Sony is making an aggressive move into the business computing market with the launch in Japan on Wednesday of the "Vaio Business" brand and a lightweight laptop computer that\u2019s the product of feedback from more than a thousand business people.The company, which is already one of Japan\u2019s top laptop PC makers, hopes to expand its enterprise business by 50 percent year over year between now and 2009 so it accounts for 30 percent of its domestic computer sales in 2009.\n\n\n\n\nSony HeadquartersSony ranked ninth in the enterprise laptop market in the second quarter of this year with a 2.4 percent share, according to data from IDC. The market leader was NEC, which enjoyed a 23.1 percent share, followed by Fujitsu (16.4 percent), Toshiba (14.3 percent), Dell (12.8 percent) and Lenovo Group (10.4 percent), the market research company said.To kick off its more aggressive push to enterprise customers, Sony on Dec. 2 will begin selling the Vaio Type G laptop. The computer is the product of feedback from about 1,300 people and is the lightest laptop with a 12.1-inch screen on the market, according to Sony. At 898 grams, the computer\u2019s light weight surprised most people who picked it up at a Tokyo news conference on Wednesday.The secret to the Type G\u2019s lightness comes in part from a Carbon body. Sony has also employed Carbon in the heatsink for the processor and graphics chips to reduce the size and weight. The machine will work for about six hours on a fully charged standard battery and will survive a drop from a table without damage, said Sony. There\u2019s also a light AC adapter that is the same thickness as the computer so it won\u2019t cause a bulge in a bag."The small, thin and light market within the business market is growing, and that\u2019s the area where we can show our strength in terms of product and technology," said Yoshihisa Ishida, a Sony senior vice president and head of the company\u2019s Vaio business, in an interview.Sony has also prepared a package of after-care services to cater to business users. These include a help desk dedicated to Vaio Business customers, a three-year guarantee and\u2014for the legions of Japanese salarymen who take frequent business trips\u2014the promise that a service technician will come to wherever the customer is should that be necessary.In its battle for the enterprise market, Sony might have an ally in business users."From the commercial user\u2019s survey, Sony laptops were ranked number one," said Masahiro Katayama, PC research manager at IDC Japan, in e-mailed comments. "So Sony has a good image among business customers especially from the design point of view. But from the reliability point of view, not only for laptops but also other products, customers don\u2019t have a good image of Sony. The recent battery recall hasn\u2019t helped that."Vaio Business as a brand will initially be restricted to Japan, said Ishida. In some markets, such as the United States, the company already promotes laptops to enterprise users under names like Vaio Professional."I think it\u2019s not easy to do," Ishida said about the difficulty Sony might face in convincing Japanese companies that its machines are just as suited to business as they are to consumer use. He noted that Sony has been getting into the business market in other countries for several years, and enterprise customers make up a "pretty high revenue share" of its total business in some countries.Sony doesn\u2019t have any plans to sell the Type G machine overseas at present, he said. When it goes on sale in Japan on Dec. 2, it will cost between 215,000 yen and 245,000 yen (US$1,830 and $2,085), depending on configuration.-Martyn Williams, IDG News Service (Tokyo Bureau)Related Links:\nSony SRAM Sales Probed by U.S. DoJ\nSony Profit Forecast Slashed on Battery, PS3 WoesCheck out our CIO News Alerts and Tech Informer pages for more updated news coverage.