While you contemplate whether or not it's worth upgrading your work PC to Windows 7 or trashing the old hardware for something new, one thing's for sure - moving to Windows 7 will be "all but inevitable," according to a report from market research firm Gartner.
"The Windows 7 release will generate renewed interest in consumers and small businesses following its release, but corporate demand is not expected to gain momentum until the end of 2010," said Charles Smulders, managing VP at Gartner. "An overdue PC hardware upgrade cycle and the economic environment will be as equally important as Windows 7 in determining final demand in 2010."
Before taking the plunge, Gartner senior analyst Michael Silver said corporations will have to consider five factors, including moving off of XP by the end of 2010, starting their migration projects now instead of later, they should avoid skipping Windows 7 to avoid the kinds of problems that plagued "organizations that skipped Windows 2000 and waited for XP," larger organizations should budget carefully and take note of the migration costs (as much as $1,930 per user to move from XP to Windows 7, and up to $510 to move up from Vista), and avoid waiting for Windows 7 SP1 before making the jump.
According to market research firm Ovum, WiMax doesn't have much of a future outside of niche markets. In a report titled WiMax in emerging markets, the opportunity assessed, Ovum said that this holds true both for developed regions and emerging markets.
"Two thirds of the 300+ WiMax networks globally are in the emerging markets of Africa, Asia, Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Latin America," said Angel Dobardziev, practice leader at Ovum. "Yet, most emerging market WiMax operators currently have thousands, or tens of thousands of subscribers, rather than the hundreds of thousands of subscribers they planned to have at this stage."
Dobardziev attributes part of the problem to the pricing structure, pointing out that on a non-subsidized basis, WiMax is priced and positioned as a broadband option for businesses or wealthy consumers. Ovum doesn't see this changing any time soon and predicts that WiMax will account for less than 5 percent of the 1.5 billion fixed and mobile broadband access connections in the emerging markets by 2014.
Although the task force didn’t name any decent ways to express dissent, it is suggested that indignant consumers learn the art of protesting from the true masters of the art: the Palestinians, who have pioneered some of the most effective and economical techniques, including stone pelting and the fabled catch-and-hurl-back-teargas-grenade technique.
Coming back to the subject of broadband access, the task force is busy preparing a report on ways to enhance broadband penetration in rural and urban areas. The panel will submit its final report to Congress in February. It said in an interim report that anywhere between $20 and $350 billion might be needed for installing necessary wireless and landline infrastructure. Its estimate depends on the internet speed.
The panel said in its report that while nearly 2/3 of Americans are wallowing in broadband bliss and 1/3 have access but haven’t subscribed, 4% have no access whatsoever. The panel also expects smartphones to march ahead of blander phones by 2011.
Forget about all this talk of losses and job cuts, the economy is apparently doing just fine for Facebook, the social networking site which boasts the most users. It's doing so well that mark Zuckerberg told Bloomberg news agency in an interview that the company plans to increase its staff by as much as 50 percent before the end of the year.
As it currently stands, Facebook claims 900 employees, so by our math, the planned hiring would put the worker count up to 1,350 strong. And why not when your list of investors includes venture capitalist Peter Thiel, Accel Partners, Microsoft, and Russian Internet firm Digital Sky Technologies.
But not all social networking sites are looking to expand. MySpace in June announced plans to reduce its U.S.-based workforce by 30 percent and two-thirds of its international employees.
For the second time in a row, Asus has come out ranked No. 1 in reliability for personal computers, according to Rescuecom's 2009 Second Quarter Top 5 Computer Reliability Report.
"Because Asus just introduced the newest version of the EEE Laptop last fall, the original predicted computer reliability of this laptop has been somewhat up in the air," says David A. Milman, Rescuecom's founder and CEO. "However, a good eight months later, we're still receiving the fewest calls for computer repair and support with Asus, while their market share is increasing."
Rescuecom ranks computer reliability based on the number of computers a company ships versus the number of computer repair and service calls Rescuecom receives. According to the report, of the top 5 companies, Rescuecom received the fewest number of calls for Asus at 0.6 percent. Apple, which ranked No. 2 on the list, received the third most calls with 2.2 percent, which is more than Asus and IBM/Lenovo combined.
Did your surgery take longer than expected? If so, maybe your surgeon was looking up tips on Wikipedia. Sounds far fetched -- and that example surely is -- but according to a report in April by U.S. health care consultancy Manhattan Research, 50 percent of doctors turn to Wikipedia for medical information.
Part of the reason for this may be that Wikipedia entries often dominate search engine results. In an unrelated study in this month's Journal of the American Medical Informatics Association, it was discovered that Wikipedia articles appear in the top 10 results for more than 70 percent of medical queries across four different search engines.
"My overall impression is that the quality of health information varies wildly, almost ridiculously wildly," said Kevin Clauson, a pharmacologist at Nova Southeastern University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "If [a website] is treated as an authoritative source, and there's evidence that it isn't, then it's potentially dangerous."
On the positive side, several studies have found that Wikipedia's medical content is almost entirely free of factual errors in many cases, but the risk remains for "vandalism" by malicious users.
The new estimate will certainly please Apple, for it alone is expected to ship 3 million units. The very report further says that the penetration rate of all-in-one PCs – computers with the monitor and CPU bundled together in one console – will rise to 5% this year, 9% in 2009, and 12% in 2012.
IBM this week announced its second-quarter 2009 results, noting diluted earnings of $2.32 per share compared with diluted earnings of $1.95 per share in the second quarter of 2008. That's a year-on-year increase of 18 percent, and according to IBM, the highest for any first, second, or third quarter in the company's history.
"As a result of our strategic transformation, we have a very strong business model that is delivering superior earnings, cash, and client value," said Samuel J. Palmisano, IBM chairman, president and chief executive officer.
Looking forward, IBM said it expects full-year 2009 earnings of at least $9.70 per share, up from its previous expectation of $9.20 per share. In addition, the company said it expects full-year 2009 pre-tax income for its Software segment to grow by double-digits and reach somewhere around $8 billion.
Is the future of mobile wireless broadband in WiMAX or LTE? Perhaps both, or maybe neither. That's not much of an answer, but it is in line with the mixed messages coming from analysts.
A report by broadband wireless and WiMAX market research firm Maravedis indicates impressive subscriber growth in the WiMAX camp during the first quarter, which now totals 3.5 million worldwide users. That's a 75 percent year-on-year increase. But the same report also suggests that "LTE is gaining momentum and will be the technology selected by most mobile operators worldwide moving forward." And if that weren't enough, Maravedis notes that WiMAX operators are seeing global service revenue growth start to taper off, and ultimately concluding that "2008 was a difficult year for WiMAX."
If you're an LTE proponent, don't pop the celebratory champagne just yet. The same research firm said that 28 percent of the operators they surveyed complained of "technological delays" presenting a challenge to LTE's adoption rate, while another 24 percent voiced concerns about interoperability among LTE vendors.
Home users aren't the only ones reluctant to shell out big bucks for low capacity SSDs; companies are too. But while the former might be justified in waiting until the bang-for-buck ratio becomes a bit more favorable, a new report by J. Gold Association says that companies can save money by investing in SSDs right now.
"Our intent was to identify the true costs associated with equipping notebook computers deployed in the enterprise," said Jack Gold, principal analyst at the firm. "We discovered that the savings were very significant for a standard three year cycle."
According to the report, despite the comparatively high cost of SSDs, a company stands to save about $214 over three years and up to $492 if the notebook remains in service for five years. Part of the savings comes from in-warranty repair costs, which J. Gold Association claims averages out to $970 for a notebook with a conventional hard drive, compared to $715 for one equipped with an SSD.
Other reasons for the disparity include lower failure rates and less power consumption.