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Daily Computer News and Rumors

October 1-6 2003

About News and Rumors. InfoHQ Computer News and Rumors is a daily column. It features news coverage of new PC and Mac computer hardware and software, Internet news, and other technical news items.
Every Sunday, News and Rumors features "Sunday Shopping Watch", which is a comparison and analysis of Sunday computer store advertisements.
The Daily Computer News and Rumors is an archived column, so feel free to review previous week's or month's computer news. Previous Daily Computer News articles can also be searched, by using our site search feature found in the top and bottom menu bar.

InfoHQ Daily Computer News and Rumors Article Index
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Oct 06 New Intel® Xeon™ Processor Provides High Performance For Dual Processor Server Needs
Oct 05 NVIDIA Unleashes ForceWare
Oct 05 NVIDIA Introduces Broad Line-Up of Breakthrough Products at Computex
Oct 03 ATI introduces RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT
Oct 03 Transmeta Announces Industry-Wide Support for Efficeon Processor Platforms
Oct 03 Immersion Launches Gaming Software That Immediately Enables Force Feedback
Oct 03 OpenPeak Extends Thinking Homes Software To Microsoft XP Media Center Edition PCs
Oct 03 ArcSoft Announces QuickDVD for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center
Oct 02 AMD Announces Support for Windows XP Media Center on Athlon 64 Processors
Oct 02 Dell Transforms Desktop Computers into Home Digital Entertainment Centers
Oct 02 HP Announces Media Center Notebook PC
Oct 02 ViewSonic Announces NextVision M2100 and Digital Media Center Entertainment System Packages
Oct 02 Toshiba Offers Consumers Two New Wireless Multi-Media Satellite Notebook PCs
Oct 01 America Online Continues Aggressive Battle against Spam
Oct 01 SUSE LINUX Releases Latest Advances in Linux Technology
Oct 01 SMC Ships New EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver
Oct 01 Customer Loyalty Becoming a More Critical Issue in the Wireless Industry
Oct 01 PCs Are Increasingly Being Used for Entertainment Purposes


Oct 06 -New Intel® Xeon™ Processor Provides High Performance For Dual Processor Server Needs. Intel Corporation today announced an enhanced Intel® Xeon™ processor for dual processor (DP) servers and workstations, featuring the top performance and fastest clock speed in the Intel Xeon processor family DP line, as well as drop-in compatibility for highly valued investment protection.

"The way we stay on top of the market segment is to consistently deliver better performance to meet demanding customer requirements," said Ajay Malhotra, general manager, Enterprise Marketing & Planning for Intel's Enterprise Platforms Group. "These new Intel Xeon processors deliver outstanding price-performance and value to our customers, with drop-in compatibility with existing Intel Xeon processor-based platforms to extend the life of previous investments."

The new Intel Xeon processor at 3.20 GHz features a 1 MB cache and a 533 MHz system bus. It is designed for use in general-purpose servers for Web hosting, data caching, search engines, security, streaming media and high performance computing, and in workstations for digital content creation, mechanical and electrical design, financial analysis, and 3D modeling. System manufacturers are expected to ship systems based on this new Intel Xeon processor this week.

The Intel Xeon processor at 3.20 GHz is drop-in compatible with existing systems designed with the Intel® E7501 (for servers) or Intel® E7505 (for workstations) chipsets, Intel®PRO Gigabit Ethernet Network Connections and Intel® Server RAID Controllers. It is also hardware compatible with systems from leading vendors and with Intel Server Products using dual Intel Xeon processors.

The Intel Xeon processor at 3.20 GHz is now available worldwide for Intel's list price of $851 each in 1,000-unit quantities.

Intel, the world's largest chip maker, is also a leading manufacturer of computer, networking and communications products. Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Oct 05 - NVIDIA Unleashes ForceWare. NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA), the worldwide leader in visual processing solutions, today introduced NVIDIA® ForceWare™, a powerful new suite of software tools and utilities designed to unleash unparalleled digital media experiences across all computing platforms. NVIDIA ForceWare provides increased productivity, stability, and functionality for all desktop and mobile PCs utilizing NVIDIA GeForce™ graphics hardware and NVIDIA nForce™ platform solutions.

“With the introduction of ForceWare, NVIDIA is expanding its technology leadership into the software world,” said Ujesh Desai, director of software product management at NVIDIA. “By delivering industry-leading features, innovative new features, and a unified driver architecture for all of our product lines, end users are able to achieve higher levels of productivity and functionality from their NVIDIA-based systems.”

The foundation of NVIDIA ForceWare is the revolutionary NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA), which delivers forward-and-backward hardware and software compatibility across all NVIDIA products.

The NVIDIA ForceWare unified software environment (USE) includes new drivers and compilers; desktop management software; system management software; and new multimedia software.

ForceWare Drivers

The foundation of NVIDIA ForceWare is the revolutionary NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA), which delivers forward-and-backward hardware and software compatibility across all NVIDIA products. For NVIDIA GeForce graphics processing units (GPUs), ForceWare provides stunning visual quality and blazing performance, while enabling users to take advantage of cutting-edge technologies through continuous online updates.

Desktop Management Software

ForceWare features a robust set of desktop management tools, enabling users to customize their Microsoft® Windows® desktop experience, connect multiple displays, adjust video levels for DVD viewing, and change screen orientation for unique monitor configurations.

New System Management Software

For nForce media and communications processors (MCPs), the NVIDIA ForceWare system management tools include desktop overclocking and monitoring utilities for high-speed system performance; unparalleled security and firewall features; NVMixer™ for configuring audio and speaker environments; and NVIDIA RAID for multiple disk management For mobile computing environments, ForceWare also incorporates NVIDIA PowerMizer™ technology for dynamic power and battery management capabilities.

Innovative Multimedia Software

The NVIDIA ForceWare Multimedia tools integrate PC multimedia functionality into a simple-to-use interface, allowing end users to record live TV, watch DVDs, burn a TV show to recordable media, listen to music, and even stream content to other clients.

NVIDIA ForceWare software will be available for download on www.nvidia.com in October.

Oct 05 - NVIDIA Introduces Broad Line-Up of Breakthrough Products at Computex. Today at Computex 2003, senior executives from NVIDIA Corporation (Nasdaq: NVDA) unveiled a line-up of breakthrough digital media products for the consumer and professional markets, including new graphics technology for mobile phones and other handheld devices. NVIDIA President and Chief Executive Officer Jen-Hsun Huang outlined the Company’s vision for the digital media era and discussed NVIDIA’s strategic relationships with key industry players, including AMD, Intel, and Microsoft.

“People around the world have embraced digital media with a passion, whether they are playing online games, editing videos, or exchanging photos on cell phones,” said Huang. “NVIDIA’s vision for the ‘ultimate’ digital media experience is the intersection of cinematic-quality graphics, seamless connectivity, and reliable out-of-the-box functionality. Our goal is to provide the technology and products that make the networked digital media experience intense, realistic, and compelling.”

The NVIDIA products announced today enhance the computing experience on a variety of platforms, including desktop PCs, notebooks, cell phones, and handheld devices, including:

NVIDIA® GoForce™ 2150, the industry’s fastest and lowest-power-consuming media processor for mobile phones with integrated digital cameras;
NVIDIA nForce™3, a new generation of media and communications processors (MCPs) for 64-bit AMD processors;
NVIDIA® ForceWare™, NVIDIA’s comprehensive suite of software tools and applications designed to improve the end-user digital media experience across all operating systems, including Microsoft and Linux.

Huang also spoke about NVIDIA’s commitment to continuing to build strong relationships with industry leaders. “Working with leading players such as AMD, Intel, and Microsoft is a cornerstone of our strategy,” he explained. “For example, we recently announced support for the PCI Express Architecture endorsed by Intel, an initiative that will dramatically improve multimedia graphics performance.”

Dan Vivoli, executive vice president of marketing at NVIDIA, demonstrated a Microsoft® Windows® XP Media Center Edition PC powered by NVIDIA® GeForce™ FX graphics processing units (GPUs) and NVIDIA ForceWare multimedia software, saying: “We are excited to be working closely with Microsoft on the Media Center PC and other initiatives, including the evolution of Microsoft DirectX®. These innovations are changing the way people interact with their PCs.”

Joe Belfiore, general manager, Windows eHome Division, Microsoft Corporation, added: “We’ve been very pleased by the reception Media Center has received in the marketplace. We are thrilled to work with partners like NVIDIA to define new uses for the PC and turn it into a device that enables some really compelling, exciting consumer scenarios.”

NVIDIA GoForce 2150

NVIDIA GoForce 2150 is the industry’s first media processor with 1.3 megapixel camera support. It features an enhanced camera interface and JPEG compression engine at 1.3 megapixel resolutions, enabling handset designers to add exciting product features such as high-resolution picture capture, motion JPEG video capture, and advanced camera controls for cellular handsets and other handheld devices with integrated digital cameras. All of this is accomplished at a fraction of the power required by current solutions. Key features include a 64-bit graphics processing engine, video processing engine, embedded memory for LCD frame buffer, LCD controller, and flexible CPU interface.

NVIDIA nForce3

PCs, motherboards, and notebooks designed with NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs deliver true-to-life digital entertainment experiences. With unprecedented support for both 32-bit and 64-bit operating systems, games, and applications, the single-chip-designed NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs optimize the movement of data throughout the PC, eliminate system bottlenecks, and speed up every-day media-rich applications for all professional, consumer, and mobile computing environments. NVIDIA nForce3 MCPs incorporate other advanced technologies including HyperTransport for maximized internal data throughput, and AGP 8X for connection to the latest NVIDIA GeForce FX graphics solutions.

NVIDIA ForceWare

NVIDIA ForceWare unleashes the full power and features of NVIDIA’s desktop, workstation, platform, mobile, and multimedia products. Delivering a proven record of compatibility, reliability, and stability with the widest range of games and applications, ForceWare ensures the best out-of-box experience for every end-user by providing:

Industry-leading features for graphics, audio, video, and communications;
One driver for all products: the NVIDIA Unified Driver Architecture (UDA);
Continuous performance and feature updates over the life of the products.
For more information on NVIDIA’s new products or to see a rebroadcast of the press conference, please visit the Company Web site at www.nvidia.com.

Oct 03 - ATI introduces RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT. ATI Technologies Inc. (NASDAQ:ATYT) (TSX:ATY) today introduced the RADEON(TM) 9800 XT and the RADEON(TM) 9600 XT, delivering killer DirectX(R) 9 performance in leading games like Half-Life(R) 2, which will be bundled with the graphics cards.

The RADEON 9800 XT, the most powerful visual processor available, takes the award-winning RADEON 9800 architecture, the first and only to feature eight full pixel pipes, and makes it even faster.
Shipping immediately, the graphics cards will feature 256MB of graphics memory and a wide, 256-bit memory interface. In addition to the brute-force capabilities of the visual processor, the architecture is efficiently designed to process instructions in parallel, maximizing performance. The RADEON 9800 XT will be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners. ATI's retail product will have a suggested retail price of $499.

The RADEON 9600 XT, the world's first visual processor developed using a low k dielectric process, features four pixel pipes and 128MB of graphics memory and delivers unbeatable performance for under $200.
Recent reviews have shown the RADEON 9600 XT to outperform cards twice its price in today's shader-intensive DirectX 9 games. Gamers will enjoy the stunning visual quality that the RADEON 9600 XT delivers, which renders in full precision at all times. The card will also be available in stores and online in October from ATI and its board partners.

"ATI's performance and image quality in DirectX 9-class games is unmatched," said Rick Bergman, Senior Vice President, Marketing, General Manager, Desktop, ATI Technologies Inc. "By bundling Half-Life 2 with these products we are giving our customers the opportunity to experience the full capability of ATI's DirectX 9 hardware."

Customers purchasing ATI's RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT will also get a free copy of Half-Life 2 when the game ships. "We chose to partner with ATI because of their outstanding DirectX 9 performance," said Gabe Newell, Founder and Managing Director, Valve(R). "Half-Life 2 relies heavily on advanced shader technologies to give the game a realistic and immersive environment. ATI's DirectX 9-class RADEON(TM) cards are the best choices for playing Half-Life 2."

ATI's RADEON 9800 XT and RADEON 9600 XT will be available in high-end gaming systems from system builders like ABS, Alienware, CyberPower, Elite PC, Falcon Northwest, IbuyPower, MDG, Velocity Micro, Voodoo PC and ZT Group.

Add-in-board partners and third party graphics card manufacturers will also be distributing products for retail, and for the OEM and white box markets. Board partners include ASUSTeK, Celestica, Connect3D, CP Technology, GeCube, Giga-Byte, Hercules, Hightech Information System, Sapphire, VisionTek and Yuan.

For more information on ATI or its new products, please visit www.ati.com.

Oct 03 - Transmeta Announces Industry-Wide Support for Efficeon Processor Platforms. Transmeta Corporation (Nasdaq:TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, today announced collaborative relationships with a core group of leading technology companies, including 802.11 wireless developers, BIOS/firmware companies, embedded manufacturers, graphics developers, operating system developers and silicon component suppliers all committed to supporting Transmeta's new x86-compatible Efficeon processor.

Aimed at ultra-portable and mainstream notebook computers, as well as innovative new classes of devices such as tablet PCs, ultra-personal computers, silent desktop computers, blade servers, thin clients and embedded systems, the Efficeon processor is a leader in delivering best-in-class performance, per watt, per dollar.

Adding to the list of leading technology companies supporting Efficeon, Transmeta today announced industry-wide support from Alliance Semiconductor Corp., American Megatrends Inc., Atheros Communications Inc., General Software Inc., HyperTransport Technology Consortium, Insyde Software Corp., Microsoft Corp., NVIDIA Corp., Phoenix Technologies Inc., Silicon Motion Inc., ULi Electronics Inc. and XGI Technology Inc. The Transmeta Efficeon processor's dynamic features and integrated architecture provide system designers with a wide range of chipset options to differentiate their products.

The Transmeta Efficeon processor will usher in a new era of efficient computing by offering users a compelling combination of power efficiency, design flexibility, performance-on-demand and low cost.

"The momentum building around the Efficeon processor and the efficient computing value proposition it delivers will bring Transmeta-based products to the forefront of the mobile computing industry," said Matt Perry, president and CEO of Transmeta. "This industry-wide support from partners illustrates our commitment and assures system builders and OEMs a faster time-to-market for a wide variety of innovative products based on the Efficeon processor."

Dave Ditzel, the company's co-founder and chief technology officer, will make a presentation about the Transmeta Efficeon processor at Microprocessor Forum in San Jose, October 13-16, 2003. To learn more about Transmeta's Efficeon processor, visit www.efficeon.com.

Oct 03 - Immersion Launches Gaming Software That Immediately Enables Force Feedback. Immersion Corp. (Nasdaq:IMMR), a leading developer and licensor of force feedback technology, today released TouchWare(R) Gaming, a breakthrough software product for the PC gaming industry that adds force feedback effects to the vast majority of all PC Windows-based games, whether they were originally designed with force feedback or not.

Force feedback, also referred to as haptics or simulated touch, can dramatically enhance a game by allowing a user to actually feel on-screen events, user movements and commands. Despite force feedback's broad appeal, over 90% of PC games still have limited or no haptic effects. To solve this problem, TouchWare Gaming(R) analyzes a game's sound effects, converts them using sophisticated algorithms, and maps them into appropriate force feedback effects on old and new PC games running on Windows 95 or higher.
Games come alive with a wide range of touch sensations such as the crushing force of totaling a car in Rock Star Games' Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, the blast of a spell in Electronic Art's Harry Potter & The Chamber of Secrets, and the boom of a corner kick in EA's FIFA Soccer.

"The few hundred force feedback PC games on the market today pales in comparison to the worldwide installed base of over 4 million force feedback gaming peripherals," said Dean Chang, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Technology Adoption and Partner Services at Immersion.
"We developed TouchWare Gaming so the owners of those 4 million peripherals plus future buyers of force feedback gaming peripherals can experience realistic and fun force feedback in thousands of new and old PC games, regardless of whether a game developer explicitly added force feedback support or not."

In the five years since 1998, the number of installed force feedback peripherals has grown to 4.62 million. It is estimated that today only 15 percent of all gamers have force feedback peripherals. Now the other 85 percent will have compelling reasons to buy products made by Immersion's licensing partners, including Logitech, Microsoft, Saitek, Thrustmaster and Belkin. TouchWare Gaming software fundamentally changes the gaming experience, enabling players to enjoy force feedback in PC games by easily installing the downloaded software.

Chang continued, "After years of research, we have created an intelligent way to turn sound waves into haptic effects. This technology breakthrough shows our long and deep commitment to the gaming industry."

Pricing and Availability

TouchWare Gaming is available as an easy-to-install download for gamers at www.immersion.com for $39.95. For a limited time only, Immersion is now offering TouchWare Gaming at a discount price of $29.95.

Oct 03 - OpenPeak Extends Thinking Homes Software To Microsoft XP Media Center Edition PCs. OpenPeak Inc., a software company focused on simplifying control and communication across consumer electronic devices within wireless environments, today announced the extension of its Thinking Homes residential product line to PCs with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center 2004.

Thinking Homes software extends Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 to include control of consumer electronics devices, such as TVs, DVD players, and amplifiers as well UPnP media. It also allows for control of devices such as lighting, cameras, HVAC, and security systems in a single control point for the entire house.

"Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 is the perfect platform for companies like OpenPeak to extend Media Center's easy-to-use navigation beyond digital entertainment to new consumer applications, such as home control," said Brad Brooks, marketing director, Windows eHome Division at Microsoft Corp.

The Thinking Homes software is optimized for wireless environments, which means adding new devices to the home control system doesn't require any new wires. The result is a high-function system that's complete and can integrate legacy devices as well as the latest UPnP-enabled components.

"We have worked with Microsoft to ensure the integration of Thinking Homes functionality into the Media Center interface. This has resulted in an outstanding solution for consumers who want a comprehensive home automation system without the expense, complexity and aggravation of other solutions," said Andrew Lona, Chief Marketing Officer of OpenPeak.

In addition to the Thinking Homes software, OpenPeak offers Thinking Homes hardware accessories through OEMs, including an 802.11/IR bridge that extends the range of traditional IR-based remote controls using a wireless network platform. OpenPeak also has developed a comprehensive family of 802.11 bridge devices, providing bridging to serial I/O, relay outputs, analog and digital inputs.

The company can be found online at www.openpeak.com.

Oct 03 - ArcSoft Announces QuickDVD for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center. ArcSoft, Inc., today announced the availability of ArcSoft QuickDVD(TM), a video capture and DVD creation program for Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004.

ArcSoft QuickDVD provides users of Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 with a fast, effective way to make high-quality home movies. Using the Media Center remote control, making DVD movies is as easy as following a convenient, step-by-step, on-screen wizard. The application allows users to "burn" a customized DVD video from home movie clips, recorded TV shows or other digital media, and create custom DVD titles and menu designs.

"Companies like ArcSoft are creating new ways for consumers to enjoy digital entertainment on the PC," said Brad Brooks, marketing director, Windows eHome division at Microsoft Corp. "QuickDVD is a good example of an integrated and convenient entertainment experience accessible from a remote control that will be available on Media Center Edition 2004 PCs."

The application supports the Microsoft DVR-MS file format for Windows to produce perfectly synced video and audio, and ArcSoft QuickDVD supports nearly all TV-tuner cards currently on the market.

"QuickDVD continues our tradition of making easy-to-use, powerful multimedia applications for consumers at any level of technical ability," explained Todd Rumaner, vice president for ArcSoft. "It supplements the usability of Windows XP Media Center perfectly to make DVD-creation a possibility for everyone. All it takes to make a top-quality home movie on DVD is a few clicks of the Media Center remote control."

For further details, please visit us at our corporate Web site: www.arcsoft.com.

Oct 02 - AMD Announces Support for Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 on Athlon 64 Processors. AMD (NYSE:AMD) today announced support for Microsoft(R) Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition 2004 on AMD Athlon(tm) 64 processors based on AMD64 technology.

Desktop and mobile systems based on AMD processors provide the performance users need to enjoy digital entertainment according to their taste, schedule and location. AMD64 technology enables immersive audio and video features for cinematic computing. Cinematic computing is an evolutionary journey toward a destination where mind-blowing 3-D games reach a new level of realism, and experiencing digital media is quick, effortless and real-time.

Using AMD Athlon processor-based PCs with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004, consumers can enjoy live television, personal video recording, music, photos, videos, radio and DVDs from the Media Center PC, all accessible with a simple remote control. Customers will be able to shift television schedules, customize a music library or select from multiple entertainment sources from the familiar simplicity of the Windows operating system.

"AMD64 technology drives improved digital entertainment experiences all the way from Hollywood to the living room, and coupled with Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 provides multi-media, multi-format, anytime entertainment options for users on their home PCs," said Rich Heye, vice president and general manager of AMD's Microprocessor Business Unit. "Systems based on AMD Athlon 64 processors can provide the performance to power many sources of digital entertainment in the familiar Windows-based PC environment."

"Our customers demand great quality audio and video experiences and reliable performance from their Media Center PCs. With AMD64 technology, AMD is providing the performance and scalability customers want for their digital entertainment systems," said Joe Belfiore, general manager of the Windows eHome division at Microsoft Corp. "In the familiar PC and Windows environment, these types of technologies will help customers enjoy diverse types of digital entertainment when and how they want it."

AMD is collaborating with leading system builders including Shuttle and MSI to provide customers with creative PC form factors that will fit not only in the home office, but any room of the home. AMD is also working with partners including NVIDIA, ATI and Realtek to provide customers advanced multimedia feature sets for an outstanding cinematic computing experience.

For more AMD news and product information, please visit www.amd.com.

Oct 02 - Dell Transforms Desktop Computers into Home Digital Entertainment Centers. Underscoring its continued belief that PCs are the center of the entertainment hub in many consumers' homes, Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) today began offering Dimension(tm) desktop customers with entertainment options designed to fundamentally change the way consumers think about and use their personal computers.
Dell Media Experience and Microsoft Windows(R) XP Media Center Edition 2004 give customers a choice of two easy-to-use interfaces that can transform computer systems from traditional productivity tools to digital entertainment centers.

Dell Media Experience

Beginning Oct. 17, Dell Media Experience software will ship standard on all new Dimension desktops and on select Inspiron notebooks later this fall. It features an intuitive, visual interface that allows consumers to easily watch DVDs or downloaded video clips, listen to MP3 files and play lists, and enjoy digital photo slideshows set to music.

The optional $30 remote control specifically designed for Dell Media Experience allows consumers to easily access their digital content 10 feet away from the computer, much like they do with TVs and stereos in their homes today. It will be offered initially in the United States, Europe, Asia, and Japan.

"By offering Dell Media Experience on all Dimension systems, Dell introduces consumers to the benefits of operating their PC as an entertainment device using its remote control or a keyboard," said John Medica, senior vice president and general manager, Dell Product Group. "It is a clear example of Dell's ability to provide innovation to consumers."

Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004

For customers seeking unparalleled access to digital content, Dell offers Windows Media Center Edition 2004 on built-to-order Dimension 4600, 4600C, and 8300 configurations. The Dimension 4600 Media Center configuration starts at $999.

Beyond providing an intuitive way to view DVDs, pictures, videos, and listen to digital music, Media Center brings TV viewing and personal video recording (PVR) capabilities to the desktop. Customers can use Media Center to watch TV programming on the desktop, and can use PVR functionality to pause live TV shows and record their favorite programs directly onto the hard drive so they can be viewed any time. Dell's Media Center system offerings come standard with a remote control and infrared (IR) receiver.

"With PCs continuing to be the driving force in digital content creation and usage, Dell is debuting Media Center Edition 2004 on three innovative desktop form factors," added Medica. "The sleek and compact Dimension 4600C is ideal for use in living rooms or smaller spaces like dens, bedrooms or even college dorm rooms."


For $1369, a Dimension 4600C system comes equipped with a 2.6GHz Pentium(R) 4 processor with Hyper-Threading(tm) technology, 256MB RAM, the new 64MB ATI ALL-IN-Wonder(R) 9000 TV tuner card, 40GB hard drive, DVD player, a 15" flat panel monitor, Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 and a remote control with an IR receiver.

For $649 a Dimension 2400 system includes a 2.2GHz Celeron processor, 256MB RAM, a 40GB 7200rpm hard drive, a DVD player, a 17" (16.0" viewable) CRT monitor, Dell Media Experience software, Windows XP Home, and the remote control specifically designed for Dell Media Experience.

For more information about these products, go to www.dell.com/dimension.

Oct 02 - HP Announces Media Center Notebook PC. HP (NYSE:HPQ) today unveiled new additions to its leading home entertainment PC line, including the first HP Media Center notebook PC and enhanced versions of its award-winning HP Media Center desktop PCs. The offerings are designed to take the hassle out of experiencing digital entertainment, making it easy for anyone to enjoy photos, music and movies when, where and how they want.

The HP Media Center zd7000 notebook with widescreen is a high-performance wireless notebook PC that integrates digital entertainment, photography and Internet computing into a sophisticated design with desktop comfort, including an expanded keyboard with separate numeric keypad.

In addition to numerous accolades from customers, analysts and press, the HP Media Center PC recently received the 2003 Intel Innovative PC award in the consumer desktop category for its ease of use, outstanding technology implementation and state-of-the-art design.

The new HP Media Center m300 Photosmart desktop PC series builds on this legacy by offering advanced entertainment features such as FM radio reception, an integrated camera dock (dock sold separately), and the ability to print directly from the remote control. It additionally offers a single software application for simplified organization, editing and sharing of digital photos, and Internet music direct from MusicMatch -- accessible from more than 10 feet away with the remote control.

"When HP and Microsoft broke the ground on an entirely new category of PCs nearly one year ago, we forever altered the way consumers could experience digital entertainment," said Sam Szteinbaum, vice president and general manager, HP North America Consumer Computing Organization. "HP continues to change the dynamics of the industry as we merge our experience in the PC business with the evolving world of consumer electronics to bring products to market that demystify digital entertainment."

Both the HP Media Center zd7000 notebook and HP Media Center m300 desktop PC series feature Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 software, which also is being released today. This new edition of the operating system software includes advanced features such as the ability to: listen to FM radio stations with one-button access from the remote control; rip CDs to a media library; print using the remote control; play instant slide shows from convenient front-mounted media card readers; calibrate the screen image for the best possible picture, regardless of the display type (including flat screen, LCD, CRT, and rear or front projection displays); and take advantage of widescreen displays by using more of the screen for Media Center content.

"HP was the first to bring a Media Center PC to market, and we are thrilled to continue working with the company to deliver innovative solutions to consumers that offer a truly integrated digital entertainment experience on the home PC," said Joe Belfiore, general manager of the Windows eHome Division, Microsoft Corp. "HP is offering consumers a range of Media Center PC offerings, letting consumers choose the best solution to meet their needs and allowing them to enjoy their digital entertainment whenever and wherever they want it."

In addition, Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 brings together key partners such as MovieLink to offer consumers access to more digital content such as on-demand movie and music subscription services, all of which can be accessed from the remote control.

"We continue to work with HP as their Media Center PC family of products evolves and delivers new and exciting features and capabilities," said Louis Burns, vice president and general manager, Intel's Desktop Platforms Group. "HP's Media Center PCs, combined with the Intel Pentium 4 processor with HT Technology, provides consumers with the power and flexibility to do multiple things at once, which improves their overall digital home entertainment experience."

More information about HP Media Center offerings and other digital entertainment solutions is available at http://www.hp.com/go/mediacenter2004.

Oct 02 - ViewSonic Announces NextVision M2100 and Digital Media Center Entertainment System Packages. ViewSonic(R) Corp., a worldwide leader in visual display products, today announced an addition to its NextVision(TM) M Series of Digital Media Centers along with several complete entertainment solution bundles.

The M2100, built on Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 operating system, brings consumers new functionality, including FM radio, wide-screen 16:9-format viewing, high-definition playback, a dual-format DVD +/- RW drive, and improved graphic performance from the nVidia GeForce FX5X00 graphics card.

At an estimated street price of $1599, the M2100 allows users to consolidate a Digital Video Recorder, FM radio tuner, MP3 music and digital or video photography into one centralized system. PC gamers can utilize the M2100's multiple front inputs to quickly add or remove favorite game pad/navigation devices for full utilization of the product's improved 3D-gaming performance. Full featured video outputs - including DVI, VGA, S-Video, and composite - also support the use of two display devices, such as a traditional monitor with a projector or LCD TV, for simultaneous viewing of computing or entertainment content.

The company also introduced a number of affordable, complete entertainment packages featuring a ViewSonic Digital Media Center and a ViewSonic display product, including:

-- High Resolution 42" Plasma Bundle - M2100 and VPW450HD Plasma Display - $5999
-- Home Theater Projector Bundle - M2100 and PJ750 Projector - $3499
-- Family Room 27" LCD TV Bundle - M2100 and N2700w LCD TV - $3299
-- Ultimate Gaming 20" LCD Bundle - M2100, VP201s 16ms response time LCD and ViewSonic NeoSat(TM) Speaker System - $2499
-- Bedroom/Dorm Room 17" LCD TV Bundle - M2100 and N1700w LCD TV - $1999
-- Low Cost 18" LCD Bundle - M2000, VX800 LCD Display ViewSonic
NeoSat Speaker System - $1699
-- Budget 19" (18" Viewable) CRT Bundle - M2000, G90fb (18"
Viewable) CRT Display and ViewSonic NeoSat Speaker System -

In addition to accessing entertainment via remote control, the new operating system makes it easy to create, store, view and share entertainment with consistent navigation and playback across digital content formats.

Current ViewSonic NextVision M Series Digital Media Center owners will be offered a free operating system upgrade, allowing them to enjoy the improved feature set without additional investment.

Complete information regarding ViewSonic's family of Digital Media Centers can be found at: www.viewsonic.com/digitalmediacenter.

Oct 02 - Toshiba Offers Consumers Two New Wireless Multi-Media Satellite Notebook PCs. Leading the digital convergence revolution by combining the flexibility of mobile computing with the entertainment value of consumer electronic devices, Toshiba's Computer Systems Group (CSG) today announced the availability of the wireless-enabled (Wi-Fi(R) 802.11a/g) Satellite(R) P25-S609 and P15-S479 notebook PCs.

Both are based on Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 providing an easy-to-use interface to view, record, edit and organize a user's favorite personal photos, music, movies and television content via remote control. Toshiba CSG introduced the industry's first Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition notebook PC to ship in volume in June 2003 and created a follow-on product based on positive customer feedback and demand.

Creating a true personal theater experience that is a welcome addition to any bedroom, college dorm room, home office or living room setting, the Satellite P25-S609 features a 17.0-inch diagonal wide-screen XGA display, enhancing the movie viewing experience whether a user is two feet or ten feet away from the notebook PC. The Satellite P25-S609 is the ideal mobile entertainment station for space-constrained environments, combining a CD, DVD and television playback into one device. In addition, its massive 1024MB of system memory allows the notebook to handle multiple programs and store large amounts of data and images.

Outfitted with a 15.4-inch diagonal wide-screen XGA display, the Satellite P15-S479 is designed for consumers who desire increased portability and want the ability to access their files while on a trip, around the campus or in the home.

"Toshiba introduced the first retail notebook PC with Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition answering the call from customers who desired the ability to create and manage digital entertainment on their mobile PC," said Carl Pinto, director of product marketing, Toshiba CSG. "With the Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479, Toshiba takes digital entertainment to the next level by integrating enhanced Windows XP Media Center Edition 2004 in new portable form factors allowing our users to choose the right notebook for their needs."

"Windows XP Media Center Edition coupled with Toshiba's notebook PCs combines the powerful benefits of mobile computing with digital entertainment whether on the go or at home," said Joe Belfiore, general manager of the Windows eHome Division, Microsoft Corp. "We are excited that Toshiba has embraced Microsoft's vision of providing people access to their favorite entertainment experiences wherever and whenever they want."

Satellite P25-S609 and Satellite P15-S479 Key Features

Draped in a unique metallic blue design, the Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 offer a rich feature-set including a built-in DVD-Multi drive allowing users to burn CDs and DVDs and act as a second hard drive to store critical data. Engineered for gamers and multimedia enthusiasts, the new notebooks include the NVIDIA(R) GeForce(TM) FX Go5200 graphics processing unit delivering breakthrough 3D imagery and rich color texture to enhance any multimedia application. Two harman/kardon(R) stereo speakers (Satellite P25-S609 only) are also included enhancing audio/video playback.

For added productivity, both units feature wide-screen displays that allow users to view two documents side-by-side, ideal for editing documents and multitasking. With integrated dual Wi-Fi(R) (802.11a/g) wireless connectivity, Satellite P25-S609 and P15-S479 customers with a wireless home network can enjoy the flexibility of wireless Internet access from any room in the home or at a wireless public hotspot.

Pricing and Availability

The Toshiba Satellite P15-S479 and P25-S609 notebook PCs are available direct via www.shoptoshiba.com and through Toshiba's retail distribution channels including computer superstores and consumer electronic stores. The Satellite P15-S479 has an estimated single user price (ESUP) of $2,199 and the Satellite P25-S609 ESUP is $2,799.

Oct 01 - America Online Continues Aggressive Battle against Spam. America Online, Inc., the world's leading interactive services company, announced today it is equipping even more AOL members with powerful and effective spam fighting tools by rolling out personalized and adaptive spam filters to earlier versions of the AOL(R) service. The new spam filters are available now for members using AOL(R) 8.0 Plus and will be delivered automatically over the coming months to members using AOL(R) 8.0, AOL(R) 7.0, AOL(R) 6.0 and AOL(R) for Mac OS X.

Previously available only to members using AOL(R) 9.0 Optimized, the latest version of the AOL and AOL(R) for Broadband services, these spam filters learn and adapt to the type of e-mail that each member considers to be spam, thereby vastly improving the overall e-mail experience for AOL members.

The new spam filters require no additional software and no action on the part of members to install, complementing the server-side spam filtering AOL performs for all members 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. AOL now blocks up to 2.4 billion pieces of junk e-mail each day.

"Unwanted e-mail is public enemy #1 for AOL members, and we are continuing to work with our members to fight the battle against spam. With these new spam filters added to the arsenal, even more AOL members can now benefit from our powerful spam fighting weapons," said David Gang, Executive Vice President of AOL Products. "The automatic delivery of these spam filters will be seamless to members using earlier versions of the AOL software for Windows or AOL for Mac OS X and they will quickly see a noticeable difference in the number of spam e-mails they receive."

Thanks in large part to the efforts of its members, AOL receives reports of up to 10 million unwanted mails per day, primarily through the use of the popular "Report Spam" button which is available with AOL 8.0, AOL 8.0 Plus and AOL 9.0 Optimized. Reporting spam to AOL helps the software's spam filters get smarter as members use them, while enabling AOL's proprietary server-side anti-spam filters to adapt in real-time to the growing epidemic of junk e-mail from the Internet.

For even more aggressive spam fighting, members can go to AOL Keyword: Spam Controls, to further fine-tune their e-mail experience and anti-spam defenses, set up filters that block e-mails based on specific words or e-mails containing clickable URLs, and more. A new Spam Folder serves as the central location where suspected unwanted mail is automatically routed, separating spam from a member's regular incoming e-mail.
To help further refine their spam filters, members using AOL 6.0 through AOL 8.0 Plus or AOL for Mac OS X will be able to access their Spam Folder and view its contents by logging onto their AOL(R) Mailbox at www.AOL.com and clicking the "This is Not Spam" button as necessary. Later this year, the Spam Folder will be accessible from a link that will appear on their mailbox on the AOL service.

Earlier this year, AOL provided members with an online voice in the fight against spam by offering them the opportunity to electronically sign an AOL-sponsored petition calling on state and federal officials to work towards laws to curtail fraudulent and offensive junk e-mail. In less than four months, more than one million AOL members have reviewed and signed the online petition. By supporting the AOL-sponsored campaign, members also indicate their full support of the efforts of the Internet industry, policymakers, consumer advocates and other interested parties to cut down on unwanted junk e-mail.

For members using the Windows(R) operating system and who are able to upgrade, AOL 9.0 Optimized provides the optimal spam fighting experience with the integration of spam controls features directly on the main AOL(R) Mail interface and direct access to the Spam Folder from the AOL Mailbox. Members can go to AOL Keyword: Upgrade to download the new software or to request an AOL 9.0 Optimized CD-ROM.

About America Online

America Online, Inc. is a wholly owned subsidiary of AOL Time Warner Inc. Based in Dulles, Virginia, America Online is the world's leader in interactive services, Web brands, Internet technologies and e-commerce services.

Oct 01 - SUSE LINUX Releases Latest Advances in Linux Technology. SUSE LINUX today announced the availability October 24 of its newest consumer product - bringing to the consumer the latest advances in Linux technology.

SUSE LINUX 9.0 -- the first home user operating system platform to leverage AMD's Athlon 64 processor -- enables easier Windows migration by supporting NTFS file systems and also gives experienced users a sneak peek at the enhanced capabilities of the 2.6 Linux kernel - with many of those capabilities back-ported into the 2.4 default kernel as well. SUSE's latest release provides additional administration and tuning features as well as an expanded slate of software packages.

"SUSE LINUX 9.0 brings together the past, present and future of Linux," said Holger Dyroff, general manager, Americas, SUSE LINUX. "Building on the Linux heritage of stability, security and flexibility, SUSE LINUX 9.0 brings advanced features and easy migration - providing users a path from costly proprietary systems."

Support for 32- and 64-bit environments

With release 9.0, SUSE LINUX provides both a version for 32-bit operating environments and a product for the recently released AMD Athlon 64 processor, enabling workstation users performance enhancements available only through the 64-bit architecture.

"We believe that 64-bit applications will rapidly become the standard, and that's why we had an operating system for the AMD Athlon 64 processor available at the time of its introduction," said Juergen Geck, chief technology officer, SUSE LINUX. "Providing customers 64-bit offerings since 1999, SuSE long ago innovated the 64-bit Linux market, and proved the viability of Linux for high-performance computing. With SUSE LINUX 9.0 for AMD64, customers can run their 32-bit programs until they are ready to take full advantage of 64-bit architectures."

Ease of Migration

Enhanced support for the NTFS file system used by Microsoft Windows enables users to more easily repartition the hard disk space - giving them the opportunity to take advantage of the stability and security of Linux, while maintaining the ability to access the Windows client when/if needed.

First look at the 2.6 Kernel

SUSE LINUX 9.0 is based on a SUSE optimized Linux kernel 2.4.21, that enables users to benefit now from many of 2.6 kernel enhancements -- including improved scheduling, advanced Linux sound architecture and greater support for power management.
For test purposes, 9.0 also contains a test version of the 2.6 kernel -- for technically skilled users.

Easy Internet access, upgraded applications

SUSE LINUX 9.0 supports a large number of WinModems, frequently provided with inexpensive laptops. With the new desktop, DSL connections, just like ISDN cards and modems, are now auto-detected during installation -- configuring full Internet access with just a few mouse clicks.

Availability and Pricing

SUSE LINUX 9.0 will be available at the SUSE online shop and software retailers from October 24. The recommended retail price for SUSE LINUX 9.0 Personal (3 CDs, User Guide, 60 days of installation support) is $39.95. The price for SUSE LINUX 9.0 Professional (5 CDs, 1 double DVD, User Guide and Administration Guide, 90 days of installation support) is $79.95. SUSE LINUX 9.0 Professional for AMD64 is $119.95.
For more information, visit www.suse.com.

Oct 01 - SMC Ships New EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver. SMC(R) Networks, leading provider of networking solutions for the Enterprise, the SMB and all the way home, today announced that the first of its new EZ-Stream(TM) Universal wireless home entertainment networking products began shipping this week to retailers and integrators.
The new EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver (SMCWMR-AG), which distributes entertainment media throughout the home without wires, is available now, at an MSRP of $249.99.

The EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver is a high-end networked entertainment receiver that streams, plays and shares audio (including MP3 and Internet radio), pictures and video from the networked PC to the Home Entertainment Center.
Connected to the wired or wireless network for access to Internet resources, music, photos and videos stored on a computer's hard drive, it links to entertainment devices, including televisions and stereo receivers, via standard A/V connectors. Employing the latest in high-end wireless 802.11a/g technology for universal compatibility, speed and bandwidth that optimizes demanding wireless applications like streaming video, SMC's EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver is at the center of the best performing home entertainment networking solution available.

"We're working with SMC to bring advanced wireless products to market that 'untether' the home multimedia environment," said Craig Barratt, president and chief executive officer of Atheros. "The new EZ-Stream product line features high-performance, standards-based Atheros 802.11a/g networking technology. The EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver can distribute even the most demanding multimedia -- streaming video -- throughout the home, without wires."

Easy set-up and operation being as important as performance, the EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver includes an EZ Installation Wizard that makes loading its software on the PC a breeze. User-friendly Web-based management provides additional easy set-up tools, and an intuitive TV user interface means users can do it all from the living room couch. Staying current is effortless, thanks to Smart Box Management, which searches automatically for available firmware updates upon power-up.

"The EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver is the first of a new line of products that takes SMC's home networking expertise to a whole new level," said Tom Rizol, SMC's vice president of sales and marketing. "A high-performance entertainment networking solution for homes that far surpasses anything the competition can offer, EZ-Stream combines the best in networking with the best in consumer electronics."

Additional high-performance Universal Wireless 802.11a/g products will join the EZ-Stream Universal Wireless Multimedia Receiver over the next several weeks, to optimize connections between the server and computing, gaming or other network-capable devices.

For more information about SMC Networks or its products, visit www.smc.com.

Oct 01 - Customer Loyalty Becoming a More Critical Issue in the Wireless Industry. As wireless penetration continues to slow and legislation soon goes into effect allowing consumers to keep their phone numbers after switching providers, customer retention has become a top priority among wireless carriers, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2003 U.S. Wireless Regional CSI Study(SM) released today.

The study finds the overall wireless growth rate between 2002 and 2003 among the 27 largest U.S. markets was just 5.3 percent -- considerably lower than the 7.6 percent overall growth rate between 2001 and 2002. In addition, more than one in four (26%) subscribers say they have switched wireless carriers at least once in the past 12 months -- up from 24 percent in 2002, and the length of time a subscriber stays with a carrier before they switch has shortened a full three months since 1999.

"It's imperative that wireless service providers concentrate on retention strategies as the ability to expand the customer base becomes more difficult," said Kirk Parsons, senior director of wireless services at J.D. Power and Associates. "The issue of number portability, which becomes a reality for consumers in November, removes a major barrier for customers in switching providers. With the cost of acquiring each new customer ranging between $300 and $425, wireless providers must make a serious effort to retain customers with superior service and loyalty programs."

The study indicates that providing superior customer satisfaction has become critical in the wireless industry to bolster customer retention and increase revenue potential. Just 7 percent of current customers of the highest-ranking providers are likely to switch carriers in the next 12 months, compared to 21 percent for the lowest-ranking providers. Furthermore, customers of the highest-ranking providers are 38 percent more likely to renew with their current carrier than are customers of lower-ranking providers.

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. www.jdpower.com.

Oct 01 - Jupiter Research Reports That PCs Are Increasingly Being Used for Entertainment Purposes. Jupiter Research, a division of Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq:JUPM), today announced that 51% of online consumers would record TV content using a PC if they could view the content on a standard television.
The report predicts that Microsoft's second generation Windows XP Media Center Edition (XP MCE 2004) will become the standard operating system for mid-level PCs and some desktop replacement notebooks over the next 12 to 18 months, as it offers better ways for consumers to leverage their media collections.

Based on a July 2003 Jupiter Research online consumer survey, the new report "Consumer PCs and Digital Entertainment" states that 34% of online users want to record TV on their PC to watch on the PC's monitor, but that number increases to 51% if they can watch the content on their TV.
According to Avi Greengart, Senior Analyst at Jupiter Research, "While in most cases the PC and the television are not actually converging into a single box, there is ample evidence that consumers see their PCs as the entertainment hub of the home - for gaming, music, and, increasingly, even DVDs and TV."

According to the Jupiter Research report, in the past, consumers bought PCs for connectivity and productivity applications - e-mail, Web browsing, word processing, preparing tax returns, etc. Productivity has been joined by entertainment as a primary use for personal computers, with price drops on CD-ROM and CD-R/W drives, the spread of MP3, the rise of low cost online games, affordable digital cameras and DVD-enabled consumer notebooks.

Results of the report indicate that consumers are presenting PC hardware and networking OEMs with the opportunity to broaden their entertainment reach into passive video entertainment - DVD, television and personal video recorder. Going forward, consumers will be purchasing multiple PCs for the home and the entertainment share of use will increase, with some PCs dedicated solely to entertainment purposes.

Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq:JUPM), (www.jupitermedia.com) headquartered in Darien, CT, is a leading provider of global real-time news, information, research and media resources for information technology, Internet industry and graphics professionals.



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