Noticeably absent from the momentous solid state drive (SSD) market is Western Digital, whose Raptor hard drives have often been used as a performance comparison when benchmarking the fastest SSDs. Following a $65 million cash acquisition of SiliconSystems, a supplier of SSDs for the embedded systems market, look for Western Digital to soon jump into the foray.
"We are delighted to have the SiliconSystems team join WD," said John Coyne, president and CEO of WD. "The combination will be modestly accretive to revenue and margins as a result of SiliconSystems' existing position as a trusted supplier to the well-established $400 million market for embedded solid-state drives. SiliconSystems' intellectual property and technical expertise will significantly accelerate WD's solid-state drive development programs for the netbook, client and enterprise markets, providing greater choice for our customers to satisfy all their storage requirements."
Western Digital says it has immediately begun integrating its acquisition, starting with SiliconSystems now becoming known as the WD Solid-State Storage business unit.
In a related Q&A regarding the acquisition, WD says it plans to "retain substantially all of the approximately 100 employees" working for SiliconSystems. However, WD was more coy when it came to offering an ETA for marketing SSDs, saying that it only announces new products when they begin shipping.
Who isn't either making or selling netbooks these days? Verizon, for one, but not for long. According to CNet, the telco has confirmed reports that it will enter the netbook market in June of this year by selling 3G enabled netbooks in its corporate stores.
That netbook will likely be the HP Mini 1000, as evidenced by a leaked shot of a Verizon approved device and price list on BoyGeniusReport.com. No pricing details have yet been released, however early speculation suggests it may sell for as low as $99 with a two-year service agreement.
If true, things could get very interesting between Verizon and rival AT&T. AT&T already sells Acer netbooks for $99 with service agreement through RadioShack, while also selling Dell Mini Inspirons through the the telco's website.
There's no love lost between Nvidia and Intel, the two of which took years to come to an agreement to allow SLI technology on Intel chipsets and who now are feuding over whether or not Nvidia has the right to sell motherboard chipsets for next generation Nehalem CPUs. If you somehow missed all the recent verbal mayham, see here, here, and here.
Neither company has offered much restraint when it comes to taking shots at the other, and while Nvidia president and CEO Jen-Hsun Huang has been particularly candid, Nvidia is now looking to make its statement in court. The GPU maker on Thursday filed a countersuit in the Court of Chancery in the State of Delaware against Intel alleging breach of contract.
"Nvidia did not initiate this legal dispute," Huang said. "But we must defend ourselves and the right we negotiated for when we provided Intel access to our valuable patents. Intel's actions are intended to to block us from making use of the very license rights that they agreed to provide."
Nvidia's Drew Henry, general manger of MCP business, elaborated on the situation by saying Intel's actions could lead to customers eventually switching entirely to Intel-based product lineups. According to Henry, the dispute is making it hard to sell its products to motherboard and notebook makers while doubt remains over Nvidia's long-term roadmap.
Microsoft's fourth attempt at an ad campaign may finally deliver a worthwhile message to consumers. The latest has nothing to do with Jerry Seinfeld and chewy computers (attempt one) or unattended 8-year-olds hooking up digital cameras to a notebook and declaring "I'm a PC" (attempt two), and then there's the Mojave Experiment (attempt three). Instead, Microsoft's newest ad takes aim at Apple by pointing out the gross pricing disparity between a Mac and a Windows-based PC.
In the ad, a young woman named Lauren says she's looking for a laptop with "speed, a comfortable keyboard, and a 17-inch screen" for under $1,000. Microsoft tells her if she can find it, she can keep it. Lauren's first stop? An Apple Store:
"For $1,000 they only have one computer available and that's a 13-inch screen," Lauren says. "I would have to double my budget, which isn't feasible. I'm just not cool enough to be a Mac person."
After later finding an HP Pavilion that "has all of my qualifications" for $700, the ad flashes "Congrats, Lauren. It's a PC."
Well played, Microsoft. And also well timed.
View the video here then hit the jump and tell us if you like Microsoft's new ad campaign.
Do you think the smoke and mirror show will help Chrome’s adoption rate?
It turns out Twitter can be used for more than just reading bad haikus, it can also be used to derail 8 weeks of legal proceedings, and get a case thrown in to mistrial. Last week, a Florida juror in a high profile drug trial officially went on record and admitted to the judge that he’d researched part of the case over the Internet. Normally a single biased juror isn’t a big deal; you simply eject the person in question and continue. But when the judge dug a bit further, he was shocked to find that eight other jurors had all committed the same offence. As a result a “Google” mistrial was called, and the justice system is starting to worry about the long term trends this case demonstrated.
This isn’t the first time the internet and social media has been accused of interfering with justice either. A few weeks back an Arkansas court was asked to overturn a $12.6 million dollar judgment by claiming that a juror was releasing details of the case on Twitter. Tweets such as “a big announcement is coming Monday” might seem harmless, but to the courts, they represent a grave threat to the justice system that is nearly impossible to solve. Currently jurors are warned in advance not seek information outside the courtroom, but with the answer to almost every question at our finger tips these days, the temptation to cheat seems to be getting to the best of us.
With access to the internet via mobile devices getting easier every day, do you think this is a problem the courts will ever solve? Or will we have to lock up all the twitterholics?
The PC Gaming Alliance has taken some heat over the years, both from the public, and the media as to what exactly they offer. Since their inception, PC Gaming hasn’t seen any demonstrable improvements in hardware standards, DRM, or really anything of note which could be traced back to the controversial group. They do however love studies, and they have prepared new state of the industry report to further beat the PC drum. According to Jon Peddie Research, sales of PC gaming hardware is the one bright spot in an otherwise dreary technology economy.
In Terms of year over year growth worldwide:
- Enthusiast PC’s sales have grown 9% - Performance PC’s sales have grown 19% - Mainstream PC’s sales have grown 21%
The result of this growth is a staggeringly large PC Gaming hardware market worth an estimated 20 billion dollars in 2008, and it is expected to grow to 34 billion by 2012. The report also suggests that PC Gaming is more recession proof then consoles because of the high cost barrier to entry. When you add up the cost of an HDTV as well as the console and accessories, it’s a big setback for a single purpose device. PC’s they argue, are more versatile and represent a better investment for cash strapped consumers. Also noted was the sharp rise in gaming notebook sales as compared to desktops.
“Don’t let the retail numbers fool you,” said Ted Pollak, co-author of the report. “Enthusiast PC gamers often latch onto one or two games that offer multiplayer and stick to these titles for years. Hardware is where they spend the big bucks. The retail numbers don’t capture the casual and digitally distributed games either. Retail figures are not an accurate barometer for the health of the PC gaming industry.”
So does this report have you convinced that all is well in the PC Gaming universe, or is everyone just playing Solitaire?
Asustek is now busy sprucing up its Eee PC range. The wafer-thin Fold/Unfold notebook, the dual touchscreen Flipbook and voice-controlled Eee PCs are some of the most innovative products on its release calender.
An optical disk drive (ODD) may be pale in comparison to all the scintillating stuff just mentioned, but it is still a big deal for netbooks to have one.
The E1004DN was showcased at CES 2009. It happens to be the first Eee netbook equipped with an ODD. Apart from the DVD drive, it will feature a 10” display, an Intel Atom N280 processor, 1GB RAM and a 120GB HDD.
Pirates of all ilks are locked in a game of cat and mouse with regulators and content proprietors. Throughout their endless war, both have tightly clung to Newton’s third law: every regulation (action) has an equal and opposite ruse (action). Microsoft has come up with a fresh way to stymie videogame piracy. Its newfangled anti-piracy measure will prevent gamers from enjoying illicit copies of games before the street date.
"We have zero-day piracy protection—this helps reduce the leakage of IP before release. The bits are encrypted, and there is a one-time activation that checks to see if the game has been released or not, and we'll send out a decrypt code so the game can be played." Drew Johnston, the product unit manager for the Windows Gaming Platform, told Ars Technica. How will pirates respond?
A well-informed tipster just leaked Dell’s brand new Latitude 2100 “Welch” laptops to Gizmodo, where they’re now spreading the news about the school-oriented netbooks.
These new little beasts will be based off of Intel’s Atom processor (up to 1.6GHz), can support an optional SSD, pack up to 2GB of RAM, and weigh just under 3lbs. There’s also three USB ports, a SD/MMC slot, Gigabit Ethernet, 802.11 a/g/n, Bluetooth, 3 and 6-cell battery options, a 10-inch screen, and the possibility of a touchscreen.
As for pricing and availability, it should be out around May 2009, just in time for the back to school shopping season, and cost under $600.