Pint-sized PCs put focus on wireless providers by ProQuest


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									Pint-sized PCs put focus on wireless providers                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       Computing in the clouds
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     IN SPITE OF THEIR novelty, netbooks
As netbook sales soar, telecom                                                                                                                                                                                            and business data for less money without the              percent of our total revenue,” Simon said.                       would be little more than oversized per-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          need for the fastest computer on the street.                    AT&T began selling subsidized netbooks                     sonal digital assistants without the growth
firms look for ways to break                                                                                                                                                                                                    Cloud computing, third-party data stor-             to its wireless subscribers last April. Though                   of “cloud computing.”
into this fast-growing market                                                                                                                                                                                             age, and mobile Web access through netbooks               Verizon Wireless, in the Basking Ridge section                         Cloud computing relies on software
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          are combining to form a less-expensive way to             of Bernards, has yet to make its own foray into                  and data being hosted online by a third
           BY JOÃO-PIERRE S. RUTH                                                                                                                                                                                         meet certain business IT needs.                           netbooks, Simon said the company is eager to                     party. These online programs include e-
FOR PROFESSIONALS tired of lugging around                                                                                                                                                                                       Bruce Simon, director of data sales for the         enter this evolving market. “We have not offi-                   commerce, payments processing, human
clunky laptops — which at their beefiest can top                                                                                                                                                                          New York metro region at Verizon Wireless, said           cially announced any plans, but we will be right                 resources and advertising.
10 pounds — salvation may be at hand. Big lap-                                                                                                                                                                            the environment is ripe for more users to tap             in there with the other providers,” he said.                     is one example of hosted business pro-
tops on the road can deliver comparable perform-                                                                                                                                                                          software on the go. Netbooks — mini-laptops                     A netbook is about the size of a textbook,                 grams, also called software as a service.
ance to desktop computers at the office, but inno-                                                                                                                                                                        with scaled-down features — rely on Web                   with a display screen no larger than 10 inches                         According to IT research company Gart-
vations are making it easier to access vital software                                                                                                                                                                     access to put programs in users’ hands. Typical-          across and tipping the scales at three pounds or                 ner Inc., in Stamford, Conn., cloud computing
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          ly priced under $500, netbooks offer a compro-            lighter. “The weight of the device is very good for              services revenue is expected to top $56.3 bil-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          mise between cost and functionality.                      mobile customers. It’s a big part of all the carriers’           lion in 2009, up from $46.4 billion in 2008.
                                                                                                                                                                                                       Steven J. Dundas

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Simon said netbooks fit somewhere                   strategies and is certainly ours,” Simon said.                   The firm also expects the industry to reach
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          between smartphones and traditional laptops for                 Doug Rahn, chief executive of IT services                  $150.1 billion in revenue in 2013. Business
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          users’ mobile data needs. “The average netbook            firm IND Corp. in Parsippany, said the no-frills                 processes account for 83 percent of cloud
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          session may last 30 minutes, versus the average           portability of netbooks comes with tradeoffs,                    services worldwide in 2008, Gartner said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          smartphone session at three minutes,” he said.            such as low memory and no internal drives for                          To meet demand in the New York area,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Sales of these tiny computers are growing           CDs or DVDs. “It’s really only if you are doing                  third-party data host FiberMedia acquired
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          rapidly. DisplaySearch, in Austin, a subsidiary           cloud computing,” writing e-mail or accessing                    100,000 square feet of data center space
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          of the research company NPD Group, released               files stored on the Web, he said.                                across the metro region, including space in
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          a report on April 1 forecasting year-over-year                  Netbooks have limited memory, with the top                 Jersey City, its chief executive, Michael
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          growth of more than 65 percent for netbook                models having at best one to two gigabytes of                    Roark, said.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          sales in 2009, which would top 27 million units.          RAM. Hardware manufacturers are unlikely to                            Frank McMahon, cofounder of CoreMa-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                ABI Research, in New York, forecasts 35             make netbooks too robust, to avoid cannibalizing                 trix Systems LLC, in Red Bank, said using
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          million shipments of netbooks worldwide in                their larger notebook computers, Rahn said.                      third-party software may save time and
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          2009, with 139 million expected to sell in 2013.                Rahn said his company is testing netbooks                  money on updates and custom programs.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                As netbooks grow in popularity, wireless            with personnel in the field. He said while net-                  “They don’t need to worry about all the infra-
                                                                                                                                                                                                                          providers are eager to feed the demand. Because           books do not offer the power of their bigger                     structure needs of networks, database service
While Verizon Wireless has yet to make a foray                                                                                                                                                                            of their spartan features, netbooks require Web           brethren, the lower cost is a compelling alterna-                and IT staff,” he said. CoreMatrix is a consulting
into netbooks, Bruce Simon, director of data sales                                                                                                                                                                        access to handle even basic tasks, which can              tive to $1,500 laptops. “For the road warrior, the               service for on-demand business software. ◆
in the New York metro area, says the company will                                                                                                                                                                         translate into a new set of data customers for            netbook may do it,” Rahn said. ◆                                                               — João-Pierre S. Ruth
stay competitive with other wireless providers.                                                                                                                                                                           wireless providers. “Data revenues are over 25                                          E-mail to

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