News Bits: LED backlighting increases, Averatec rugged notebooks, XP availability extended?

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Ballmer says XP sales could be extended

CEO of Microsoft Steve Ballmer said that Microsoft could reconsider selling Windows XP beyond June 30 if customers demand it. At a conference in Belgium, Ballmer stated "XP will hit an end-of-life. We have announced one. If customer feedback varies, we can always wake up smarter, but right now, we have a plan for end-of-life for new XP shipments." Microsoft plans to sell XP beyond June 30 for MIDs (Mobile Internet Devices) and other machines that are not up to par for running Windows Vista.

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Vista a winner? Financial results say no

Although Microsoft says Windows Vista is a winner, financial results say otherwise. Revenue from the company’s client division were under $4.03 billion, $300 million less than was expected. CFO Christopher P. Liddell gave two explanations for the results. The first was less customers in developing/emerging markets are buying upgraded versions of Vista, and second, Microsoft’s piracy prevention programs did not help increase revenue. Naturally, Liddell dismissed claims that customers do not want Vista, and said "There are no Vista-related issues at all."

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LED backlighting use in notebooks to increase rapidly

According to a market research report by iSuppli, LED backlighing usage in notebook computers will drastically increase over the next several years. The report says that nine out of ten notebooks with 10-inch and larger displays will have LED backlighting by 2012. LED backlighting is becoming more popular due to their low power consumption, light weight, environmental friendliness, and thinness. 17.4 million LED-backlit notebook panels will be shipped in 2008 compared to just 2.8 million in 2007.

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Averatec announces semi-rugged notebooks

Averatec recently introduced its first entries into the semi-rugged notebook market, the Voya 4473 and Voya 6494 with 14.1- and 15.4-inch screens respectively. The Voya notebooks offer drop and vibration resistance and a spill-resistant keyboard and touchpad and have magnesium alloy cases. Specifications include Windows Vista and Intel processors/graphics. Pricing for Voya notebooks starts at $1,299 through online resellers and from Averatec direct. No release date is available.

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AT&T and Starbucks to launch WiFi May 1

AT&T and Starbucks recently announced that the rollout of AT&T WiFi service has begun at Starbucks stores. Starting May 1, AT&T high-speed Internet and WiFi customers will have free WiFi access at over 7,000 Starbucks locations across the country.

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