UM10M further strengthens Sharp's position as a
serious competitor in the mobile computing arena," said Greg
Nakagawa, senior vice president and general manager for Sharp Systems
of America. "Under three pounds and less than two-thirds of
an inch thick(1), the PC-UM10M is the thinnest and lightest notebook
in its class."
"The Sharp PC-UM10M ultra-mobile notebook is perfectly suited
for the executive who focuses on email and Web browsing," said
J. Gerry Purdy, Ph.D., CEO of Mobile Insights, a market research
firm in Mountain View, CA. "Sharp is leveraging its strengths
in advanced displays, advanced packaging of electronics and sleek
industrial design that is going to shake up the notebook industry.
It's going to get a lot of consideration by executives who want
the lightest full-function notebook to carry around the office and
on the road."
Since June, Sharp Systems has introduced two notebooks to the U.S.
market. The high-performance PC-AR50, with its industry leading
SXGA+ high-resolution display, was announced in June. The ultra-mobile
PC-UM10 made its debut in September and has received rave reviews.
The introduction of the PC-UM10M expands the Sharp Systems notebook
line, providing more of the tools Sharp needs to satisfy its corporate
Available immediately, the Sharp PC-UM10M is competitively priced
with an estimated street price of $2,099.
More information can be found at www.sharp-business.com.
Oct 31 - Pirated Software
Creates Problems for Corporations. Pirated software on the Web
may be free, but it comes at a huge price to corporations.
Websense Inc. (NASDAQ:WBSN), the world's leading employee Internet
management (EIM) software company, reports that the number of pirated
software and hacking Web sites has spiked more than 240 percent
in the last year alone, now totaling 5,400 sites representing 800,000
Web pages. According to Wordtracker, pirated software terms have
risen to the top 15 in recent months, joining "sex" and
"MP3" as some of the most commonly typed phrases in search
"This increased popularity in pirated software Web sites creates
several problems for corporations," said Andy Meyer, vice president
of marketing, Websense. "First, IT administrators lose control
over employee desktops, meaning they waste help-desk resources trying
to support programs unauthorized by the company. Second, employees
can expose their companies to legal liability by copying illegal
software. Finally, downloading these large software packages places
an extra burden on the network, draining bandwidth that could be
used for legitimate, work-related applications."
Many forms of pirated software also contain pornographic, violent
and other obscene images or graphics embedded in the code. Employers
and employees can quickly get more than they bargained for, including
sexual harassment suits. In addition, some pirated software applications
contain viruses that can damage corporate computer systems, or worse,
open the door for hackers and allow access to proprietary company
Companies that are caught with pirated software often face expensive
lawsuits and large fines. The Business Software Alliance (BSA),
an international organization representing leading software and
e-commerce developers around the world in a global effort to fight
software piracy, operates approximately 65 hotlines around the world
for callers who want to report suspected incidents of software theft.
During the past nine years, BSA has recovered more than $60 million
in penalties from companies in the U.S. caught with unlicensed software.
The problem of pirated software is more pervasive than many businesses
think. According to BSA's Software Piracy Study, released in May
2001, 37 percent of software used by businesses have been copied
illegally. The study highlights the serious impact of copyright
infringement to the economy with piracy losses nearing $11.8 billion
worldwide in 2000.
"Corporations need to take the same `no tolerance' stance with
respect to employees visiting pirated software sites at work as
they have taken to gambling, pornography or hate sites. It's illegal,
it causes the IT department to lose control of the desktop, and
it hurts everyone involved," said Meyer. "Many of our
customers, including 250 of the Fortune 500, currently use Websense
Enterprise to block employee access to pirated software sites, eliminating
the threat and preventing the problem from spreading within their
For more information on pirated software, visit http://www.websense.com/products/
resources/wp/index.cfm to view a Websense-authored white paper
about pirated software and how corporations can prevent it in the
workplace. To view the BSA's latest study on pirated software, please
Oct 31 - Jasc Software Announces
Namo WebEditor 5.0 Availability. Jasc Software, Inc., home of
popular Web graphics editor Jasc(R) Paint Shop Pro(TM), today announced
that Namo WebEditor(TM) 5.0, the latest version of the award-winning
Web site creation and management software, is now available for
purchase. This announcement follows on the heals of Jasc Software's
recent exclusive agreement with Namo Interactive Inc. to distribute
Namo WebEditor 5.0 in North America and other world markets.
"Namo WebEditor is a natural extension of Jasc Software's ongoing
commitment to the Web development community," said Kris Tufto,
president and CEO of Jasc Software. "For years, Web designers
have looked to Jasc Paint Shop Pro as their solution of choice for
creating Web graphics. Now they can also look to Jasc for Namo WebEditor,
a complete, easy-to-use toolkit for Web site creation and management."
About Namo WebEditor 5.0
Namo WebEditor 5.0 provides novice and intermediate
Web designers with all the tools they need to quickly build, manage,
and publish professional-looking Web sites. With Namo WebEditor,
-- Create a personalized Web site in minutes using
the Site Wizard with over 200 customizable templates and themes.
-- Use drag-and-drop page elements to design a sophisticated page
without writing code.
-- Get interactive with a powerful Script Wizard that allows users
to their site.
-- Take control with the HTML source editor that allows users to
write their own code. Features code validation, browser compatibility
checks, and tag clean-up.
-- Create Dynamic Database pages in a snap with a built-in wizard
that supports ASP, PHP and JSP dynamic document formats.
-- View reports, change site structure, and publish a site to the
Web, all from one screen with the powerful Site Manager.
-- Add interest and impact to Web pages with built-in image effects
and graphic elements or use images created in Paint Shop Pro or
other image editor.
A physical boxed version of Namo WebEditor 5.0 is
now available at a suggested list price of $149 from Jasc Software,
and an ESD version is available for $139. As a special promotion,
Jasc Software is offering purchasers $20 off the suggested list
price of the full boxed or ESD product through December 31, 2001.
Upgrades for registered users of previous versions of Namo WebEditor
will be available for $49 boxed / $39 ESD from Jasc Software. A
full-featured trial version is available for download from the Jasc
Software Web site at www.jasc.com.
Oct 31 - Fujitsu Introduces Next-Generation
2.5" Mobile Hard Drives. Fujitsu Limited, a worldwide leader
in hard drive technology, today introduced its next-generation of
2.5" mobile hard drives. The new MHR series from Fujitsu incorporates
new technologies for both head and media, which have been previously
highlighted in Fujitsu's recent magnetic recording technology breakthrough
that will enable hard disk drives to eventually achieve recording
densities up to 300 Gigabits per square inch.
The new mobile series is the next step for Fujitsu in its quest
for market leadership in the fast-growing and diverse mobile HDD
market that includes laptop computers, consumer electronic devices,
audio-visual products, GPS/In car entertainment systems, and other
non-PC applications, including some specialized server application
The new MHR Series from Fujitsu supports the Ultra ATA/100 interface
and with 20GB per platter offers capacities of 10, 20, 30, and 40GB.
Incorporating Fujitsu's second-generation head load/unload and unique
"Silent HDD" technologies, the new mobile drives offer
exceptional performance with a 32.5MB/s (max) transfer rate and
industry-leading track to track seek time of 1.5ms.
Weighing just 99g, with a 4,200RPM spindle speed and 2MB buffer
-- and with 900G of non-operating shock tolerance -- the MHR hard
disk drives are ideal for intensive mobile computing applications
and rugged environments.
Fujitsu's "Silent HDD" technology results from its use
of Fluid Dynamic Bearing (FDB) motors which offer improved reliability
in harsh environments, as well as greatly reduced acoustic noise
and non-repeatable run out (NRRO).
"The new MHR Series from Fujitsu continues the very clear trend
of Fujitsu bringing to bear the full array of its technological
expertise, and translating that expertise into drives that will
no doubt be among the very best in their class," said Bill
Ress, research analyst at Data Storage Review. "At this pace
of innovation and product development, Fujitsu is clearly serious
about its quest for leadership in the 2.5" mobile hard drive
market and is well-positioned to increase its market position."
The new MHR series from Fujitsu is currently in evaluation cycles
at key OEM customers. Volume shipments will commence in early 1Q02.
For more information about Fujitsu products and services, visit
Oct 31 - Court Confirms Imation's
Right to Sell Black Watch Digital Linear Tape. Imation Corp.
(NYSE:IMN) welcomed today's ruling in California Superior Court,
denying a bid by Quantum Corp. (NYSE:DSS) to block Imation from
selling Black Watch(TM) Digital Linear Tape IV cartridges.
"The Court sided with Imation that we are entitled to be in
the digital linear tape market by denying Quantum's bid to exclude
us. Customers and the marketplace won a victory today, along with
Imation. We will continue to offer customers Imation certified and
manufactured Black Watch(TM) Digital Linear Tape IV," said
Frank Russomanno, vice president of Data Storage Media and Services
"Today's decision has no impact on Imation's federal antitrust
claims against Quantum. We initiated our actions because Quantum
is illegally attempting to keep Imation out of the market, not because
of royalty payments. We understand the Court's preliminary decision
to preserve the status quo until this matter is resolved. In addition,
the Court's requirement that Imation pay the 30% royalty during
the interim is recognition of Quantum's dependence on their unusually
high royalty structure.
" This is the motivation for their illegal price fixing scheme
and desperate attempts to keep Imation out of the market, as outlined
in Imation's federal antitrust suit against Quantum. In their most
recently reported quarter, Quantum reported royalty income of $50
million and pro-forma net income of $10 million. Clearly, their
business model is completely dependent on the DLT royalty structure
they are desperately attempting to preserve. Unfortunately, this
results in higher prices to end user customers," concluded
Imation will continue to pursue its federal antitrust claim against
Quantum filed in Minnesota on Oct. 1, 2001, specifically charging
that Quantum has conspired to fix prices and monopolize the market
for DLT compatible tape in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act.
Imation seeks an injunction, barring Quantum from future violations
of antitrust law and seeks a minimum of $150 million in damages,
which would be trebled to $450 million under antitrust law.
"Imation looks forward to presenting this full antitrust case
in federal court and is confident it will win on the antitrust charges,"
said John Sullivan, Imation vice president and general counsel.
"Today's decision is the result of a diversion by Quantum from
the real issue raised by Imation: Quantum's illegal behavior in
the marketplace. Any subsequent legal maneuvers by Quantum are obviously
nothing more than desperate attempts to shut down competition. Recent
attempts to frighten or intimidate our customers and distributors
through misleading advertising and marketing claims are simply further
attempts to protect their price fixing scheme. This ruling reinforces
that the market for tape cartridges compatible with DLT drives must
remain fair and open," concluded Sullivan.
"The positive market reaction to Imation-manufactured Black
Watch Digital Linear Tape underscores customer trust in Imation-certified
products bearing the Black Watch trademark. We have a growing number
of end user customers, distributors, and resellers who recognize
the quality performance of our product, and our 50-year history
as a trusted developer, manufacturer and marketer of high quality
data storage tape. In fact, customers prefer the low abrasivity
and high durability that Imation Black Watch Digital Linear Tape
delivers. Customers have been delighted to have a cost-competitive
choice with Imation-certified quality. Demand has exceeded supply
in the few weeks since introduction," Russomanno stated.
Additional information about Imation is available on the Company's
website at www.imation.com.
Oct 30 - Dell Redefines
Easy With Affordable SmartStep 100D. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) made
buying direct even easier today by introducing to U.S. customers
the SmartStep(tm) 100D, a desktop computer that is a breeze to order,
set up and use.
Beginning today, customers can buy the SmartStep 100D for $599.
The system includes a monitor, six months of Internet access, speakers,
and service and support from the world's No. 1 computer maker. For
as little as $18 a month, home users can order SmartStep 100D and
soon be off surfing the Web, downloading music, or emailing business
associates. SmartStep 100D is designed for first-time Dell computer
buyers or for customers wanting another desktop for their home or
"For about the cost of two movie tickets and popcorn every
month, customers can own a Dell SmartStep 100D. That is unprecedented,"
said John Hamlin, vice president and general manager of Dell's consumer
business. "Once again, Dell is delivering the best value in
the industry to its customers."
Buying SmartStep 100D is easy. For home users, the basic configuration
includes an Intel(R) Celeron(tm) processor at 1 GHz, 128 MB SDRAM,
20 GB(d) Hard Drive, PC Speakers, a 15 inch (13.8" viewable)
monitor, a modem, and six months of AOL Internet service.
Additionally, customers receive Microsoft's new Windows(R) XP Home
Edition operating system, Music Match software for listening to
digital music and Dell Picture Studio for processing and sharing
digital photos. While home users buying SmartStep 100D receive a
90-day limited warranty, they can choose to upgrade to a one-year
limited warranty for an extra $50.
Home users interested in SmartStep 100D can visit www.dell4me.com/SmartStepPC
or call 800/388-8542. Small business customers interested in ordering
SmartStep 100D via the Internet should visit www.dell.com.
Oct 30 - TDK Systems Intoduces
Wireless Bluetooth USB Adapter. TDK Systems, Inc. a founding
member of the Bluetooth Consortium is announcing the availability
of its next wave of cable free products.
The Go Blue USB Adapter for laptops and PCs brings low-cost wireless
printing, email, Internet and Personal Area Networking (PAN) access
to Bluetooth-enabled devices in the home and office environment.
Ad hoc networking in wireless workgroup meetings and automatic synchronization
of Palm devices, mobile phones and PCs are other product characteristics.
The USB Go Blue adapter has been thoroughly tested to ensure compatibility
with Bluetooth access points to be introduced in airport lounges,
conference centers and other public spaces.
"All products in the Go Blue range - the Go Blue USB adapter,
Blue5 for PalmV series PDAs, and the soon to be released PC card
- are dedicated to retrofitting Bluetooth to products that are already
widely used," said Nick Hunn, managing director at TDK Systems.
TDK Systems' Bluetooth products are being showcased at the Palm
Solutions Pavilion, booth L6155 and the Bluetooth Pavilion booth
L5142 in the Central Hall of the Las Vegas Convention Center during
COMDEX, Nov. 12-16th in Las Vegas.
TDK Systems can be found on the Web at www.tdksys.com.
Oct 30 - Handspring Introduces
Blazer 2.0 Web Browser. Handspring, Inc. (NASDAQ:HAND), a leading
innovator in handheld computers and personal communicators, today
announced the release of Blazer(TM) 2.0, a new version of its award-winning
web browser, designed to provide Palm OS handheld computers and
communicators with fast access to a full range of web content.
Blazer 2.0 offers all of the features of the original Blazer, but
with improved speed, enhanced security for online transactions,
and new features to allow faster and easier access to web content.
Blazer 2.0 has several new features including enhanced
bookmarks, 128 bit SSL encryption and faster browsing while connected
to the Internet. The new security features support additional security
types, including proxy and HTTP authentication, and viewing of secure
web pages over HTTPS, which allow users to make purchases and shop
online with complete confidence. In addition, browsing performance
has been improved, making page rendering and navigating on the Web
with Blazer faster than ever before. Also new in Blazer 2.0 is the
ability to select the homepage that first appears when Blazer is
launched. Virtually any web site on the Internet can be set as Blazer's
Blazer 2.0 is available now for $19.95 on www.handango.com
and later today on www.palmgear.com.
Both Handango and PalmGear will email their Blazer 1.1 customers
instructions on downloading a free upgrade to Blazer 2.0.
Oct 30 - HP Unveils New Color
Printers for Small Businesses. Hewlett-Packard Company (NYSE:HWP)
today debuted a portfolio of color printing and imaging solutions
for small- and medium-sized businesses that allows customers to
create powerful business communications materials more easily, creatively
and affordably than ever before.
The portfolio features three color inkjet printers as well as two
print servers. The inkjet printers boast improved image quality
and an expanded array of paper handling options for high-impact
communications development. The print servers enable HP customers
to share printers wirelessly or via a network. Additionally, each
of the printing systems announced today is available for lease through
the HP Printadvantage program.
HP's Newest Inkjet Printers
The HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1160 features two-sided
printing, up to 400-sheet paper capacity, infrared connectivity,
support for Microsoft(R) and Macintosh operating systems and optional
networking. Sporting an efficient and space-saving design, the printer
is ideal for printing proposals, marketing materials and reports.
An additional 250-sheet plain paper tray and an Internet connector
accessory for desktop networking are standard with the HP Color
Inkjet Printer cp1600tn version.
Designed for personal use or small businesses, the HP Color Inkjet
Printer cp1700 and HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1700ps offer wide-format
color printing and optional networking. Office professionals can
create documents with exceptional color print quality without sacrificing
speed. Each printer supports media up to 13 x 19 inches and has
optional, two-sided printing -- this feature comes standard on the
HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1700d. The HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1700ps
offers Adobe(R) PostScript(R) 3(TM) compatibility and supports Microsoft,
Macintosh and Linux operating systems.
The HP Business Inkjet Printer 2600 is HP's most network-savvy,
wide-format color inkjet printer. When configured with an HP Jetdirect
print server, the printer becomes a high-performance, Internet-enabled
appliance that can be shared reliably in a network environment.
An embedded Web server allows remote management from a standard
Web browser or with HP Web Jetadmin 6.5 software.
The HP Business Inkjet Printer 2600 supports media up to 13 x 19
inches, has optional two-sided printing, PostScript 3 emulation
and supports Microsoft, Macintosh, UNIX, Linux and AutoCAD(TM) operating
systems. The HP Business Inkjet Printer 2600dn version includes
a two-sided printing accessory and an EIO network card.
HP's Print Servers
The HP Jetdirect 200m and 250m internal print servers
offer businesses a simple and affordable way to link to the Internet
and share printers. These print servers are designed specifically
for the HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1160 and cp1700 families and are
compatible with printers featuring LIO networking slots.
The HP Wireless Print Server wp110 offers a simple and cost-effective
way to share a printer by allowing multiple PC or Mac users to connect
and share a broad range of HP peripherals on an 802.11b wireless
The products announced here are available in the
United States and Canada beginning Oct. 29. The HP Business Inkjet
Printer 2600 is expected to be available March 2002.
HP Color Inkjet Printers cp1160/cp1160tn $399/$599
HP Color Inkjet Printers cp1700/cp1700d $499/$599
HP Color Inkjet Printer cp1700ps $599
HP Business Inkjet Printers 2600/2600dn $999/$1,399
HP Jetdirect 200/250m print servers $199/$259
HP Wireless Print Server wp110 $299
Information about HP and its products can be found
on the World Wide Web at www.hp.com.
Oct 29 - ATI Unveils RADEON
8500LE Graphics Chip. ATI Technologies Inc. (TSE:ATY, NASDAQ:ATYT),
a world leader in the supply of graphics, video and multimedia solutions,
today introduced the RADEON(TM) 8500LE graphics processor, the latest
addition to RADEON(TM), the world's most powerful and innovative
family of graphics chip and board technologies.
Based on the award-winning RADEON 8500 chip architecture, the RADEON
8500LE affords customers all of the industry-leading features of
the world's fastest and most technologically advanced graphics chip
at a cost that is extremely appealing to a broader group of customers
and at a performance level (250 MHz (megahertz) core clock speed
compared to the RADEON 8500's 275 MHz core clock speed) that would
satisfy even the most power-hungry game or application. While ATI
is marketing the RADEON 8500 through retail outlets worldwide, it
is not selling the RADEON 8500LE through retail under the ATI brand
name. ATI will only distribute the RADEON 8500LE to OEMs, ODMs and
AIBs, who will then market the technology under their own brand
names, selling it to systems integrators, distributors and retailers.
"We recognize that our OEM (original equipment manufacturer),
ODM (original design manufacturer) and AIB (add-in-board manufacturer)
customers want components at a variety of price and performance
levels when choosing options for their systems," said Jewelle
Schiedel-Webb, Director, Desktop Marketing, ATI Technologies Inc.
"The RADEON 8500LE will allow our OEM, ODM and AIB customers
to include the technology-leading features of the RADEON 8500 chip
with their products but, by using a variety of memory speeds and
types, the cost of the product can be tailored to suit a broader
range of customers."
The RADEON 8500LE includes all of the new technologies found in
the RADEON 8500, including TRUFORM(TM), an innovative rendering
technology that helps to deliver the smoothest, most natural 3D
images ever seen on existing and next-generation 3D games; and SMARTSHADER(TM),
an advanced technology that is the first application of its kind
to take advantage of Microsoft's new DirectX 8.1 specification,
including supporting Pixel Shaders Versions 1.2 - 1.4 to enable
more complex and realistic texture and lighting effects without
The RADEON 8500LE joins the RADEON 8500 in fully supporting Microsoft's
new operating system, Windows XP, including DirectX 8.1.
Visit ATI at www.ati.com.
Oct 29 - Fujitsu Enhances
All-In-One Multimedia LifeBook C Series. Fujitsu PC Corporation,
a wholly-owned subsidiary of Fujitsu Limited (TSE:6702), today announced
the release of the latest LifeBook(R) C Series -- an all-in-one
multimedia notebook made popular for its unrivaled price and performance.
Starting at $1,399, the LifeBook C Series includes many multimedia
innovations that add to its overall appeal. A new enlarged 15-inch
XGA display provides excellent resolution, reduces eyestrain and
enhances the DVD viewing experience. For superior video editing,
smooth DVD playback and the ability to run the most graphics-intensive
applications, the LifeBook C Series features an advanced ATI(R)
RAGE(TM) Mobility-P video controller with 8MB of video memory. Additionally,
Fujitsu has included an S-video out port so that users can connect
their notebook to a television or projector, and an IEEE 1394 port
included as part of its standard configuration for lightning fast
digital video and data transfer.
To extend its functionality, the LifeBook C Series features an unprecedented
four universal serial bus (USB) ports standard for added versatility.
Users can simultaneously connect their digital camera, scanner,
zip drive, printer or other USB devices directly to their notebook.
The updated LifeBook C Series now boasts a Pentium(R) III 1GHz or
900MHz processor which supports Intel(R) SpeedStep(TM) technology,
offering higher system performance to tackle the most intensive
applications. Equipped with a DVD/CD-RW combo drive, this notebook
is one of the most affordable Pentium III-based machines in its
"A powerful yet affordable desktop replacement, the LifeBook
C Series incorporates some of the most advanced multimedia features
available in an all-in-one design," said Sara Nelson, Fujitsu
PC Corporation 's vice president of Marketing. "Combined with
its 1GHz processor, this notebook is the perfect computing solution
for anyone interested in entertainment and productivity."
The LifeBook C Series is ideal for a wide variety of users, including
small-to-medium business professionals, first-time users and students.
Its three-spindle design accommodates a CD-ROM, DVD, CD-RW or DVD/CD-RW
combo drive, a built-in floppy drive and a 20GB or 30GB hard drive.
Fujitsu offers the LifeBook C Series with Microsoft(R) Windows(R)
XP Home Edition and Windows XP Professional Edition, as well as
Windows 2000 Professional and Windows 98 Second Edition. The notebook
includes up to 256MB system memory, a nine-cell Lithium ion battery,
an S-video out, an optical digital out and two Type II PCMCIA ports.
Its built-in 56K V.90 modem and Ethernet ports make it perfect for
office networking or a broadband Internet connection.
This new LifeBook is now available through Fujitsu's retail and
reseller channels as well as at www.fujitsupc.com
or 877/FPC-DIRECT. Users have the option of purchasing one of the
three recommended configurations available or they can customize
their notebooks by utilizing Fujitsu's Configure To Order (CTO)
Oct 29 - Toshiba Announces
Loss for First Half of Fiscal Year. Toshiba Corporation today
announced its consolidated and non-consolidated results for the
first half of fiscal year 2001.
General Overview for First Half of Fiscal Year 2001
In the first half of fiscal year 2001, Toshiba and
its consolidated group companies experienced a larger than anticipated
decline in sales and profit. This resulted from the sharp downturn
in the US economy at the end of 2000, subsequent sluggish demand
in the global IT business, and an unexpected falling away in demand
for electronic devices, such as semiconductors for digital products.
Consolidated net sales decreased 11 percent over
the same period a year ago, to 2,510.7 billion yen (approximately
US$21,098 million), reflecting a major fall in demand for electronics
devices, including semiconductors and LCDs for IT-related products,
and lower sales of digital consumer products, including sales of
PCs in overseas markets, where IT-related investment stalled even
as sales prices declined.
Net income was minus 123.1 billion yen (minus US$1,035 million).
There were improvements in Social Infrastructure Systems, in Power
Systems and in Home Appliances. Electronic Devices & Components,
particularly semiconductors, saw performance undermined by sales
declines and price erosion.
Non-consolidated results saw net sales decrease by
17 percent over the same period a year ago, to 1,448.8 billion yen
(US$12,175 million). This result reflected lower sales in electronic
devices and power systems and the spin-off of the elevator and escalator
business. Recurring profit (loss) decreased to minus 124.4 billion
yen (minus US$1,045 million). Extraordinary losses from restructuring
and the devaluation of marketable securities resulted in net income
(loss) of minus 101.4 billion yen (minus US$852 million).
Electronic Devices & Components recorded a decline
of 33 percent over the same period a year ago, to 546.7 billion
yen (US$4,594 million). Sluggish demand and price erosion in DRAMs,
system LSIs, discrete devices and LCDs reflected a heavy fall in
demand for digital consumer products. Others decreased 10 percent
over the same period a year ago, to 208.5 billion yen (US$ 1,752
Forecast for FY2001
Overall forecast for financial results, including
production, sales and profit Toshiba forecasts unfavorable overseas
markets in the second half of the fiscal year as IT-related demand
remains weak and the world situation remains uncertain in the aftermath
of the terrorist attacks in the United States. In the domestic market,
demand will continue to be slow in IT-related products, digital
consumer products and cellular phones. The lack of a recovery in
private sector capital expenditure will also contribute to the continuation
of a tough market environment.
For more information, visit Toshiba's website at: http://www.toshiba.co.jp.
Oct 29 - Survey Shows 93%
of PC Households Are Online. According to the Yankee Group's
annual Technologically Advanced Family(R) (TAF(R)) Survey, 93% of
households that own PCs now have Internet access. In addition, the
top three uses for home PCs are: online services/Internet access
(76%), games/entertainment (58%), and personal/household finances
(30%). The online population is also becoming more experienced.
Of PC owners who have Internet access, 83% have been online for
over one year; 40% of those users have been online for between one
and three years, and 43% have been online for over three years.
"These results indicate that a vast majority of consumers are
incorporating the online channel into their daily activities, ranging
from providing entertainment content to tracking household finances,"
said Lisa Melsted, an analyst for the Yankee Group's Internet Market
Strategies research and consulting practice. "As online consumers
become more experienced, the opportunity for service providers to
develop value-added services, content and applications to address
consumer's needs will continue to expand. It is important for companies
to track online consumer usage patterns and trends to determine
which new services will successfully meet the needs of these online
For over a decade, the Yankee Group has used the TAF(R) Survey to
measure the demand for a broad assortment of communications products
and services. The study sample was selected from a consumer mail
panel of 450,000 nationally representative U.S. households.
The Yankee Group can be found on the Web at www.yankeegroup.com.
Oct 28 - Sunday Shopping
Watch. This is the fifth Sunday that Microsoft's newest operating
system, Windows XP, is bundled with new computers. For some reason,
local merchants continue to advertise high-end systems and not the
less powerful Celeron and Duron systems. This trend applies to both
desktops and notebooks.
Desktop computer prices this week are in general, much higher
than last week (see October 21st below).
Notebooks prices are a little lower than last Sunday.
Windows XP became available for separate purchase this week on October
25th (Thursday). For more information on Windows XP visit Microsoft's
Windows XP home page.
This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition
to sales on specific items, and various coupons and rebates with
Windows XP, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week.
Best Buy is giving away 1 year of free MSN with any computer
purchase. They are also offering 14 month no interest financing
on all desktop complete systems, laptops, and build-to-order computers
with a purchase value of $599 or greater. Also advertised is a $100
mail-in rebate on all in-store Pentium 4 complete systems.
City is offering $100
mail-in rebates on all desktop complete systems and laptops.
Office Depot has no store-wide
sales this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
CompUSA has no store-wide sales
this Sunday (individual items may be on sale).
Staples is also giving away 1 year
of free MSN with any computer purchase.
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 system/package is defined
as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer
and then ordered from a vendor's store. 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).
* Prices discussed in this article. Advertisers
typically deduct the $400 Internet rebate from an items true price.
We report all prices without subtracting the $400 Internet rebate,
however all other rebates and discounts are usually subtracted.
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.
Best Deals this Sunday
Price* (see above)
Best Celeron Deal
HP 1.1 GHz complete system
Best Pentium III System
Best Pentium 4 System
HP 1.5 GHz complete system
Best Buy, Staples
Best Duron System
Best Athlon System
Best Athlon XP System
Compaq 1500+ (1.33 GHz) DDR with 17 inch
Best Low Cost Notebook
Toshiba 1 GHz Celeron with DVD
Best High-end Notebook
Compaq 900 MHz Athlon 4 with CDRW/DVD
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 the highlights of
local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While
we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items,
this article should help you to make informed buying decisions.
Oct 26 - Bill Gates Launches
Windows XP in New York City. Microsoft Corp. announced the worldwide
availability of Windows® XP with a celebration in the business
capital of the world: New York City. Customers are now able to acquire
the new Microsoft® Windows XP operating system on new personal
computers and in retail stores throughout the world. Microsoft Chairman
and Chief Software Architect Bill Gates presented the keynote address
at the most important product launch in Microsoft's history, accompanied
by leaders from the PC industry, more than 50 Microsoft partners,
a special welcome by New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani and an appearance
by television's Regis Philbin at the event in Times Square's Marriott
"Today is a great day for PC users and a great
day for the PC industry," Gates said. "With the launch
of Windows XP, we are entering an exciting new era of personal computing.
This powerful new version of Windows offers so much to customers
-- it unlocks the full power of the PC and enables them to enjoy
the best of what the digital world has to offer.
"New York City is the perfect place to announce
the worldwide availability of Windows XP," he said. "I
want to thank all the people of New York City for welcoming us here,
to congratulate them for their unbroken spirit, courage and determination,
and to urge all Americans to join us in recognizing that New York
is absolutely open for business."
In addition to the launch event in Times Square, a
panel of industry leaders including Gates, Intel Corp. President
and CEO Craig Barrett, and CEOs of major computer manufacturers
discussed the state of the personal computer industry and prospects
for the forthcoming holiday season and beyond. Microsoft will also
sponsor a free concert in Bryant Park dedicated to the people of
New York City featuring international music and film sensation Sting.
The launch festivities also extended across the globe,
with more than 50 events worldwide, including CEO Steve Ballmer
in Europe and President Rick Belluzzo in Latin America in addition
to 62 events in key U.S. locations.
Launch of Windows XP Offers Customers Unprecedented
Never before have customers been able to get such
incredible value in their PCs. New personal computers with Windows
XP are now offering more, in terms of processing power and peripherals,
at historically low prices. Many retailers are offering tremendous
incentives for customers to obtain Windows XP. The value being offered
by computer manufacturers and retailers bodes well for customers
as they begin their holiday shopping.
Windows XP Professional and Home Edition
"With Windows XP on today's computers, customers
will experience a much more enhanced yet simplified computing experience,"
said Jim Allchin, group vice president of Windows at Microsoft.
"Customers can do things they've never done before with a PC;
likewise, business users can work smarter and faster with more-productive
tools to meet the demands of any-size company."
Windows XP Professional is the operating system of
choice for businesses of all sizes and for people who demand the
most out of their computing experience. Windows XP Professional
includes all the features of Home Edition, plus remote access, security,
performance, manageability and multilingual features to help users
improve productivity and connectivity, and work even smarter. Windows
XP Professional offers enterprise customers increased dependability,
usability, security features and communications, which have resulted
in tremendous enthusiasm for this much anticipated release. One
hundred and fifty thousand desktops have already been deployed,
and more than 1 million more are committed to be deployed by enterprise
customers. In addition, hundreds more corporations have already
begun testing and evaluating Windows XP, further underscoring the
benefits of Windows XP for enterprises.
Windows XP Home Edition is designed for individuals
or families and includes experiences for digital photos, music and
video, home networking, and communications. Both editions of Windows
XP will be available at retail in upgrade and standard versions.
More information on Microsoft Windows XP is available
on the Microsoft Web site at http://www.microsoft.com/windowsxp.
Oct 26 - Windows XP Performance
Data. Microsoft's Jim Allchin, group vice president for the
Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp, provided the following Windows
XP performance data at the NYC product launch.
" There are many reasons why Windows XP sets the new standard.
Lets just talk about reliability. This slide says ten times
more reliable. In our testing and in e-testing, it shows 30 times
more reliable, and thats still the operating system hasnt
crashed. Some applications, business applications stopped but not
the operating system. This is compared to Windows 9x, 98.
"In Windows 2000, Windows XP is still more reliable,
at least 20 percent more reliable in our testing.
"What about performance? Windows XP is 36 percent
faster running on business apps, 77 percent faster if youre
running content creation.
"The system boots faster, up to 27 percent faster
than Windows 98 Second Edition, and it loads apps that youve
been using frequently 25 percent faster.
"What about security? Bill Foundstone says that,
"Windows XP can provide the strongest network security available."
"Now why is that? Well, there are many things
that we added to the system -- Internet firewall, so that when you
install a product you get instant protection from attackers trying
to get into your system.
"We added a bunch of other capabilities to the
system for security, but we also worked with the industry, the anti-virus
vendors, the consultants to ensure that their products, together
with Windows XP, created a holistic experience.
"We also came up with a new advanced technology
that let us scan all the source code in the system to look for potential
security issues, and we removed them before we shipped.
"We also put Windows XP on the Internet and we
didnt have a single compromise, and we left it on there for
a very, very long time.
"What about usability? Well, the slide says 25
percent better. This was based on about 100 different usability
studies that we did with a thousand different participants. But
I dont think 25 percent really gets across the importance
of what weve accomplished. The failure rate before of doing
simple tasks, like copying photos to a CD, was very high. We show
an 80 percent increase in completion of doing that task in Windows
XP. We show a 40 percent increase in completion of those tasks if
youre just trying to take pictures from a camera and bringing
those into the system.
"Another area that Windows XP is setting the
standard for is deployment. Now, thats something that weve
worked on for our PC manufacturers, because it takes time for them
to load it in their manufacturing facilities, but weve also
worked on it for the business space. We have a ministry in British
Columbia thats been able to load Windows XP and their applications
and deploy them all within 40 minutes.
"So across the board we think this is a great
The full Windows XP launch transcript can be found
Oct 26 - Toshiba Announces
New Windows XP Notebook Line-Up. The Computer Systems Group
(CSG) of Toshiba America Information Systems Inc. (TAIS), today
joined Microsoft(R) in New York as part of the official Windows(R)
XP launch to demonstrate its support of the new operating system.
Windows XP will be featured on Toshiba's Satellite(R), Tecra(R)
and Portege(R) Series of notebook computers.
Windows XP is the new standard in operating software for reliable,
efficient and robust computing. Available in both Home Edition and
Professional, Windows XP gives users the freedom to create, connect
and communicate in new ways, and fully leverage the digital media
"Toshiba is proud to be working together with Microsoft in
launching Windows XP and in creating next-generation computing platforms
that offer breakthrough productivity, reliability, security and
simplicity," said Rod C. Keller Jr., executive vice president,
"Toshiba has enhanced the productivity and multimedia capabilities
of its most popular notebook PCs, allowing users to take full advantage
of new computing functionality made possible by Windows XP."
Supporting both Windows XP Home Edition and Professional, Toshiba's
Satellite 5005 allows home and business users to unlock the full
potential of their personal computers. Toshiba has added new productivity
features, media expansion slots and enhanced graphics and sound
To support graphic-intensive multimedia computing, the Satellite
5005 has an NVIDIA(R) GeForce2 Go(TM) graphics processing unit with
16MB of DDR video memory and an internal Harman/Kardon(R) sound
system with built-in subwoofer.
Toshiba has another technology first with integrated Wi-Fi (IEEE
802.11b) and Bluetooth(TM) wireless technologies in its new Tecra
9000 Series and Portege 4000 Series notebook PCs. Wi-Fi (IEEE 802.11b)
technology offers users a secure wireless connection to local area
networks to access e-mail and participate in team computing, whereas
Bluetooth connections enable wireless file sharing, instant messaging
and data transfer.
Both the Tecra 9000 and Portege 4000 Series of notebook PCs support
Windows XP, which offers wireless 802.1x networking support. Additionally,
both notebook models offer a Secure Digital Media slot, which accommodates
a 128MB SD Memory Card offering storage with the added benefit of
cryptographic security. This offering complements the encrypting
file system of Windows XP Professional, which provides protection
from hackers and data theft.
"Today's launch of Windows XP represents the arrival of a new
standard of computing," said Jim Allchin, group vice president
for the Platforms Group at Microsoft Corp. "Microsoft is excited
to have the support of Toshiba to deliver great new Windows XP experiences
to our customers."
For more information visit www.toshiba.com.
Oct 26 - Windows XP Forecast
to Have Most Immediate Impact in Homes. The consumer segment
will see rapid implementation of Windows XP Home, but in the business
market, Windows 2000 will be the leading operating system in 2002,
according to the latest worldwide forecast by Dataquest, Inc., a
unit of Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB).
In the consumer market, Gartner Dataquest forecasts 87 percent of
new Windows PCs will have Windows XP Home in 2002. In the business
segment, Windows XP Professional will be in 16 percent of new Windows
PCs in 2002, while Windows 2000 will be in 41 percent of new Windows
PCs at the end of next year.
"In terms of stability alone, Windows XP Home is a dramatic
advance over Windows 98, 98 SE and Windows Me," said Michael
Silver, research director for Gartner. "However, Windows XP
Professional is clearly only an incremental change from Windows
"Most enterprises will see little return on investment upgrading
existing Windows 2000 machines to Windows XP and should ensure there
is return on investment before upgrading any existing PCs,"
Silver said. "Existing PCs that will only be owned for less
than 12 months should almost never be upgraded and, instead, should
be replaced with a new PC with a new operating system during normal
refresh cycles. For new Windows PCs, enterprises should make every
effort to ensure they're delivered with Windows 2000 or Windows
XP instead of an older version of Windows."
Many PC vendors have hoped that Windows XP will help drive sales
of PCs in the fourth quarter of 2001, but Gartner analysts said
this is unlikely. Gartner Dataquest projects worldwide PC shipments
to decline 13 percent in the fourth quarter of 2001 compared to
the fourth quarter of 2000.
"Although Windows XP offers solid technology, Microsoft's ability
to push the rest of the PC market has lessened, and it will not
be able to overcome a slow economy and market saturation,"
said Charles Smulders, vice president of Gartner Dataquest's Computing
Platforms Worldwide group. "The release of Windows XP will
only mildly affect new PC sales, with the majority being replacements
of old systems at the end of their lives."
Additional analysis about Windows XP is available in the Gartner
Research Spotlight "Windows and Office XP: Microsoft's New
'Experiences.'" In this series of research documents, Gartner
analysts examine the benefits, costs and risks involved in migrating
to Windows XP and Office XP. This Spotlight issue can be found on
Gartner's Web site at www.gartner.com.
Oct 25 - Dell Celebrates Launch
of Microsoft Windows XP. As part of a celebration of more reliable
and efficient personal computing, Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) will join Microsoft(R)
tomorrow in New York to launch the Windows(R) XP operating system.
Dell employees, executives and products will help power the kick-off
events that highlight the powerful, productive and fun features
that Dell will deliver to customers with Windows XP.
"Windows XP running on Dell systems is the state of the art
for notebook and desktop computing," said Michael Dell, chairman
and chief executive officer. "Windows XP will provide many
of our customers with a new level of enjoyment, performance and
Dell began taking orders for systems with Windows XP on Sept. 14
and already has begun shipping them. Windows XP is optimized for
greater reliability than Windows 98 and Windows 95 and delivers
advanced capabilities for communications, digital entertainment,
remote support and wireless connectivity.
"With Windows XP Home Edition, users will be able to quickly
download, share and print photos, customize music CDs and even have
a video chat over the Internet," said John Hamlin, vice president
and general manager of Dell's consumer business.
Business users will also be attracted to the performance and stability
of Windows XP. "Windows XP delivers a performance boost from
Windows 98," said Ro Parra, senior vice president for Dell's
Americas business, "and its stability means there's less time
dealing with IT issues and more time taking care of business."
New Dell systems with Windows XP can be purchased at www.dell.com
Oct 25 - Turtle Beach to
Show AudioTron Appliance at Windows XP Launch. Turtle Beach
today will join Microsoft Corp. in New York City to demonstrate
its AudioTron digital audio appliance at the Windows XP Launch.
The device ($299 estimated street price) organizes and plays digital
audio files stored on a network-connected personal computer and
streams Internet radio broadcasts to a user's home stereo. The Turtle
Beach AudioTron supports MP3, Wave files and Windows Media Audio,
which provides CD-quality sound at half the bit rate and file size
With the included AudioStation(R) software, the PC becomes a whole
house music jukebox, delivering audio to any room where an AudioTron
is located. Using either the included remote control or buttons
on the base unit, users can play digital music without the need
to interface with or even be in the same room as their PC.
"Windows XP allows end-users to easily connect their PCs to
AudioTron via standard in-wall phone wiring (HomePNA 2.0) or an
Ethernet 10BaseT network," said Carmine J. Bonanno, president
and CEO of Turtle Beach. "AudioTron, a home network, and an
Internet connection let you enjoy your entire music collection (up
to 30,000 songs) or hear music streamed from around the world -
all from the comfort of your couch."
"With today's launch of Windows XP, setting up a home network
has never been easier," said Dave Fester, general manager of
the Windows Digital Media Division at Microsoft. "Building
on the networking and digital media capabilities of Windows XP,
Turtle Beach's AudioTron extends high-quality digital music into
the living room, to a home theater and around the entire home."
For more information, visit Turtle Beach at www.turtle-beach.com.
Oct 25 - Residential DSL Market
Nears Bottom. According to Cahners In-Stat Group (www.instat.com),
the market for Digital Subscriber Line (DSL) residential service
will bottom out in late 2001 and will be positioned for considerable
growth in the next five years.
The high-tech market research firm reports that slowing in 2001,
characterized by the dramatic collapse of key Competitive Local
Exchange Carriers (CLECs), appears to be stabilizing.
"Even though the residential DSL market slowed significantly
after the first quarter of 2000, residential DSL broadband access
services are becoming increasingly available in the home as providers
are able to extend their services to the edge of the network,"
says Ernie Bergstrom, a Senior Analyst with In-Stat. "Price
drops will have to take place soon to foster customers as cable
and DSL access begin to experience more pricing parity leaving value
added offerings, as the only differentiator between the big two
residential broadband access services. DSL price wars have already
started in Asia and are certain to reach our shores in the near
future, forcing DSL and cable service providers to rethink their
In-Stat has also found that:
-- The Incumbent Local Exchange Carrier (ILEC) companies
are holding the dominant position in the market.
-- The U.S. DSL residential installed base of broadband subscribers
will reach 3.6 million by the end of 2001, and exceed 13.5 million
by the end of 2005.
-- DSL services in the U.S. will produce in excess of 7 billion
dollars of revenue by 2005.
-- In the United States, cable modem access will remain the broadband
access technology with the most subscribers until late 2004.
Cahners In-Stat Group can be found on the Web at www.instat.com.
Oct 25 - Socket Announces
Low Power Wireless LAN CompactFlash Card. Socket Communications,
Inc. (Nasdaq:SCKT)(PSE:SOK), the leading provider of connection
products for Pocket PC-based handheld computers and other mobile
devices, today announced the launch of its Low Power Wireless LAN
CompactFlash (CF) Card, which enables wireless local area network
The Low Power Wireless LAN Card reinforces Socket's commitment to
provide energy-efficient products to its customers. Through advanced
power and battery management features, Socket's Wireless LAN card
extends the battery life of handheld devices, enabling mobile users
to remain productive throughout the day.
Corporate employees no longer need to be tethered to a desktop PC
to access the Internet, send and receive email, send instant messages
or access database information and other network services. While
in range of an 802.11b access point, mobile employees can remain
connected in a conference room or training facility, in a co-workers
office, or even in an outdoor courtyard. Mobile users can enjoy
the same fast Internet connection through public access points,
located at hotels, airports, libraries or a favorite coffee shop.
About the Low Power Wireless LAN Card and Wi-Fi
Socket's Low Power Wireless LAN Card is Wi-Fi certified,
and is interoperable with other Wi-Fi certified products, regardless
of manufacturer. Its Type I form factor can be used in mobile devices
with both a Type I and Type II I/O slot, giving consumers even more
flexibility. The incorporated antenna was designed to minimally
impact the size and feel of a handheld when inserted.
The Low Power WLAN Card will be available at a suggested retail
price of $189 and available for purchase through Socket's web site,
and through normal distribution and online reseller channels in
November, 2001. For more information, please visit www.socketcom.com.
Oct 25 - Outstanding Third
Quarter DVD Results Set Stage for Holiday Sales. DVD hardware
and software sales continued their rapid growth in the third quarter
and are anticipated to accelerate through the holiday selling season.
According to figures compiled by Ernst & Young on behalf of
the DVD Entertainment Group, approximately 76 million DVD movies
and music video titles shipped in the third quarter of 2001, nearly
a 180 percent increase over the same quarter last year. And, more
than 225 million units have shipped this year alone - more than
half of all the units shipped since the format launch in 1997.
The fourth quarter is anticipated to be even more explosive for
the format, with sought-after collectible titles and recent blockbusters
hitting retail shelves for the holidays. The DVD Entertainment Group
expects total DVD-Video software shipments to top 170 million in
the fourth quarter, bringing the total anticipated number of shipments
to 400 million units this year.
Hardware Continues Record Pace
Based on data from the Consumer Electronics Association
(CEA), the sales of all video products were down by nearly 12 percent
through the third quarter of this year. Yet even in this environment,
DVD continued its record growth. According to figures compiled by
the DVD Entertainment Group based on data from the CEA, retailers
and manufacturers, more than 3.8 million DVD players were shipped
to retail, bringing the total units shipped since the format's launch
to more than 24 million. Year-to-date, this represents a 55 percent
increase over the same period last year.
Hardware players sold through to U.S. consumers have reached more
than 22 million units. "DVD continues to be one of the most
popular elements of home cinema," said Emiel N. Petrone, chairman,
DVD Entertainment Group and executive vice president, Philips Entertainment
Group, Worldwide. "With the much anticipated DVD movie classics
and blockbuster hits coming to retail, we expect to see DVD grow
as we head into the holidays."
The DVD Entertainment Group's web site can be found at www.dvdinformation.com.
Oct 24 - Intel Introduces
First 0.13-Micron Flash Memory Product. Intel Corporation today
introduced the industry's first flash memory product built on 0.13-micron
process technology. The new flash memory chip is nearly 50 percent
smaller and consumes less power than its 0.18-micron predecessor,
making it ideal for cell phones and other electronics equipment
where small form factors and low power are critical requirements.
"Intel continues to lead the industry in flash memory technical
innovation and reliability," said Curt Nichols, vice president
and general manager of Intel's Flash Products Group. "Intel
is also the leading supplier of flash memory. Our goal is to ship
0.13-micron flash products before our closest competitors ship 0.18-micron
products, putting Intel two product generations ahead of the next
The Intel(R) 3 Volt Advanced+ Boot Block flash memory chip announced
today is part of a family of Advanced Boot Block flash memory products
that have shipped more than 700 million units, making it the world's
best-selling flash memory product. The chip helps power cell phones
and other devices by storing program code that is used by the internal
processor to operate the device. The chip also stores user data
such as a device's address book.
Intel became the world's first company to introduce 0.13-micron
products in volume when it announced five new mobile processors,
including the mobile Intel(R) Pentium(R) III-M, in July. Intel has
also introduced 0.13-micron processors for desktops and servers.
Last week, Intel opened its second 0.13-micron high-volume semiconductor
manufacturing facility. The company has plans to build 0.13-micron
products at four locations in the United States by the end of the
Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.
Oct 24 - Video Game Console
Shipments Down in 2001. As gamers await the release of Nintendo's
GameCube and Microsoft's Xbox in November, unit shipments of video
game consoles are expected to decline in 2001, according to Cahners
In-Stat Group (http://www.instat.com).
The market research firm reports that last year, worldwide video
game consoles shipments totaled over $4.5 billion in revenue and
despite this year's decline, unit shipments should increase substantially
between 2000 and 2005.
"The video game console market is seeing a period of unprecedented
change," said Brian O'Rourke, a senior analyst with In-Stat.
"This change has been marked by the exit of legacy player Sega
from the market, and the arrival of Microsoft."
Also, In-Stat finds that consoles are evolving beyond mere game
machines as the addition of DVD movie playback, Ethernet adapters
and hard drives open up a host of new possibilities, from online
gaming to e-commerce.
In-Stat has also found that:
-- Overall unit shipments of video game consoles
will increase by over 13 percent per year between 2000 and 2005.
-- Sony is the dominant player in the video game console market.
PlayStation 2 and PlayStation were the two best-selling consoles
worldwide in 2000, and are expected to repeat this feat in 2001.
-- The Nintendo GameCube should have a significant advantage in
the console wars, specifically because of its $100 price advantage.
To cost-conscious parents and gamers, a $199 console may prove to
be more appealing than a $299 console, particularly in current economic
Oct 24 - Red-M Announces
Handspring Bluetooth Module. Red-M(TM), a pioneer in advanced
wireless networking solutions, today launches an addition to the
Red-M Blade family, with its Bluetooth module for Handspring Visor
The Red-M Blade is easily inserted into the Springboard(TM) expansion
slot in the back of the device giving users quick and easy access
to Bluetooth wireless mobility.
The latest member of the Red-M Blade family of products enables
users of the Handspring Visor Platinum, Edge, Prism, Pro & Neo
to connect anytime, anywhere to a Bluetooth mobile phone to enable
easy access to the Internet, email, calendar and other data. The
Red-M Blade can also identify and connect with other authorized
Bluetooth devices, such as a PC or Bluetooth in-building network
for wireless access and synchronization.
Roger Kermisch, Vice President & General Manager, Handspring
Europe, comments, "We are delighted that Red-M is making Bluetooth
technology available to Visor users. It again underlines the versatility
of the Springboard platform and puts additional value in the hands
of our customers. Red-M is at the forefront of developing powerful
wireless connectivity solutions and we are pleased that users of
Handspring Visors can now be part of the next generation of mobile
working and gaming."
Priced at $179, the Red-M Blade for Handspring will be available
this month from selected retail outlets. The Red-M Blade for Palm
VX is currently shipping, priced at $199. For further information,
please visit Red-M's website at www.red-m.com/blade.
Oct 24 - W3C and VoiceXML Forum
Initiate Voice Markup Standard for Web. Leading the Web to its
full potential, the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) today released
the first public Working Draft of VoiceXML 2.0. A first public Working
Draft gives the Web community an invitation and opportunity to see
the early work of a W3C Working Group, and to contribute through
comments and implementations. VoiceXML 2.0 was published after W3C
and the VoiceXML Forum announced plans for cooperation through a
jointly signed Memorandum of Understanding.
W3C's Voice Browser Working Group Weaves Telephony
into the Web
W3C is working to expand access to the Web to allow
people to interact via key pads, spoken commands, listening to prerecorded
speech, synthetic speech, and music. This will allow any telephone
to be used to access appropriately designed Web-based services.
"Voice-enabled Web access creates opportunities for people
with visual impairments or those needing Web access while keeping
their hands and eyes free for other things, such as getting directions
while driving," explained Dave Raggett, W3C Voice Browser Activity
Lead and W3C Fellow from Openwave Systems, Inc. "VoiceXML 2.0
is an excellent fit to telephony and will enable all kinds of new
To fulfill this goal, W3C's Voice Browser Working Group, active
since March 1999, has been developing the W3C Speech Interface Framework,
a system which includes languages and functionalities for speech
synthesis, speech grammars, semantic interpretations of results,
call controls, pronunciation lexicons, natural language representation,
and a markup language for voice dialogs.
VoiceXML 2.0 Provides Markup Language for Voice Applications
VoiceXML 2.0 is the voice dialog language under development
at W3C. It is designed to creating audio dialogs that feature synthesized
speech, digitized audio, recognition of spoken and DTMF (touch-tone)
key input, recording of spoken input, telephony, and mixed-initiative
conversations. Its major goal is to bring the advantages of Web-based
development and content delivery to interactive voice response applications.
The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) can be found
on the Web at http://www.w3.org.
Oct 24 - Online Holiday
Shopping Starting Earlier This Year. Online retailers will benefit
from an early start of holiday sales, according to a new report
by online credit card issuer, NextCard (Nasdaq:NXCD). The NextCard
eCommerce Intentions survey found that nearly one third (32 percent)
of online shoppers will begin their online holiday shopping before
November. According to the survey, Amazon.com will be the clear
winner among online retailers with nearly half of all online shoppers
(46 percent) intending to shop there this holiday season. Consumers
are sticking with the traditional selection of gifts with books,
CDs/videos and toys/games representing the top three picks.
"We expect that Amazon.com will capture the lion's share of
online holiday spending, although eBay, BarnesandNoble.com and the
major discounters should also chalk up significant sales,"
said Scott Lascelles, group vice president of loyalty marketing
at NextCard. "Amazon.com's top showing is consistent with its
performance on the NextCard eCommerce Index, where it has been the
number one online retailer for more than two years." The monthly
NextCard eCommerce Index monitors online consumer spending by over
one million credit card holders.
Who will shop and how much will they spend?
Nearly one in five (19 percent) shoppers will spend
between $101 and $250 for their online holiday purchases. Nineteen
percent will spend between $250 or more for online gifts this year.
Almost one quarter (23 percent) will limit their online spending
to $100 or less.
Men and women have different expectations for shopping online. More
men (66 percent) than women (56 percent) will shop online this holiday
season. Similarly, more men expect to spend $250 or more for their
online holiday purchases (23 percent versus 15 percent of women).
The majority (54 percent) of online shoppers expect to spend up
to 20 percent of their overall holiday budget online. "This
was a surprising finding when you consider the fact that online
retailing represents a small fraction of the overall retail industry.
We think this is a strong indication of the increasing comfort people
have with shopping online," said Lascelles.
Men will devote more of their holiday budget to online stores than
women, with 49 percent of men expecting to do 20 percent or more
of their shopping online compared to 41 percent of women.
NextCard, Inc. (www.nextcard.com)
is considered the leading issuer of credit cards on the Internet.
Weeks Computer News and Rumors ]