Notebook News: Apple V. IBM, 100GB Laptop Drives, Microsoft “Lonestar” OS

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Apple V. IBM (Again) and the Dilemma in Small Chip Design

Back in the day we might all remember the slugfest between Apple and IBM that took place when the computer industry was dawning on the world.  In the 1980s Apple had a larger share of the computer market than the 3% or so they have today, indeed they were a major competitor with IBM in the personal PC market.  These days IBM is actually making processors for Apple in the form of the speedy G5 chip, and the battle for market dominance was obviously won by the IBM Personal PC platform.  We’ve been expecting all along that IBM would eventually make a G5 notebook chip for Apple…but that may not be the case as Apple is seemingly angry once again with IBM.  This time they’re not angry over competing, they’re angry IBM is not cooperating in delivering enough G5 chips fast enough.  However, IBMs chip division lost $150 million last quarter mostly due to the expenses they’re running into in producing the G5 chip.  So IBM is mad at these costs, while Apple is mad they’re not getting enough chips soon enough, “Obviously, we were not happy with the delivery that we got,” Timothy Cook, Apple’s executive vice president of worldwide sales and operations.  It all boils down to the challenge in producing the small chip features necessary for the G5, Intel has had the same problem with its soon to be released Pentium M Dothan processors.  This sort of throws into doubt whether we’ll see a G5 notebook chip in any reasonable time span.

100GB Hard Drive for Laptops Announced by Toshiba

We all know that you can never be rich enough or thin enough, but I’d like to add to that you can never have enough storage in a small enough size.  Toshiba knows this for sure, it’s their mantra.  The new hard dirve from Toshiba has the product code MK1031GAS and will feature better power performance and shock protection along with the increased storage size.  This drive will initially be found in high-spec laptop computers.  The timeline for when these drives will hit the market?  Not until late in the year as samples won’t even be available until May and it takes several months for such a product to become widely available.  It’s always a waiting game for the next generation of technology I guess.  More from CNet on this hard drive:

“Lonestar” – Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005

The next version of the operating system, code named Lonestar, will officially be dubbed Windows XP Tablet PC Edition 2005. Beyond being a mouthfull, the name is a bit odd as the release is scheduled for late June.

It’s generally accepted to give product names the next calendar year when the release is within 3 months of the turn, so June is pretty early. Of course the Microsoft antagonists will probably argue that by the time the OS actually get released it will be October of this year anyway.

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China to Back Off on Enforcing WAPI Wireless Encryption Standard

The Chinese government recently implemented a mandatory standard for WLAN equipment sold in China that is very similar to the 802.11 wireless networking standard developed by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc. (IEEE). However, the Chinese standard uses a different security protocol, called WAPI (WLAN Authentication and Privacy Infrastructure), that is not compatible with the security protocol used with 802.11.  China slapped a June 1 deadline on all manufacturers to meet this standard.  Intel refused to do this with their wireless cards that are combined with the Pentium M chip to produce Centrino notebooks, they said they’d rather pull their product from the market than have to do spend the money and time to meet this standard.

Intel need worry no longer, the U.S. government has reached an agreement with the Chinese government that includes the scrapping of this June 1 deadline.  The hope is that China will drop the push for the WAPI standard altogether, but for now the deadline has just been moved to an indefinite state.





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