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Friday, July 04, 2008, 01:10 pm PT (04:10 pm ET)

German publisher drops 12,000 PCs for Mac; more

One of Germany's largest newspaper publishers will become one of Apple's largest-ever customers when it converts all of its 12,000 computers from Windows systems to Macs. Also, the latest beta of Flash Player 10 promises to boost sluggish performance with Apple computers.

German firm in record PC-to-Mac shift

In a major overhaul of its IT system, German publisher Axel Springer AG said it has struck a deal with Apple to replace every one of its 12,000 active computers with Macs.

Axel Springer produces the popular German newspaper Bild and becomes the single-largest company in Europe to depend entirely on Apple hardware for its day-to-day business. The shift helps modernize the publisher's culture, according to company chief Dr. Mathias Döpfner.

The total cost of ownership of each system over its useful lifespan and simple design are also cited as reasons for the switch.

The company will use all of Apple's desktop line, including the Mac mini, iMac, and Mac Pro, and should also use MacBooks and MacBook Airs for its mobile workers; depending on the context, users will either run Mac OS X, Windows XP, or Windows Vista. The iPhone will also be on hand, Apple notes.

All company-owned systems will be Macs within the next one to two years, though Axel Springer says self-purchased Macs and iPhones will be usable with the company network from July.

Flash Player 10 beta updated

Adobe this week has released Flash Player 10 beta 2, a new test version of its major animation plugin update.

The latest beta addresses a number of minor bugs and new features but is touted primarily for its speed on Mac OS X. The Apple platform has been characteristically slow in some browsers but runs at least three times faster in benchmarks thanks to a new drawing engine and hardware video acceleration, according to Adobe developers.

Version 10 also adds 3D effects, custom filters, and dynamic Internet streams that can lower or raise quality depending on the speed of the viewer's Internet connection.

Beta 2 represents late development and should translate to a final release soon.