Today in Products: Nortel offers communications gear


Nortel introduces communications solutions for SMBs
Nortel announced a series of voice, data and wireless products designed to help small and medium businesses (SMB) increase employee productivity, streamline business operations and costs and deliver improved customer service. The initial release features four products that address unique requirements, challenges and budgets of smaller businesses.

Business Ethernet Switch 100 Family provides desktop connectivity and delivers power for devices such as IP phones and wireless access points. It is designed to reduce wiring requirements and simplify employee moves. Business Secure Router 222 delivers connectivity to the Internet or IP networks and enables greater employee flexibility for work locations via secure connectivity from home or elsewhere. Business Access Point 120 allows for secure wireless data and voice connectivity from outside the office. Finally, the Business Element Manager provides a network management interface across the SMB portfolio to streamline repetitive tasks and simplify network operations.

These products are expected to roll out in August.

Data Management

Microsoft introduces first webcams
Microsoft rolled out its line of LifeCams, the result of a collaboration between Microsoft Hardware and Windows Live, the first two cameras to be released will be the LifeCam VX-6000 and LifeCam VX-3000.

Optimized for use with the upcoming Windows Live Messenger (the next generation MSN Messenger, currently in beta testing), both cameras feature a Windows Live Call Button. Located on the top of the LifeCams, the Windows Live Call Button brings up the Buddy Picker, a tool showing the user’s current online contacts. The user then selects the contact’s name to make a video call. Also featured is a LifeCam Dashboard built into the Windows Live Messenger window, the dashboard provides access to the controls, including camera pan, tilt and zoom.

The LifeCam VX-6000 is a wired webcam offering 5.0 megapixels interpolated resolution and HD-quality video at 1.3 megapixels. The LifeCam VX-3000 offers High Definition still photography (1.3 megapixels interpolated) and video at 640×480 pixels. Both LifeCams feature a built-in acoustic noise-canceling microphone and a Universal Attachment Base to most monitors.

The Microsoft LifeCams will be available in July, with the VX-6000 retailing for $129.95 and the VX-3000 retailing for $69.95.

IBM releases SOA Business Catalog
IBM announced that its resource to find reusable IT services based on IBM and IBM Business Partner software is now available. The IBM SOA Business Catalog allows customers to search for information on service oriented architecture (SOA) assets or IT “services,” combinations of software code, intellectual property and best practices.

IBM says that by the end of the year its SOA Business Catalog is expected to include more than 3,000 SOA assets spanning more than 15 industries to solve specific business problems. The Catalog directs customers to the appropriate IBM or qualified business partner software including process templates, Web services, tools and adapters along with details on how customers can obtain and integrate these IT services into existing IT infrastructures.

The IBM SOA Business Catalog will link to the WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR), which allows software assets to be catalogued and stored in the repository. The WSRR delivers governance capabilities for the publication, discovery, subscription, management and policy enforcement of SOA services and assets.


Toshiba updates Tecra commercial notebook computer line
Toshiba launched the Tecra A8 series of notebook computers. These Tecra A8 systems are more durable than standard laptops, with each unit featuring Toshiba’s EasyGuard system.

Toshiba EasyGuard provides enhanced security, system protection and easy connectivity through proprietary design features like an HDD accelerometer sensor and rubber casing, a spill resistant keyboard and improved casework design. With the Tecra A8 series, EasyGuard now features a printed circuit board that is centered and placed far from perimeter of the system to minimize shock force on impact, important chip components that have been positioned further away from screws for added system protection and a thicker HDD cover resulting in 1.4 times the strength and durability upon impact.

Tecra A8 notebook computers are designed to be high-end desktop replacements with the added benefit of mobility and durability. All Tecra A8 notebook computers feature 15.4-inch widescreen LCD displays and TV-out capabilities, Intel Centrino Duo Core processors, integrated 802.11a/g wireless connectivity, 80GB of memory and DDR2 memory architecture. They also come equipped with Windows XP Pro, 8x DVD Super-Multi Double Layer drives and fingerprint readers for added security.

The Tecra A8-KF201E features the Intel Centrino Duo Core T2300E processor and is available for the suggested retail price of $1599. The Tecra A8-KF401E features Intel Centrino Duo Core T2400 processor and is available for the suggested retail price of $1749. The Tecra A8-KF601E features Intel Centrino Duo Core T2400 processor and Toshiba’s TruBrite widescreen technology for entertainment capabilities and has a suggested retail price of $1799.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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