PC Briefs: Dell, Matsushita and Microsoft, Apple

PC Briefs: Dell, Matsushita and Microsoft, Apple

Dell regains PC lead

Dell Computer has fended off the combined might of HP and Compaq to regain its spot as the world's leading PC vendor, according to data from two research firms. Both Gartner and IDC place Dell at the top of the PC market based on worldwide shipments for the third quarter. Dell repelled competition from HP and IBM to become the only top-tier vendor to gain market share in the quarter, according to Gartner. Dell now holds 15.9 per cent of the PC market, up from 13.8 per cent in the same quarter last year.

New media storage standard

Matsushita, better known as Panasonic, and Microsoft have jointly developed a new way to store, access and retrieve digital multimedia stored on recordable optical discs. The technology, called HighMAT (high performance media access technology), spells out a common way to store data such as digital music, photos and video and also specifies the way in which devices can access this media. HighMAT should enable faster start-up times for CDs and make navigation of content consistent across a range of access devices, from PCs to car stereos, CD players and DVD players. At present, there is no consistent way in which such content is organised or accessed.

Apple reports net loss

Apple has posted a net loss of $US45 million for its fourth quarter, to September 28. The vendor had several non-recurring items that affected the results, including a write-down of certain equity investments totalling $49 million net of tax; a restructuring charge of $4 million net of tax; an in-process R&D charge of $1 million net of tax; and the reversal of a portion of a previous executive compensation expense resulting in a favourable impact of $2 million. Excluding these charges, the company would have posted a $US7 million profit, or $0.02 per share, meeting analyst expectations polled by Thomson First Call.

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