N-able Hands Out $75 Million in Free Licenses

HP Revives Compaq Brand for Budget Conscious Consumers, SMBs Hewlett-Packard Co. is trying to revitalize the Compaq brand, launching a series of ultra-inexpensive PCs aimed at consumers and small businesses constrained by limited budgets.

HP’s Compaq Presario CQ61z notebook features a 15.6-inch display and sells for $399 after a $100 rebate, offered until December 19. The Compaq Presario 4010f desktop is listed at $309.

The Compaq 500B and 505B desktops are priced at $359 and $409, respectively.

In recent years, HP has directed Compaq-labeled units to emerging and developing countries or sold them as lower-tier PCs in large consumer outlet stores. But now the company is adjusting that strategy to position the Compaq brand as not only inexpensive but also mainstream.

“Everyone deserves access to a high-quality computer, and HP makes that possible with the Compaq brand,” said Steven Hoffman, HP director of worldwide marketing, personal systems group.

Release of HP’s new Compaq-branded notebook and desktop units is timed for October 22 to coincide with Microsoft’s launch of the Windows 7 operating systems.

PC Mall Opens Social Networking Site for SMBs
PC Mall Sales Inc., a direct marketer of technology products, has created a social networking site called Small Business Network, aimed at owners and executives associated with small businesses.

The network will offer a peer-to-peer community, access to IT resources, solutions, trends, product reviews, webinars, knowledge banks and best practices advice. Members will be offered discounts on technology products. Membership is free for qualified participants.

“The Small Business Network Powered by PC Mall is designed to be an interactive online community where small business owners and IT executives can connect and find valuable resources to grow their businesses,” said Pete Freix, PC Mall Sales president.

Initial sponsors include Hewlett-Packard Co. and Cisco Systems Inc.

Q3 Global PC Shipments Up 2.3 Percent
Researcher International Data Corp. said that global PC shipments rose 2.3 percent during the third quarter, reversing year-over-year declines of 6.8 percent and 2.4 percent in the first two quarters of the year.

The researcher said that a rise in shipments of notebook computers accounted for a disproportionate percentage of the uptick, with a substantial portion coming from shipments of mini notebooks.

Shipments of PCs in the U.S. market rose by 2.5 percent in the third quarter when compared with the same period last year. IDC said that all geographic regions except for Japan met or exceeded its expectations.

The researcher’s data pointed to significant quarterly gains, in particular, by vendors Hewlett-Packard Co. and Acer Inc., both of which outperformed the market in all geographic regions. Dell Computer Inc. posted gains in emerging markets during the period, IDC said.

IDC said that PC shipment growth in the quarter immediately preceding Microsoft Corp.’s release of Windows 7.0 was a convincing indication of the recovering fortunes of the IT industry.

“Despite the ongoing mix of gloom and caution on the economic front, the PC market continues to rebound quickly,” said Loren Loverde, IDC program director.

For the third quarter on a worldwide basis, IDC said that HP commands about 20 percent of the PC market with Acer owing about 14 percent and Dell about 13 percent.

In the U.S. for the same period, HP and Dell each control about 25 percent of the market, followed by Acer at 11 percent, Apple at about 9 percent and Toshiba at about 8 percent, IDC said.

Dell, salesforce.com Offer Cloud-Based CRM to SMBs
Dell Computer Inc. will offer cloud-based customer relationship management (CRM) solutions to small- and medium-sized businesses in a joint effort with salesforce.com, a provider of cloud computing applications for enterprise clients.

Subscription-based pricing for the solution, which allows SMBs to manage customer information, starts at $9 per month, Dell officials said.

“Dell and salesforce.com are providing customers with an integrated and proven solution that we have been testing extensively in our own organizations,” said Steve Felice, president of Dell’s SMB operations.

The combined effort of the two companies is an attempt to bring cloud-based applications to the under-penetrated SMB segment. Salesforce.com is providing the CRM solution while Dell is supplying integration and migration services when needed.

“Working with Dell will help accelerate the adoption of cloud computing by SMBs worldwide,” said George Hu, salesforce.com executive vice president, marketing and alliances.

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