We've been talking a lot about Acer lately, and that's because Acer has been doing a lot of talking of its own. The OEM's been pounding its chest like Kevin Garnett after an 'and-one' and talking smack to Dell, HP, and anyone else who stands in its way. And now the OEM is saying it's fully prepared to take on HP in a bit of a pricing war, which comes just a day after Acer said it feels confident it will ship 40 million notebooks in 2010.
According to news and rumor site DigiTimes, HP has already kicked off some pretty fierce price competition in a few designated markets, which includes sub-$300 models in the U.S. Acer's ever talkative chairman JT Wang said his company will not only follow suit, but plans to one-up HP by aggressively marketing its netbook and ultra-thin segments, both of which are areas HP is a little weaker in.
Beyond 2010, Wang said the global netbook market is on track to reach 350 million units, and we're a bit surprised Acer didn't say it plans to capture 349 million of them.
According to IBM, some 235 former Sun and HP customers moved their critical business workloads to IBM servers and storage systems in the third quarter. And in the past three years since IBM first established its Migration Factory program specifically for this purpose, Big Blue has been able to convince nearly 2,000 customers to make the switch, most of which have come from rivals Sun and HP.
Perhaps weary of what the future holds once Oracle's acquisition of Sun is complete, 84 Sun clients made the move to IBM Power Systems in the third quarter alone. According to IBM, it's the company's long-term investments in systems and consistent roadmaps that have been the biggest draws.
Speaking of Power Systems, IBM gained five share points in the third quarter, which is the sixth consecutive quarter of share gains. System x systems gained two points, while IBM storage went up an unspecified amount in the third quarter.
PC vender Acer is on quite the roll as of late. They’ve finally become number two in worldwide notebook sales, beating out Dell. Now they expect to be able to ship 40 million notebooks in 2010, and take the number one spot from market leader HP.
Earlier this year Acer was predicting only 33 to 37 million units shipped, but better than expected performance in the second half of the year caused them to raise expectations. One of Acer’s major problems is the ongoing shortage of hardware, including optical drives, LCD panels, hard drives, and graphics chips. Acer Chairman, JT Wang, indicated that even with possible shortages the company would likely reach its goal.
Acer has become a major player in the last few years. Their notebook shipments have more than doubled, mostly due to the success of netbooks marketed heavily to consumers. They plan to continue on this path into next year.
With a lot of help from the University of Michigan, Hewlett Packard on Wednesday unveiled its beta BookPrep project, which seeks to make more than half a million rare books available through a print-on-demand system.
Using imaging and printing technology from HP Labs, HP is able to automatically scan rare books and then clean up, brighten, and align the text. As of this writing, there are exactly 472,509 books available for purchase, most of which were published before 1923.
"HP BookPrep technology allows publishers to extend the life cycle of their books, removes the cost and waste burdens of maintaining inventory, and uses a full spectrum of technologies to deliver convenient access to consumers," said Andrew Bolwell, HP's director of New Business Initiatives.
In addition to rare books, HP said it is also extending its BookPrep project to publishers and content owners who want to offer their full catalogs of titles online, The Inquirer reports.
Almost as a side note, HP today announced its new Compaq L2105tm touchscreen monitor, dedicating just a few lines to promoting the display in a press release which covered several items.
The 21.5-inch, 1080p display sports a multitouch panel with one finger scrolling and two finger mousing capabilities.. But if you prefer to roll with a stylus, you'll find one jammed conveniently into the side of the monitor. You can even use a gloved finger, says DisplayBlog.com, who points out that the two cameras, infrared light, sensor, and reflective film create a rugged light field capable of detecting just about any type of object.
There was a little bit of marketing glitz on HP's part. According to the OEM, this is the world's first Windows 7 certified monitor, which you means you can plug it in groove to your newly acquired copy of the just-released OS.
Dell in the past 12 months has been making a concerted effort to reduce its carbon footprint and go green, but according to Newsweek, Hewlett-Packard is the greenest Fortune 500 company around. That's an interesting position to put the OEM in, considering Greenpeace ranked HP No. 14.
So why the disparity? Well, according to Gizmodo, Newsweek takes a holistic view when ranking companies, which includes greenhouse emissions, water consumption, and supply chain management. Greenpeace, on the other hand, is about the benchmarks, such as how much toxic chemicals are being used.
One specific area in which the two rankings disagree is with HP's use of polyvinyl chloride (PVC) and brominated flame retardant (BFR). Greenpeace was critical of their use, while Newsweek praised the company for its diminished usage.
As for Dell? The OEM still ranked high in Newsweek's report, taking the No. 2 spot. The rest of the top 5 included, in order, Johnson & Johnson, Intel, and IBM.
The busy bodies at HP kicked off this week with a series of product launches, including several multi-touch capable laptops that work with Microsoft's upcoming Windows 7 OS.
"We introduced our first touchscreens in 1983 and now we're on our third generation of TouchSmart models," said John Cook, vice president of desktop marketing in HP's Personal Systems Group. "Touch may very well be the best way to interact with a computer."
That last statement will be up to consumers to decide, and to help them do that, HP's TouchSmart tx2 laptop ($799) allows consumers to use two fingers to navigate through the touchscreen interfaces. Like HP's TouchSmart desktops, the tx2 comes with the abiltiy to pinch, rotate, flip, press, or drag a finger across the screen. And the 12.1-inch screen can be rotated 180 degrees for use as a tablet.
HP paid attention to the desktop market as well, releasing its third generation of touch-enabled desktop PCs. Both the all-in-one TouchSmart 300 and 600 sport widescreen displays sized 20 inches and 23 inches, respectively. Both also come with built-in touch apps, including Hulu Desktop, Netflix, Pandora, Twitter, and the HP Music Store by Rhapsody.
Four C-notes is about the going rate for 10.1-inch netbooks with a single-core Atom N280 processor and 1GB of RAM. That doesn't sound like much, but that's because you're paying a premium for portability. If you have trouble wrapping your head around that, then HP's new Compaq-branded CQ61 may be more your style.
For the same price as a high-end netbook, the Compaq CQ61 nets you a 15.6-inch dispay powered by a dual-core AMD Sempron M100 processor (2GHz, 512KB L2 cache). Other specs include 2GB or RAM, ATI Radeon HD 4200 graphics, a 160GB hard drive, a DVD burner, Windows 7 Home Premium, and a 6-cell battery.
HP didn't mention what kind of battery life you can expect from the CQ61 and we'd guess it to be nothing to write home about. But still, if you're not sold on the whole netbook thing, the CQ61 looks pretty serviceable at its price point.
Your PC’s hard drive is probably packed to the platter’s edge with hundreds of ripped DVD videos, gigabytes of digital photos from your camera, and tens of thousands of songs. And that’s not even counting the high-definition digital video from your last family vacation that you’re still planning to unload. But with terabytes of media just gathering dust on your desktop PC, you risk losing years of aggregated files when your hard drive inevitably gives out (don’t even think about backing it all up to the cloud). Our solution: Keep all your data backed up on a Windows Home Sever. More than just a generic NAS box, Windows Home Server maintains backups, streams media files, and works as a file share across your home network. And the best part is that you can build one yourself—we’ll show you how!
If you don’t need terabytes of backup space for your network, the newest member of HP’s MediaSmart family may be the right fit for you. With 640GB of storage, the LX195 makes sense if your home network consists of just two or three PCs. Like its higher-end siblings, the LX195 lets you perform Mac OS backups, though you’ll have to partition additional drive space for Time Machine. Storage capacity is the LX195’s big weakness, since there are no extra internal drive bays or eSATA ports for additional hard drives. To enable WHS’s file duplication feature or add additional storage space, you’ll have to attach external drives with USB.
The LX195’s strengths lie in its small size and low power usage. It’s no bigger than a desktop speaker, and can be hidden out of sight under your desk. Its Atom processor draws very little power (especially when idle), and we couldn’t even hear the server operate during backups.