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IT Channel News Briefs, Oct. 30

Today's headlines: HP launches new Netbooks, and Motorola posts huge losses.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Thursday, Oct. 30, 2008.

HP adds new Netbooks to roster

Hewlett-Packard this week added three new Netbooks to its Mini family lineup, including a Linux-based offering. The Mini line has targeted the education market, but the company is building a franchise around "companion PCs" for mobile consumers who want near-ubiquitous Web access. All of the machines are based on the Intel Atom N270 1.6 GHz processors and will be configured to order, according to HP. The two other models come with Windows XP Home edition.

Motorola posts losses, layoffs coming

Motorola reported a $397 million loss in the third quarter and announced it would delay breaking up the company into two divisions, according to The Wall Street Journal. Motorola had reported net income of $60 million for the year-ago quarter. Just a day earlier, The Journal reported that there would be a new round of layoffs, according to unnamed sources.

Sources also said Motorola's new cell phone leader Sanjay Jha will switch the company's midtier and multimedia cellphones to work on Google's Android operating system, dumping four old Motorola platforms. The company's mobile devices division posted a loss of $840 million, as sales dropped 31%. Layoffs are expected to be announced by the end of this week.

Oracle buys policy modeling vendor Haley

Oracle has agreed to buy Haley Ltd., a maker of policy modeling and automation software used by social services organizations. Oracle said it plans to sell that software, along with its CRM and ERP applications, to agencies that are starting to use commercial software to monitor and manage their work. The deal is expected to close, pending shareholder and government approvals, in the first quarter of 2009. Terms were not disclosed.

Internet video plays major campaign role

Online video is playing a huge role in the presidential campaign, according to a new study sponsored by Cisco. The first installment of Cisco's Visual Networking Index Pulse shows that traffic to popular online video websites increased fivefold from 2004 to 2008; 62% of respondents regularly use the Internet for election information and coverage; about 30% of registered voters use online video to follow election coverage; and 75% of these online video users said online video helped them follow election news and events more closely.

There was some partisan news as well: Democrats are more likely to use traditional news sites and social networking sites to find video content, while Republicans tend to use search engines. Cisco will release further research regarding video use in the coming year.

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