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Tech Buzz 10/02

The evolution of Palm; Apple serves up servers
October 1, 2002
URL: http://www.entrepreneur.com/article/55456

Pocket Power

Things aren't so simple for Palm anymore. Black-and-white screens are giving way to color displays. Pocket PC-style ARM processors are supplanting slower DragonBall processors. The operating systems division, PalmSource, is being officially split from the hardware division. They're craving a greater reach into business markets. With the arrival of the new Palm OS 5 operating system, we'll see more multimedia capabilities and more secure wireless features. Is this all starting to sound like a Microsoft Pocket PC? In some ways, yes. In other ways, no.

The true price of Palm evolution could come in the area of your pocketbook. Faster processors, color screens and more advanced hardware components may be reflected in higher prices. The new crop of hardware and software is already trickling out to market, but it will really pick up in the first half of 2003.

When you're selecting or upgrading to a new PDA, it will be more important than ever to keep an eye on your bottom line.

Also, the release of new, more powerful Palms is very good news for entrepreneurs who may feel a little inhibited by Palm's limited processor strength. Sony's Clie line, in particular, has tried to push the boundaries of the current OS with multimedia features and color displays, both of which Pocket PCs have touted from early on. Still, Palm has built its reputation on ease-of-use, so don't expect them to let that aspect go to seed.

Serves You Right

Apple is taking some nibbles at the server market. (All you dedicated PC users out there might want to skip to the next article.) Starting at $2,999 (street), the Apple Xserve 1U delivers a 1GHz PowerPC G4 processor, 256MB RAM, a 60GB hard drive, a CD-ROM drive, USB and FireWire all packed in a rack-mountable case. As the price goes up, the specs get juicier. And, yes, it looks cool. Of course, the Xserve certainly isn't for everyone; natural fits for this new server are in Mac-laden offices and in demanding graphics workgroups. Looking at the getting-down-to-business side of things, the Xserve can easily handle common functions such as e-mail and deal with Windows files. Four hot-swappable drive bays all make for easy expandability as your office demands grow.

You won't save money over a comparable Windows or Linux server, but the Xserve is a solid offering that can fill out a Mac network with style.