IBM builds encryption, wireless access into PCs

IBM builds encryption, wireless access into PCs

An embedded security subsystem in new IBM Corp. NetVista and ThinkPad PCs automatically encrypts files, e-mail and user keys. The notebook systems also have built-in IEEE 802.11b wireless Ethernet, and the redesigned ThinkPad A30p has Bluetooth short-range networking.

Jon Judge, general manager of the IBM personal computing division, said a new service called ImageUltra can combine all of an organization's applications and device drivers in one preinstalled superimage, so that no individual software loading is necessary. 'Each user selects the desired configuration at first boot-up,' Judge said.

The built-in encryption subsystem protects standard applications against intrusion on either wired or wireless networks, he said. It also authenticates users. The subsystem requires IBM's Tivoli Policy Director software for central management.

The NetVista desktop systems range from $699 to $2,549 with Pentium 4 processors, 128M of RAM, 40G hard drives, CD-ROM drives and Microsoft Windows 2000. The more expensive models have faster Pentium 4 chips and include IBM's $469 LCD monitors, which are optional with other models.

The new ThinkPads are priced from $1,249 to $3,749.

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