Dell, HP bidding war for 3Par heats up

HP’s latest offer of $2B is tenfold premium over 3Par’s market value
By Lucas Mearian

Computerworld – In less than two weeks, the bids for grid-storage vendor 3Par have nearly doubled, from $1.15 billion to $2 billion with Hewlett-Packard’s latest tit-for-tat bid against Dell.

The two technology behemoths are fighting for what is arguably the last independent vendor of enterprise-class data storage on the market. But when do the offers become too outrageous? Or can they? 3Par, an 11-year-old company that sells a high-end, highly scalable storage platform, had sales of about $200 million last year, so the latest bid represents a tenfold premium over the revenue 3Par generates.

“Regardless of what anyone claims, money is the only factor that will determine the outcome,” said Steve Duplessie, lead analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group.

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HP’s latest offer of $2B is tenfold premium over 3Par’s market value

By Lucas Mearian

Computerworld – In less than two weeks, the bids for grid-storage vendor 3Par have nearly doubled, from $1.15 billion to $2 billion with Hewlett-Packard’s latest tit-for-tat bid against Dell.

The two technology behemoths are fighting for what is arguably the last independent vendor of enterprise-class data storage on the market. But when do the offers become too outrageous? Or can they? 3Par, an 11-year-old company that sells a high-end, highly scalable storage platform, had sales of about $200 million last year, so the latest bid represents a tenfold premium over the revenue 3Par generates.

“Regardless of what anyone claims, money is the only factor that will determine the outcome,” said Steve Duplessie, lead analyst at research firm Enterprise Strategy Group. Leer más “Dell, HP bidding war for 3Par heats up”

Dell’s Aero smartphone now available in U.S.

IDG News Service – Dell on Tuesday dived into the highly competitive smartphone market, releasing the Aero in the U.S.

The Aero phone comes with a 3.5-inch touch screen and is available through Dell’s Website for $99.99 with a two-year mobile contract with AT&T and for $299.99 without a contract.

Aero is the second mobile device announced by Dell with smartphone capabilities. On Aug. 12, Dell started shipping its Streak mobile device, which has a 5-inch screen. The Streak — termed a tablet by Dell — is a mobile Internet device with voice capabilities. But Dell considers the Aero to be its first wireless handset, the company said as it launched the smartphone.


By Agam Shah

IDG News Service – Dell on Tuesday dived into the highly competitive smartphone market, releasing the Aero in the U.S.

The Aero phone comes with a 3.5-inch touch screen and is available through Dell’s Website for $99.99 with a two-year mobile contract with AT&T and for $299.99 without a contract.

Aero is the second mobile device announced by Dell with smartphone capabilities. On Aug. 12, Dell started shipping its Streak mobile device, which has a 5-inch screen. The Streak — termed a tablet by Dell — is a mobile Internet device with voice capabilities. But Dell considers the Aero to be its first wireless handset, the company said as it launched the smartphone. Leer más “Dell’s Aero smartphone now available in U.S.”

Web multimedia: 6 reasons why Flash isn’t going away

Heralding HTML 5 as the new Web media king is premature, say analysts
By Howard Wen

Computerworld – Apple’s well-publicized refusal to allow Adobe’s Flash technology to be installed on its iOS mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, has led to speculation that Flash’s days may be numbered as the king of online multimedia delivery. “Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of Web content,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously stated in an open letter titled “Thoughts on Flash.”

Jobs and others have championed HTML 5 as a better format for delivering video, animation and additional media-rich interactivity to the Web. One reason some folks have been talking up HTML 5 is that it’s open source while Flash is proprietary. And HTML 5 enables users to play video right in a Web browser instead of requiring a plug-in, as Flash does. But predicting Flash’s demise is short-sighted, say industry analysts.

“There are many people who despise Flash, but I’m not sure they’d love the alternative right out of the gate. The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far,” says Michael Cote, an analyst at RedMonk. “Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I’d wager it’d take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome.”

Here are six factors that give Flash a strong position over HTML 5 and other alternative Web media technologies in the foreseeable future.
1. The iPhone and iPad notwithstanding, Flash is beginning to show up on other mobile device platforms.

Although Apple has taken a strong stance against the use of Flash on its iPhone/iPad platform, Google’s Android 2.2 operating system supports Flash. Although currently available on only a few devices, Android 2.2 will make its way to several smartphones over the next few months.

Adobe has also won promises of future support for Flash from several makers of mobile operating systems, including Microsoft and Palm/HP. Research In Motion has also announced that work is underway to support Flash on BlackBerry devices, although the company didn’t provide a specific date for introducing that functionality.
2. Flash is used for more than just video delivery on the Web.

When most end users think of Flash, they think of streaming Web video — with good reason. “Flash as a video solution was popularized with the rise of YouTube, and is also used by Hulu — the top two video sites on the Web,” explains Ross Rubin, an analyst at NPD Group. But Flash is also widely used for Web animations, ads, games and other interactive elements.

“Everybody is talking about video, but what doesn’t necessarily get talked about is a lot of the interactive elements,” says Craig Barberich, vice president of marketing and business development at Coincident TV, a San Francisco-based company that sells what it calls a “platform-agnostic” framework that allows its clients to create video with interactive elements that can be experienced on either the iOS-based devices or devices that run Flash.

“Quite frankly, Flash is a great animation tool, and it’s used for a lot of interactivity. Those kind of interactive elements are difficult to do in HTML 5,” Barberich says.


Heralding HTML 5 as the new Web media king is premature, say analysts
By Howard Wen

Computerworld – Apple‘s well-publicized refusal to allow Adobe‘s Flash technology to be installed on its iOS mobile devices, including the iPhone and iPad, has led to speculation that Flash’s days may be numbered as the king of online multimedia delivery. “Flash is no longer necessary to watch video or consume any kind of Web content,” Apple CEO Steve Jobs famously stated in an open letter titled “Thoughts on Flash.”

Jobs and others have championed HTML 5 as a better format for delivering video, animation and additional media-rich interactivity to the Web. One reason some folks have been talking up HTML 5 is that it’s open source while Flash is proprietary. And HTML 5 enables users to play video right in a Web browser instead of requiring a plug-in, as Flash does. But predicting Flash’s demise is short-sighted, say industry analysts.

“There are many people who despise Flash, but I’m not sure they’d love the alternative right out of the gate. The open-source world has not blown everyone out of the water with their video work thus far,” says Michael Cote, an analyst at RedMonk. “Adobe has spent a lot of time optimizing Flash, and I’d wager it’d take some time to get HTML 5 video as awesome.”

Here are six factors that give Flash a strong position over HTML 5 and other alternative Web media technologies in the foreseeable future. Leer más “Web multimedia: 6 reasons why Flash isn’t going away”

Face-off: 1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. 2010 Apple iPad

The Apple Graphics Tablet (left) was released in 1979 and cost $650. It connects to any Apple II and can be used to draw images at a resolution of 280 by 192 pixels. The tablet draws power directly from the Apple II and cannot be used when disconnected.

The Apple II was originally designed to be used with televisions rather than computer monitors, but the Apple Graphics Tablet produced interference that could disrupt reception of television signals. A later model was identical to its predecessor except for one notable new feature: FCC compliance.

The Apple iPad (right) was released in 2010 in six models ranging from $499 to $829. Equipped with a 1-GHz A4 system-on-a-chip and a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive, it syncs with any Macintosh or Windows machine capable of running iTunes and can run thousands of iOS applications. Its resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels on a 9.7-in. LED-backlit glossy widescreen display.


30-year-old technology struts its stuff beside today’s state-of-the-art tablet computer

By Ken Gagne

old and new Apple logos When Apple launched the iPad earlier this year, it was the culmination of fans’ long wait for the company to enter the tablet computer market. There’s no doubt that Apple‘s iPad is a revolutionary computing device that’s ushering in a new era of tablet computing.

But in 1979, an earlier generation of Apple users used a different kind of Apple tablet, back when the word meant something else entirely.

The Apple Graphics Tablet was designed by Summagraphics and sold by Apple Computer Inc. for the Apple II personal microcomputer. (Summagraphics also marketed the device for other platforms as the BitPad.) To be clear, this tablet was not a stand-alone computing device like the iPad. Instead, it was an input device for creating images on the Apple II’s screen, and it predated the Apple II’s mouse by six years.

Apple II fan Tony Diaz had an Apple Graphics Tablet on hand at last month’s KansasFest, an annual convention for diehard Apple II users. He and Computerworld‘s Ken Gagne, the event’s marketing director, compared and contrasted Apple’s original tablet with the iPad, snapping photos as they went.

Despite the three decades of technology advancements that separate the two devices, some fun comparisons are still possible. Join us for a photo face-off between the two tablets.

Meet the tablets

Apple II Graphics Tablet and iPad side by side

The Apple Graphics Tablet (left) was released in 1979 and cost $650. It connects to any Apple II and can be used to draw images at a resolution of 280 by 192 pixels. The tablet draws power directly from the Apple II and cannot be used when disconnected.

The Apple II was originally designed to be used with televisions rather than computer monitors, but the Apple Graphics Tablet produced interference that could disrupt reception of television signals. A later model was identical to its predecessor except for one notable new feature: FCC compliance.

The Apple iPad (right) was released in 2010 in six models ranging from $499 to $829. Equipped with a 1-GHz A4 system-on-a-chip and a 16GB, 32GB or 64GB flash drive, it syncs with any Macintosh or Windows machine capable of running iTunes and can run thousands of iOS applications. Its resolution is 1024 by 768 pixels on a 9.7-in. LED-backlit glossy widescreen display. Leer más “Face-off: 1979 Apple Graphics Tablet vs. 2010 Apple iPad”

Is Google itching for a face-off with Facebook?

The search giant may be pushing toward its own social network
By Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld – It looks like Google may be looking for a new online fight.

While the search giant has been engaged in a drawn-out and heated battle with Microsoft, it seems to be prepping for war on yet another front: by taking on social networking behemoth Facebook.

“I think it’s obvious that Google wants to become the primary — if not only — stop on the Internet,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “Which means they need to not only dominate search, but also to become the biggest player in social networking.”

The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that Google is getting ready to take another plunge into the burgeoning social networking world – this time with an online games focus. Much of the talk is based on the fact that Google recently shelled out $182 million to purchase Slide, which has developed applications for social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace.


The search giant may be pushing toward its own social network

By Sharon Gaudin

Computerworld – It looks like Google may be looking for a new online fight.

While the search giant has been engaged in a drawn-out and heated battle with Microsoft, it seems to be prepping for war on yet another front: by taking on social networking behemoth Facebook.

“I think it’s obvious that Google wants to become the primary — if not only — stop on the Internet,” said Dan Olds, an analyst with The Gabriel Consulting Group. “Which means they need to not only dominate search, but also to become the biggest player in social networking.”

The Internet has been abuzz with speculation that Google is getting ready to take another plunge into the burgeoning social networking world – this time with an online games focus. Much of the talk is based on the fact that Google recently shelled out $182 million to purchase Slide, which has developed applications for social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Leer más “Is Google itching for a face-off with Facebook?”

11 free open-source apps your small business can use now

Whatever your platform, you can find free and open-source software to help your business

By Katherine Noyes
August 6, 2010 06:00 AM ET

PC World – Despite the wealth of free applications out there, many small business owners continue to spend an inordinate amount of their all-too-scarce resources on software. Microsoft Office 2010? That’ll be $499.99 — or $279.99 if you can do without the Professional version. QuickBooks 2010? $159.95 or more. Adobe PhotoShop CS5? A whopping $699.

The good news is that there are free and open-source alternatives for virtually every package a small business might need, and most of them are excellent. Whether or not you’ve already made the switch to Linux — there are, after all, myriad security and other reasons for doing so — these free apps can be just what any small business needs to succeed.


Whatever your platform, you can find free and open-source software to help your business
By Katherine Noyes
August 6, 2010 06:00 AM ET

PC World – Despite the wealth of free applications out there, many small business owners continue to spend an inordinate amount of their all-too-scarce resources on software. Microsoft Office 2010? That’ll be $499.99 — or $279.99 if you can do without the Professional version. QuickBooks 2010? $159.95 or more. Adobe PhotoShop CS5? A whopping $699.

The good news is that there are free and open-source alternatives for virtually every package a small business might need, and most of them are excellent. Whether or not you’ve already made the switch to Linux — there are, after all, myriad security and other reasons for doing so — these free apps can be just what any small business needs to succeed. Leer más “11 free open-source apps your small business can use now”

Five Windows 7 security features that businesses need to know about

Five Windows 7 security features that businesses need to know about
Windows 7 brings several security enhancements that don’t sacrifice usability
By Logan Kugler

Computerworld – The words Windows and security have not always been compatible. In the past, Microsoft’s quest to make its operating system as easy to manage as possible for the “typical” user has often meant sacrificing adequate safeguards against intrusion and infection. Windows XP’s notorious vulnerability to network worms stands as a recent example; Microsoft shipped the operating system with a firewall but initially left it turned off by default.

For all its flaws, real and perceived, Vista marked a huge step forward in Windows security. Windows 7 has continued that improvement, adding several new features and enhancing many others — most obviously the User Account Control system, which proved so obnoxious in Vista that many users turned it off, leaving their systems vulnerable to intrusion in exchange for a less annoying experience. UAC has been revamped in Windows 7 to be less intrusive and more discerning about what constitutes a true threat, and therefore more effective.

Other Windows 7 security features are less apparent, especially those intended for businesses concerned with protecting not just one computer but an entire network. Among the most important new features are DirectAccess, a VPN replacement for computers on Windows networks; the Windows Biometric Framework, which standardizes the way fingerprints are used by scanners and biometric applications; and AppLocker, which improves on previous Windows versions’ Software Restriction Policies to limit which software can be run on a machine.

Also key are BitLocker To Go, which extends the full-disk encryption of BitLocker to external hard drives, and a refined procedure for handling multiple firewall profiles so that the level of protection better matches the location from which a user connects to the Internet.


Windows 7 brings several security enhancements that don’t sacrifice usability

By Logan Kugler

Computerworld – The words Windows and security have not always been compatible. In the past, Microsoft‘s quest to make its operating system as easy to manage as possible for the “typical” user has often meant sacrificing adequate safeguards against intrusion and infection. Windows XP‘s notorious vulnerability to network worms stands as a recent example; Microsoft shipped the operating system with a firewall but initially left it turned off by default.

For all its flaws, real and perceived, Vista marked a huge step forward in Windows security. Windows 7 has continued that improvement, adding several new features and enhancing many others — most obviously the User Account Control system, which proved so obnoxious in Vista that many users turned it off, leaving their systems vulnerable to intrusion in exchange for a less annoying experience. UAC has been revamped in Windows 7 to be less intrusive and more discerning about what constitutes a true threat, and therefore more effective.

Other Windows 7 security features are less apparent, especially those intended for businesses concerned with protecting not just one computer but an entire network. Among the most important new features are DirectAccess, a VPN replacement for computers on Windows networks; the Windows Biometric Framework, which standardizes the way fingerprints are used by scanners and biometric applications; and AppLocker, which improves on previous Windows versions’ Software Restriction Policies to limit which software can be run on a machine.

Also key are BitLocker To Go, which extends the full-disk encryption of BitLocker to external hard drives, and a refined procedure for handling multiple firewall profiles so that the level of protection better matches the location from which a user connects to the Internet. Leer más “Five Windows 7 security features that businesses need to know about”