Items tagged with OEM

When Microsoft developed Windows 8's controversial UI and new Start Screen, the major impetus driving the design was the need to support touchscreen devices. Microsoft hammered this home at every opportunity, describing the new Metro design as a "touch first" experience. Then Windows 8 shipped, and precious few laptops had touchscreen support. This kicked off a kerfuffle of blaming between OEMs and Redmond, with the prediction that as touchscreen prices came down, consumers would embrace W8 and the touch-driven experience. Life would be great if Intel would just cut prices on those ultrabooks. Things haven't played out that way. Granted, the laptop market itself is in the doldrums, but IDC has... Read more...
As ultraportable devices of various stripes proliferate, there's a corresponding need for extra-slim storage drives that still deliver in terms of performance and storage capacity. Western Digital has a pair of new products to address those needs with the WD Blue HDD and WD Black SSHD drives. Both of the 2.5-inch drives are just 5mm thick to give OEMs a solution that occupies as small a space as possible, leaving room for extra schock absorption and overall thinner computer chassis. WD says that thinner devices mean that the drives are more susceptible to damage, so they included "best-in-class" technology to reduce shock and noise, as well as StableTrac and dual-stage atcuators. The drives connect... Read more...
Intel’s Paul Otellini is on his way out as CEO, but before he steps down a month from now, he dropped some news about what Intel is planning to roll out in the near future during an earnings call with investors. Specifically, he said that soon, consumers might be seeing touch-enabled Intel-based notebooks running Windows 8 for as low as $200. Otellini had previously noted in his remarks that he believed OEMs might start rolling out new notebook form factors based around upcoming Haswell (4th-generation Core processors) or even the new Bay Trail Atom chips at price points as low as $300 to $400, and one person on the call pushed him on that number. Paul Otellini with Intel-based tablets... Read more...
If you've paid any attention to the PC industry in the past few years, you're aware that things aren't as rosy as they used to be. After decades of annual growth, major manufacturers like HP and Dell have both either floated the idea of exiting the consumer space (HP) or gone private (Dell). Contrast that with steady growth at companies like Asus and Lenovo, and some analysts think the entire PC industry could move to Asia in the next few years. The ironic part of the observation is that in many ways, this has already happened. Intel still has major manufacturing resources in the United States and across the world in Israel, Ireland, Malaysia, and China. GlobalFoundries has facilities in upper... Read more...
Intel's four beat, three second jingle has become synonymous with the company's brand, despite the fact that it contains no spoken words or associated text. To date, Santa Clara has reserved the sequence for its desktop, laptop, and server products, but it's planning a major smartphone marketing campaign as well. Intel is only just now dipping a toe in the US market -- the company has launched several Medfield-based phones this year, but they were destined for markets in China, India, Russia, and the UK. Last week's Razr i from Motorola is the first US phone to use an x86 processor, and it contains a faster Medfield, at 2GHz, than its cousins in other markets. Intel sees smartphone branding as... Read more...
Well, at least the collective tech press isn't completely nuts. As soon as Microsoft used a hush-hush event to reveal the Surface tablet (both of them, actually), the first thought wasn't about Microsoft following Apple, or even Windows 8 on a tablet. It was: "What will Microsoft's OEM partners think?" Indeed, Microsoft has survived and thrived for decades on the backs of other companies. What's Windows without an HP, Asus, Acer, Toshiba, Lenovo, Dell or [Insert Partner Here] shell?  Microsoft has steered clear of hardware design and manufacturing (mice and accessories notwithstanding), and it seems logical to assume that much of that decision was simply made to not irritate those all important... Read more...
Microsoft's Surface isn't just an attempt to take on the iPad or an articulation of MS's independent design philosophy -- it's a fundamental threat against the OEMs who've spent decades as Microsoft's partners and collectively destroyed the industry's perception of the PC as a high-value product. The adversarial roots run deep. Microsoft didn't tell its partners about Surface until three days before the event and gave only the most minimal details on the product. Only the largest vendors even got a phone call; Asus and Acer, the 4th and 5th largest PC manufacturers worldwide, have stated that they had no idea anything was coming. For OEMs who have spent decades working in lock-step with Redmond,... Read more...
It's been a few years since Microsoft really shot itself in the foot by making itself look really unfriendly, and someone at the company must've been missing the pain. A careful read of the company's "Windows 8 Hardware Certification Requirements" document has revealed draconian policies that require vendors to block the installation of other operating systems on ARM devices. First, a bit of history. Earlier this fall, Microsoft briefly made waves when it announced that Windows 8 would require that UEFI (the successor to BIOS) Secure Boot be enabled on all systems that ship with Windows 8 installed. Secure Boot uses vendor-provided signed keys to ensure that the OS in question has been properly... Read more...
Microsoft is planning to take action against a UK corporation it claims sold some 94,000 pirated copies of Windows, but the company, British retailer Comet, isn't going down without a fight. Earlier today, Redmond released a statement alleging widespread fraud: "As detailed in the complaint filed today, Comet produced and sold thousands of counterfeit Windows CDs to unsuspecting customers in the United Kingdom,” said David Finn, associate general counsel, Worldwide Anti-Piracy and Anti-Counterfeiting at Microsoft. “Comet’s actions were unfair to customers. We expect better from retailers of Microsoft products — and our customers deserve better, too.” Industrial counterfeits... Read more...
The AIO PC form factor isn't new by any means, but it's only recently begun to make a broad market appearance across a number of manufacturers beyond Apple or HP, who were among the first to pioneer the form factor. Better touchscreen technology, combined with lower prices, has made AIO PCs both practical and affordable. The ET2410 from Asus attempts to be both of these things. It's an $850 system built around Intel's Sandy Bridge platform and packaged in an ultra-slim body that looks fashionable and takes up very little space, despite bringing a sizable 23.6-inch touchscreen to the AIO party... Asus 23.6" ET2410IUTS-B019C All-In-One PC Review... Read more...
Don't let the doomsayers sell you on the idea that the desktop PC is dead. Far from it, desktops are just now entering their heyday with blazing fast multi-core processors, gobs of RAM, high definition output, SuperSpeed USB 3.0, HDMI connectivity, wireless input devices, and everything else you might find on a modern day system. No, desktops aren't dying; if anything, they're finding new ways of securing a permanent spot in your living room, your office, your dorm room, and even places like your kitchen counter or man cave. All of these areas are places all-in-one (AIO) PCs have been known to dwell. The AIO form factor isn't new by any means, but it's only recently begun to make a broad market... Read more...
Earlier this year, Intel unveiled its plan to redefine the concept of a PC around an ultra thin-and-light chassis reminiscent of the Macbook Air and with a standard CPU TDP of just 15W. OEM reactions to the CPU giant's attempt to reinvent the personal computer have been mixed. For all the platform's theoretical advantages, price has been a major concern; the Macbook Air's $999 base price is nearly double the average selling price of a PC laptop. Historically, PC buyers have balked at the high price tags attached to then-current thin-and-light notebooks--such products may have niche value, but the idea of launching mainstream products built around the concept has made more than a few companies... Read more...
Analyst firm IHS reports that chip supplier inventories have risen for the seven consecutive month. The continued rise in inventories reflects a general belief that consumer demand for electronic products will soon increase, though economic indicators are somewhat sketchy on this point. "Increases in stockpiles during the first quarter reflect efforts by semiconductor suppliers to rebuild inventory for products that were in short supply during the capacity crunch of 2010,” said Sharon Stiefel, analyst for semiconductor intelligence at IHS. “Suppliers also are moving to strategically build for the higher demand expected later this year. In a fortuitous stroke of good timing, semiconductor... Read more...
It didn't take long for the system builders over at CyberPower PC to pounce on Nvidia's brand new dual-GPU GeForce GTX 590. This is the card gaming enthusiasts have been waiting for, the one Nvidia touts as the "fastest graphics card on the planet" (be sure to read our in-depth review of the GTX 590, in which we put that claim to the test), so naturally CyberPower PC saw fit to design a new series of high-end desktops around Nvidia's flagship GPU. Perhaps the coolest thing about this announcement is the cost of entry. CyberPower says you can step up to a GeForce GTX 590 equipped rig starting at $1,500, but we were able to configure one for even less. The Gamer Xtreme 1000, for example, costs... Read more...
At the time of this writing, the FTC's investigation into Intel's alleged monopolistic abuses is on hold as the government attempts to negotiate a settlement with the CPU and chipset manufacturer. If these negotiations don't result in a deal by July 22, the case returns to court, with arguments currently scheduled to begin on September 15. Intel is no stranger to these sorts of lawsuits; between AMD and the EU, the CPU giant has been battling such allegations for years. The lawsuit between NV and Intel, however, rests on different points than the AMD/Intel allegations. Here, the battle is over whether or not Intel's already-negotiated agreements with NVIDIA give the latter permission to produce... Read more...
PC gamers are a lucky bunch, particularly those who have only recently begun their journey into the awesome world of computers. Never before has this hobby been so affordable, and there was a time not that long ago when building a cheap gaming rig resulted in a second-rate gaming experience, one devoid of copious amounts of eye candy and buttery smooth frame rates, unless you were willing to crank down the screen resolution until the picture had more blocks than the NES version of Super Mario Bros. Well folks, that isn't the case anymore. Sure, you can still shell out several grand on a decadent machine loaded with only top-end parts, but outside of bragging rights, and the ability to run a handful... Read more...
The business analysis firm IDC has released data on the shape of the PC industry through the fourth quarter of 2009 and the results point towards a general recovery in all segments. Sales rose moderately in Q4 as compared to Q3, partly thanks to seasonal trends, but were up a full 31.3 percent over Q4 2009. The first half of 2009 was a downright rotten period for virtually every company in the hardware business, but a strong second half boosted total PC sales for the year up 2.5 percent from 2008. Even that small increase, however, came at a price—total PC revenue declined 7.1 percent, to stand at $28.6 billion."Compared to 3Q09, the modest rise in shipments in 4Q09 indicates that the market... Read more...
Microsoft Works, which is frequently offered as part of new PCs, is about to meet its end. Instead, in an interesting move, Microsoft announced it will allow OEMs to install the entire Office 2010 Suite on new PCs in a free, ad-supported form, but with much functionality disabled unless an activation key is purchased.The new version will be called Office Starter 2010. Office Starter 2010 will include Office Word Starter 2010 and Office Excel Starter 2010, with basic functionality for creating, viewing and editing documents. Microsoft indicated that the Starter version will have the same basic functionality that Microsoft Works does.You'll recall that Anytime Upgrade for Windows 7 works differently... Read more...
For HTPC owners, most thought this day would never come. It's a liberation celebration, and frankly, it's coming way too late. Still, we'll take late over never almost all of the time, so we can't help but thank those involved for finally freeing CableCARDs of the OEM chains. This past week at CEDIA, Microsoft announced that anyone could now purchase an off-the-shelf CableCARD and install it into their system. This has absolutely not been the case in years past. Up until now, users have had to purchase an entirely new system from a certified OEM (think Dell, HP, etc.) with a CableCARD installed at the factory. If you even attempted to install a loose CableCARD into your own machine, you'd never... Read more...
A few days ago, we launched a new featured section here at HotHardware, dubbed OEM Access. As its name suggests, we're looking to enable direct conversations with Original Equipment Manufacturers, offering our readers the ability to better connect with them to ask questions, voice concerns, or to just comment on a particular product or technology.To launch the section we enlisted the help of Intel and have a blog post available featuring a discussion regarding Intel's latest flagship desktop CPU, Computex, Westmere and a few more upcoming products. A few questions poured in an today we have some responses directly from Intel's own Dan Synder.You can read the original post and join the conversation... Read more...
We're starting up a new featured section here at HotHardware, dubbed OEM Access. As its name suggests, we're looking to enable direct conversations with Original Equipment Manufacturers, offering our readers the ability to better connect with them to ask questions, voice concerns, or to just comment on a particular product or technology. To launch the section and follow up on our original Intel Core i7 975 Extreme Edition coverage, we've enlisted the help of Intel and have a blog post available featuring a discussion regarding Intel's latest flagship desktop CPU, Computex, Westmere and a few more upcoming products. Come on by and check it out and feel free to ask questions to get into the conversation... Read more...
A Computer Mouse Breaks New Ground Working with a mouse for many years can cause pain in the hands, arms and in the neck and shoulders. Scientists at the medical universities of Rotterdam and Maastricht have therefore developed a new mouse called 'HandshoeMouse'. But what can this mouse do that others can't? The mouse – invented as early as the 1960s at the Stanford Research Institute in California – revolutionised the operation of computers. Moving towards and selecting functions, texts and files on the monitor became easy, intuitive and comfortable. It is just that the mouse itself is not comfortable to use: in order to control it, millions of very small movements are necessary with a posture... Read more...
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