A survey by Softchoice has found that nearly nine in ten corporate PCs are capable of running Windows 7. This is in stark contrast to just a few years ago when, at the launch of Windows Vista, only 50% of existing corporate PCs were powerful enough for the upgrade. While it may be tempting to just install Window 7 on the existing hardware, many of these PCs are aging quickly.
According to Dean Williams, Services Development Manager for Softchoice, “Around the 42-month mark of a computer's life cycle the support costs shoot up substantially." By that point, any gains from not upgrading are countered by the increased cost of support.
Many machines in the survey were closing in on this 42-month mark. IT departments will have some tough choices to make as far as upgrading goes. While many of these PCs can run Windows 7, it may not be worth the hardware headaches. Softchoice strongly recommends considering replacements for PCs of this age. So in IT, 42 really is the answer to everything.
Gartner, Inc’s gloomy forecast of a 5.6% decline in PC sales for the third quarter of 2009 didn’t quite pan out. Instead, Gartner is reporting a modest 0.5% increase, with 80.9 million units shipped worldwide. Sales were driven by the consumer market, with its insatiable demand for low-priced mobile PCs (i.e., netbooks).
Global leaders were Hewlett-Packard, with a 19.9% share, followed by Acer (15.4%) and Dell (12.8%). Dell was, however, tops in the U.S., with a 26.2% share of the market, followed closely by Hewlett-Packard with 25.7%. Acer finished out the top three with a 13.9% share.
Gartner predicts that the introduction of Windows 7 will have little impact on PC sales for the 4th quarter. According to Gartner’s Mikako Kitagawa: “Recent OS releases have not been a growth driver in the PC market.” But, Windows 7 could be a catalyst for an overdue hardware replacement cycle. Ms. Kitagawa expects some interest in hardware upgrades from consumers and business through the holiday season, and an impact in 2010 as the corporate market begins to react to the release of Windows 7.
The G110 personalization starts with backlit keys, in your choice of red, blue, or any combination of red and blue (which makes purple!). There are 12 programmable “G-keys” and three “M-keys” which allow you to assign up to 26 single keystrokes, multi-key macros, or complex LUA scripts for each game you play. Logitech’s contribution to the keyboard arms race is the inclusion of integrated USB audio, simplifying the hook-ups for in-game chatter.
Logitech expects to have the G110 in the stores in November for a suggested retail price of $79.99.
Remember when notebooks were simple portable PCs? That's not the case anymore, and today's units boast all kinds of tricks, whether it's multitouch capabilities, or unveling the "world's first" 3D laptop, as Acer has done with its Aspire 5738PG.
Acer unveiled the 3D-capable laptop during a press conference on Tuesday. The lappy uses a combination of in-house software, a special screen coating, and polarized glasses to achieve the 3D effect.
"The display has been coated with a special 3D film that clings to the panel pixel by pixel, enabling the LCD technology to deliver a 3D visual feast," Acer stated. "Slip on the cool polarized eyeglasses that filter the images and you're ready to dive into an extraordinary 3D adventure."
According to Acer, its TriDef 3D Experience software makes it possible to view all of your 2D videos and photos in 3D. Moreover, it comes with a tool that enables 2D to 3D conversion for games and apps supporting DirectX 9 or above, the company said.
It's official - the touch revolution is in full force and you can expect to see several product announcements from companies jumping on the multitouch bandwagon. The latest is from Acer, who announced its sleek looking Aspire Z5610 all-in-one PC.
The touch-enabled Windows 7 PC sports a 24-inch high-def touchscreen with full multitouch support, and its backed by a spec sheet that's at least serviceable. The all-in-one's DNA consists of an Intel Pentium Dual Core E5300 processor, ATI Mobility Radeon HD4570 graphics, 4GB of RAM, and a 320GB hard drive. So while you probably won't be playing Crysis, there's enough muscle to handle some casual gaming when you take a break from groping the display.
Look for the all-in-one to ship in time for the holidays at just $900.
The latest Flip MinoHD was announced today featuring a sizable memory upgrade, an aluminum shell and a half-inch on the screen.
With the new MinoHD, you can record up to 120 minutes of HD (720p) video onto the internal 8GB of memory, doubling its predecessor. It sports a 2-inch (diagonal) screen running at a resolution of 960x240. They wrapped it all in an aluminum shell. The folks at Gizmodo got their hands on one and said “The aluminum shell feels great: Much more solid and smaller in the hand than the previous plastic version.”
The newest Flip also supports the latest Flip Video Engine, which adds some onboard editing and clipping features.
Price only jumped 30 bucks to $229 over the $199, 60 minute/4GB version. It is probably worth checking out if you’re in the point-and-shoot video recorder market.
Wi-Fi’s about to get a whole new look to it, one that eerily resembles Bluetooth. The Wi-Fi Alliance has announced it is nearing completing of specifications for Wi-Fi Direct which will provide peer-to-peer connections between any two Wi-Fi devices, such as mobile phones, cameras, headphones, printers, computers, keyboards, and mice. The new standard will be backward compatible to include all currently Wi-Fi certified legacy devices.
The Radeon 5700 series card will be built upon ATI’s new 40nm “Juniper” chip, which consists of 1.04 billion transistors on a 166mm2 die. The smaller chip makes it possible to ATI to offer the cards at lower prices than the current DirectX 11 capable Radeon 5800 series cards: the HD 5870 and HD 5850. Price for the HD 5770 is set at $159, with the HD 5750 going for $129. ATI will later release a 512MB version of the HD 5750 for $109.
Nvidia's Tegra platform continues to woo big-name customers, most recently attracting Nintendo, who reportedly is in talks with Nvidia to provide some extra oomph for its next-gen DS handheld console.
The deal marks a win-win situation for both involved. For Nvidia's part, no other handheld console would put Tegra in more hands, courtesy of the DS's 68.3 percent worldwide market share. And for Nintendo, tapping into Tegra gives the company's console a power boost sure to be well received by consumers and developers alike.
Until more details are released, we can only speculate on what the next DS might be like, but it's at least feasible that on top of the added muscle, it will also sport backwards compatibility with the existing DS library, assuming Theo Valich's sources prove reliable.
What will also be interesting to watch is how this relationship between Nintendo and Nvidia plays out in the home console market. Might Nvidia replace ATI as the graphics vendor of choice in whatever supersedes the Wii? We'll have to wait to find out.
Sharp and TDK are doubling down on Blu-ray disc storage capacity, each introducing a prototype capable of storing up to 100GB of data, up from the current standard of 50GB. The prototypes make use of a four-layer disc, up from the present maximum of two, and are capable of recording data at 72Mbps, again double the current level of 32Mbps.
While TDK hasn’t disclosed its underlying technology, Sharp’s advancements come from the substitution of dielectric film used for recording data on a Blu-ray disc with aluminum oxynitride. Sharp also makes use of a pulse operated blue-violet semiconductor laser with an optical output as high as 500mW. The laser’s oscillation wavelength of 405nm is capable of writing at 8x speed on three- and four-layered Blu-ray discs.
While the prototype technology holds promise it’s speculative at this point. The Blu-ray Disc Association, which sets the standards for Blu-ray discs, has specifications only for single- and dual-layer discs. Without an adjustment to the standards it doesn’t make economic sense for Sharp or TDK to move beyond the prototype stage. And even if they did the sad fact is current Blu-ray players aren’t able to handle anything over 50GB.