Dell has begun bundling Windows NT Workstation 4.0 on its Latitude notebook range - but the move has been criticised by rival manufacturers who say the operating system's mobile features are "limited".
NT Workstation 4.0 is available on Dell's XPi CD notebook PC range throughout Europe. The company has included some additional features which it said optimises the operating system for mobile use. These include the Advanced Power Management Support Interface, which enables users to control power management features such as system sleep settings, PC Card power settings, clock synchronisation and power usage levels.
Users can also monitor available battery life by clicking on an icon, as well as switch PC cards without having to restart the system, Dell claimed. The company added that all modems supplied by it are supported, including the Psion Dacom Goldcard, and will be automatically recognised and configured by the operating system.
The bundling deal has failed to impress rival notebook vendors. Daniel Reich, PC business manager at Fujitsu, said: "We are not going to install NT 4.0 on our notebooks - we are going to wait for version 5.0. The Power management and plug-and-play features on version 4.0 are limited."
Murray McKerlie, product marketing manager at Toshiba, agreed: "NT 4.0 doesn't work terribly well on a notebook no matter whose notebook it is.
Some of our customers are asking for NT on their notebooks but the level of plug-and-play, security and integrity they are expecting from NT is potentially compromised with the current version."
Dell: notebook price cut
As well as announcing the bundling deal, Dell cut up to 23% off the price of its Latitude notebooks last week. For example, the Latitude XPi P133ST, with a 133MHz Pentium chip, 11.3in TFT screen, Lithium ion battery, 8Mb of RAM and 810Mb hard drive has been reduced from #1,999 to #1,749.
The Latitude XPi CD P150ST, configured with a 150MHz Pentium, 12.1in TFT screen, lithium ion battery, 16Mb of RAM and a 1.3Gb hard drive is 23% cheaper at #2,699.
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