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Intel, SAS go mobile with business data

Software maker SAS teams up with the chipmaker in an effort to improve mobile computers' access to business reports and other data.

Software maker SAS is teaming up with chipmaker Intel in an effort to improve mobile computers' access to business reports and other data.

The companies announced the project Monday. SAS, which makes data-mining software, said the Intel deal will let workers pull information from its server-based systems onto laptop computers via Wi-Fi networks, dial-up lines and high-speed corporate network connections. Workers will be able to switch from one type of network connection to another and disconnect completely without disruption, said Jim Watts, the Intel global alliance manager at SAS.

Underlying the technology is Intel's Centrino mobile processors, a family of chips the company introduced earlier this year that were designed to help PC manufacturers create notebooks that tie into wireless networks.

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The project is one part of SAS's ongoing effort to put its software in the hands of a wider range of workers. Traditionally, SAS products have been used by a few, highly trained data-crunching experts within companies.

SAS's Watts said the new mobile-friendly version of the software could, for instance, let retail buyers tap into key sales data on the road, helping them decide how much merchandise to order. Or factory managers could use the technology to wirelessly download quality-control specifications from their SAS system while inspecting merchandise rolling off the assembly line, Watts said.

SAS, based in Cary, N.C., would not provide release dates for the versions of its software that incorporate Centrino technology. An Intel spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.