News Bits: MacBook Ship Dates, Office 2007, Dell says No AMD, Fujitsu N3530

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Apple Pushes MacBook Pro ship dates back to March

On February 14th, Apple announced that the new MacBook Pros will be shipping out with faster processors. The decision will certainly make Apple’s customers happy, but has apparently caused the ship dates to be pushed back to March.

When the new MacBook Pro debuted in January, Apple’s CEO Steve Jobs promised that the new notebooks would leave the assembly plants in February. Pre-orders started immediately, in both the U.S. and the U.K.

However, on Wednesday, February 15th, both the U.S. and U.K. Apple sites said the notebooks would ship in “three to four weeks”, which pushes the date back to March.

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Microsoft Office 2007 Now Official

Previously called Office 12, Microsoft has now officially named the new suite “Office 2007″.

“The 2007 release is the productivity breakthrough that customers have been asking for,” said Chris Capossela, corporate vice president of the Information Worker Product Management Group at Microsoft. “Today, we’re revealing new products in the Microsoft Office system and a number of new options that provide customers with flexibility in how they purchase our products. That’s great news for businesses eager to provide their workers with the best productivity tools possible for information management and collaboration.”

There will be seven versions, the most notable being the “Home and Student” Edition. Known before as the “Student and Teacher” edition, the price tag remains the same at $149, and includes Word, Excel, OneNote, and PowerPoint. Microsoft is finally acknowledging that many users, not just students and teachers, only want a few apps for as little money as possible. OEM customers only could possibly have the option of purchasing a “Basic” version along with a new computer, which will feature Word, Excel, and Outlook (pricing not public). Neither the Home and Student and OEM version have upgrade pricing because they are not available (you can upgrade to another version though).

If you need more than what is offered in the base edition, the next version up, Office Standard 2007, is considerably more expensive, with a retail of $399, and adds Outlook in addition to the standard trio of Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. For $50 more, the Small Business 2007 includes Publisher 2007 and adds a contact manager for Outlook. One more level up is the Professional Edition, retailing at a hefty $499, adding Access 2007 on top of what Small Business offers.

Two new editions, “Professional Plus” and Enterprise Edition are available to volume licensing customers only. The Professional Plus includes InfoPath, Office Communicator, and “integrated solution capabilities such as ECM, electronic forms, and information rights and policy capabilities”. And finally, the Enterprise Edition includes everything in Professional Plus, and adds OneNote and Groove. Keep in mind that OneNote is only avaliable in one other version besides the Home and Student Edition, and that’s the Enterprise.

You probably noticed that FrontPage is missing from them all – it is expected that it will be sold as a stand alone product, although nothing has been confirmed.

Did you get all that? Congratulations! It was a lot to write.

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First Trojan for Mac OS X Discovered

On Thursday, February 16th, anti-virus researchers have discovered what is claimed to be the first Trojan to infect Macintosh OS X. Now called “Leap-A”, the file, called latestpics.tgz, is spread through the iChat instant messaging program disguised as a set of pictures. The malicious file is actually a compressed Unix shell program.

In order to launch the code, the user is prompted for admin credentials – users who do this will be infected. Infected machines send the file to contacts on the users buddy list.
Although the vast majority of viruses, malware, etc. are targeted for Windows-based platforms, Leap-A demonstrates that Windows may not be the only vulnerable operating system out there.

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Dell has No Plans for using AMD Processors

Last year, statements from several analysts fueled rumors about a possible business deal between AMD and Dell. Up until today, rumors kept surfacing. CEO of Dell, Kevin Rollins, put another circuit of rumors to rest that AMD may be considering AMD processors. To quote Rollins, “We really have no change in our stance . . We’ve had great success (with Intel CPUs). It’s pretty clear that our customers are happy with our technology.”

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Fujitsu N3500 Laptop Updated with Core Duo Processor

Fujitsu has rolled the Core Duo processor into its popular N3500 line of 15.4″ widescreen laptops, the N3530 is the first in this family model to sport the Core Duo processor.

Below are specs for the new LifeBook N3530 Notebook $1,929 configuration (Sku: FPCM60751):

  • Intel Core Duo Processor T2300 (1.66 GHz, 2 MB L2 cache, 667 MHz FSB)
  • Microsoft Windows XP Media Center Edition 2005 with Microsoft Works
  • 15.4″ Color-Enhanced Crystal View wide XGA display
  • 1 GB DDR2 667 MHz SDRAM memory (512 MB x 2)
  • 100 GB (5200 rpm) hard drive
  • ATI Mobility Radeon X1400 with 128 MB of HyperMemory
  • Dual-Layer Multi-Format DVD Writer
  • Built-in TV Tuner and Remote Control
  • Multinational 56K V.90 modem and 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN
  • Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Network Connection (Tri-mode 802.11a/b/g)
  • 4 USB 2.0, IEEE 1394, Memory Stick /SD/xD slot, PC Card slot, ExpressCard slot
  • Main battery: Lithium ion (9-cell, 10.8V, 7200 mAh, 77.7 WHr)

 

 

Eurocom Launches 19″ ‘Notebook’ with Dual Graphics Cards

Whoever said a 17″ notebook was too large? On February 15th, Eurocom announced a new “super notebook”, featuring a 19″ widescreen display, AMD Turion processor, and something never before seen in a notebook – two graphics cards. The dual Nvidia GeForce Go7800GTX graphics cards will each have 256MB of GDDR3 memory – that’s 512MB of total dedicated video memory. The ‘notebook’ is called the “M590K Emperor”, based off a Clevo M590K. With a high brightness level of 290 nits, Eurocom claims the display is readable in direct sunlight. Other components of the notebook include up to 2GB of DDR400 RAM.

Portability? This isn’t your traveler’s companion, coming in at 14.5 pounds. And as for battery life – well, with a 19″, 290-nit display and twin graphics cards, it isn’t going to be stellar.

 

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Apple PC Shipments to hit 10 Million in 2006 — Asustek and Quanta to Product iBook and MacBook

Apple Computer is expected to ship a total of 10 million desktop PCs and notebooks in 2006.  Quanta Computer of Taiwan will be producing the MacBook Pro while Asustek has orders for making Apple’s iBook models.

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Amazon to Launch Online Digital Music Store

A challenger to Apple and the iPod? Maybe. Amazon is going to take its best shot later this year when it launches its own online music store and branded player.

Although Amazon is a very late entry into the digital music market, the sheer size of the company and its solid name make it an instant player.

Unlike Apple, Amazon is going to offer a subscription service, and with more than 55 million accounts, there’s clearly room for expansion there. To encourage the use of the subscription service, Amazon may offer its branded player the same way phone companies do – free for customers who subscribe for a set period of time.

If Amazon’s music is well-designed and includes free players, Apple could be facing formidable competition.

Why is Amazon finally making the move to digital? With traditional media composing 70 percent of Amazon’s total sales last year, they don’t want to miss the market’s transition to digital downloads.

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