Toshiba goes by the notebook

Toshiba goes by the notebook

Toshiba may have jumped into the overseas server market, but for now the notebook vendor's Australian subsidiary is happy to concentrate on mobile computing.

In the US, Toshiba has announced a small server appliance aimed at the SME market. But while the Magnia SG-10 as it is known will make its debut early this year in the US, the server will not be seen in the Australian market place. Toshiba national marketing manager Mark Whittard said the decision is based largely on the size of the market place.

"It really gets down to the economics of scale and the size of the market locally," he said. "Toshiba has only been in the server market for two to three years and in Australia all the global vendors are well and truly established."

For the moment, the vendor is concentrating on its core business - notebooks. Toshiba will launch a 1GHz notebook in March and has a host of new products in the offing. It has just introduced its Satellite Pro 4600 series, featuring for the first time built-in wireless LAN technology. Proclaimed by the company as a "communications vehicle", the notebook will integrate Bluetooth and wireless LAN technologies and incorporate Ethernet and a modem.

Toshiba will also ship its Tecra 8200 and new Portege notebook later this year.

"There are benefits to focusing on the notebook market," Whittard said. "In Australia we have the highest market share of any Toshiba subsidiaries throughout the world.

"End-user customers who want to integrate servers are being advised to contact our channel partners who can then integrate mobile products and servers in a best-of-breed solution," he added.

"The channel is always looking for alternative products, but it is difficult to compete with the likes of IBM and Compaq on price and services because it would take around two to three years to build up a support service."

Having said that, with 1GHz notebook offerings just around the corner, the vendor is far from closing the door on the server market.

"Notebooks are becoming powerful enough to act as servers in their own right. They are working on a lot of stuff in the R&D labs and I don't think it will be long before you see servers in a notebook form factor."

Photograph: Toshiba national marketing manager Mark Whittard.

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