IN BRIEF: Netbooks on the rise

The Canadian PC market is shifting from desktops and laptops to lower-priced netbooks, according to a new study from The NPD Group Inc.

The sub-$500 netbook market took 26 per cent of all PC sales in the first quarter of 2009, while unit volume sales for desktops saw a 21 per cent decrease. NPD Group attributes the shift to consumers becoming more sensitive to pricing and the trend of having multiple computers within one home.

Seventy-eight per cent of respondents who recently purchased a netbook said the netbook was an additional PC for their home. Almost 70 per cent of respondents made the purchase at less than retail price, with 54 per cent purchasing the netbook on sale and 16 per cent purchasing it at a negotiated price.

The average price for a netbook is $390, according to NPD. Canadians have purchased more than 126,000 netbooks since July 2008.

Mac OS X Snow Leopard Server coming this fall

Apple Inc. unveiled a Developer Preview of Mac OS X Server Snow Leopard this week, which is scheduled for release in September. The full 64-bit UNIX server operating system is based on open standards and nearly twice as fast as its predecessor, according to Apple.

New features include Podcast Producer 2, which automates the podcast production process, and Mobile Access Server for secure access to firewall-protected network services from iPhones and Macs. Other additions include an iPhone Configuration Utility, a NetRestore feature in System Image Utility for custom image restore, a new Mail Server engine, a new Address Book Server based on CardDAV and iCal Server 2, which is based on CalDAV.

The new Mac OS X Snow Leopard (version 10.6) operating system, also coming to stores in September, will include out-of-the box support for Microsoft Exchange.

Information Builders announces Awards of Distinction

New York-based business intelligence vendor Information Builders Inc. along with its enterprise integration solutions company iWay Software, announced winners of the annual Awards of Distinction for original and innovative use of BI and integration technology at the 2009 Summit User Conference in Nashville, Tenn.

Winners included Ford Motor Co. for Best Enterprise BI Application; New York Public Library for Most Innovative BI Implementation; Nationwide Insurance and Columbus City Schools for Most Humanitarian Use of BI; and US Transcom for Best Use of BI in the Public Sector.

Meru Networks releases E(z)RF Network Manager 2.0

Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Meru Networks released E(z)RF Network Manager 2.0, a wireless LAN management system that records every client-network wireless protocol interaction. Instead of gathering aggregate statistics, the software is a new approach to WLAN management, the company said. With continuous event recording, data mining and a knowledge-base interference engine, the software is designed to reduce troubleshooting time.

The company said the software is scalable for the enterprise, allowing management of up to 25,000 access points and hundreds of controllers across multiple geographic regions. The console lets users drill down to view activity details at different levels of the infrastructure.

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