Briefs: January 23, 2006


“We may not be able to meet the demand on the MacBook Pro,” said Tim Cook, Apple&'s COO. “The limited number of weeks to ship [the MacBook Pro] in the second quarter and the very strong response we&'ve gotten means we may not be able to meet demand.”

The MacBook Pro is Apple&'s first Intel-powered notebook, and will appear in two models, both with a 15.4-inch screen, an ATI graphics card and a DVD-RW/CD-RW optical drive. Intel&'s Core Duo chip, a dual-processor CPU unveiled earlier in January, powers the MacBook; a model running a 1.67GHz Duo is priced at $1,999, while the model equipped with a 1.83GHz Duo (as well as a larger hard drive and more memory) costs $2,499.

In other Intel Mac news last week, Cook admitted that buyers postponed Mac purchases in the weeks leading up to the MacWorld Expo debut of the new iMacs and MacBooks.

Corel launched major new releases of its flagship Draw graphics suite and the venerable WordPerfect brand last Tuesday.

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The new word processor, WordPerfect X3, facilitates two-way interoperability with PDF files. “We can pull PDFs into WordPerfect. Before, people could use it to create PDFs but now it&'s two-way,” said Jason Larock, product director with Corel.

WordPerfect Office X3 also adds a new e-mail client and allows users to save their documents without metadata, an increasingly important factor in a security-obsessed world.

CorelDraw Graphics Suite X3 targets design professionals who need a production tool, “rather than abstract, creative-oriented people,” said Denise MacDonnell, product director. The second target is the occasional user who needs professional graphics to repurpose designs or who wants to do some tasks in-house.

The Draw suite retains its $399 SRP for new users and $179 upgrade price. WordPerfect Office Professional edition (with the word processor, Paradox database, Quattro Pro spreadsheet, presentation software and e-mail) lists for $179 with volume licensing available.

Corel also wants to garner partners in the white-box community who want a cost-efficient alternative to Office, as well as VARs and other resellers. “Having alternatives is important, we believe, as the industry continues to consolidate. On the Draw side, there&'s [the newly-merged] Adobe/Macromedia and Draw and on the Office side there&'s Microsoft and Corel,” said Patrick Morley, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Americas.

Microsoft plans to include technology from newly acquired UMT, a project and portfolio management company, in parts of its upcoming Office 12 lineup.

The company said last Thursday that Project Server 12, which is part of that lineup, will be able to federate data across several servers to provide a better, “holistic view” of an organization&'s workflow.

Microsoft has said to expect Office 12 in the second half of this year. It&'s unclear if all the server and client products will roll out at the same time, however. The various Office 12 Server bits were not included in the Office 12 beta one code drop in November.

Another key benefit of the new Project Server will be easier tracking of project changes via realtime visual displays of updates. Web access to all work will be offered via Project Web Access, according to a company statement.

Wireless security startup Network Chemistry raised its profile last week with a new technology alliance to sell its wireless security software through SonicWall&'s channel partners.

The agreement will provide greater visibility for Network Chemistry&'s flagship RFprotect products used to design, deploy and maintain security in wireless networks, according to Brian de Haaff, vice president of product management and marketing at Network Chemistry.

RFprotect Distributed is a threat-assessment and intrusion-prevention tool, RFprotect Endpoint guards against threats from notebook PCs and mobile devices, and RFprotect Mobile is software that installs on a notebook PC and is used for site surveys and security analysis prior to deploying the network. In addition to providing security for wireless networks, Network Chemistry&'s products can detect unauthorized wireless networks within an enterprise, according to Keith Dolgaard, president of Computer Consulting Partners. “They&'re highly qualified in terms of wireless security,” he said.

In its latest move to push further into the SMB market, Cisco Systems last Wednesday created a new senior-level executive position to head up its commercial business.

James Richardson, the company&'s chief marketing officer, has been named to the new role of senior vice president of Cisco&'s commercial business. In his new role, the 16-year Cisco veteran has been tasked with driving company-wide initiatives on a global basis in the SMB market segment, aligning products, services, marketing and sales strategies to grow Cisco&'s business, according to a statement from the company.

Susan Bostrom succeeds him as chief marketing officer and has been named an executive officer of the company. The eight-year Cisco veteran previously led the company&'s Internet Business Solutions Group and she continues to lead Cisco&'s Worldwide Government Affairs group. Both Richardson and Bostrom continue to report to Cisco President and CEO John Chambers.

Cisco has rolled out a slew of new channel programs, products and services aimed at upping its share of the SMB market. The company identifies the commercial space as its fastest-growing customer segment.

Hewlett-Packard said it has hired a former top Lexmark executive to head enterprise sales in its Imaging and Printing Group (IPG).

Bruce Dahlgren will become HP&'s senior vice president of IPG worldwide sales. A six-year Lexmark veteran, he previously served as vice president and general manager of the North America Printing Solutions and Services Division at the printer company.

At HP, Dahlgren will report to Vyomesh Joshi, executive vice president of the IT giant&'s imaging and printer division.

HP said in a statement that Dahlgren will “drive IPG&'s enterprise go-to-market approach globally, delivering complete printing solutions to the company&'s top 1,500 accounts. Additionally, he will work with [HP] Technology Solutions Group sales, service and support to aggressively grow HP&'s enterprise business.”