THE BROWSER: Truth and rumors from the tech world
Nokia aims to kill iPods, camcorders
After conquering the camera market, the cell-phone maker is now targeting music players and handheld video. Plus: Google searches for classifieds business.
By Owen Thomas, Business 2.0 Magazine online editor and Oliver Ryan, Fortune Magazine reporter

SAN FRANCISCO (Business 2.0 Magazine) - Last year, Nokia became the world's largest camera maker when it shipped 100 million cameraphones. Top Nokia (Research) executive Anssi Vanjoki took credit for driving Konica-Minolta out of the camera market, noting that the company first predicted the demise of the camera business in 2000. Now the company is setting its sights on the music player and camcorder markets, by adding those functions into its phones. One development that may help cell phone makers like Nokia push music players on to cell phones: NEC has developed a new chip that allows cell phones to play music for up to 50 hours. That would be a big improvement over the iPod, which claims a battery life of up to 20 hours.

Google lists homes, jobs

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It's official: Google (Research) has entered the classifieds business. Results from Google Base, Google's listings service, are now appearing alongside regular Google search results. Users have noticed that special search boxes featuring homes for sale and jobs appear when they enter related search terms. The for-sale listings currently available through Google Base could be the next to appear in Google search results, posing a formidable challenge to eBay (Research).

Samsung aims to delete hard drive

If Korean electronics giant Samsung has its way, it will only be a matter of time before your computer comes without a hard drive. In its place you'll have flash memory -- the lightweight, battery-sparing memory chips found in the iPod Nano, among other gadgets. Samsung is planning to sell 32-gigabyte flash memory chips for laptops that are priced between $200 and $250 by 2008. While hard drives are vastly cheaper and more capacious -- a 60-gigabyte drive costs less than $60 -- flash memory is lighter and uses 95 percent less power than a comparable hard drive. The chips may find a market in ultralight notebooks and Microsoft's (Research) new "Origami" handheld PCs.

Apple users also bitten by Vista slowdown

Windows users aren't the only ones suffering from Vista delays. Ever since Apple (Research) decided to switch to using Intel (Research) chips in Macs, many Mac users hoped to run both Mac OS X and Windows on their machines, and analysts say the ability to run both operating systems could boost Mac sales. But Microsoft recently revealed that, as it pares down features to get Vista finished, the operating system won't support a key technology that Apple uses in its Intel-based Macs. While hackers have figured out laborious workarounds to get Microsoft's Windows XP running on Intel Macs, and the same workarounds will likely work with Vista, it's unlikely that ordinary Mac users will go to such lengths to run both operating systems. Top of page

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