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PC Briefs: Key chain, MS, AMD

PC Briefs: Key chain, MS, AMD

Key chain market to grow

USB "key chain" portable storage has the potential to become a large international market, according to research from two US firms, ARS and Semico. More than a dozen companies now offer the devices, prompting ARS to begin tracking the market, said research analyst Dwain Smith. Jim Handy, an analyst with Arizona-based Semico Research, said he has spoken with PC manufacturers that are considering bundling the USB storage devices for sale with PCs. "Floppy disk drives are well past their prime and only store 1.4MB," said Handy. "OEMs want to phase them out of the PC." Semico expects USB devices will gain dramatic acceptance as the floppy fades out of the picture.

MS previews tablet OS

Microsoft's long-awaited operating system for tablet PCs has made its debut at the PC Expo/TechXNY show in New York. The OS is a new Windows XP variant designed to help a PC stand in for pen and paper, and it's scheduled to ship in November with a fleet of the first tablet PCs. Windows XP Tablet PC Edition is basically Windows XP Professional with extensions for PCs that have a touch-screen and a stylus. The OS will appear only on PCs with the necessary hardware - Microsoft won't sell it separately.

AMD releases MP 2100+

Advanced Micro Devices has announced the Athlon MP 2100+, its fastest processor for workstations and servers to date. The Athlon MP 2100+, running at 1.73GHz, dethrones the 1.67GHz Athlon MP 2000+. The MP series processors are designed for dual-processor servers and workstations. MP stands for "multiprocessor". Worldwide, more than 30 vendors will sell systems with the new processor. These include Fujitsu Siemens Computers and NEC, which will both sell workstations with the new processor, an AMD spokesman said. The Athlon MP 2100+ costs $US262 when bought in 1000-unit quantities, AMD said.


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