Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Apple's iPad Outsells HP's PCs in Q1 2012

iPadsIt's no surprise that Apple is one of the top PC and technology makers in the world. What may be surprising is the fact that Apple has surpassed HP in computer unit sales and revenues for the first time ever, making the Cupertino giant the number one company. Apple can attribute a lot of this success to record sales of iPads and, instead of losing sales to low priced tablets, Apple said that it would continue to "innovate like crazy" in the tablet market.

The company reported quarterly sales of 15.4 million iPads and 5.2 million Macs, which gave Apple more than 20 million sales of dedicated computing devices. It was reported that HP's sales for the fourth quarter of 2011 were close to 14.7 million, with Lenovo and Dell selling 12.9 million and 11.6 million units, respectively. In addition to that, Apple's figures were twice that of those reported by Microsoft for the same quarter.

Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple, was asked about the impact of lower-priced tablets in the market, like Amazon's Kindle Fire. Cook replied that he was happy with the iPad's sales and pointed out that sell-through had exceeded sell-in, which left the company with strained inventory levels around the world, contradicting the rumors that the Kindle Fire had dampened potential iPad sales. Cook also stated that Apple sees the iPad as a "huge opportunity for Apple over time" and that "there will come a day when the tablet market in units is larger than the PC market."

Tablets are indeed doing very well with almost every name in the tech world offering their own version of the iPad which pioneered the market. However, I don't think that tablets will ever fully replace computers or laptops. Physical keyboards and mouse controls are too ingrained in people and are also extremely necessary for a lot of computing tasks. Sure you can make keyboard docks and mouse attachments, but what's the point?

Cook also pointed out that the rapid growth of iPad sales was eating up the growth of generic PC sales but not hurting the Apple's own Mac sales. It seems that all of Apple's mobile tech gadgets draw in customers for the company's netbooks and desktop computers. Sales of both have been up, and over 1/5 of all Apple Mac sales were through the company's own retail stores.

Source: Apple Insider - Apple now largest computer maker, sold more iPads alone than HP sold PCs
Slash Gear - Apple sold more iPads than HP sold PCs in Q1 2012

Power Point Projectors
Most business class projectors will do a good job displaying your PowerPoint presentation. If you have a small presentation group, a 2000 lumen LCD projector will be able to produce a nice and clear picture. For larger audiences you should consider a 5000 lumen LCD projector.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Amazon's Cloud Allowing Windows Server to Run Free

Amazon CloudIf you are wanting to run Windows Server via Amazon's Cloud Service for free, the time has come for your wish to be granted. That's right, enterprise companies now have the ability to run Microsoft's Windows Server for as many as 750 hours in Amazon's cloud completely free using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Free Usage Tier according to a statement released by the website on Saturday.

This announcement will allow enterprise companies that already run applications on Windows Server to give Amazon's cloud service a test drive completely free of charge. Enterprise users will be able to select from a wide array of pre-configured Amazon Machine Images without Microsoft Windows Server 2008 R2. The Windows Server images run on a Micro instance (virtual sever) that includes 613 MB of memory as well as 32-bit or 64-bit support.

The Free Usage Tier was launched back in 2010 but has only recently become available with Linux. Enterprise companies now have the opportunity to run both operating systems simultaneously for as long as 750 hours per month for one year. After that, these companies will have to pay regular fees that start as low as $0.02 per hour for Linux and $0.03 per hour for Windows.

If a company exceeds its usage limits, additional fees will be incurred. For instance, if you have two different server instances active for 400 hours a piece for the entire month, you have gone over your monthly usage by 50 hours. The first 750 hours will still be free, but you will have to pay the standard price for the 50 hours extra you used. In addition to that, the tier also includes limited use of Amazon's load balancer, storage services and the SimpleDB database.

Source: Computer World - Windows Server now runs for free in Amazon's cloud

Short-throw projectors only require half the projection distance of traditional projectors. The projector can be placed just a foot or so from the screen. This is nice because it keeps the projector and screen near each other instead of having a long throw projector that people can accidentally block.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Upgraded Samsung Series 7 Gamer Laptop Set to Hit U.S. in April

Samsung Series 7 GamerUs laptop gamers here in the states have been pretty envious of our European brothers as they have had the privilege of buying the Samsung Series 7 Gamer notebook since last spring. Well, this spring (April, to be specific) that envy dies and becomes reborn as jubilation as Samsung will be shipping the Series 7 Gamer to us Yanks while giving it a nice increase in specs at the same time.

The 17" gaming laptop will still have the same aesthetics, as well as the same external features, as its European counterpart, including the 2.1 speaker setup with down-firing Subwoofer, super-bright screen and that big knob thingy that switches the device between power modes, like the Gaming Mode, which clocks up the CPU turbo mode, changes the keyboard backlighting, disables the Windows key and a few other things. The only real external difference is the lack of a 3D display option and the addition of a DisplayPort output.

Crack this bad boy open and you will be able to find the differences. On the inside the Series 7 Gamer gets a nice new set of parts. The second generation Intel Sandy Bridge Core i7 processor is gone, replaced by a quad-core third-generation Intel Ivy Bridge Core i7 processor instead. In addition to that, the graphics have received an increase from the Radeon HD 6970M to the upcoming GeForce GTX 670M. You will still have a Blu-ray drive as well as the 2TB hard drive so nothing's new there.

You will be able to grab this mobile gaming giant when it is released in April for a reasonable $1,799, or whenever Intel's high-end Ivy Bridge chips and Nvidia's next-generation GPUs are ready to go, which we hope is by April because, honestly, we can't hold out on this laptop forever.

Source: PC World - Samsung to Bring Series 7 Gamer to the U.S., With Upgrades

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Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Quanta Sues AMD Over "Faulty" Chips

Quanta Computer logoThe world's largest contract maker of notebook computers, Quanta Computer Incorporated, has filed a lawsuit against Advanced Micro Devices Incorporated (AMD) for what Quanta is calling a breach of contract. Quanta is accusing AMD of selling the company defective products and thus seeks compensation.

AMD and its ATI Technologies Incorporated unit sold chips to Quanta that did not meet the company's tolerances and were unfit for particular purposes, the company noted in a federal court filing in San Jose, California. The chips Quanta purchased were used in notebooks Quanta manufactured for NEC which caused the computers to malfunction and crash according to the court filing.

In a statement from Quanta that is found in the court documents says, "Quanta has suffered significant injury to prospective revenue and profits." Quanta is seeking a trial by jury as well as damages for the faulty chips. AMD, which accumulates over $6 billion in annual revenue, is the second largest maker of computer processors, bested only by Intel, which has a staggering $50 billion annual revenue.

The lawsuit also claims breach of warranty, negligent misrepresentation, civil fraud and interference with a contract. "AMD disputes the allegations in Quanta's complaint and believes they are without merit," AMD spokesman Michael Silverman said in a statement. "AMD is aware of no other customer reports of the alleged issues with the AMD chip that Quanta used, which AMD no longer sells. In fact, Quanta has itself acknowledged to AMD that it used the identical chip in large volumes in a different computer platform that it manufactured for NEC without such issues."

In addition to NEC, Quanta makes computers on contract for HP, Dell and Acer. The company's shares increased 1.9% in Taipei today before news of this lawsuit went public, and the case has been filed as Quanta v. Advanced Micro Devices, 12-cv-12, U.S. District Court, Northern District of California.

Source: Bloomberg - Quanta Sues AMD Over Allegedly Unsuitable Chips for NEC Notebook Computers is news of, for and by SMBs! The Small & Medium Business Magazine!