Wednesday 09 September 2009

Palm to release cheaper sibling of Pre smart phone

 Christo [PCD]    09 Sep : 19:00
 None    Misc

SAN FRANCISCO — Palm Inc., which revitalized its product line with the Pre smart phone launch in June, is hoping to keep momentum going with the release of a lighter, cheaper handset called the Pixi.

SAN FRANCISCO — Palm Inc., which revitalized its product line with the Pre smart phone launch in June, is hoping to keep momentum going with the release of a lighter, cheaper handset called the Pixi.

The company said Wednesday that the Pixi will be available during the holiday season through Sprint Nextel Corp., currently the Pre's exclusive wireless carrier.

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Palm would not divulge the Pixi's price tag, but confirmed it will be less than that of its big brother. Sprint shaved $50 off the Pre's price to $150 on Wednesday, including two rebates and a two-year service contract.

"The combination of announcing a new device and changing the price on the Pre show we're aggressively pursuing new customers to get them accessing the WebOS experience," Katie Mitic, Palm's senior vice president of product marketing, said in an interview Tuesday. WebOS is the operating system powering the Pre and the Pixi.

Contrary to a promotion briefly advertised on its Web site Tuesday, Sprint is not offering customers a $100 credit to switch to the Pre from another carrier. Sprint spokeswoman Michelle Leff blamed the Web site glitch on the carrier's computer system.

The Pixi's release will mark Palm's second attempt in less than a year to use new software and streamlined designs to lure consumers in the still small but fast-growing smart phone market, which is dominated by Apple Inc.'s iPhone and Research In Motion Ltd.'s BlackBerry devices. According to market research firm NPD Group, smart phones made up 28 percent of consumer cell phone purchases in the second quarter, up 47 percent from the same period last year.

Palm hasn't disclosed the number of Pre smart phones sold. But its stock has more than quadrupled since the company unveiled the device Jan. 8 at the Consumer Electronics Show.

The Pixi also offers Sprint — which has been bleeding subscribers to other carriers — another opportunity to attract new customers and get current ones to "trade up" from regular cell phones. Despite the Pre's availability, Overland Park, Kan.-based Sprint reported a net quarterly loss of 257,000 subscribers in the second quarter.

Like the Pre, the black, shiny Pixi will come with a touch-screen, full QWERTY keyboard and Palm's latest operating system, WebOS. It will also have 8 gigabytes of built-in memory. But while the Pre's keyboard slides out from the bottom of the device, the Pixi's slightly smaller screen and keyboard both fit on the face of the candy bar-style handset.

The new smart phone is longer and slimmer than the Pre, and, at nearly 3.5 ounces, lighter. It trades the Pre's center button for a tiny touch-sensitive bar that sits between the screen and keyboard. As on the Pre, the real estate between the screen and keyboard also will be touch-sensitive for navigating the device.

The Pixi will sport a 2-megapixel camera, instead of its sibling's 3-megapixel version, and two small speakers rather than the Pre's single large one.

Building on an already available WebOS feature, the Pixi will be able to gather users' contacts from Yahoo and business-networking site LinkedIn. The Pixi will include standard smart phone features like Global Positioning System, video and music players and a Web browser, but it won't have Wi-Fi.

A dedicated Facebook application will be released with the Pixi, Palm said. It is not yet clear if it will come loaded on the phone or will be available through Palm's online application store.

Shares in Palm dropped 61 cents, or 4.1 percent, to $14.37 in morning trading Wednesday.

Copyright © 2009 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
[Submitted by MaTiCa]

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Monday 07 September 2009

Next Version of Mac Office Getting Outlook

 Christo [PCD]    07 Sep : 20:20
 None    Misc

It's taken many (many!

It's taken many (many!) years, but Microsoft has committed to creating a version of Outlook for the Mac - and it'll be part of the next version of Mac Office.

Microsoft's Macintosh Business Unit today announced some details of its next version of Microsoft Office for the Mac—and the big surprise is that Microsoft is committing to shipping a version of Outlook for the Macintosh. The Mac version of Outlook will replace the existing Entourage email and communication application that's been part of Microsoft Office for several years; although Entourage has long features some Exchange capability, it's always been a second-class citizen in the Exchange world—and it's often unreliable monolithic database won it few friends even among Mac Office users. The new version of Outlook promises to make the Mac an equal player alongside its Windows counterparts—and it will be an entirely new Cocoa application, built using Mac OS X's base technologies and featuring a new database system.

"Outlook for Mac will bring features our customers have long requested—such as Information Rights Management—that make working across platforms even easier," said MacBU's general manager Eric Wilfrid, in a statement. "I think people will see that this move to Outlook for Mac is more than just a name change."

Microsoft didn't name a date for when it plans to ship the next version of Mac Office, but said the product should be on shelves in time for the 2010 holiday season. That's well over a year away; in the meantime, Apple is introducing improved support for Exchange in its own default Mail application with Mac OS X 10.6 "Snow Leopard," which will be on shelves in a few weeks. Although Snow Leopard won't support every feature of Exchange. Nonetheless, building a full-fledged version of Outlook into Mac Office will no doubt help the Redmond company sell Mac Office to enterprises, governments, and organizations who buy large volumes of software licenses—and, of course, full-fledged Outlook clients for both Mac and Windows gives those organizations more reason to standardize on Exchange for communications needs.
Microsoft also announced a new $399.99 Business Edition of Microsoft Office 2008 for Macintosh, slimming the Mac Office offerings to Home and Student Edition and the new Business Edition. The Business Edition includes Entourage 2008 for Mac Web Services Edition, Microsoft Document Connection for Mac (for hitting Sharepoint and Microsoft Office Live Workspace), as well as new clip art and training materials from

Microsoft also said it had nothing to say about the possibility of developing mobile versions of Office applications for the Apple iPhone; yesterday, Microsoft announced a new partnership with Nokia to bring Office applications to Nokia devices.
[Submitted by MaTiCa]

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Sunday 20 July 2008

AMD's CEO Steps Down

 Christo [PCD]    20 Jul : 10:08
 None    Misc

AMD CEO Hector Ruiz will be replaced by Dirk Meyer

AMD CEO Hector Ruiz will be replaced by Dirk Meyer

AMD has seen its share of ups and downs over the years, but the company has had it especially hard ever since its acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006. Since then, the company has experienced numerous quarters of losses, announced job cuts, and has watched as top executives abandoned the chip giant.

Most recently, AMD announced that it would take another $880 million USD charge due to the poor performance of ATI's Consumer electronics division.

Today, AMD CEO Hector Ruiz stepped down from his position with the company. Ruiz joined the company in January 2000 and became CEO in April 2002. Ruiz will be replaced by the current Number 2 in charge, Dirk Meyer. Ruiz will stay on as the executive chairman of AMD's Board of Directors.

The future looks uncertain as the man who has become the face of AMD moves on to greener pastures. Meyer will have to find a way to get AMD back on a track to profitability and get its first 45nm processors out the door to combat Intel.

Ruiz's departure comes at a time when AMD is trying to fight off a surging Intel. Intel just recently announced a 25 percent increase in quarterly profits at the same time AMD was reporting losses. Intel also this week launched its Centrino 2 platform which aims to take much of the air out of AMD's Puma platform.

AMD, however, has obtained better success on the graphics front with its new Radeon HD 4850 and 4870 graphics cards which are the current "bang for the buck" kings. AMD garnered so much praise from reviewers and consumers alike that NVIDIA responded with price cuts to its recently introduced GeForce GTX 260 and GTX 280 graphics cards.

AMD may also have a little bit of help on its side in the form of an official FTC investigation into Intel's business behavior. But the fact remains, whatever the outcome of the FTC investigation, AMD still has to deliver a competitive product to stay alive in this cutthroat industry.
[Submitted by Christo [PCD]]


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