Canadian market banking on Centrino

IT purchasers are looking for ways to improve employee productivity. IT vendors are looking for ways to address client needs in a market that is saturated with desktop computers. With advancing mobile technology, such as Intel’s latest release, a strategy to address productivity might be at hand. Intel

unveiled its new Centrino technology to the world on March 12, 2003. This solution is designed for notebook computers, for the purpose of integrating wireless technology with the mobile PC form factor. The goal is to bring greater freedom to consumer and corporate users to access networks, be it a company network or the Internet, through a wireless PC.

Notebook users have traditionally been faced with hindrances to notebook performances. Such obstacles include a short battery life, small screen, small keyboard as well as slow performance and speed. Intel worked to address these key areas with Centrino technology. By using a smaller chip, PC manufacturers are able to build notebooks that are lighter and smaller than those currently on the market. Enhanced features, such as a large screen or desktop-size keyboard, are also possibilities for the new products, as vendors have the flexibility to build a system to meet the needs of clients. The power enhancing features of the chip result in increased hours of performance between battery charges.

The notebook market in Canada is poised for growth. Evans Research forecasts that the commercial notebook market is to experience a six per cent growth in unit shipments in 2003 over 2002. The consumer market is expected to grow by 13 per cent in the same period. The key factors for this growth are: IT departments replacing Y2K machines, desktop computer replacements and new users. Intel and its Centrino notebook partners, who include Fujitsu, Acer, IBM, Sony, MDG and Toshiba, are banking on the growth of the Canadian notebook market.

It is believed that Centrino technology has the potential to change the notebook PC market; thereby altering the PC experience for both corporate and consumer users alike. This introduction has the possibility to be the equivalent in the PC industry as the introduction of digital technology was to cell phone technology. The introduction of the digital cell phone enabled users to access units for longer periods of time between recharging batteries. The same is being touted with Centrino, as it offers greater productivity and user-friendliness than previous products.

IT channel friendly vendors are emphasizing the role of the reseller and systems integrator in the success of this technology. Enterprise education is one of the key roles the channel can play to bring these products to market. The timing of the release is ideal, as well. Depending upon the vendor, Centrino-enabled notebooks will be released at the end of March or early April, just in time for product testing throughout the summer months. This allows for educated sales reps to tout the benefi

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