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Tech Roundup: Notebook Edition with Intel, Samsung, HP, Microsoft

Intel joins ranks of the confident -- Intel was supposed to be one of those companies whose stock would be headed into the toilet. Oops, maybe not. Its latest quarterly earnings report announced that net income was up 12 percent from the same time last year. Furthermore, it expects that the current quarter's results will be in line with the range of analyst estimates. There are some reductions in chip orders, and yet notebooks and netbooks are fueling demand. Sometimes you can't lose for winning. [Source: BNET Industry Technology Blog, BusinessWeek]

Samsung enters U.S. laptop market -- Maybe one of the reasons for Intel's cherry disposition is Samsung's announcement that it will partner with a U.S. retailer to offer notebooks and netbooks. The company's PC division has yet to do much here, but the groundwork exists. Not only is Samsung well established in retail stores, but its brand has good name recognition. No indication yet of who the retail partner is, but you have to wonder whether trying to fuel a growth strategy by focusing on a mature market is necessarily the best plan. [Source: Ars Technica]

Microsoft considers instant-on -- Ah, the dangers of releasing a survey, because it can pinpoint all too accurately what you are considering, if not actually doing. (That's assuming the survey isn't part of a deliberate disinformation campaign, but it's too early in the day for that level of Machiavellian intrigue.) Microsoft apparently is considering a new instant-on operating system variant. Users would be limited on what applications would be available, but the concept is to have the machine up and running in eight seconds. The concept has become popular as of late, with BIOS manufacturer Phoenix presenting a Linux-based instant-on offering and motherboard manufacturer ASUS putting its foot into the water last year. Guess it's taking some time to warm up to instant-on out in Redmond. [Source: Engadget, InformationWeek Phoronix]

And is HP considering the strong-arm? -- Asustek must have good game on the notebook front because HP is allegedly demanding that its manufacturing partners refuse to do business with the company. Play ball with it and expect a smaller order. HP Taiwan has refused comment and Asustek says that it hasn't heard anything through the grapevine. Isn't this the sort of move that has at different times put IBM and Microsoft executives into a witness box for an interesting conversation with federal prosecutors? To say nothing of European regulators taking a dim view on anti-competitive activities. Well, maybe it's all an unfounded rumor -- or maybe HP can start writing the zeros now on the check to cover the massive fines that could be involved and that might be far greater than the business value of keeping a competitor in check. [Source: DigiTimes]

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