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Daily Computer News and Rumors

October 12-24 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
Date
(Click on story to read, use your Browser's back button to return to this index.)
Oct 24 Apple Unveils New Generation G4 iBooks Starting at Just $1,099
Oct 24 Apple Lowers Prices for eMac Line
Oct 24 I/OMagic Set to Ship 8X DVD Dual-Format Rewritable Drive
Oct 24 Epson Unveils Stylus Photo Printers R300 and R300M
Oct 23 Addonics Launches 16-in-1 Multi Function Recorder
Oct 23 AOpen Unveils XC Cube Small Form Factor Bare System Entertainment PC
Oct 23 Consumer Electronics Association Releases Latest Issue of Five Technologies to Watch
Oct 23 Gartner Says 45 Percent of U.S. Workforce is Using Some Form of Mobile Device
Oct 22 Microsoft Office System Launches With Record Number of Programs, Servers and Services
Oct 22 New Industry Data Shows Dell Continues to Lead in Serving Customers
Oct 22 Sony Ericsson unveils the T630 camera phone for stylish mobile imaging
Oct 22 Yahoo! Advances Anti-Spam Strategy
Oct 21 New Dell Projector Delivers Big Performance for the Home, Office at a Small Price
Oct 21 New Epson Stylus Pro 4000 Offers 17-Inch-Wide Professional-Level Photographic Printing
Oct 21 Logitech Introduces New Pocket Digital 130 Camera
Oct 21 Vast Majority of U.S. Operating Chiefs Expect Sunny 2004 Economy
Oct 21 Network Media Nodes Next Killer Networking App
Oct 16 Apple Launches iTunes for Windows
Oct 16 Apple Updates iPod
Oct 16 Intel And Sony Music Collaborate To Bring Entertainment To Intel-Based Cell Phones
Oct 14 Transmeta Introduces the Efficeon TM8000 Family
Oct 12 Sunday Shopping Watch

 

Oct 24 -Apple Unveils New Generation G4 iBooks Starting at Just $1,099. Apple® today unveiled its new iBooks featuring PowerPC G4 processors, with the 12-inch display model starting at just $1,099 (US) and the 14-inch display model starting at just $1,299 (US).
The new iBook® line offers advanced connectivity with AirPort® Extreme and Bluetooth, and all models include 256MB of Double Data Rate (DDR) memory and slot-load Combo drives for burning CDs and watching DVDs. The new iBooks also include Apple’s latest operating system, Mac OS® X version 10.3 “Panther,” pre-installed with over 150 breakthrough new features, including FileVault to secure data for iBook users on the go.

“2003 is the ‘year of the notebook’ and Apple has the industry’s best notebook lineup, which has resulted in Apple's mix of notebooks growing to double the industry average,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “The new iBooks bring powerful G4 processors and slot-load Combo drives into the most affordably priced G4 notebooks ever, just in time for the holiday season.”

The new 12- and 14-inch iBooks have been completely re-engineered based on the high performance PowerPC G4 processor and DDR memory architecture providing improved speed, efficiency and overall system performance. Each iBook provides incredible graphics performance with ATI Mobility Radeon 9200 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR memory and AGP 4X for gaming and watching DVD movies at the highest quality.
Outfitted with its hallmark durable, sleek polycarbonate plastic enclosure and weighing as little as 4.9 pounds, iBook notebooks are the ideal mixture of form and function designed with consumers and education customers in mind. The new iBook G4 provides up to six hours of battery life for all-day mobile use in the classroom or on the road.

Each iBook now features the latest in wireless connectivity with support for AirPort Extreme that is Wi-Fi Certified and based on the ultra-fast 802.11g standard, offering data rates five times faster than 802.11b while maintaining compatibility with millions of 802.11b products.* Options include an internal Bluetooth module for wirelessly connecting peripherals such as Apple’s new Wireless Keyboard and Wireless Mouse, as well as a full complement of I/O ports, including FireWire® 400, USB 2.0 and a built-in 56K v.92 modem and Ethernet (10/100BASE-T) that enable connectivity to all of today’s popular peripherals.

Every iBook comes with Panther pre-installed. Panther delivers more than 150 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder™ that provides one-click access to a user’s favorite files and folders; Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution.
Panther enhances the mobile experience with automatic networking that intelligently detects and switches the network connections between Ethernet, 802.11 and modem for easily connecting to the Internet. Panther also features Fast User Switching to elegantly switch between active users without having to quit applications or log out; FileVault, which uses the latest security standards and 128-bit encryption technology to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure and private at all times; and enhanced Windows compatibility that ensures files, printers and network services can easily be shared with Windows users.

Perfect for today’s digital lifestyle, every new iBook also includes iLife™, Apple’s integrated suite of award-winning digital lifestyle applications that features the latest versions of iPhoto™, iMovie® and iDVD™ and iTunes®. iLife is the only integrated suite to include all of the four applications required for today’s “digital lifestyle”—digital music, photography, moviemaking and DVD creation—and is the first product to offer the benefits of seamlessly integrating them.

Pricing & Availability
The new iBook with a 12-inch display is available immediately, and the new iBook models with a 14-inch display are expected to be available next week through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in three standard configurations.

Oct 24 - Apple Lowers Prices for eMac Line. Apple® today announced lower prices for its popular eMac™ desktop computer for home and schools, making the eMac the most affordable SuperDrive™-equipped Mac® ever, starting at just $1,099 (US). Featuring a stunning 17-inch flat CRT in a compact all-in-one design, eMac includes Mac OS® X version 10.3 “Panther” pre-installed with over 150 breakthrough new features, including Fast User Switching making the eMac easy to share among users in the home and schools. eMac also offers Apple’s iLife™, the industry’s only integrated suite of award-winning applications for digital music, photography, moviemaking and DVD creation.

“Complete and ready to use right out of the box, eMac is the most affordable SuperDrive-equipped Mac ever offered,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of Hardware Product Marketing. “A brilliant combination of performance and value, eMac makes it easy and affordable for everyone to make DVDs from their movies, music and photos—it’s the ultimate computer for home and schools.”

Housed in a remarkably compact all-in-one design that is even less deep than the original iMac®, eMac offers a crisp 17-inch flat CRT display supporting screen resolutions of up to 1280-by-960 pixels in 24-bit color. Offering a fast 1 GHz PowerPC G4 processor, eMac comes with either a Combo (DVD-ROM/CD-RW) drive for watching DVD movies and burning CDs or Apple’s revolutionary SuperDrive (DVD-R/CD-RW), which adds the ability to burn DVDs that play in most consumer DVD players. eMac comes with high-performance ATI Radeon 7500 graphics with 32MB of dedicated DDR SDRAM and hard drives up to 80GB.

Offering the latest in wireless communications, eMac includes a built-in antenna and card slot to support AirPort® Extreme 802.11g wireless networking. eMac also includes built-in 10/100BASE-T Ethernet and 56K V.92 modem allowing customers to connect to the Internet any way they like. With five USB ports, and two FireWire® ports conveniently located on the side of the system, eMac desktops offer easy plug-and-play connections to popular peripherals such as digital video camcorders, iPod™, digital still cameras, printers and scanners.

Every eMac comes with Panther pre-installed. Panther delivers more than 150 breakthrough new features including a completely new Finder™ that provides one-click access to a user’s favorite files and folders; Exposé, a revolutionary new way to instantly see all open windows at once; and iChat AV, a complete desktop video conferencing solution for business, education and consumers. Panther also features Fast User Switching to elegantly switch between active users without having to quit applications or log out; FileVault, which uses the latest security standards and 128 bit encryption technology to ensure that data in the home directory is kept secure and private at all times; and enhanced Windows compatibility that ensures files, printers and network services can easily be shared with Windows users.

Perfect for today’s digital lifestyle, every new eMac also includes iLife, Apple’s integrated suite of award-winning digital lifestyle applications that features the latest versions of iPhoto™, iMovie® and iDVD™ and iTunes®. iLife is the only integrated suite to include all of the four applications required for today’s “digital lifestyle”—digital music, photography, moviemaking and DVD creation—and is the first product to offer the benefits of seamlessly integrating them. In addition to Panther, eMac also includes AppleWorks®, Quicken 2004 Deluxe, WorldBook Encyclopedia 2003 Edition and Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater 4.

Pricing & Availability
The eMac line is available immediately through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), at Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers in two standard configurations.

Oct 24 - I/OMagic Set to Ship 8X DVD Dual-Format Rewritable Drive. I/OMagic Corporation (OTCBB:IOMG), a leading developer and marketer of optical data storage solutions and digital entertainment devices, announced today that it will begin shipping the next generation of high-speed dual drives into the North American marketplace in late October 2003.
The new internal DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 8X DVD Rewritable drive burns all standard media discs, including DVD+R/+RW, DVD-R/-RW and CD-R/-RW and is compatible with a broad variety of DVD players. As of the distribution date of this announcement, I/OMagic will be one of just two companies to ship an 8X Dual drive.

"Demand for DVD rewritable drives is being driven by the growing popularity of digital photography, digital video and digital music -- all of which feed consumers' need for fast, flexible optical storage solutions. We're excited to bring this versatile new drive to market so soon," said Tony Andrews, Vice President of Engineering and Product Development for I/OMagic Corporation.

"Consumers will no longer have to worry about what type of media to buy or the differences between plus and minus rewritable technologies. Our DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 8X DVD Rewritable drive combines the best of the best technologies into one flexible product."

The DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 8X DVD Rewritable drive is an 8x4x12x DVD Rewritable drive and a 40x24x40x CD Rewritable drive. It includes Pinnacle software and new CD burning technology that increases storage capacity, giving users up to 1.4 GB of storage space on standard CD-R (double the normal storage capacity of an average CD-R).

The 8X DVD Rewritable drive includes Pinnacle's award-winning Studio 8 SE video editing software, Instant CD/DVD SE disc burning suite and Pinnacle Expression software. These Pinnacle products empower users to create and edit home movies, burn DVDs and CDs in all popular formats, as well as watch and store home movies, photos and MP3s on either DVD or CD discs. Operating systems supported are Windows XP/2000/Me/98SE.

The new I/OMagic DVD+/-RW/+/-R Dual Format 8X DVD Rewritable drive is set to begin shipping in late October 2003 to Best Buy, CompUSA, Fred Meyer, Staples stores and Dell.com, with an introductory price of $199.99.

The Company sells its many products under three brand names -- I/OMagic, Hi-Val & Digital Research Technologies -- through nationally and internationally recognized retail outlets, such as Best Buy, Circuit City, CompUSA, Office Depot, OfficeMax, Radio Shack, Staples and Target stores. For more information, visit the I/OMagic Web site at www.iomagic.com.

Oct 24 - Epson Unveils Stylus Photo Printers R300 and R300M. Epson America Inc. has added two new photo printers to its product line -- the EPSON Stylus(R) Photo R300 and R300M.

The EPSON Stylus Photo R300 and R300M are perfect for digital camera owners who want a flexible and easy to use photo solution. Both printers offer the same convenient and innovative features such as printing directly onto the surface of ink jet printable CDs and DVDs, and being able to print photos with or without a computer. The EPSON Stylus Photo R300M includes a 2.5" color preview monitor for viewing and selecting images before printing them. The preview monitor is not available on the EPSON Stylus Photo R300.

These printer models are perfect for the digital photographer who uses a digital camera and wants to share photos with friends and family.

"People are sharing memories now more than ever, and with a printer like the Epson Stylus Photo R300/R300M, anyone can pop in their digital memory card and print out amazing looking photos even without a computer," said Steve Semos, product manager, consumer ink jet printers, Epson. "These printer models not only make it easy and convenient to print photographs, but customers can even personalize CD layouts and print directly onto ink jet-printable CDs and DVDs."

Convenient Photo Printing -- With or Without a Computer

The EPSON Stylus Photo R300 and R300M are designed for digital camera owners and offer up to 5760 x 1440 optimized dpi for creating images with incredible detail, beautiful skin tones, sharper contrast and an ultra-wide color range and are designed specifically for photography customers. Customers can print beautiful, frame-ready, BorderFree images in all of the popular sizes, including 4" x 6", 5" x 7", 8" x 10", 8.5" x 11", and panoramic size photos.

These printer models make it easy for anyone to crop, resize, save and print photos directly from memory cards or picture CDs without having to use a computer. Customers can also save images from their memory cards directly onto a CD-R or a Zip Disk without using a computer by utilizing the printer's front access host USB port. This port makes it simple to connect the printers to a CD-R drive, Zip drive or PictBridge-enabled digital camera.
Additionally, both models are equipped with built-in memory card slots that support CompactFlash(R) Type I and II, MultiMediaCard, IBM Microdrive(TM), xD-Picture Card, Sony Memory Stick(R), Memory Stick PRO, Memory Stick Duo, MagicGate(TM) Memory Stick, SmartMedia(R), and Secure Digital memory formats.

The printers each have a convenient control panel, which provides customers with the flexibility to make selections such as paper type, paper size and number of copies without having to use a computer. The panel gives users the ability to choose from nine paper types and eight different photo layouts, plus manual adjustments, filters and frames. The control panel also gives users the ability to save their favorite print settings with a simple "one touch" button.

The EPSON Stylus Photo R300 and R300M are available now for estimated street prices of $179 and $229, respectively, and can be purchased through Epson authorized dealers, mail order, computer superstores, photo specialty stores and on the Epson retail Web site (www.epsonstore.com). For more information on Epson and its products, visit www.epson.com.

Oct 23 - Addonics Launches 16-in-1 Multi Function Recorder. Addonics Technologies today announced a multi function digital media solution that does it all, whether you're a digital media professional or consumer electronics enthusiast.

The Addonics MFR (Multi Function Recorder) is one of the most versatile data storage appliances on the market. The USB 2.0-compatible device merges the functions of a stand alone Home Theater DVD Player, a USB 2.0 DVD/CDRW; an 8-in-1 format flash memory reader/writer, and MP3 music player into one powerful portable peripheral that can be used for a wide range of digital media applications.

With the Addonics MFR users have a single device that can read/write to all popular flash media as well as convert flash media with one touch recording to less expensive CDRW format. Two flash media slots accommodate eight types of flash media. The combined flash/DVD/CDRW/MP3 functions support more than 25 digital media types.

The Addonics MFR is also an external, portable DVD (8X)/ CDRW (24x10x24) for any computer with up to USB 2.0 data speeds; a stand alone MP3 player; and a DVD player with direct S-Video or A/V cable connections to TV sets. The device also provides direct playback of digital images in flash memory or CDRW over TV sets or digital projectors.

Together with remote control, 2.5-hour rechargeable battery pack, and carrying case the Addonics MFR can be used anywhere. The complete package (Model # AEMFR824) includes the Addonics MFR unit, remote control unit, rechargeable battery, 110/220 power adapter, three-foot USB cable, combo A/V cable, S-video cable, driver CD, Power DVD and Nero Express software, user guide, and carrying bag. The MSRP is $249.

The unit measures 6.6x5.4x1.3 inches and weighs just 1.4 pounds with the battery installed.

System requirements for PC use include PC/AT or compatible system; USB 2.0/1.1; Pentium II 350 MHz or greater; minimum hard disk space of 50 MB; minimum 64 MB RAM; and one of the following operating systems, Windows 98SE, Me, 2000, or XP.

Addonics products are available through the company online store www.shopaddonics.com, major catalog companies, resellers, VARs and distributors, including StorageUSA.com, Amazon.com, PC Connection, CDW, Buy.com, Provantage.com, Insight, Ingram Micro, and Ma Lab.

Visit Addonics at www.addonics.com.

Oct 23 - AOpen Unveils XC Cube Small Form Factor Bare System Entertainment PC. AOpen(R) Inc., an award-winning leader in PC motherboard and component design and manufacturing, today announced its new small form factor (SFF) product line, the XC Cube Series of bare system PCs.
Available in both Intel(R) and AMD(R) versions, these exciting new entertainment PCs are as well-suited for desktops as they are for coffee tables.

"We recognized that the market is ripe for a small box equipped with a lot of options that would appeal to everyday PC users and make a real fashion statement," said Dale Tsai, director, XC Cube product line, AOpen Inc. "We've included all the powerful computing essentials in a stylish, tight little package, enabling users to accomplish their day-to-day PC tasks, yet empowering them to freely enjoy the entertainment features that the XC Cube has to offer."

The AOpen XC Cubes feature ultra-silent operation with noise levels below 30dB; highly-efficient thermal solutions to keep temperatures low for optimal performance; a comprehensive roundup of I/O ports; and a power rating of 220 watts.

The XC Cubes will initially be available in two models, with shipping in North America beginning late November, 2003:
The XC Cube PC EZ65 - Socket 478 Intel Pentium 4 (Celeron(R)) CPU, 400/533/800MHz FSB with the Intel 865G+ICH-5 chipset, with an MSRP of $330.

The XC Cube PC EZ18 - Socket A AMD Duron, Athlon and Athlon XP CPUs, 200/266/333MHz FSB with the nVidia nForce2-GT + MCP-T chipset, with an MSRP of $310.

Initial models of the XC Cube will come in brilliant white, with matching drive bay covers, and soon thereafter will be available in black as well. Future models of the AOpen XC Cube are slated to be available in various designer colors adaptive to most interior environments. The XC Cubes come with a 1-year limited warranty.

For more information about the XC-Cube Series from AOpen, please visit the AOpen web site at: http://solution.aopen.com.tw/xc/.

Oct 23 - Consumer Electronics Association Releases Latest Issue of Five Technologies to Watch. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) released the most recent edition of Five Technologies to Watch. The annual publication explores five technology trends poised to shape the consumer electronics industry in the year ahead. This edition examines home operating systems, Wi-Fi/ultra wideband, recordable digital video, mobile gaming and hi-res audio.

"With so many promising digital technologies on the horizon, it is increasingly difficult to select only five," said Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of CEA. "But through extensive market research and analysis, we have selected the technologies that will bring the most value to consumer's lives and have the greatest impact on our industry during the coming year."

Geared toward industry professionals, Five Technologies to Watch provides a comprehensive analysis of all five trends and their impact on the consumer electronics market. Each of the five technology sections details the strategic issues, market forecasts, consumer perspectives, key players, partnerships, business models, and public policy changes for that particular technology.

Home operating systems have been around for decades, but Five Technologies to Watch reveals that future versions offer capabilities that reach far beyond automated lighting. The over-riding notion is for a PC or central server to act as a gateway, funneling content into and out of the home and connecting all devices and users inside and outside the home environment. The publication discusses several possible applications including, controlling temperature in distinct zones throughout the house, accessing centrally stored content such as music, TV shows and digital photos from any room in the house; and being alerted to any security problems while on the go.

Wi-Fi, short for wireless fidelity, is a short-range wireless radio technology that frees PCs, laptops, notebook computers and other electronics devices from physical links to the Internet. According to Five Technologies To Watch, currently there are more than 70,000 wireless hot spots worldwide and 795 Wi-Fi certified products on the market. The publication also forecasts ultra wideband, another new wireless innovation, to make a splash in the market in the not-so-distant future. Ultra wideband transmits a flat signal over a wide array of frequencies, making it faster and more efficient than Wi-Fi. Research shows that speeds of one Gigabyte per second may be achievable, which is fast enough to download entire theatrical films in a matter of minutes.

Digital video recording allows consumers to record up to 300 hours of programming without a videotape, skip commercials and pause live TV. According to a CEA study, 72 percent of consumers are very or somewhat interested in buying a digital video recorder (DVR), and believe that the technology will edge out the VCR in the near future. Five Technologies to Watch notes that HDTV camcorders, which allow consumers to film and playback their own HD content, and Blu-Ray discs that can store more than two hours of HDTV programming on a single disc also are in the works for digital recording.

The publication further reports that mobile gaming continues to grow in the United States, especially over wireless devices such as cell phones and PDAs. The number of wireless gamers in the U.S. could reach 19.6 million by the end of this year and 112.4 million by 2007. Faster processors, more vivid displays, expanding capacity and easier connectivity are improving the performance of mobile gaming devices. According to Five Technologies to Watch, new mobile gaming systems such as wireless gaming decks and in-vehicle entertainment solutions also are on tap to provide additional wireless gaming solutions.

The final technology to watch, hi-res audio, short for high resolution audio, is seeing growth similar to that of the compact disc, and is likely to grow even faster as the technology becomes more innovative in the coming years. Both formats of hi-res audio, super audio CD (SACD) and DVD-Audio have a capacity more than seven times that of a standard CD, provide superior quality output and offer 5.1-channel surround sound. In the future expect to see hi-res audio that can be downloaded and played over the main home audio system, reports Five Technologies to Watch.

New to the publication this year is a special section dedicated to new and emerging consumer electronics technologies coming down the pipe, including software-defined radios that can accommodate calls from anywhere on the globe, flexible display screens and three-dimensional TVs.

CEA's resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

Oct 23 - Gartner Says 45 Percent of U.S. Workforce is Using Some Form of Mobile Device. Mobile technology and services are continuing to grow at a rapid pace, with 45 percent of the U.S. workforce already mobile in some manner, according to Gartner, Inc. (NYSE: IT and ITB). Mobile devices ranging from portable PCs and PDAs to new technologies such as sensor networks, are the biggest revolution in corporate data collection and distribution in a decade.

Gartner analysts presented these findings today during Gartner Symposium/ITxpo 2003, which is taking place October 19 through October 24 in Lake Buena Vista, Florida.

"The availability of a wide range of mobile technology is highly supportive of new trends, such as the real-time enterprise (RTE), which must be responsive, connected, collaborative and informed," said Ken Dulaney, vice president and distinguished analyst for Gartner. "Mobility will be essential to support RTE goals."

Gartner analysts said that the mobile revolution has been enabled by the simultaneous evolution of a set of key technologies in areas such as phone networks, wireless LANs (WLANs), personal-area networks (PANs) and software infrastructure. Core technologies are evolving quickly with little prospect of significant stability before 2005, and new developments in areas such as screens, fuel cells and software for tasks such as speech recognition will continue to drive evolution in the long term.

Gartner analysts said that wireless networking will become ubiquitous with several different technologies and protocols coexisting in the home and office. By 2007, more than 50 percent of enterprises with more than 1,000 employees will make use of at least five wireless networking technologies.

"All organizations should develop a strategy to support multiple wireless networking technologies. Organizations developing consumer products for mobile networks should look for ways to add value by interacting with other home devices that might become networked, such as televisions, set-top boxes, game consoles and remote-control light switches," said Nick Jones, research vice president for Gartner.

Key mobile technologies in 2003 have included radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, WLAN (802.11 variants), PANs, such as Bluetooth, and some proprietary network protocols. During the next five years, new networking technologies and protocols will include 802.165.4 (low power, low data rate wireless), ultrawideband (UWB), and Multiple Input/Multiple Output (MIMO), which exploits multipath transmission to increase bandwidth, and various mesh networking systems. Proprietary networking technologies may gain market traction in specialized areas, such as game consoles, factory automation or medical applications.

Although these new technologies will be developed, short-range wireless technology will not be suitable for all applications in enterprises because each provides different trade-offs in terms of bandwidth, range and cost. Consequently, several types of wireless networks will coexist in most organizations.

For more information, visit www.gartner.com.

Oct 22 - Microsoft Office System Launches With Record Number of Programs, Servers and Services. Microsoft Corp. today announced the general availability of the new Microsoft® Office System, along with research that shows how leading companies are already gaining a competitive advantage from Microsoft Office System productivity solutions.
The research, conducted for Microsoft by Navigant Consulting Inc. (NYSE "NCI"), showed that information workers using the solutions gained an average of two hours in productive time each week without working longer hours, that the companies realized a median net present value of $4,000 per worker, and that the solutions paid for themselves in an average of just eight months.

With six suites, 11 products, four servers, one service and Solution Accelerators, the new Microsoft Office System is evidence of Microsoft’s focus on helping information workers, the teams they work on, and the companies they work for become more productive and achieve their goals.
The Microsoft Office System consists of the 2003 versions of the core Office suites and programs; updates to other information work programs such as Visio®, FrontPage®, Publisher and Project; two completely new programs, Microsoft Office OneNote™ and Microsoft Office InfoPath™; and four servers, including the new Office Live Communications Server 2003 and Exchange Server 2003. Added to that are additional services, such as Microsoft Office Live Meeting, and solutions that help people and their organizations make greater use of information, collaborate more effectively, and easily integrate business processes to increase individual, team and organizational productivity.

"The new Office System is a major leap forward for information workers," said Bill Gates, chairman and chief software architect at Microsoft. "It makes information work more productive — and more profitable — by offering innovative new ways to communicate, to find and share information, and to manage complex projects."

Business Customers Cite Tangible Improvements

The study conducted by Navigant Consulting examined common business processes at 14 companies, large and small. Among the companies Navigant looked at was Siemens AG, a global diversified manufacturing, information and communications leader. According to the review, information workers at Siemens using the Microsoft Office System have cut by 20 percent the amount of time it takes to insert contact information and standard legal text into company documents. Using the built-in Extensible Markup Language (XML) capabilities of the new Office Professional Edition and contact information of Microsoft Office Outlook® 2003, Siemens says its employees not only save time but have reduced the document error rate by 20 percent.

Managers at Nordea, one of the largest financial services companies in Scandinavia, told Navigant researchers that information workers in their e-banking group often spent as much as 50 percent of their time in travel and a variety of nonproductive project activities.

"In certain phases of our IT projects, re-creating information and documents resulted in significant reworks and project delays," said Marita Wires, a project manager at Nordea. "Now our team members make great use of their time by accessing best-practice information via Microsoft Office and SharePoint™ that was previously hidden in the file-share server or on someone’s hard drive."

Nordea anticipates that just by using its new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, Office SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and Windows® SharePoint Services solution, it will cut project time almost in half and pay for the solution with time and travel cost savings in just seven months.

Other customers such as HP and Guidant Corp. are already gaining value by producing materials using the new Microsoft Office System.

For instance, HP is now using Office Professional Edition 2003, InfoPath 2003 and Windows SharePoint Services to speed the creation and distribution of sales guides to its marketing teams. The combination is expected to cut the time it takes to produce the guides by 46 percent and lower the cost of technical support by 66 percent.

"Sales guides are critical to our corporate sales effort," said Jim Fulkerson, manager for online field communications at HP. "Microsoft delivered a solution that could automate the drafting and publishing processes, significantly reducing costs and speeding creation of our product. With the implementation of this new system, we estimate HP will save approximately $150,000 per month in costs, increase quality of our product and reduce our content submission from four hours to 15 minutes."

Guidant is a fast-growing medical device company that found its growth had outpaced its reporting processes. More than 5,000 reports are available through its Cognos financial system, and company analysts were often forced to run several reports to get the data they needed. The time to create financial reports has been reduced by an estimated 78 percent by using the new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003, which takes advantage of industry-standard XML, the lingua franca of the Web, to collect information from a back-end data store.

To compete in today’s business environment, small businesses rely on the ability to get things done quickly and efficiently. Franklins Solicitors LLP, a small but growing U.K. law firm, needed a way to simplify the process of searching and retrieving key information to speed case resolution. It found a solution in the new Microsoft Office Professional Edition 2003 and InfoPath 2003.

"With the smart document deployment capabilities of the new Office 2003, we managed to complete many deployment tasks that used to take a half-day in just 10 minutes," said Mike Walker, development director at FWBS Ltd, the consulting firm with which Franklins Solicitors worked to implement its Microsoft Office System solution. "With this kind of efficiency, the firm’s IT staff will be able to concentrate on projects that are ultimately more lucrative, such as revamping workflow design."

Other companies are finding similar value in deployments of other new Microsoft Office System products and servers launching today, including Microsoft Office Project and Project Server 2003, Microsoft Exchange Server 2003, Microsoft Office Live Communications Server 2003, Microsoft Office FrontPage 2003, Microsoft Office OneNote 2003, Microsoft Office Publisher 2003 and Microsoft Office Visio 2003. Additional information about the worldwide release of the new Office System and the results of the Navigant research study can be viewed at www.microsoft.com/presspass/events/officesystemlaunch/.

"The new Microsoft Office System presents a clear opportunity for organizations — both small and large — to increase employee productivity and the value of business information, as well as realize a higher return on investment," said Jeff Raikes, group vice president of Productivity and Business Services at Microsoft. "The integrated products and services within the Microsoft Office System are designed to help companies more completely address their business problems."

Oct 22 - New Industry Data Shows Dell Continues to Lead in Serving Customers. Dell (Nasdaq:DELL) continues to lead the computer industry in direct, Internet-based shipments of x86 servers and notebook and desktop computers to customers, a new report from an analyst firm showed.

Sales through dell.com accounted for 48 percent of the 22 million computers sold last year via the Internet, a report from IDC said. The nearest competitor was 28 percentage points behind Dell.

"The purest, most efficient form of direct relationships with customers is through the Internet," Mike George, Dell's chief marketing officer, said. "No matter how efficient you make serving a distribution channel, it's still an inefficient way to reach your customers."

Mr. George said comfort with ordering through dell.com is gaining momentum, particularly among small businesses and consumers. In just two years traffic to the small business pages of dell.com increased by 300 percent, and small business online unit sales and revenue increased 305 and 270 percent, respectively, he said.

Commonly cited as a leading Internet retailer, dell.com is the top computer-hardware site on the Internet and the eighth-most-visited retail Web site. Dell's U.S. Home & Home Office division alone generated more than $2.8 billion, or roughly 50 percent of its revenues, online in fiscal year 2003.

The IDC data showed that in North America and Western Europe in 2002:

-- More than 40 percent of the nearly 15 million personal computers and x86 servers sold through public Internet sites were bought at dell.com. Small businesses and consumers are the primary users of public Internet sites, according to IDC;
-- Sales via dell.com were more than double the public Internet sales of its nearest competitor, and
-- Dell's customized private extranet site, PremierDell.com, represented 65 percent of the total extranet business-to-business market.

Dell expects those numbers will continue to grow with a redesigned version of dell.com, launched this month. The new site makes room for Dell's growth into new product categories and makes it easier for customers to find products and information that suit their specific needs.

"For nearly a decade, our objective has been to provide customers with one of the easiest and most helpful sites on the Internet," Mr. George said. "Simpler and more robust, the new site allows us to achieve that objective while complementing our direct sales force."

Dell.com launched in 1994 as a customer-service and support tool. In 1996, the company piloted e-commerce on the site, selling desktops, notebooks and servers directly to customers. In December of 1996, dell.com became the first Web site to generate $1 million per day in online sales.

Dell.com runs entirely on industry-standards-based Dell PowerEdge servers, backed-up by Dell/EMC Fibre Channel storage. Dell.com also is among the most responsive Web sites on the Internet, with an average per-page download time of 1.05 seconds, according to company internal metrics.

About Dell

Dell Inc. (Nasdaq:DELL) is a premier provider of products and services required for customers worldwide to build their information-technology and Internet infrastructures. Company revenue for the past four quarters totaled $38.2 billion. Dell, through its direct business model, designs, manufactures and customizes products and services to customer requirements, and offers an extensive selection of software and peripherals. Information on Dell and its products can be obtained at www.dell.com.

Oct 22 - Sony Ericsson unveils the T630 camera phone for stylish mobile imaging. At simultaneous events in Beijing and Las Vegas today, Sony Ericsson is unveiling a new mobile phone for easy, stylish mobile imaging, the T630.

Putting an end to phones having a standard front and back side, the T630 has two fully functional sides. On one side, the newest mobile phone features a digital camera and small mirror for simple self-portraits. The other side features a bright 65K TFT color screen and easy access to telephony, connectivity, imaging and gaming options. Packaged in a sleek and sophisticated design, the T630's fun-to-use features and effortless navigation position it to be a best seller.

The triple-band GSM/GPRS T630 features QuickShare(TM), a key ease-of-use principle behind all new camera phones from Sony Ericsson. First introduced in the T610/T616, QuickShare(TM) has won consumer praise for being the most intuitive mobile imaging approach on the market. Not only can a picture be taken with just two clicks, but Sony Ericsson has also reduced the number of steps in order to share pictures between the phone, a PC and other consumer devices - either locally over Bluetooth, Infrared or cable, or across the service carrier networks with MMS or e-mail.

The high color contrasts of the bright 65K TFT-screen provides a responsive viewfinder for the camera, plus crisp image viewing and a great gaming experience. The popular racing game, V-Rally2, comes pre-loaded in the T630, offering an enhanced gaming experience with sharp graphics, 32-tone polyphonic sound, vibrating force feedback and joystick control. The T630 supports both Java and MophunTM platforms for graphic-rich, real time downloads with access to more than 100 games which are available from the Fun & Downloads section of Sony Ericsson's Web site as well as operator portals.

Budding record producers can express their originality with the innovative Music DJ function in the T630. It is a four-track sequencer with which bass lines, drumbeats and chords can be mixed in just a few seconds to create original and personalized ring tones.

A new Sony Ericsson application titled "My friends" makes its debut in the T630. Based on a Wireless Village instant messaging concept, My Friends is an enhanced messaging function that allows users to quickly access a list of contacts and easily choose the mode of communication such as SMS, MMS, e-mail, or chat.

The T630 will come in an attractive "Frosty Silver" color scheme, which combines frosted transparency with a metallic feel. The T630 will be available in the Americas and EMEA starting Q1 2004 and the T628 for the Chinese market will launch in Q4 2003.

For further information, please visit: www.SonyEricsson.com.

Oct 22 - Yahoo! Advances Anti-Spam Strategy. Yahoo! Inc. (Nasdaq:YHOO) today advanced its anti-spam strategy with a suite of unique tools to address spam and improve its users' online experience. Yahoo! Mail's (http://mail.yahoo.com) new suite of anti-spam tools, including AddressGuard(TM), SpamGuard Plus and the Anti-Spam Resource Center, give consumers more power when it comes to protecting their inboxes.

"Yahoo! Mail works tirelessly to ensure a high quality e-mail experience," said Brad Garlinghouse, vice president of Yahoo!'s Communications Products. "Our new personalized tools continue to not only improve our overall ability to cut back on spam, they also empower users to take direct action, according to their personal needs and habits."

"Caller ID" for E-mail

In order to protect primary e-mail addresses from spam, Yahoo! Mail created AddressGuard, the first "caller ID" for e-mail among leading providers. With AddressGuard, users will have insight into who is contacting them as well as more information about the context of the message. AddressGuard allows users to establish substitute e-mail addresses that are easily managed from their primary Yahoo! Mail account, for different life situations (e.g. one for family, one for fantasy football league, one for dating, etc.). If at any time that address is sold or harvested by spammers, the e-mail user can delete the address without affecting their primary e-mail address.

These substitute e-mail addresses are available to Yahoo! Mail Plus customers and give people the control to receive e-mail from various sources without exposing their primary e-mail account to spam. This is particularly important, given that 45 percent of survey respondents are not comfortable giving out their primary e-mail address when purchasing products online, and 72 percent are not comfortable giving out their primary e-mail address when joining an online community through a news group, message board or chat room (For complete survey results, go to http://antispam.yahoo.com/funfacts).

Personalized "E-mail Watchdog"

With SpamGuard Plus, Yahoo! Mail Plus users can now take advantage of a personalized filter that sorts unsolicited bulk mail from their inbox based on individual preferences. Like a personal "e-mail watchdog" that continually adjusts its behavior when learning whom the owner trusts and distrusts, the filter learns the personal needs of the user. The user trains the filter by simply reporting messages via the "This is spam" or "This is not spam" buttons. This new capability, combined with the continuing improvements that Yahoo! makes at the system level to its SpamGuard technology, means that Yahoo! Mail Plus users will have more powerful spam protection than ever before.

The Anti-Spam Resource Center

Based on a Yahoo! Mail survey of 28,000 people, it's clear that consumer education around spam is still needed. For example, 48 percent of e-mail users still think that they can unsubscribe from spam by responding to spammers.(2) While the burden is primarily on e-mail inbox providers to combat spam, users can gain greater control through increased awareness. To meet this need for consumer education, Yahoo! has launched a new Anti-Spam Resource Center (http://antispam.yahoo.com) where consumers can learn everything they need to know about spam and how Yahoo! Mail's tools enable their own consumer power.

Additional Powerful Tools

Yahoo! Mail's new suite of anti-spam tools increase the choice and control users have in fighting spam. To date, Yahoo! Mail users have benefited from:

-- Block Addresses: Stops the receipt of spam from selected e-mail addresses or domains
-- Block HTML graphics: Prevents html images from loading until the user deems them safe to view
-- Filters: Automatically sorts incoming messages into chosen folders
-- SpamGuard: Automatically filters unsolicited commercial e-mail to the Bulk Mail folder

Continuing efforts to protect all its e-mail users against spam, Yahoo! Mail constantly enhances its proprietary filtering technology, SpamGuard. Through the "This is spam" or "This is not spam" link on every Yahoo! Mail message, Yahoo! leverages the power of its tens of millions of users to improve the overall system.

Pricing and Availability

Available today, the new AddressGuard and SpamGuard features will be bundled into the Yahoo! Mail Plus premium service at no additional cost for current subscribers. Yahoo! Mail Plus is available starting at $29.99 a year.

About Yahoo! Mail

Launched in October 1997, Yahoo! Mail (http://mail.yahoo.com) is one of the Web's largest, most popular free e-mail providers.

Oct 21 - New Dell Projector Delivers Big Performance for the Home, Office at a Small Price. Customers can now display wall-sized images of everything from sporting events to presentations to video games and DVDs on a Dell 2200MP projector, introduced today for $899.

"We designed the 2200MP to meet the demands of customers that want a projector that can be easily used in the office and at home, as projectors become a more common component in the home digital entertainment center," said Scott O'Hare, vice-president and general manager, Dell Software and Peripherals. "For an attractive price, this projector provides an outstanding image and high-quality features."

The 2200MP projector uses the latest Digital Light Processing (DLP)(tm) DDR(a) projection technology to generate high resolution images at a 1700:1 contrast ratio with a maximum brightness of 1200 ANSI lumens(b) for crisp video and graphics. For true plug-and-play operation, an auto-sync feature adjusts the output resolution to match that of the input device up to SXGA+ (1400x1050 dpi).

At 4.7 lbs, the projector weighs less than many notebook computers but still provides advanced features such as motion-adaptive hardware de-interlacing -- which digitally smoothes out pixilated images, a power-saving auto shutdown mode, and preset and user-programmable video modes for easy custom-configuration.

Accessories that ship standard with each 2200MP projector include a sturdy, hard foam carrying case; all video cables, including S-Video, composite video, component video/HDTV, audio, VGA and USB; a quick start guide; and a remote control. Also standard is a 1-year limited warranty and Advance Exchange Service.

Initial availability will be in North America, with other countries to follow in the coming months. Additional information and specifications can be found at www.dell.com/projectors.

Oct 21 - New Epson Stylus Pro 4000 Offers 17-Inch-Wide Professional-Level Photographic Printing. Epson's newest and most advanced professional-level photographic printer to date is taking the form of a desktop design.

The new Epson Stylus(R) Pro 4000 creates exhibit-quality images up to 17 inches in width at speeds that nearly double that of previous Epson Stylus Pro printers. The printer features a new eight-channel printhead and seven-color Epson UltraChrome(TM) pigmented ink system that automatically switches between Matte Black and Photo Black inks for optimum print quality on different media surfaces. It's also packed with several other advanced features designed specifically around the needs of today's professional photographers, graphic designers, commercial printers, GIS mapping, CAD users and more.

"We're confident the Epson Stylus Pro 4000 will be the most popular and best selling Stylus Pro printer yet," said Mark Radogna, senior product manager, professional graphics, Epson. "The combination of this printer's amazing image quality, dramatically faster performance and unique 17-inch-wide media handling, will make it a must-have product for any digital imaging professional -- especially with an estimated street price of only $1,795."

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is capable of printing at 2,880 x 1,440 dpi resolution -- resulting in finer blends and smoother photographic transitions. It also uses variable droplets as small as 3.5 picoliters to greatly decrease print time while optimizing photographic quality. Furthermore, Epson's advanced Micro Piezo(R) DX3(TM) ASIC technology controls the printing process to produce consistent image quality and color output from print to print.

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 prints up to 1.9 times faster than any previous Stylus Pro printer with the help of a new one-inch-wide print head packed with 180 nozzles per channel. Depending on the print mode, users can create an 8" x 10" photo-quality image as fast as one minute, seven seconds -- or create an 8" x 10" at a quality level that surpasses traditional photo labs in approximately seven minutes, eight seconds.

The Epson Stylus Pro 4000 is priced at $1,795 (estimated street price) and will begin shipping in January 2004 through authorized Epson dealers. An optional printer stand/cabinet will also be available for approximately $399. For more information visit theirr Web site at www.epson.com.

Oct 21 - Logitech Introduces New Pocket Digital 130 Camera. Logitech (Nasdaq:LOGI)(Switzerland:LOGN) today announced a new ultra-portable digital camera, the Logitech(R) Pocket Digital(TM) 130.

This camera features a simple, polished design that fits easily in any pocket with its credit card like design, so people will never have to miss a photo opportunity. It includes true 1.3-megapixel resolution and a strobe flash -- so pictures taken day or night can easily be shared with family and friends using either a Mac(R) or PC. The camera is available in U.S. retail outlets and online at www.logitech.com for a suggested retail price of $149.95.

"We saw overwhelming interest in the first Pocket Digital camera, and listened to the feedback our customers provided. With the added features built into Pocket Digital 130, we expect this camera to be a hit for the holiday season," said Spencer Johnson, director of product marketing for Logitech's Video Business Unit. "People want a camera that they can take with them everywhere -- the Pocket Digital 130 lets you capture any moment, because it's conveniently tucked into a shirt pocket or purse."

The Logitech Pocket Digital 130 offers true 1.3-megapixel resolution, a strobe flash, and 16 MB of internal memory, which holds more than 40 1.3-megapixel images or more than 130 VGA-quality images. It has a built-in lithium-ion battery that automatically recharges through the USB cable each time the camera connects to the PC during picture download, for less hassle and less clutter during battery recharge. The battery lasts for hundreds of pictures, even when using the flash. Pocket Digital 130 features a protective sliding lens and viewfinder cover. It is compatible with either Windows(R) 98 and higher or Mac(R) OS X and higher.

Logitech's new Pocket Digital 8.0 software is bundled with Pocket Digital 130. This software enables single-click download for easy and instant image transfer, photo album management, online photo printing, and one-click email, so pictures can quickly be sent to family and friends.

In addition to downloading images at home, Windows XP or Mac OS X users can easily view pictures anywhere there is a PC -- a USB mass storage driver embedded in the camera allows plug-and-play operation with other Windows XP or Mac OS X systems, even without installing the Logitech software.

For more information on Logitech and its products, visit the company's web site at www.logitech.com.

Oct 21 - Vast Majority of U.S. Operating Chiefs Expect Sunny 2004 Economy. A Deloitte global survey of chief operating officers finds that three-out-of-five (62 percent) expect their companies to record improved business results in 2004. And, compared with other regions of the world, U.S. COOs are most optimistic, with four-out-of-five (79 percent) anticipating the overall economy to advance over the next year.

The largest of its kind, the survey of more than 600 chief operating officers in 16 countries worldwide also reveals another important sign that business fortunes are perking up: the COO - the No. 2 post in most corporations - considers generating revenues to be as critical to success as trimming costs has been for the past four years.

Additionally, less than 10 percent expect their companies' results to worsen next year, and 30 percent foresee little change in performance. And when asked about their country's economy, COOs in the U.S. and the United Kingdom generally are much more optimistic about the business outlook in 2004 than the state of the economy when they were surveyed.

"The survey certainly suggests that most COOs are confident about the future," says James H. Quigley, U.S. CEO of Deloitte. "It looks as if the days of persistent layoffs may be ebbing as revenue expansion again becomes a top priority in Corporate America."

Surprisingly, the executives list shareholder return lowest as a key objective, while customer loyalty ranks highest. And from a business perspective, mergers and acquisitions ranks lowest as the best means of increasing revenues.

"However, our analysis shows that better performing companies in the U.S. and the UK are more likely to rate shareholder returns as an important objective for their firm," notes Mr. Quigley. "We at Deloitte have observed often that the diversity and complexity of operational initiatives has led some companies to lose focus on the ultimate goal of generating shareholder value."

Among other significant findings, the survey shows:

Governance and Management Strong in the Wake of Scandals and Legislation: Two-thirds of COOs think that corporate governance has changed for the better in the past year as U.S. lawmakers and regulators have moved to deal with the recent global business scandals. Only 26 percent of the COOs think it has been more difficult to manage their business post-Enron.

Outsourcing Remains Crucial: By a 2-to-1 margin, COOs will continue to outsource, and more than half report that outsourcing has played a major role in helping their organizations achieve their goals. Meanwhile, nearly half of executives say that a significant portion of their firm's outsourcing represents market-facing activities in addition to the more traditional back-office activities.

Despite Geopolitical Concerns, Globalization Advances: Entering new geographic markets remains a major source of revenue growth as companies continue their globalization efforts. When asked if they see "entry into new geographic markets" as a great source of revenue growth in the next two years, 46 percent of U.S. executives answered positive, compared to 60% of COOs in Europe.

The survey respondents represent a broad range of industries, including financial services, retail, manufacturing, health care/pharmaceutical, energy/utilities and telecommunications. Thirty percent of the executives represent companies with annual revenues of more than $1 billion. Research International conducted the survey this summer on behalf of Deloitte.

Interesting industry differences emerged from the survey:

-- Within the various industries, telecom industry COOs are the most optimistic about the future, expecting their sector and their companies to be in better shape a year from now.
-- Financial-services COOs worry more about the economy than do their counterparts in other industries.
-- Telecom COOs most believe that developing new products provides a major source of revenue growth.
-- Health care/pharma and telecom COOs think that government policies create the greatest source of uncertainty in their business.

For more information, please visit Deloitte's web site at www.deloitte.com/us.

Oct 21 - Network Media Nodes Next Killer Networking App. More than one-third of U.S. households have audio and photo content libraries on their PCs. A die-hard 7 million households have feature-length Internet movie libraries. These behaviors correlate with rapid broadband growth and the maturation of home networking. Although consumers are flocking toward Internet technologies and content, few have found a way to manage and consume this content at home.

Consumer electronics (CE) manufacturers, PC OEMs, and other digital media stakeholders are about to change this. Connected media adapters or media nodes will enter the market beginning in late 2003. These devices will enable consumers to play back PC-based content through their televisions and stereo systems.

"Consumer digital media libraries will continue to swell, driving demand for media nodes, particularly among networked homes and consumers over age 25," says Dominic Ainscough, senior analyst for the Yankee Group's Media & Entertainment Strategies research and consulting practice. "During the next 18 months, PC and home networking hardware manufacturers will capitalize on faster product cycles to drive the market, but traditional consumer electronics manufacturers will challenge them by integrating network functionality into established entertainment device categories."

These vendors will fill a void in the Internet media and consumer electronics marketplace. This new product category will stabilize declining revenue in volatile sectors such as home theater. This is the killer app home networking stakeholders have been waiting for to drive use of home networks. Market growth will follow home network penetration, ultimately reaching 18.5 million homes by 2007.

The Yankee Group can be found online at www.yankeegroup.com.

Oct 16 - Apple Launches iTunes for Windows. Apple® today launched the second generation of its revolutionary iTunes® Music Store for both Mac® and Windows users. The new iTunes Music Store offers Windows users the same online music store that Mac users love—with the same music catalog, the same personal use rights and the same 99 cents-per-song pricing.
Since its launch six months ago, music fans have purchased and downloaded more than 13 million songs from the iTunes Music Store, making it the number one download music service in the world. With music from all five major music companies and over 200 independent music labels, the iTunes Music Store catalog is growing every day and will offer more than 400,000 songs by the end of October.

“The iTunes Music Store has revolutionized the way people legally buy music online, and now it’s available to tens of millions more music lovers with iTunes for Windows,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “While our competitors haven't even come close to matching our first generation, we’re already releasing the second generation of the iTunes Music Store for Mac and Windows.”

Apple offers the unbeatable combination of the award-winning iTunes digital jukebox software, the pioneering iTunes Music Store and the market-leading iPod™ digital music player, providing music lovers with a seamless experience for buying, managing and listening to their digital music collections anywhere.
Windows iPod users can now use their iPod with the award-winning iTunes digital jukebox software and enjoy the best digital music experience on any platform. iTunes for Windows includes all the same great features that made it the best digital jukebox software for the Mac—a free download with no hidden charges for extra features, MP3 and pristine quality AAC encoding from audio CDs, Smart Playlists, over 250 free Internet radio stations, and the ability to burn custom playlists to CDs and MP3 CDs, burn content to DVDs to back-up an entire music collection and share music between computers via Rendezvous™ over any network, cross-platform.

Apple today also announced an online music alliance with America Online to provide instant, one-click registration to the iTunes Music Store for AOL’s more than 25 million U.S. members starting later this quarter. America Online will integrate links to iTunes artists, albums and songs throughout its leading music site, AOL Music, which will give AOL members the option to link directly to the specific iTunes Music Store page to preview and buy music as they browse and read music news and reviews. Apple will offer selections of AOL’s popular, original content such as Sessions@AOL and BroadBAND Rocks! through the iTunes Music Store.

The new iTunes Music Store features exclusive tracks from more than 60 artists, including new exclusive tracks announced today from Black Eyed Peas, Mary J. Blige, Coldplay, The Eagles, The Grateful Dead, Ben Harper, Yo-Yo Ma, Sarah McLachlan, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Sting and Luther Vandross.
The iTunes Music Store also debuted today a new Celebrity Playlist feature with personal playlists created by several popular featured artists including Michelle Branch, Dave Brubeck, Billy Corgan, Counting Crows, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Ben Folds, Herbie Hancock, Jack Johnson, Kenna, Wynton Marsalis, Moby, Mark Ronson, Seal, Sting and Michael Stipe. In addition, the new iTunes Music Store features album reviews, artist biographies and essentials lists of must-have albums for artists.

The new iTunes Music Store offers another industry first—Apple’s innovative and patent-pending online “Allowance” feature which allows parents to automatically deposit funds into their kids’ iTunes Music Store account every month. This is the first time that parents can provide an alternative to illegal file sharing to their children. The new iTunes Music Store also offers online gift certificates that can be sent to friends and family via e-mail to give the gift of music to anyone.

In another pioneering move, the new iTunes Music Store now offers more than 5,000 audiobooks which can be purchased with one click and listened to on any Mac or Windows computer as well as on iPods. iTunes is the only digital jukebox that allows users to seamlessly purchase audiobooks in the same easy way that they purchase music. iTunes audiobooks are encoded with superior audio quality and feature New York Times bestsellers and popular public radio programs from NPR and PRI. In addition, the iTunes Music Store offers exclusive content not found digitally anywhere else, including “Whipping Mek,” an original story by Brian Herbert and bestselling novelist Kevin J. Anderson that bridges the Legends of Dune trilogy novels “The Butlerian Jihad” and “The Machine Crusade.”

The iTunes Music Store continues to offer Apple’s legendary ease of use, making it the easiest way to discover, purchase and download music online for both Mac and Windows. Users can easily search the entire music store to instantly locate any song by title, artist or album, or browse the entire collection of songs by genre, artist and album. Users can listen to free 30-second previews of any song in the store, then purchase and download their favorite songs or complete albums in pristine digital quality. Songs can be burned at no extra cost onto an unlimited number of CDs for personal use, played on up to any combination of three Mac or Windows computers, and listened to on an unlimited number of iPods.

Pricing & Availability

iTunes for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from www.apple.com/itunes. Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a U.S. billing address. The iTunes Music Store requires a Mac equipped with iTunes 4.1 and Mac OS® X version 10.1.5 or later or a PC equipped with iTunes 4.1 and Windows XP or Windows 2000. Further information about Apple’s digital music products can be found at www.apple.com/ipod and www.apple.com/itunes.

Oct 16 - Apple Updates iPod. Apple® today announced a free software update for iPod™, the world’s most popular portable digital music player. The iPod software update adds support for new Belkin voice recording and photo storage accessories for dockable iPods, allowing users to record hundreds of hours of audio and store thousands of digital photos on their iPod.
Available for both Mac® and Windows, the iPod software update also includes faster browsing and accessing of large music libraries, the ability to sync On-The-Go playlists back to iTunes® and a new Music Quiz game which tests a player’s knowledge of their own iTunes music library.

“Apple’s latest iPods have been a huge hit, becoming the most successful digital music players ever. With these new added features there are even more great reasons to get one,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We have worked together with Belkin to provide a simple and elegant solution to iPod users’ two most requested features, digital voice recording and photo storage.”

With the new voice recording features, iPod users can use a Belkin Voice Recorder to record and instantly review over 600 hours of lectures, interviews or notes on a 40GB iPod. Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the voice notes are automatically synced with the computer just like songs and playlists are synced in the iTunes library. These audio recordings are stored in WAV file format and can be easily edited or even sent to others via email.
The Belkin Voice Recorder for iPod is the first third-party voice recording accessory to take advantage of these new capabilities in iPod. Belkin’s ultra-compact Voice Recorder for iPod is equipped with a high-quality, omnidirectional microphone and 16mm speaker, works with all dockable iPods through the headphone connector and indicates recording status through iPod’s LCD screen.

iPod’s new photo storage feature allows users to use a Belkin Media Reader to import, store and backup over 20,000 digital photos from a 3 megapixel camera onto a 40GB iPod and take them anywhere. This frees up valuable camera and memory card storage space so users can continue to take pictures without the hassle and expense of buying and carrying multiple memory cards.
Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the digital photos are easily transferred to a user’s computer and photo editing software. With Mac OS® X, iPhoto™ will automatically recognize the iPod as a media storage device and prompt users to transfer their photos into the iPhoto library—just as if it were a camera, allowing users to erase the photos after transfer if desired.
The ideal tool for professional photographers and people on vacation, Belkin’s new Media Reader for iPod is the first third party iPod photo storage accessory. The Belkin Media Reader for iPod connects easily though iPod’s dock connector and supports the five most common memory card formats—CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD and MMC.

Pricing & Availability

The new iPod software update, Version 2.1, is available today as a free download from www.apple.com/ipod. iPods for Mac and Windows PCs are available for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for the 10GB iPod, $399 (US) for the 20GB iPod and $499 (US) for the 40GB iPod through the Apple Store® (www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
iPod requires a Mac with FireWire® port, Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X v10.2 or later recommended) or a Windows PC with FireWire or USB 2.0 port, or Windows-certified FireWire or USB 2.0 card, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Home or Professional.

The new Belkin iPod accessories are also available starting today at www.belkin.com and www.apple.com for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (US) for the Belkin Voice Recorder and $99.99 (US) for the Belkin Media Reader.

Oct 16 - Intel And Sony Music Collaborate To Bring Advanced Music And Entertainment To Intel-Based Cell Phones. Intel Corporation and Sony Music Entertainment today announced they will work together to enable users to access music, images, videos and other Sony Music Entertainment content on powerful, Intel-based cellular phones and PDAs.

Together, the companies will optimize Sony Music Entertainment's mobile applications, services and content for mobile devices running the Intel® Personal Internet Client Architecture (Intel PCA) - providing users with PC-quality digital music and video on their cell phones. The two companies also plan to co-develop future applications and services for Intel-based phones, including applications that will enable consumers to use PC-based multimedia content on their cell phones.

"Music, and music videos in particular, promise to be among the most exciting applications for mobile devices," said Ron Smith, senior vice president and general manager of Intel's Wireless Communications and Computing Group. "Through this collaboration, users will be able to take Sony Music's premium entertainment content with them anywhere and be able to enjoy a quality experience."

"Sony Music Entertainment's work with Intel promises to deliver the rich, multimedia applications that consumers expect on their phones," said Philip Wiser, chief technology officer, Sony Music Entertainment. "We're excited about working together to create products and services that take advantage of the advanced video, audio and 3D animation capabilities supported by the Intel PCA architecture. By optimizing our products for this powerful platform, we expect to enable a very compelling end user experience for Sony Music's mobile applications, services and content."

Intel and Sony Music Entertainment will work with cell phone makers and wireless carriers to make Sony Music's mobile applications and services available on Intel PCA-based phones on advanced wireless networks around the world.
The Sony Music portfolio of mobile products and services enables wireless carriers to offer subscribers a variety of personalized services including the ability to download and experience images, ring tones, music videos and other music entertainment services. For phone makers, collaborations such as this enable exciting device and content bundles and provide an opportunity to showcase new and improved phone capabilities to customers.

The initial products from the collaboration are expected to be available through carriers and handset makers in 2004.

Additional information about Intel is available at www.intel.com.

Oct 14 - Transmeta Introduces the Efficeon TM8000 Family. Transmeta Corporation (NASDAQ:TMTA), the leader in efficient computing, today introduced the Efficeon TM8000 microprocessor family, establishing a new standard for high-performance, highly integrated, low-power x86- compatible computing.

The Efficeon processors take efficient computing to a new level, with major innovations in Transmeta’s revolutionary but proven hardware and software
architecture, increased on-chip integration and new high performance interfaces.
Aimed at ultra-portable and mainstream notebook computers, as well as innovative
news classes of devices such as tablet PCs, ultra-personal computers, silent desktop
computers, blade servers, thin clients and embedded systems, the Efficeon processor family will be competitive with, or outperform competing microprocessors operating within critical thermal limits such as the 7W limit for typical fanless notebook designs.

Systems based on the processor are expected to begin shipping in the fourth quarter.
“The Efficeon processor gives system builders worldwide the capacity to design in
added value, functionality, security, comfort, reliability and cost savings,” said Dr. Matthew R. Perry, president and CEO, Transmeta Corporation. “At the same time, it delivers exceptional performance for a wide variety of demanding applications, from business productivity to multimedia.”

High Performance Engine and Interfaces

Efficeon is a high-performance, low-power x86-compatible processor, based upon a new silicon microarchitecture and also a redesigned version of Transmeta’s Code Morphing® Software. The microarchitecture is based on a 256-bit VLIW (Very Long Instruction Word) processor that can issue up to 8 internal instructions per clock cycle. When combined with the new Efficeon Code Morphing Software, it provides full compatibility with modern x86 software, including MMX, SSE and SSE2 multimedia instructions.

Efficeon features a number of new high performance interfaces integrated into the same chip as the processor, eliminating the need for a separate Northbridge chip. Efficeon includes a high speed AGP-4X graphics interface that enables the use of industry standard high performance AGP graphics solutions. Efficeon includes a high speed DDR-400 (Double Data Rate SDRAM at 400 Megatransfers/second) memory interface, with ECC (Error Correcting Code) as an option. Efficeon includes a high performance HyperTransport interconnect for connecting to the rest of the system.

Efficeon’s HyperTransport interface can send data at up to 1.6 GBytes/second aggregate, which is up to 12 times faster than the I/O throughput of Crusoe’s PCI interface. Efficeon also includes a high speed LPC (Low Pin Count) bus interface for communicating with the latest generation of FLASH memory.

With integrated on-chip Northbridge core logic, the Efficeon TM8000 family reduces chip count and decreases the size and cost of the PC board, enabling innovative, smaller form factor designs. Transmeta and NVIDIA have been working jointly together on small package solutions. The Efficeon TM8620 21x21mm small package combined with NVIDIA’s 22x22mm nForce3 Go 120 Southbridge will allow the combination of CPU, Northbridge and Southbridge to fit in a space nearly four times smaller than that of its nearest competitor.

Initially, Efficeon silicon will be manufactured for Transmeta by TSMC in Taiwan, in TMSC’s 0.13 micron (130 nanometer) CMOS technology at clock speeds starting at 1 GHz and above. Starting in the second half of 2004, Efficeon silicon will also be manufactured for Transmeta at Fujitsu’s Akiruno Technology Center near Tokyo, Japan, at speeds up to 2 GHz, using Fujitsu’s 90 nm CMOS process.

“Efficeon represents a major leap forward in CPU performance for Transmeta,” said David R. Ditzel, co-founder, vice-chairman and chief technology officer of Transmeta.“Efficeon’s 256-bit VLIW engine and new Code Morphing Software represents a major step forward in computer architecture, and will help bring Transmeta into new markets.”

To learn more about Transmeta, visit www.transmeta.com.

Oct 12 - Sunday Shopping Watch.

Best Sunday Deals - See our Best Sunday Ad Deals Table below for specific system prices.

Weekly Comparison. There are some very good deals to be found on this Columbus Day weekend.

This Sunday's Special Discounts and Financing. In addition to sales on specific items, the following store-wide sales are advertised this week. (Note that these ads are for the Dayton, Ohio area. Prices or offerings may be different where you live.)

Best Buy is offering 18 month no-interest financing on all desktop and laptop purchases, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages. They are also offering 3 free months of AOL with all new computers.
Circuit City is offering 12 months no interest on advertised desktop packages and notebooks, and $100 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and up to $150 mail-in rebates on advertised desktop packages.
Office Depot has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
CompUSA is offering 18 months no payment, no interest, financing on all HP and Compaq computers. They are also offering $150 mail-in rebates on advertised laptops and desktop systems.
Staples has no store-wide promotions this Sunday.
Compare to Online Prices - Compare the Sunday ad prices to those being offered at DealTime, it searches over 160 online computer stores.

InfoHQ Related Shopping Pages

Shopping Alerts - Our latest shopping advisories on buying digital cameras and camcorders, desktop computers, laptops, and other computer items.

Windows XP Upgrade Guide - All about upgrading to Windows XP.

What You Need to Know About Dial-up Internet Service Rebates - The pros and cons of 'free' Internet service deals. Also see our latest InfoHQ Tech Watch Newsletter; Free PC and Free Internet Deals.     

Definitions. A complete desktop system/package/complete package is defined as a computer with monitor and printer or scanner.
A build-to-order system is customized at the retailer and then ordered from a computer manufacturer. In addition to the computer's stated price, you still pay sales tax and shipping charges (if you order direct from the vendor without going through the chain store, you may not have to pay sales tax and you could get a better warranty).

Caution about advertised prices. When reading advertisements, read the fine print of the ad to make sure you know what is being advertised and what it cost. For example, many advertisers will show a complete system with computer, monitor, and printer but advertise a price for the computer only.

* Prices discussed in this article. We report prices after rebates and discounts are subtracted.
Items highlighted in Black are good deals.
Items highlighted in Red means prices have gone up and the system is not a good buy this week.
Items in normal text means prices are about the same as the previous weeks.

Best Sunday Ad Deals
Category
Product Description
Price* (see above)
Prices up or Down this Week
Store
1. Best Celeron Deal
eMachine 2.5 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$439
-
Best Buy
2. Best Celeron Deal
HP 2.6 GHz complete system with 17" monitor
$569
-
Circuit City
1. Best Pentium 4 System
Sony 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 with 15" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$1279
Circuit City, CompUSA ($1299)
2. Best Pentium 4 System
HP Media Center, 2.8 GHz Pentium 4 complete system with 17" flat panel, HT Technology, and DVD-RW
$1949
CompUSA
1. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 2800+ complete system with 17"monitor and DVD-RW
$769
Circuit City
2. Best AMD Athlon XP System
HP 3000+ complete system with 17"monitor and DVD-RW
$949
Best Buy
1. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW drive
$849
CompUSA
2. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq 2.4 GHz Celeron with DVD/CD-RW
$849
Circuit City, Best Buy ($899)
3. Best Low-cost Laptop
Compaq AMD Athlon XP 2500+ with DVD/CD-RW
$1099
Best Buy
4. Best Low-cost Laptop
Toshiba 2.3 GHz Pentium 4M with DVD/CD-RW
$1199
Circuit City
1. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq Centrino widescreen 1.4 GHz with DVD /CD- RW
$1499
-
CompUSA
2. Best High-end Notebook
Compaq widescreen Pentium 4 2.66 GHz with DVD /CD- RW
$1649
-
CompUSA
Peripherals and Software
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 120 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$79
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 120 GB SATA hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$109
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Maxtor 7200 RPM 200 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$129
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
Western Digital 7200 RPM 250 GB hard drive with 8 MB buffer
$199
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9700 All-in-Wonder Pro 64 MB
$299
(after rebates)
-
CompUSA
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9200 Pro 128 MB DDR
$89
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
ATI Radeon 9800 Pro 128 MB DDR
$249
(after rebates)
-
Circuit City
Best Sunday Deal
TDK 4X multiformat DVD-RW
$199
(after rebates)
-
Best Buy

 

InfoHQ Quick Jumps to Upgrades from DealTime - Click to check on latest prices
Video Cards ATI Radeon
  GeForce4 FX
Hard Drives Maxtor
  Western Digital
  Seagate
CD-RW Drives 40x/48x Write Speed
DVD-RW Drives DVD+RW/CD-RW
CPUs All AMD Athlon XP CPUs
  All Intel Pentium 4 CPUs
Antivirus Software All Manufacturers
Firewall Software All Manufacturers
All Other Products DealTime

 

Additional Information. For additional technical information, advice on how to buy a laptop or desktop, and vendor and manufacturer links, please see our Computer Buying Advice page.

About Sunday Shopping Watch. Sunday Shopping Watch appears every Sunday (except some holidays like Easter and Christmas) in our News and Rumors column. It is a review of local (Dayton, Ohio) computer chain store advertisements. While we can not guarantee your local chain store has the same items, this article can help you make informed buying decisions.

 

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