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06 Jun 05. Microsoft moved to capture a slice of the corporate mobile e-mail market by challenging the dominance of the BlackBerry, the hand-held device used by millions of bankers, lawyers and corporate executives. The US-based software giant said it would offer free upgrades to customers using its latest e-mail server software, enabling them to send messages automatically to mobile phones running on Microsoft software. The move is Microsoft’s first attempt to take on Research in Motion, the Canadian maker of the BlackBerry, the market leader. The BlackBerry, which allows users to send and receive e-mails while on the move, has enjoyed phenomenal success, signing up about 3m, mostly corporate, customers. Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank, estimates there will be 5.3m Microsoft has lagged behind rivals in the mobile e-mail market. Users of Microsoft mobile e-mail software previously had to dial up corporate computers to get messages.Microsoft executives indicated recently that they planned to put mobile e-mail at the centre of their strategy. Steve Ballmer, Microsoft’s chief executive, on Monday told a conference for IT professionals that the group planned to roll out its free upgrade this autumn. (Source: FT)

31 May 05. Radstone Embedded Computing announced StarSwitch, the world’s only fully switchable, fully rugged StarFabric switch board. Made in response to significant customer demand, the announcement of StarSwitch demonstrates Radstone’s commitment to leveraging the most advanced technologies while maintaining the value of customer investments. Primarily aimed at supporting Radstone’s flagship G4DSP-XE StarFabric-enabled multiprocessor host, StarSwitch is a multipurpose StarFabric switch and dual PMC carrier card, operating as a 4-port switch to a multi-slot point-to-point passive backplane or chassis-to-chassis connection. It will thus allow multiple G4DSP-XE boards to be combined in powerful, highly flexible configurations including any-board-to-any-board topologies. The G4DSP family has already secured design-ins worth tens of millions of dollars since its introduction. StarFabric is the leading serial switched fabric using current connector technology, allowing customers to take advantage of its outstanding performance without disruptive changes. Radstone’s StarSwitch also, through its capacity to act as a dual PMC carrier card, substantially increases the I/O counts available to them. Key features of StarSwitch include: Four switched StarFabric ports at the P0 connector; two 64-bit / 66 MHz PMC sites; both PMCs have all 64 pins of user I/O mapped to P2 or P0 connectors; VME access to both PMC sites; support for 100 ohm differential pairs to P2 for other high speed I/O; air- and conduction-cooled, Radstone Levels 1 to 4 StarSwitch’s four P0-StarFabric ports can be used as two pairs of bundled links for small, ultra-high performance systems. Interrupts from the PMC sites are routed either via StarFabric or directly off-board for minimized latency, using an interrupt mapper. StarSwitch’s architecture allows traffic on any port at the P0 connector to be routed to either PMC site or switched (re-routed) off-board. Any number of StarSwitches can be used together with one or more StarFabric-enabled hosts to form large fabric networks.

06 June 05. With the addition of QinetiQ’s free-space solution to the DARPA Quantum Network, the total number of fully operational nodes on the world’s first quantum cryptography network now stands at ten – and all are protected using BBN Technologies’ ‘industrial-strength’ protocols that ‘route around’ eavesdroppers. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency sponsored Quantum Network, with a team led by BBN, has been continuously operating through telecommunications fibres under the streets of Cambridge Mass since June 2004, linking the BBN, Harvard University and Boston University

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