News Bits: Big 4 Taiwanese Notebook Manufacturers Dominate, Office 2007, Bill Gates to Leave Role at Microsoft

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Global Notebook Production concentrated at big four Taiwanese Notebook Manufacturers


Global notebook production this year has been more concentrated, with the combined shipments of the ‘big four’ Taiwan notebook makers (Quanta Computer, Compal Electronics, Wistron, Inventec) accounting for more than 70% of global production according to sources. In 2005, they only accounted for 54.5% of global production.

The concentration of production is expected to continue through 2007 as the top-four makers are now controlling nearly all notebook orders from the world’s top-ten notebook vendors, who are also moving to centralize their operations while keeping a steady relation with their existing suppliers on production concerns over economy of scale and diversification of risks, the sources indicated.

Second-tier notebook makers are expected to see their own market share decline further due to being sandwiched between the increasing concentration of production and Intel’s push for clone notebook sales, a result of the initiation of the Mobile Alliance.

One example of a second-tier notebook maker, Mitac Technology, was on par with some first-tier makers in 2005, but this year has been forced to lower its 2006 revenues forecast by a full 20%. Uniwill and Twinhead International are also seeing declines in sales.

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A closer look at Microsoft Office 2007

Microsoft is planning to launch Vista and its new Microsoft Office 2007 suite at the same time, which will ‘bring a dramatic interface redesign and change the way we use software on a day-to-day basis’.

TechEd 2006 was the first opportunity for developers and journalists to get a better impression of the new software. TGDaily has an entire image gallery up, have a look.

Bill Gates to reduce role at Microsoft

June 15th – Microsoft announced the scheduled retirement of founder Bill Gates, set for July 2008. He will begin to transition out of the company starting now, with the help of cheif technology officer at Microsoft, Ray Ozzie.

Effective July 2008 Bill Gates, chairman, will transition out of a day-to-day role in the company to spend more time on his global health and education work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. The company announced a two-year transition process to ensure that there is a smooth and orderly transfer of Gates’ daily responsibilities, and said that after July 2008 Gates would continue to serve as the company’s chairman and an advisor on key development projects.

Gates will remain Microsoft’s chairman, but will no longer give his attention to Microsoft’s development and affairs as he has been doing. Bill Gates commented:

“This was a hard decision for me, I’m very lucky to have two passions that I feel are so important and so challenging. As I prepare for this change, I firmly believe the road ahead for Microsoft is as bright as ever.”

Steve Ballmer also commented:

“Bill and I are confident we’ve got a great team that can step up to fill his shoes and drive Microsoft innovation forward without missing a beat.”

Bill Gates remains as one of, if not the most highly respected businessmen in the industry.

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No DirectX 10 hardware available yet

Right now, there are no DirectX 10 capable chips to be found. They were scheduled to be releasted in late 2006, but it appears that right now they are still in the works.

All the presentations of DirectX 10 games were made on current DirectX 9 hardware. The DirectX 10 SDK (Software Development Kit) can run and emulate almost anything on existing hardware – that means you can run future games such as Crysis on the existing Radeon X1900XTX and GeForce Go7950GX2 technology. Of course, the games would run faster on native DirectX 10 hardware, but there is nothing available at the moment, so sit tight.

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BenQ Joybook T31

At Computex this year, BenQ had its T31 on display, alongside the R55. It features a 13.3″ widescreen ‘UltraVivid” display, with a brightness of 220 nits, ten percent brighter than any other Joybook. A low-reflection coating on the screen ensures crystal-clear image quality.

The T31 is also the first Joybook to feature a 1.3 megapixel QEye Video Camera. Other features of the T31 include the latest AMD Turion X2 processor, SRS TrueSurround XT technology, 5-in-1 memory reader, and a full-size ergonomics curved keyboard.

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Interesting Links

LG’s XNOTe V1 series 15″ notebook

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