Jun 6 2010

Microsoft Introduces Windows Embedded Compact 7 for Tablet Devices

The title pretty much says it all.  Under pressure from iPad and Android tablet competition, Microsoft has recently launched a new version of the Windows 7 operating system software specifically for slate and tablet devices.  We know that the new OS will be called Windows Embedded Compact 7, but other than that, there are not many other details that are known.  It’ll essentially be a compartmentalized version of the Windows 7 OS that can be embedded at the hardware level.

There were several prototype devices running on Microsoft’s new tablet OS at Computex 2010, so its potential developments into a full-fledged tablet OS should be pretty interesting.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any developments we hear about.

Via JKOnTheRun.

May 26 2010

Netbooks Sales Take a Pounding from Apple iPad and Cheap Laptops

According to a recent survey done by Retrevo, a consumer electronics website, netbook sales aren’t doing so hot, mostly because of competition from the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops.  The study surveyed more than 1,000 U.S. consumers.

The Retrevo survey asked consumers whether they are planning on buying an Apple iPad or a netbook.  An overwhelming 78 percent said they would choose an iPad while only 22 percent said they would choose a netbook.

The survey also asked consumers whether they held off on buying a netbook after they heard that the iPad would be released in a couple months.  70 percent of respondents said they would hold out, and 42.86 percent of these actually did end up buying an iPad, while 57.14 percent of these ended up purchasing a netbook.  30 percent of overall respondents did not hold out for the Apple iPad and originally moved forward with a netbook purchase.

The iPad has already sold more than one million units and there’s no doubt that iPad sales are still going strong.  Two of its major advantages includes portability and relatively long battery life.

Even though consumer data indicates that the Apple iPad and cheaply-priced laptops are crippling netbook sales, analysts say that in the near future at least, netbook sales will not be greatly effected due to price-to-value differences.  Guess we’ll have to wait and see how things really turn out.  Don’t worry, we’ll keep you posted.

Via PCWorld.

May 16 2010

Sony Introduces VAIO P-Series Netbooks to Compete with Apple iPad

Watch out Apple!  Sony and other netbook manufacturers just might jump into the tablet PC manufacturing business soon.  In fact, Sony recently released their new Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks, which feature new Intel Atom processors, as well as several other new features, including an undersized keyboard with a centralized pointing stick, and a touchpad on the right side of the LCD bezel and mouse buttons on the left side of the LCD.  The setup is essentially similar to that of a tablet.  The Sony VAIO P-Series netbooks also have accelerometers, so users can use the device in portrait mode.

Sony’s newest netbooks will be available in several unique colors: electric orange, neon green, and icy white — definitely sure to catch passerby’s attention.  The P-Series netbooks are available for pre-order and start at $800 each for the base model.

Via TimesNewsLine.

May 13 2010

Intel CEO Otellini Foresees Growth in Netbook Market

With the introduction of its Atom chip, Intel has been a significant player in the netbook marketIntel CEO Paul Otellini is optimistic about the future performance of this market.  He see revenues and earnings from netbooks increasing from single digits this year to low double digits within the next few years.

According to Otellini, computers are in “a growth industry,” especially with the growth of the technology in emerging markets such as China, India, and Brazil.  “We’re on top of a growth engine and we intend to deliver.”

What does Otellini have to say about Apple and the new iPad’s impact on netbook and notebook sales?  Otellini believes that tablets and netbooks offer additional means for consumers to stay connected, “I don’t think they will take away market share from other devices.”

Really?  We’ll have to see about that — only the future can tell.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted on any new developments.

Via MarketWatch.

May 9 2010

The Apple iPad is Cannabilizing the Netbook Market

Before the Apple iPad was released, nobody knew what space it would compete for in the computer market.  Would it replace a laptop?  Would it compete as a netbook?  Nobody really knew.  After its April release though, it’s clear that the iPad tablet does indeed compete against, and in a significant number of cases can replace, a laptop unit.

According to March 2010 data collected by Alphawise, 44% of those buying iPad devices have decided to forgo buying a laptop as a result.  Their main needs in getting a laptop were to check e-mail and to browse the web — things they can also do from an iPad.

Here’s a fancy chart showing Apple’s iPad cannabilization:

Not only has the iPad been cannibalizing laptop sales but it has also been cannibalizing netbook sales as well.  The chart below shows the decline in netbook sales growth starting at the beginning of 2010.  A significant amount of this decrease was rumored to be due to the upcoming release of the Apple iPad.

Now that the iPad’s out, think it’ll be able to avoid the same fate that has come of other computing products?  Apple’s pretty good at innovation, so it’s very likely.

Via ISmashPhone.

May 9 2010

Turn Your Apple iPad Tablet Into a Netbook With the ClamCase

With the release of the Apple iPad tablet comes a whole boatload of accessories being released as well.  One that’s worth noting is the ClamCase (so named for the way it opens — like a clam shell), which basically serves as an all-in-one peripheral for the iPad.  Not only does it serve as a case/protector, but it also serves as a keyboard add-on and a stand as well.

In addition, once the iPhone OS 4.0 is released, maybe the keyboard add-on feature will significantly boost users’ productivity.  Unfortunately, there’s no built-in mousepad on this version of the ClamCase, but maybe that might be something the company considers for future versions of the accessory.

The ClamCase is rumored to hit stores this Fall.  We’ll be sure to keep you posted if we hear any further news and/or uncover some other stellar accessories for the Apple iPad.   Interested in learning a bit more about it now?  Check out the video below.

Via HotHardware.

Feb 2 2010

Linux Foundation Chief Admits Linux Lacks Apple iPad “Magic”

Tux

Jim Zemlin, the Linux Foundation’s executive director, identified the inhibiting factor to mobile Linux’s growth on his blog last week, in response to the iPad’s launch.  It was not a specific hardware or  software defect he mentioned, but instead the culture of the Linux product world.  Quite simply, he said, “Apple’s consistent user experience is far closer to magical than most things currently running Linux”.  It is a sobering but honest point that he makes regarding one of the iPad’s indisputable advantages.

The iPad, despite its lack of features and questionable pricing scheme, is fairly immune to attacks regarding its UI.  If staying true to the iPhone formula, it will likely capture the attention of  general market and garner acclaim for its smoothness and user experience.  This elegant performance that Apple boasts is something that has eluded Linux interfaces for decades now.  Only recently have its desktop platforms attained the level of consistency that people expect from an Apple OS.

Does this mean Linux already is forced to sit out in the free-for-all that is the tablet market? Far from it, argues Zemlin.  Future Linux products will be spared from the oft-called “Apple Tax” that prevents the iPad from entering impulse-buy territory.  Furthermore, even if Linux lacks the oh-so-important “magic”, it does offer something most computer users take for granted: freedom.  As stated by Zemlin:

“Apple is the most locked down closed system imaginable, from the software ladened with DRM, all the way down to the custom silicon they use for their Apple A4 chip. Commercial success is important, but freedom is also important.  “

Ultimately, what can be taken from this is that the Linux does have its sights set on cornering the mobile market, and it is not afraid to improve itself in order to get there.  Undoubtedly, it does not plan on being pushed into oblivion as it was for much of the desktop market and sees the tablet field as a chance for redemption.

Via Ars Technica.

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