Dell's $99 Aero Smartphone

By Don Reisinger  |  Posted 08-27-2010

Week In Review: 3PAR Bidding Mania and More

Ah, summertime, when the living is easy. Isn't this supposed to be a quiet time? Not so for the technology space. In recent weeks we've seen Intel announce plans to buy anti-virus vendor McAfee, the introduction of new smartphones to compete with Apple, and the departure of HP CEO Mark Hurd's from the company. This week gave us whiplash as we followed a high-stakes bidding war between HP and Dell over virtual-storage service 3PAR. We also saw Dell launch a $99 smartphone, Apple's iPad making gains in the corporate world, and USB-born malware become a growing threat.

3PAR's Future

When Dell first announced in mid-August its plans to acquire 3PAR, it seemed like a done deal. Far from it. Over the past five days, HP and Dell have been jockeying for the virtual-storage company. First, HP outbid Dell. And then, Dell came back with a better offer After HP outbid again, Dell matched HP's offer. Now, HP has outbid Dell. The stakes have reached $2 billion. At press time, 3PAR hadn't yet made a decision on which suitor to marry, but that should be coming next week.

CIO Takeaway

At its simplest level, this high stakes bidding war attest to the future value of virtualized storage. 3PAR is arguably one of the best virtual-storage providers in the space, and HP and Dell obviously see a big future in this category. But each of these tech giants has a different reason for coveting 3PAR, and what they will do with the firm could ultimately reshape the virtualized storage space.

Dell's $99 Aero Smartphone

Dell launched what it's calling its "first" smartphone in the U.S. The $99 Aero is available exclusively to AT&T customers and runs Android 1.5.

CIO Takeaway

If you're looking for a new enterprise-class smartphone for your employees, Aero isn't it. The device is running outdated software, its hardware specs are second-rate compared to more capable alternatives, and its exclusivity to a single carrier all make it a less-than ideal option. Dell might understand some facets of the technology needs in the corporate world, but enterprise mobility doesn't appear to be one of them.

Apple iPad in the Enterprise

A recent report from the Wall Street Journal claims that an increasing number of companies are seeing value in Apple's iPad. The device not only lets companies save money, the report found, but it also helps employees stay productive, thanks to the deluge of corporate apps making their way to Apple's App Store.

CIO Takeaway

If you're not already talking about iPad and how it fits in your operation, you should be. Admittedly, the decision to offer iPad to employees won't be an easy one to make, since there are several security and productivity questions that need to be answered. But, as we've learned with iPhone, future generations of the product may do a better job of meeting enterprise needs. Meanwhile, plenty of your employees probably already have one.

USB Security Threats

According to a report released by Panda Security, 48 percent of small-to-medium-sized businesses are infected with malware every year. Out of these infestations, one-third are derived from USB devices.

CIO Takeaway

If that figure scares you as much as it does security experts, it's time for you to beef up control over the USB products entering your enterprise. Find out what's being connected to employee computers and what's allowed to gain access to the network. Review your usage policies. Educate your workers. Malicious hackers have been enjoying success with USB attacks for quite a while at your expense. To turn the tide, it might be a good idea to focus your efforts on USB security.

VoIP Battle Heats Up

Google unveiled a new VoIP service for Gmail. The service allows users to place free calls to phones in both the United States and Canada. International calls are offered for a fee.

CIO Takeaway

Although Gmail's VoIP service isn't as robust as alternatives, such as the long-established Skype, you'll want to watch this closely. This is especially true if you already employ Gmail in your operation. The VoIP service will only be improved in the coming months, and since it's a convenient (and free) calling option, you'll want to encourage employees to try it out. After all, if you're already using Skype wit some degree of success, Google's option should work just as well.