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Toshiba server aims to clear up clutter

The company says its newest servers, part of its Magnia family, help businesses handle multiple tasks such as tracking billable hours while hosting a wireless network.

Toshiba on Wednesday launched several new server models that it says will help businesses get organized.

The company's newest servers, part of its Magnia family, aim to help businesses handle multiple tasks such as tracking billable hours and employee schedules while hosting a wireless network or storing files.

Toshiba is best known for its Tecra, Portege and Satellite notebook PCs. But the company has been selling servers in the United States since 1998. More recently, though, Toshiba has been focusing on server models that can offer businesses easy-to-install wireless networking.

Toshiba's newest server models, dubbed Magnia Mobile Productivity Solutions, are based on the company's Magnia SG and Magnia Z310 hardware. New models include a project management server, which offers software that tracks billable hours, contacts and the exchange of documents; a digital file cabinet server that stores files and makes them accessible through a Web interface; a financial management server that handles accounting and finances; and a "portal in a box" server that lets businesses set up Web sites to distribute information to employees, customers and business partners.

Prices on the new servers start at $1,448, Toshiba said. However, the price quickly rises for some models. The project management server package, for example, ranges from about $3,000 to nearly $9,000, according to Toshiba's Web site.

Aside from the new Magnia Mobile Productivity models, Toshiba is working on several wireless servers.

The company has developed a new kind of wireless server that will let people using portable computing devices, such as notebooks or personal digital assistants (PDAs), receive phone calls via a wireless network. The server also lets customers switch between different wireless networks on the fly, without having to stop and change settings, company executives said.

Toshiba also is developing its next generation of home servers, but that project isn't as far along. These machines, which are similar in concept to its current Magnia SG20 Wireless Media Center model, will serve as a central point for managing services like Internet access for a household, company executives said.