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. Salesforce.com
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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