News Bits: New Fujitsu P7120, Dell in Canada, Blu-Ray versus HD-DVD

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Fujitsu LifeBook P7120 Announced

The Fujitsu LifeBook P7000 ultraportable notebook has been an award winner in it’s category for sometime now and is a favorite of the people that run this site.  We always look forward to the update on this series, and today Fujitsu has announced the upgrade to the current P7010 notebook in the forum of the P7120.  The P7120 will be released in the Asia Pacific region first before making it to North America and Europe.  According to Fujitsu the P7120 will be slightly slimmer than the P7010 and weigh a little less.  Unfortunately they’ve taken out the ability to use CF cards in the media card reader (possibly sacrificed as part of the slimming down) and they don’t tell us anything about the rumored fanless design or hard drive size.  We’ll learn more after they actually post the product to the Fujitsu Asia site.  Check out past reviews of this notebook series: Fujitsu LifeBook P7010 Review

Fujitsu LifeBook P7120

Older Fujitsu P7010 (view larger image)


Dell Expands Tech Support Center in Canada — “Very Pleased” with Canadians

I like Canada, it’s full of nice people, maple syrup and rabid Hockey fans — those Tim Horton’s doughnut shops they have are pretty good too.  Michael Dell, CEO of Dell Computer — the #1 notebook maker in the world — also likes Canada, but Dell’s reasoning is that he likes the workforce talent there and they’re apparently helping his company to provide better support for Dell PCs. 

The Texas-based Dell Computer previously announced plans for a new customer-service call center in Ottawa, which will start operations in February, and announced Tuesday it will build an expanded center in Edmonton.  Michael Dell said in an interview his company, with 27 call centers worldwide and no traditional retail outlets, has been impressed with its Canadian workforce – especially in Edmonton.

“In the last 18 months, our head count has more than doubled in Canada. With Ottawa coming on line, we will continue to add to our head count. So I think it will grow pretty substantially,” Dell said.

The company announced Tuesday it will add 250 jobs in Edmonton, which had 500 technical support positions when it opened and now has 750 staffers.  According to Dell, “We knew that we could find talent [in Edmonton], we just didn’t know how much and the quality. And we’ve just been very pleased with the talent we found.”

Lawrence Pentland, Dell vice-president and general manager for the Americas region, said the Edmonton call center has rated very highly, compared with others run by the company around the world. “We measure contact centers in literally dozens of ways and across many, many metrics. That’s how we run our business. And the performance (in Edmonton) has been really strong.”

Citing market research figures from IDC Canada, Michael Dell said the firm had 25 per cent growth in both Canadian sales and units shipped last quarter – faster than the 15 per cent overall revenue growth reported by the company in August.


Blu-Ray or HD-DVD drive for future notebooks?

Research company Forrester yesterday predicted that the Blu-Ray disc format will be the winner over the HD-DVD format in next generation storage format for everything from movies to PC optical drives.  Sony is the inventor and main backer of Blu-Ray and will include the tecnology in their PlayStation 3 game machine, while Toshiba is the inventor and main backer of HD-DVD.  According to Forrester research:

“After a long and tedious run-up to the launch, it is now clear to Forrester that the Sony-led Blu-ray format will win.  But unless the HD DVD group abandons the field, it will be another two years before consumers are confident enough of the winner to think about buying a new-format DVD player.”

So while Forrester sounds somewhat confident in making this announcement, it still remains that Microsoft is backing HD-DVD and HP, who is a Blu-Ray backer, yesterday stirred things up by expressing some discontent with it’s Blu-Ray partners and demanded that Blu-Ray support certain software features not currently intended.  HP wants Blu-Ray to adopt mandatory “managed copy,” which will mean consumers will always be allowed to copy movies to their computers’ hard drives, and iHD, a Microsoft-designed technology for interactive features.  HD-DVD will support those two features, while Blu-Ray currently does not.

The moral of the story is, unless you’ve visited the future and know what eventually happens, there’s no telling whether HD-DVD or Blu-Ray will be the eventual winner and what you’ll find in the notebooks of tomorrow.




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