News Bits: Dell in Best Buy, Apple Ultraportable Reconfirmed, Windows on the OLPC

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Dell to sell computers at Best Buy

Dell will start selling computers at retail store Best Buy in January. Best Buy will sell Dell’s Inspiron and XPS notebooks and desktops at over 900 of its stores. Dell, which always used its direct sales business model, is now expanding into retail to better compete with rivals, especially HP which took over Dell’s number one PC seller spot last year.

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Apple ultraportable to be unveiled at Macworld

Apple will unveil its ultraportable MacBook Pro at Macworld in January. It has been predicted to be 50% thinner than the current MacBook and have flash memory instead of a hard drive.

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Dell planning to launch Latitude XT tablet PC on the 11

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According to Engadget, a large number of reports have come in saying Dell’s much anticipated Latitude XT tablet PC will arrive on Tuesday, December 11. See this article at our sister site,, for more information on the Dell Latitude XT.

AMD Delays Barcelona again

AMD’s energy-efficient Barcelona processor chip has been delayed yet again according to a report the company released Dec. 5. AMD says a technical problem has caused the delay; the glitch could cause the chip to fail. The delay has caused problems for server manufacturers, becuase they are not able to sell the products they designed to work with the processor. An updated version will arrive in January; in the mean time, AMD has prepared a workaround so the chip can be used until the glitch is fixed. AMD’s quad-core Phenom chip has the same problem but AMD had implemented a workaround before the chip was shipped. For chip manufacturers, glitches like these are not uncommon according to Nathan Brookwood, a chip analyst at Insight64.

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Microsoft to put XP on the OLPC XO laptop

Microsoft is planning to test out its Windows XP operating system on the OLPC’s XO laptop as early as next month. If the tests are successful, XP may appear on the XO laptop as early as the middle of 2008. Microsoft’s James Utzschneider said in his blog that "Between Microsoft employees and third party contractors that we have brought into the effort, we have over 40 engineers working full-time on the port. We started the project around the beginning of the year and think it will be mid-2008 at the earliest before we could have a production-quality release." He later stated that Microsoft has no formal plans to support the XO under XP because the laptop was clearly not designed to run it. Microsoft’s most prominent problem is that the XO lacks a hard drive.

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Compal to raise notebook capacity to 25 million in Vietnam

Compal Electronics, the world’s number 2 notebook manufacturer, wants to get 40 to 50 notebook PC component suppliers to build an industrial complex in Vietnam. Compal wants bring its production capacity in Vietnam to 25 million units within 5 years after commencing production there in 1Q 2009.

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Microsoft Office 2007 SP1 coming Dec. 11

Microsoft is planning to release service pack 1 for its Office 2007 suite on Tuesday, Dec 11. Microsoft says that many of the improvements in the service pack are a direct result of customer feedback. SP1 will not be distributed via the Automatic Update Deployment so customers will have a chance to test it out before installing it on multiple systems.

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