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Briefly: Dell at Best Buy; Mac Pro and 10.5.2 at Macworld?


Dell has bolstered its commitment to retail by placing some of its computer line on Best Buy's shelves. Meanwhile, one rumor suggests Apple will both update the Mac Pro at January's Macworld show and release an update to speed up new Intel processors.

Dell computers reach Best Buy

Texas-based PC maker Dell on Thursday said it would throw its hat into the ring at Best Buy, selling a portion of its desktop and notebook lines at 900 stores in the US.

Though Dell first began selling PCs at Wal-Mart and the affiliated Sam's Club chain this summer, the introduction at Best Buy is the first to include models from Dell's top XPS line. Both the XPS M1330 notebook and the XPS One desktop — meant to target Apple's iMac — will appear alongside a selection of budget Inspiron portable and tower systems.

The expansion is reportedly a reaction by Dell to poor sales versus HP, which has a stronger retail footing.

Apple is also heavily invested in Best Buy and plans to add 40 more of the stores to its roster of locations carrying store-within-a-store Mac boutiques.

Mac Pro, Leopard performance boost at Macworld?

Apple will kick off the new year with more than just a computer upgrade, according to a rumor from MacBidouille.

The January 15th keynote for IDG's Macworld San Francisco expo will see Mac Pros using new 45-nanometer, quad-core Xeons based on Intel's Penryn architecture, the French outlet reports — systems which AppleInsider said earlier this year were dependent on Intel's supply of new processors before manufacturing could begin, and which would be available by the early 2008 event. These will clock up to the predicted 3.2GHz and use new video cards, including NVIDIA's latest Quadro FX workstation models.

A Blu-ray drive should also be an option, the site claims.

As significant as these updates may be, the report also cites sources which point to the release of Mac OS X 10.5.2 as being instrumental to the hardware upgrade. Apple software engineers are reworking Leopard code to optimize it for the SSE4 instructions found within Penryn and the architecture as a whole, both of which promise speed gains above and beyond clock speed boosts.

This update will be the most significant interim upgrade for Mac OS X ever made by Apple, according to the rumor.

Apple chief Jobs inducted into California Hall of Fame

Apple headman Steve Jobs was one of 13 luminaries inducted into California's Hall of Fame at an event held Wednesday night.

The Sacramento ceremony placed Jobs in the company of celebrities from diverse backgrounds who were also receiving the award, including actress Elizabeth Taylor and golfer Tiger Woods. Actor and now state governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and his wife Maria Shriver hosted the event.

Jobs was allegedly reluctant to attend the event out of modesty and respect for his family, according to Shriver, who asked that all living recipients attend to qualify for the Hall of Fame position.

"He's trying to balance children, family, business, he doesn't like to be singled out," Shriver says of Jobs. "He believes that Apple is the star of the Silicon Valley, not him."