First there was suspense over the status of HP’s Slate 500 Windows 7 tablet, with many fearing that the device might never see the light of day owing to the PC vendor’s acquisition of Palm, now that it is actually available for order from HP’s website there is confusion on when the company will begin shipping the device. While there are reports of pre-orderers being notified about a delay of 10-15 business days in shipment of their orders, the order status page seems to indicate a much smaller delay. The slate was originally expected to arrive on November 12.
“Due to high demand on the portable system you have selected we will not be able to fulfill the order from on hand stock, therefore we have routed your order to manufacturing for your product to be built. The average lead time to get these portables ready to ship may vary from 10 to 15 business days,” reads an email the company sent to one of the pre-orderers.
This has fueled a lot of speculation, with different blogs positing different theories to explain the delay. GottaBeMobile is blaming the delay on an unexpected bug that requires a full reboot, whereas SlashGear feels HP “may have hedged their bets with Slate 500 stock and planned to manufacture on-demand rather than face a mountain of unsold units.”
A week after it introduced a 96GB model of its enterprise-oriented V+ 100 SSD, Kingston has announced another addition to the SSDNow V Series. Available in 64GB, 128GB and 256GB capacities, the SSDNow v100 is targeted at both consumers and small businesses looking for an affordable “upgrade path for desktops and notebooks, short of a total system replacement.”
As you'd expect, the new SSDNow v100 drives feature Windows 7 TRIM support. A major difference between the enterprise-centric V+100 drives and the V100 series is the former's support for “always on” garbage collection across both TRIM and non-TRIM supported operating systems. But as Kingston clearly places a premium on that OS-independent garbage collection feature, the V100 is much more affordable. In fact, at $489.99 (stand-alone unit), the 256GB V100 is by far Kingston's most affordable 256GB SSD till date. The drive is capable of sequential read and write speeds of up to 250MB/sec and 230MB/sec, respectively.
“The SSDNow V100 drives ship as either a stand-alone unit or as an upgrade bundle kit. The desktop bundle kit includes the SSD, cloning software, cables (SATA data and power), and 3.5″ hard-drive mounting brackets and hardware. The notebook bundle includes the SSD, cloning software and a 2.5″ external enclosure allowing the replaced hard drive to be used as extra storage” Kingston said in a release.
Kingston today introduced the SSDNow V+100 solid-state drive, which features an “always on” garbage collection function, allowing it to be “optimized in both TRIM and Non-TRIM supported operating systems.” With the new SSDNow V+100 series, which is 25 percent faster than the previous generation, Kingston is trying to lure those enterprises that are still on older legacy OS' such as Windows Vista and XP that do not support TRIM.
The company has even added a 96GB option to its SSD range for the first time owing to consumer demand for “an SSD solution that ideally sits both price- and capacity-wise between the 64GB and 128GB drives.” Also available in 64GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB capacities, the drive boasts up to 230MB/s sequential read and 180MB/s sequential write speeds.
The prices are $ 220.00, $ 274.00, $ 390.00, $ 885.00, and $ 1,885.00 for the 64GB, 96GB, 128GB, 256GB and 512GB stand-alone drives, respectively.
In the long run, Microsoft didn't do itself any favors by releasing Internet Explorer 6 as a non-standard browser. Now all those companies who were forced to develop apps specific to the nine-year-old browser are struggling to migrate to Windows 7, according to market research firm Gartner.
Even worse for these companies is that Microsoft doesn't seem all that interested in fixing a problem it created, instead hoping to sweep IE6 under the rug.
"Microsoft would rather put the non-standard browser technology behind it," said Michael Silver, an analyst with Gartner. "Microsoft needs to explore all avenues that could ease the transitions away from IE6."
Here's the problem. Businesses still clinging to IE6 told Gartner that 40 percent of their browser-depending apps don't work with IE8, which comes baked into Windows 7. Fixing these apps to run in IE8 takes a sizable investment, both in time and money, and temporary workarounds all carry downsides. Probably the most promising is to use application virtualization tools, but as far as Microsoft is concerned, that's a violation of licensing agreements.
"It's ironic that Microsoft would oppose methods that would help organizations accelerate the move to Windows 7," Silver said. "Microsoft must do more to help organizations with their IE6 problems that Microsoft helped create."
When Hewlett-Packard bought Palm earlier this year, it looked like the final nail in the coffin of the Windows 7 tablet it had trotted out in January. The company was now on the horns of a dilemma, torn between WebOS and Windows 7. The world’s leading PC maker eventually chose to accommodate the Windows 7-based Slate 500 in its WebOS-dominated tablet plans, albeit only as a business-oriented product.
The back-from-the-dead Slate 500 is now available for preorder. The 8.9-inch device features a 1.86GHz Intel Atom Z540 processor, a 64GB SSD, 2GB of RAM, a 3MP camera on the back, one front-facing VGA camera, and a Broadcom graphics accelerator. The Slate 500 sports a $799 price tag.
It didn't take long for memory makers to employ SandForce's brand-spanking-new SF-2000 series controller on the next generation of SSDs. First out of the gate is Mushkin, which just announced new SSDs based on the enterprise-class SF-2500 and SF-2600 processors.
SandForce's updated controllers take advantage of the SATA 6Gb/s interface, and as such, the new Mushkin drives offer up to 500MB/s read and write sequential transfers, and up to 60,000 sustained read and write IOPS. Other enterprisey features include advanced ECC with up to 55 bits correctable per 512-byte sector, and power/performance throttling..
According to the company, the C10K600 delivers 15 percent better random and 18 percent faster sequential performance while consuming 22% less power than comparable enterprise solutions currently on the market. The drive is also said to be the only one its class to utilize a 64MB cache.
“The Ultrastar C10K600 is closely aligned with customer requirements for increased performance, improved server/storage density, greater power efficiency and lower total cost of ownership,” said Brendan Collins, vice president of Product Marketing, Hitachi GST.
There is currently nothing to report as far as its pricing and date of release are concerned.
Cisco revealed its tablet ambitions back in June when it announced the “Cius.” It is very likely that Cisco's tablet has not made it to any most-anticipated-tablets list in the intervening period. This is due to the fact that the 7-inch Android-running Cius is an enterprise product. As for those of you interested in such an offering, the price – or at least the price range – of the Cisco has been revealed.
According to a FAQ document sent to potential software partners and leaked by CrunchGear, the Cius will be priced below $1,000. Comparisons with the iPad are an inevitability for any upcoming tablet regardless of its intended purpose. Cisco appears to understand the perils of such a comparison, and therefore draws a clear line between the two.
The FAQ document explains why Cisco Cius is twice the price of an Apple iPad: “Cisco Cius is not a consumer device so it’s not an equivalent comparison. Cisco Cius is the first-of-its- kind mobile collaboration device. With Cius, casual and highly mobile employees benefit from a communications, collaboration and computing solution.” It then goes onto list the various “additional benefits additional benefits over an iPad.”
“Pricing is still be finalized at this time. With typical discounts applied, expectation would be that the Cius tablet would be available at under $1000 ($USD street price). Note that discounts may vary by Cisco reseller and thus, prices noted should be considered a guideline,” reads the FAQ document.
“Limited availability of Cisco Cius is expected to be CY Q4 2010 with general availability in calendar year Q1 2011.”
The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), a federal agency tasked with establishing standards for government and business, did something it's never done before -- it certified a line of enterprise-class hard drives for use within government systems. Specifically, the agency gave Seagate's Cheetah Constellation and Savvio drives its stamp of approval by certifying them to the FIPS 140-2 standard.
"As information storage consumption in the enterprise continues to grow, the ability to secure that data during all stages of a storage system's lifecycle becomes increasingly critical," said Dave Mosley, Seagate executive vice president of Sales, Marketing, and Product Line Management. "The FIPS 140-2 certification of Seagate's enterprise products further validates Seagate's commitment to enabling the widespread adoption of truly government-grade secure storage and hellp customers protect their sensitive personal and business information."
Microsoft Security Essentials (MSE) has been around for nearly an year. All along, the company has maintained that it has no plans of extending the free antivirus software to small businesses, as it is solely intended for consumers and home-based businesses.
However, the company is no longer averse to offering MSE to small businesses, even at the expense of its enterprise security solutions. In an abrupt policy change, MS has announced that it will begin offering “its Microsoft Security Essentials available to small businesses on up to 10 PCs for FREE, beginning in early October!”
“By providing Microsoft Security Essentials to small businesses free of charge, Microsoft extends its commitment to help these companies save money and grow their business by offering no-cost protection from viruses, spyware and other malicious threats,” the company said in a blog post.