News Bits: Vista Pricing, Intel Admits Memory Leak, Widescreens Dominate Now

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Vista to launch January 30; pricing revealed

Pricing has been leaked for Microsoft’s long-delayed Windows Vista operating system. The prices are as follows (full/upgrade):

  • Windows Vista Home Basic $199/$99.95
  • Windows Vista Home Premium $239/$159
  • Windows Vista Business $299/$199
  • Windows Vista Ultimate $399/$259 lists the shipping date as January 30th, 2007 (yes, the year needs to be designated). Bill Gates has been quoted saying that there’s an 80% chance Vista would ship in January.

Microsoft needs to make sure its launch of Vista is perfect – it is investing almost $1 billion USD into the launch of Windows and Office.

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Intel admits to memory leaks in latest PROSet software

A bug in Intel’s latest PROSet connection software caused excessive memory consumption – the S24EvMon “Wireless Management Service”, according to DailyTech, failed to properly release handles in the registry, causing a slow memory leak which consumed memory until the system or service is started.

An Intel spokeswoman said that an updated patch should be available by Friday on Intel’s website. The updated drivers should be able to be found here when released.

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ECS + Uniwill merger approved

The vice chairmen of Uniwill Computer, David Chen, will be appointed president of a new notebook division – Elitegroup COmputer Systems (ECS). It was approved on August 28 when its board of directors approved the company’s Uniwill acquisition. Chen will start leading both sides’ integrated notebook team from December 1st, when the takeover will take effect.

First on the to-do list after the takeover is to settle relations with notebook-contract customers. ECS estimated they will ship one million notebooks in 2006, compared to 700,000 in 2005.

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Widescreen displays dominate notebook market

In the second quarter of this year, six out of ten notebooks feature a widescreen display – the concentration appears especially high in the U.S. Retail stores are reporting that 98% of their sales come from widescreen notebooks.

Pricing has a large impact on the trend – although widescreen displays used to command premiums over standard 4:3 displays, they are now on par with standard panels due to improved manufacturing efficiencies. The most popular sizes are the 14.x” and 15.x”, with 15.4″ accounting for the largest market share in Q2 (34%) on a global basis.

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Sprint launches first EV-DO Revision A-capable mobile broadband card

Sprint today introduced the Novatel S720 Mobile Broadband Connection Card, which is the first EV-DO Revision A-capable device in the nation. It is designed to operate on Sprint’s Power Vision Network, and will also support advanced mobile broadband speeds when Sprint begins its EV-DO Revision A roll out later this year.

Customers signing a two-year service agreement no longer need a separate voice plan to receive the promotional Unlimited Connection Card data plan of $59.99/mo. Sprint plans to reach more than 200 million people in the U.S. with mobile broadband data services, in 220 metropolitan areas by the end of this year. Additional information on Sprint’s Mobile Broadband network can be found here.

The Green Electronics Guide ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers

The Green Electronics Guide ranks leading mobile and PC manufacturers based on their global policies, practice on eliminating harmful chemicals, and taking responsibility for their products once they are discarded.

Their two demands are that companies should “clean up their products by eliminating hazardous substances”, and “takeback and recycle their products responsibly once they become obsolete.”

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