The Buzz: May 7, 2001

 
 
By eweek  |  Posted 2001-05-07
 
 
 

Have Some Web With Your Coffee

Coffee drinkers at starbucks stores across the continent will soon be able to surf the Net while sipping java.

In a five-year, $100 million deal announced last week, Compaq will supply Starbucks with iPaq Pocket PCs and other wireless devices to enable customers in its North American stores to access the Internet.

In addition, customers with their own wireless devices will be able to access the systems and the Internet through a local network.

The deal makes Compaq the preferred technology provider of other computers at Starbucks stores worldwide and at the company?s headquarters in Seattle.

Starbucks CEO Howard Schultz said the goal is to ?enhance our customers? in-store experience through leading-edge technology.?

Apple iBook in the IT World?

Apple portrays its revised iBook, which debuted May 1, as an education and consumer portable, but can it make inroads into the IT world?

Apple executives said they prefer to leave the IT market to the higher-priced (and higher-powered) PowerBook G4. But there are IT possibilities.

One developer said the iBook, combined with WildPackets? EtherPeek network analysis tool, would be attractive, especially if the company had in-place Macintosh support.

Another observer at the iBook?s launch said the portable?s built-in wireless networking (via Apple?s AirPort, an implementation of the 802.11 standard) might be attractive to IT professionals, even as vendors such as IBM offer remote administration of its eServer line through PalmPilots and other tools.

That same person, however, said having AirPort in the office raises security problems. Still, he said, ?If Apple?s trying to break into that market, this is a good first step.?

All iBook configurations include a 500MHz PowerPC G3 processor. Prices start at $1,299 for a system with 64MB of RAM and a CD-ROM drive.

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