But Can Intels Centrino Really Hit the Hot Spot?

Lundquist: Intel largely gets it right with the Centrino chip set.

As our review of Intels Centrino chip set outlines, the chip giant got a lot right in this new line. At the companys glitzy product launch in New York last week, company President and CEO Craig Barrett championed the chip sets low power usage and mobile capabilities, and an analysis by eWeek Labs Director John Taschek bears out most of those claims. The claims that the Centrino brand will usher in a new world of ubiquitous hot-spot computing are still, in my opinion, overexuberant compared with what is being currently delivered.

If you exclude e-mail, most corporate applications still arent ready for users to be hopping in and out of the network in a wireless mode. The wireless part of the Centrino chip set—the 2100 network connection—supports only 802.11b, while the higher-performing 802.11a is here, and the next-level 802.11g is fast approaching. For a deeper discussion of the performance differences in the 802.11 area, see our article "WLANs Spur Security Questions." But even if somewhat overexuberant, the entrance by Intel into any market segment provides an aura of legitimacy not previously present.

In an eweek.com article I filed (yes, wirelessly) from the Intel product launch, I asked readers when they thought the first wireless computer-to-computer communication took place. I received many responses, but Im afraid I have to declare the winner as one of our own eWeek staffers. Technology Editor Peter Coffee pointed out that 1977 was probably the earliest example. For the Centrino launch, Intel usurped The Whos "Going Mobile" song as its theme. Im now looking for your entries for a better song for Centrino and offer an artist-signed collectors item Spencer Katt comic book as a prize. My vote is for Lowell Georges "Dixie Chicken," which includes the line, "Well we made all the hot spots. My money flowed like wine," and more accurately reflects the costs Intel will have to bear in getting hot-spot computing as ubiquitous as the company would like.

And to get through the certification maze, check out Jeff Moads, Lisa Vaas and Mary Stevens articles ("Solving the Cert Puzzle," "Breaking the Code on Security Certs," "Getting a Line on Linux Certifications" and "IT Pros Flock to PM Certifications"). If youre thinking of adding a new cert because youve been re-engineered out of your old job, News Editor Scot Petersens interview with Jim Champy will show you whats new with the person who invented the re-engineering concept and why X-engineering may be the next business concept you have to deal with.

So whatll Centrinos anthem be? Write to me at eric_lundquist@ziffdavis.com.

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