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Google gains netbook momentum; Win 2008 parsed for small biz

Headlines: Microsoft faces Android rival on netbooks, downsizes Windows 2008 for SMBs; other IT channel news.

IT channel news briefs for April 1, 2009

HP, others weigh Google Android and Windows

In a move seen as a huge threat to Microsoft's Windows dominance, leading PC makers, including Hewlett-Packard, are looking at Google Android as a potential operating system for new, compact netbook PCs, according to online reports.

Dell also plans to use Android on some machines. The OS choice boils down to size and money. Standard Windows is too hefty for small footprint PCs. And many hardware OEMs have long bridled at the fee Microsoft charges to put Windows on machines. Companies like HP can spend $15 per machine for Windows, while Google, which is trying to gain traction beyond its Internet search base, does not charge per copy. While most netbooks cost $500 or more, Windows-less devices could go for hundreds of dollars less.

Microsoft has said that Windows 7, the successor to Vista, will be suitable for use on netbooks. Vista is too bulky and Microsoft is trying to move users from Windows XP to Vista or Windows 7.

New Windows Server 2008 will target super small businesses

Microsoft will release a bare-bones version of Windows Server 2008 for business customers with fewer than 15 employees. The 64-bit server, called Windows Server Foundation, will be pre-installed and sold through OEMs, such as Dell, HP, IBM and Acer. Foundation will not include email, SharePoint or Hyper-V, said Julius Sinkevicius, director of product management for Windows Server. The server will ship sometime later this year and cost just under $1,000.

Payment card industry needing security fix

The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS) came under the scrutiny of lawmakers at a hearing held on Tuesday in Washington, D.C., according to The House Subcommittee on Emerging Threats, Cybersecurity, and Science and Technology, part of the House Committee on Homeland Security, discussed ways in which PCI DSS can become more effective and safe from terrorists and criminals.

U.S. Rep. Yvette Clarke, D-N.Y., who chairs the subcommittee, said that the payment card industry needs to implement the same encryption methods used in Asia and Europe to reduce the amount of stolen data. The chip and PIN technology used abroad replaces the magnetic strip on the back of a card with a four-digit personal identification number that confirms payment.

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