07 Jul Don't count out notebooks
Notebook computers have become true desktop replacements while fulfilling — via integrated wireless — the ultimate requirements for go anywhere, do anything mobile computing. As importantly, the newest notebooks from Hewlett-Packard and Toshiba have broken the traditional price barriers that have made notebooks a luxury alternative to desktop PCs.
The HP Pavilion ZD 7000 series is a good example of this trend. It’s powered by the latest mobile P4 processor, has a handsome 17-inch screen, is loaded with 512 MB of memory and a 60-GB hard disk drive, along with slots for SD and flash memory cards. While it has a monstrous feature set, it is priced at less than $1,500 at big box and membership stores. That’s a big change in market rules, which traditionally dictated that top of the line notebook computers carry a price tag of $3,000 or more. HP’s willingness to lower prices while introducing new features makes HP the new company to watch in the mobile space.
Price breakthroughs, though, are not the most exciting trends we’re watching in notebook computing. As notebook providers are embracing integrated 802.11 wireless communications and as 802.11 hotspots spread to many public places, telephony promises to be the next must-include feature set in notebook computers. Keep an eye on the market early next year, as new radio technologies begin to be included on new notebooks that are bundled with VoIP software as part of the basic feature set.
Integrating VoIP into notebook computers is a big win for a range of businesses, from 802.11 network providers to VoIP software developers to carriers who quickly lay the infrastructure to support Internet telephony from mobile computing platforms. Indeed, it will be interesting sport to watch the cellular networks scramble to devise service plans that complement notebook telephony capabilities.
This trend will impact other technology providers, as well. We could see a surge in Bluetooth headsets, for example. Battery technologies will need to keep up with the power demand of wirelessly connected, full-function notebook computers. And new screen technologies are making for better displays on devices of all sizes. (And, yes, you’ll be seeing several of these technologies at DEMOmobile 2004.)
It’s easy in a wireless marketplace obsessed with handheld devices and stylish handsets to overlook the notebook computer as passé. Exciting new devices in innovative form factors are on the horizon and promise new modalities for interacting with information while you are on the go. But don’t discount the notebook too soon. Notebook computers remain the workhorse of the mobile professional. And the innovations being developed into these products are driving a range of next-generation capabilities in future devices.
Certainly, the notebook market has consolidated in recent years. But it’s anything but passé.
What’s old is new again… so it goes. Network Associates is changing its name back to McAfee. The company, which dropped the McAfee name in 1997, sold off its Magic help desk software and Sniffer network management tools earlier this year. McAfee Senior Vice President Raj Dhingra says the name is in step with the return to being a “pure-play” security company . . . According to a new security warning, pop-up ads are now packing a powerful punch. Tagged as an executable, the masked Trojan horse gathers up personal financial information as users head to sites like Citibank and Deutsche Bank. The add-on is known as a browser helper object and acts as an add-on to Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, according to the IDG News Service. You can find out more about this at the SANS Storm Center at http://isc.sans.org . . . If you’re betting big on wireless broadband, vendors are saying to hold your cards. It won’t be until 2006 that you’ll see widespread rollouts. That’s the word from the Wireless Communications Association International’s 2004 symposium in Washington, D.C., according to the IDG News Service. While some worry that wireless broadband might take away from cable or DSL, one panelist said the pie just needs to get bigger. For more on this, see: http://www.nwfusion.com/news/2004/0602vendotout.html.
The search is under way to find the 50 products that will launch at DEMOmobile 2004, September 8-10, 2004, in La Jolla, California. DEMOmobile is a high-visibility launch platform that will set your company on the path to success. It’s the best venue for positioning new mobile and wireless products and establishing strategic relationships with the players who will lead you to success. The conference’s stringent selection process and excellent reputation serves as an endorsement for your product as it comes to market. DEMO events have helped companies like Palm, Handspring, IBM Pervasive Computing, Logitech, Mirra, Tapwave, Macromedia – even Microsoft – launch their products, create critical business relationships, and sell to thought-leading early adopters.
DEMOmobile 2003 demonstrators benefited from more than 162 million media impressions before, during, and long after the event. Visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demonstrate/tour/index-demo2.html to learn more and complete an online application.
September 8-10, 2004
Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines,
La Jolla, CA
Chris Shipley is the executive producer of NetworkWorld’s DEMO Conferences, Editor of DEMOletter and a technology industry analyst for nearly 20 years. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Shipley, has covered the personal technology business since 1984 and is regarded as one of the top analysts covering the technology industry today. Shipley has worked as a writer and editor for variety of technology consumer magazines, including PC Week, PC Magazine, PC/Computing, and InfoWorld, US Magazine and Working Woman. She has written two books on communications and Internet technology, has won numerous awards for journalistic excellence, and was named the #1 newsletter editor by Marketing Computers for two years in a row. To subscribe to DEMOletter please visit: http://www.idgexecforums.com/demoletter/index.html.
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