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Intel in antitrust crackdown; Parallels tests Mac-on-Mac VM; more

Apple's main processor supplier, Intel, is under investigation by New York state officials to determine whether it illegally excluded rivals. At the same time, a test release of Parallels Server is the first software ever to allow Mac OS X running in a virtual machine.

Intel subpoenaed in NY antitrust case

The office of New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo began an investigation of Intel on Thursday that will determine whether the semiconductor firm has abused its control of the processor market to prevent AMD from gaining marketshare, say news reports.

Cuomo has issued a subpoena demanding information from both AMD and Intel to aid in the investigation.

The chipmaker has already been the subject of similar complaints leveled against it in Asia and Europe. Accusations made by the European Commission claim Intel unfairly priced AMD out of the regional market by selling processors at a loss.

Intel says it will comply with the request but believes that the market is already behaving properly and that no action is needed.

Parallels Server beta brings Mac OS X virtual machines

SWsoft has preceded Macworld with a landmark release it says open new possibilities for Mac OS X Server systems.

The software developer has launched a private but registration-friendly beta test of a new product, Parallels Server, that allows virtual copies of Mac OS X Leopard Server to run on top of a single Mac.

Taking advantage of a new clause in Apple's licensing agreement for its operating system, the Parallels update lets users either run the virtual machines within a main operating system or in a "bare metal" mode where the machine runs through virtualization technology built into the actual computer's hardware. This lets IT administrators "sandbox" a Mac OS X install to test code or run apps without breaking the primary operating system, SWsoft says.

The release is intended primarily for multi-core Mac Pros and Xserves and can also run Windows or other operating systems in virtual machines alongside any Leopard Server install.

SEC filing reveals stock options for new Apple board member

Avon chair and new Apple board of directors member Andrea Jung will receive both stock options and direct financial compensation for her work with Apple's board, according to a Securities and Exchange Commission filing from the company.

As part of the terms of her appointment, Jung receives the option of buying as many as 30,000 shares in the Mac maker, 10,000 of which will be exercisable each year. Each year from then onwards will see an additional 10,000 share options made available, Apple says.

Jung will also be paid $50,000 over the course of the year as a retainer.

Both practices are standard procedure for any member of the board who isn't already an Apple employee, the filing notes.

Elantech demos multi-touch trackpad

A Taiwanese design house named Elantech has been demonstrating a 'multi-finger smartpad' at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Engadget says.

Showcased on a standard ASUS Windows PC, the trackpad allows users to pinch in and out to zoom and to spin photos by moving fingers in a circular pattern. Elantech is not known to have announced deals with specific companies, and Apple has already filed a multi-touch trackpad patent itself.

NetNewsWire free for Macs

As part of an effort to expand its audience, NewsGator has switched its NetNewsWire RSS news reader to a completely free product.

The software was previously available for free only as either a trial version or through free but feature-limited Lite edition. Version 3.1, the first unrestricted free update, includes a user interface refresh as well as the ability to archive news stories as HTML saved on a user's hard drive.