|November, 1997 Archive
Wednesday, November 26th
Netscape Estimates Refute Dataquest Report
[7:25PM] Following a Dataquest report released last week showing a continuing slide in Netscape Communication's share of the browser market, the company issued a statement today saying that traffic from a group of leading search engines has shown otherwise. The average share from site traffic from search companies including Excite, Infoseek, LookSmart and Yahoo! show Mountain View, Calif.-based Netscape to have 67 percent share, compared with the 57 percent derived from Dataquest.
"Aggregated traffic data representing several leading Internet search companies more accurately depict the Netscape client continuing its leadership as the dominant browser of choice in the marketplace than the results of only one site," said Michael Tchong, editor of the ICONOCAST marketing newsletter. "The data provided by search companies like Excite, Infoseek, LookSmart and Yahoo! shows that Netscape continues to lead the browser market by a significant margin." In related news, Netscape said that it has gained more than 25 million users of its Communicator since the browser suite's release this past July.
Press Release - Netscape Communications
Clear Ink Unwraps ClearlyHome Revision
[2:15PM] Clear Ink today released a revision of ClearlyHome, its virtual domain filter plug-in for Macintosh Web severs. ClearlyHome version 1.0.4 corrects a bug with error page handling, according to the company, and adds support for SSI processing of the page's data. Additionally, the new version also sports a new administration screen that duplicates the information available in the server's status window. Clear Ink also noted of the product's next major upgrade; ClearlyHome 2.0, now in development, will be completely redesigned as a WebSTAR 3.0 plug-in to take advantage of the server's multi-domain features.
Clear Ink - ClearlyHome Homepage
Apple Posts QuickTime 3.0 "Preview Release"
[1:55PM] Users looking to get a taste of the much anticipated, and often delayed, QuickTime 3.0 can now download a "Developer Preview Release" from Apple Computer's FTP servers. A Windows version of the digital media engine, currently scheduled for release early next year, is available as well, and as with its cross-platform variant, the software will expire on January 6th.
QuickTime 3.0 PR Info - Macintosh - Windows
IBM Lays Desktop OS/2 To Rest, Report Says
[12:30PM] IBM's OS/2, the PC operating system that was once hailed to become the eventual successor to DOS, will take a bow from the desktop market, following an internal shuffling of key members of the software's development and management staff, reports said earlier this week. ZDNet, quoting anonymous officials close to IBM, stated the Personal Software Products division -- the group responsible for all OS/2 development and marketing -- has been folded into a newly created network computing unit, which will focus on networking and security offerings and Java technologies. "The OS/2 group from PSP (the Personal Software Products division) will remain and will continue to promote and enhance Workspace On Demand [WOD] and OS/2 LAN Server as well as to support Warp," said the source. "It does pretty much signal the end of feature development for the Warp desktop OS."
ZDNet Report - IBM
QuickBooks Helps Intuit Narrow Q1 Losses
[11:25AM] Despite weak sales of its flagship Quicken product, Intuit was able to narrow losses for its fiscal first quarter, the company said yesterday. In its typically slow, pre-tax season, Mountain View, Calif.-based Intuit posted an operating loss of $12.1 million or 26 cents a share, compared with a loss of $14.3 million, or 31 cents, in the year ago period. This narrowly beat Wall Street estimates, which called for a loss of 27 cents per share. Strong sales of the company's QuickBooks accounting software helped push revenue up 13 percent year over year, from $84.8 million to $96 million. However, shipments and revenue on the newest release of Quicken, which now accounts for just 15 percent of overall revenue, were down compared with last year, the company said. Where sales Quicken eased, Intuit's family of financial Web sites helped pick up the slack. Traffic on the sites doubled in the past three months to 39 million page views per month, helping generate 75 percent higher revenue.
"I am pleased with the accomplishments we have made during the past quarter," commented Scott D. Cook, chairman of the board at Intuit. "Our Small Business Division performed strongly, as demand for existing products continued to be robust. Positive initial response to our new version of Quicken supports our strategy to connect our desktop software to the power of the Internet. We also achieved major milestones in our Internet electronic commerce business, enhancing Quicken.com as the objective source to make the most of your money."
Press Release - Intuit
Christmas Arrives Early For Totally Hip
[10:10AM] Vancouver-based software developer Totally Hip Software, Inc. made public yesterday their acquisition agreement with Columbia Diversified Software Fund Limited Partnership. To the tune of $10 million, Columbia will take over ownership of Totally Hip's WebPainter, CastPainter and Hip Clips software products. Under the terms of the deal, Totally Hip will maintain the rights to develop, market, distribute and resell their products. The cash injection gives Totally Hip a much healthier balance sheet, the ability to increase product distribution, release new versions of current applications and to develop new Web design tools and multimedia products. In addition, as part of the agreement, Larry Whitehead, president and chief executive of Columbia, will join the board of directors at Totally Hip Software, pending the required shareholder and regulatory approvals.
"Totally Hip Software will now be able to aggressively market and distribute these award-winning Web design tools into new software distribution channels, especially the traditional reseller markets. In the past six months we have focused our limited marketing resources on direct online sales through the Internet and strategic OEM bundle licensing of our products with over thirty third party vendors," said Randall McCallum, CEO of Totally Hip Software.
Totally Hip Software
One Click Adds More Time Saving Features
[9:45AM] For the second time in as many weeks WestCode Software Inc. is offering new add-ons for their Macintosh utility, OneClick. New time saving features found in OneClick's latest rendition include Choose Printer Button 1.0 and WebFinder 1.2. Choose Printer Button enables the user to switch printers without having to open the Chooser; WebFinder 1.2 lets users access any of the major web search engines by a simple click of a button.
Wednesday, November 25th
WebTV Plus Will Miss Christmas, Report Says
[4:30PM] WebTV's followup to their original Internet set-top box will not arrive nationwide until early next year, thus missing the critical holiday shopping season, NEWS.COM reported today. The Microsoft subsidiary's WebTV Plus was announced earlier this fall, and while the company had hoped to have it on store shelves in time for the Christmas season, it appears as if they will now have to push the one-year-old "classic" model, instead of the new machine. Chief among the changes in the Plus model is a feature that integrates television viewing with Internet content through a mechanism similar to that of the picture-in-picture capabilities of many TVs. In addition, Plus features a faster modem and integrated storage via an internal hard drive.
NEWS.COM Report - WebTV Plus
Apple Teams Up For WebObjects Training
[4:00PM] Apple Computer and BLaCKSMITH, an object-oriented software development firm, will combine efforts to deliver a series of WebObjects training programs, the tandem announced today. The first in the string of courses, which are intended to familiarize corporate customers with the benefits of WebObjects, will be held Jan. 26-30, 1998 at BLaCKSMITH's training facilities in McLean, Va. "BLaCKSMITH is a valued Apple Enterprise Alliance Program Member that has created and delivered training classes on OPENSTEP and Java, provided OPENSTEP consulting services, and developed shrink-wrap productivity applications for both OPENSTEP and Rhapsody," says Sara Benson, director of WebObjects and OPENSTEP customer training for Apple. "By including WebObjects in their class curriculum, BLaCKSMITH's training certification enables us to expand our business relationship with BLaCKSMITH and provide technical training to our customers."
Press Release - Apple Computer
Metrowerks Partners With AG Communication
[1:50PM] As outlined in an agreement announced yesterday, leading Macintosh development tool vendor Metrowerks will begin building Sun Solaris- and Windows NT-hosted software development tools for AG Communication Systems' central office switch. Metrowerks says it will use its core CodeWarrior development technology to create a set of new tools for the GTD-5 EAX digital switch. "This development agreement results in the largest single project we have ever undertaken here at Metrowerks," said Jean Belanger, CEO of Metrowerks. "It's consistent with our long-term strategy to provide easy-to-use industrial-strength tools to embedded software developers, whether targeting a proprietary OS such as AG Communication Systems' digital switch or a commercial off-the-shelf real-time operating system solution."
Press Release - Metrowerks
Digital Reaches $430 Mln. Deal With Cabletron
[1:30PM] Digital Equipment's rumored deal with Cabletron Systems finally came to fruition today, as the companies announced this morning that Cabletron will be purchasing Digital's network products division for $430 million in cash, stock and product credits. The new unit, to be officially called "Digital Network Products Group: A Cabletron Systems Company", will operate as a separate division within the Cabletron organization and will provide both Cabletron and Digital customers with a full complement of network products. "This agreement represents an important example of Digital's focus on solving customers' problems with the best available products and services," said Digital Chairman Robert B. Palmer. "We offer customers the best solutions not only with our own products, but also through partnerships and alliances with other leaders in our industry."
"With this first initiative, we are launching Cabletron's strategy to rapidly expand through aggressive acquisitions and strategic partnerships that extend our international presence and channel distribution," said Don Reed, Cabletron's CEO. "This agreement will bolster our core business, while linking us with a strong partner for distributing Cabletron products to the enterprise and service-provider markets. Most important, Cabletron is acquiring a business whose employees and products have established a first-class reputation for quality and performance worldwide."
The acquisition is expected to increase Cabletron's international revenues by between 35 and 40 percent, and its channel revenues by more than 100 percent. And for Digital, this latest move will give them another large infusion of cash, following their lucrative settlement with once rival Intel earlier this month.
Press Release - Digital - Cabletron
RealNetworks Releases Latest Client
[12:25PM] After a relatively brief public beta cycle, RealNetworks released the final version of its RealPlayer 5.0 yesterday. The revision, as seen in previous betas, adds support for a new multimedia streaming format dubbed "RealFlash." As the name suggests, the format was jointly developed by Real and Macromedia, who provided their Flash vector-based animation playback engine as the basis for the technology. In addition, playback of "RealVideo" clips has improved, with smoother and sharper video obtainable on 28.8 kbps and 56 kbps connections. Audio wise, RealPlayer 5.0 can now play near-CD quality voice over 28.8 kbps connections, the company claims. The latest version, available only for PowerPC machines (no further development will take place on the 680X0 version), can be downloaded from the company's site.
RealPlayer 5.0 Homepage - RealNetworks
Saudi Prince Al Waleed Goes Spending Again
[10:00AM] Following his purchase of a five percent stake (valued at $115 million) in Apple Computer last April, Saudi Arabian prince Al Waleed bin Talal bin Abdul has gone spending once again, this time picking up five percent stakes in both Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and Netscape Communications. The prince told Time magazine, the latest edition of which is available on the Web, of his new investments, one of which also includes a sizeable stake in Motorola. "I want to concentrate on communications, technology, entertainment and news," Al Waleed told the magazine. "This is the future. News Corp is the only truly global news and intertainment company. Netscape is strongly involved with the Internet. Motorola is very global in telephones and satellites. These companies are going to play a crucial role," he said.
A statement from the prince's office in Riyadh detailed the specific cash amounts of each purchase. It said the prince bought the News Corp stake for $400 million, the Netscape stake for $146 million and the Motorola stake for $300 million. "Prince Al Waleed has shifted investment gears today with substantial investments buying telecommunications shares in the world's largest media conglomerate, News Corp Ltd, the world's leading online browser Netscape and the world's leader in telecommunications equipment manufacturer Motorola," the statement said.
Time Article - Prince's Statement
Ingram Completes Acquisition Of CompuTek
[9:30AM] Ingram Micro's acquisition of Computacion Tecnica, S.A. (Computek), the leading Chilean computer products distributor, has been completed, the companies said yesterday. Originally announced on October 5th, the acquisition also envelopes three affiliated companies, including Systems & Solutions Informatica Ltda., based in Sao Paulo, Brazil; Computek Enterprises Inc., based in Miami, Florida; and Computacion Tecnica Peruana S.A. located in Lima, Peru. With the deal, Ingram Micro, who earlier this month was a part of Apple Computer's revised distribution strategy, will now become the second largest Pan Latin-American supplier.
Press Release - Ingram Micro
Seilder Cos Initiates Coverage Of Macromedia
[9:15AM] Coverage of multimedia specialist Macromedia was initiated this morning by investment firm Seilder Cos with a "buy" rating. Before today's opening bell, shares of the San Francisco, Calif.-based company were at 10, off their 52-week high of 21-3/4.
Upgrades & Downgrades - Macromedia
Compaq, Digital Looking To Tie The Knot?
[8:45AM] A rumor put out last Friday by Wall Street news service, Wall Street Ticker Inc., noted that Compaq Computer is seriously considering placing a bid for Digital Equipment at $73 per share, or $20 billion. The service advised brokerage houses last week to purchase shares of Digital at $49.75, saying that the company has become very attractive to Compaq and a deal between the two firms was "close." Rumors of the two companies teaming up surfaced two years ago, but like then, Argus Research analyst Wendy Ambramowitz doesn't see any particular reason why Compaq would take this step, despite the fact that it would help the PC maker reach its much-stated goal of becoming a $50 billion company by the end of the decade.
"Compaq has talked a lot about being a $50 billion company by the end of the millennium, and the only way they are going to pull that off is through outside acquisitions," Ambramowitz told ZDNet. "This deal has been around for years. I don't see any particular reason - nor have I heard from anyone - why (Compaq) would do this now." Analysts questioned by the Web publication said their buying decision were not influenced by the report, and although shares of the involved companies shifted in Friday's trading, Wall Street reacted quite uneventfully to the news.
ZDNet Report - Compaq - Digital
Monday, November 24th
Companies Announce "Web Site Creation Suite"
[5:20PM] A trio of Macintosh developers announced last week the introduction of new promotional bundle aimed at Web developers. Terran Interactive Inc., GoLive Systems, Inc., and Paceworks will each provide their respective products in the "Web Site Creation Suite" bundle. Included in the $699 package, which is available directly from the participating companies, are Media Cleaner Pro, CyberStudio, ObjectDancer, and DancePack. "Today, the majority of creative development happens on the Mac. This bundle specifically addresses the needs of the Macintosh market," said Nick Floro, Director of Sales for reseller SealWorks. "We're excited to be able to offer these three award-winning tools to our Mac customers at such a significant savings."
Press Release - Terran Interactive
Microsoft Submits Proposal For Buddy List Spec
[1:05PM] Hoping to tie together the myriad of "buddy list" applications that have cropped up over the past six months, Microsoft today submitted a proposed specification called the "rendezvous protocol" (RVP) to the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF). The spec, backed by more than 40 companies, has a stated goal of creating an open Internet standard for identifying online presence. "It's our goal to evolve the Internet into a real-time multimedia communications network, and this requires unrelenting industry commitment to interoperability standards," John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft. "The RVP submission, along with broad industry involvement, is a key step toward achieving that goal."
The list of participating vendors includes such prominent firms as 3Com, Cisco, Connectix, InfoSeek, Lucent, The Palace, Prodigy, and Voxware, although the absence of both Netscape and America Online will undoubtedly raise a few eyebrows. The two companies are collaborating on their own "buddy list" variation with the bundling of a co-branded version of AOL's Instant Messenger client with Netscape's Communicator suite.
Press Release - Microsoft
RealNetworks Abandons Mac With Its Server
[12:15PM] RealNetworks sent notices to beta testers of its RealAudio Server 5.0 for the Macintosh saying they will not release a final version of the software, according to Computer Reseller News. The news apparently will not affect the company's committment to a Mac version of its RealPlayer client, although the lack of a server means Mac Webmasters will be without a solution for streaming the popular multimedia format. RealNetworks sysop, Kevin Epstein, responded to concerns on the company's public message board by saying: "We are committed to cross-platform functionality and have Mac versions of our Encoder and Player... but we have not released a version of our Mac server, pending Apple's fix of an issue in their Open Transport. Until that's done, it's difficult to predict any server release for Mac."
Another sysop, Paul Thelen, provided a different answer, pointing to an apparent lack of resources at the company, which just last week went public: "While the Mac PPC is a powerful machine, our expertise was in writing assembly-level code optimized for the Pentium chip and MMX. The Mac could be made to run fast enough but is a significant effort we have not yet committed to."
Computer Reseller News Report - RealNetworks
Latest CNET Service Aimed At Computer Buyers
[11:45AM] Billed as "the Internet's most timely and complete guide to buying computer hardware," CNET today officially opened the doors of computers.com, the latest addition to their family of Web sites. The free service features a dynamic product directory, one that reflects the round-the-clock changes made by manufacturers in their pricing and configuration options. "With news.com, CNET changed the way news was delivered on the Web; with computers.com, we will change the way people use the Web to select and buy computer products," boasted Halsey Minor, Chairman and CEO of CNET. "Computers.com makes buying a computer easier and more efficient than ever before. It provides business and home buyers with the most flexible, timely and comprehensive tool available in any medium."
Press Release - computers.com
Iomega Wins Restraining Order Against Nomai
[10:40AM] Iomega said today that the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California granted a temporary restraining order against Nomai S.A. and its U.S. subsidiary, Nomus Inc. last week. The order restrains Nomai and Nomus from "making, selling, offering for sale, using, importing, or distributing Nomai's XHD cartridges in the United States which claim on their labeling or packaging that Nomai's XHD cartridges are compatible Iomega Zip disks or are compatible with Zip drives or disks." Iomega says that Nomai and its subsidiary are wrongfully selling XHD disks which purport to be compatible with Iomega's Zip drive, a claim which the studies of two independent testing laboratories uphold. Testing showed that the XHD carts had greater than 50 percent rejection rates. The labs also found that 25 percent of randomly selected XHD disks tested were inoperable with internal Zip drives.
"We are committed not only to vigorously enforcing our intellectual property rights," said Kim B. Edwards, Iomega's president and CEO, in a statement "but also to protecting the rights of Zip drive owners. Our customers have a right to be protected from loss of data stored on Zip products and a right not to be misled by claims of Zip compatibility that we believe are false."
Press Release - Iomega
Mac Tempest 2000 Resurrected By Logicware
[10:00AM] After falling victim to an unfortunate product release decision by MacPlay last year, the regrooved classic of Atari's vector-based arcade game, Tempest 2000, seemed like it would never grace Macintosh desktops, despite the fact that development on the title was, for all intents and purposes, complete. Following MacPlay's decision, however, Logicware has since secured the publishing rights to the Mac version of T2K, a game originally developed for Atari's last home console system -- the Jaguar -- by Jeff Minter, and will be begin shipping the full version on December 5th. A three-level demo offering a snippet of the title's acclaimed gameplay is now available from Logicware's homepage.
Logicware - Tempest 2000 Homepage
Database Specialist Announces Web Tool
[9:10AM] ProVUE Development announced today the release of SiteWarrior, a new Web site management and development environment which uses a single RAM-based database to manage the structure of an entire Web site, taking advantage of years of experience the company has in the database field. By holding the entire site in one location, all structures and links are updated automatically as pages are added, renamed, or deleted, thereby bringing to end one of the more tedious aspects of managing a large project. ProVUE has also included built-in FTP navigation services, as well as an HTML-aware spell checker.
SiteWarrior has won praise from beta testers who've been happy with the product's direct HTML coding approach. "For the past two years vendors have tried to convince me that I should stop coding in HTML, but I find that direct HTML coding is still the way to go", says SiteWarrior beta tester Kevin Killion of Stone House Systems. "SiteWarrior gives me a tool that combines the power and flexibility of coding in HTML with powerful web site management and automation tools." Available for immediate shipping, ProVUE is offering SiteWarrior for $299 until January 15th, after which time the suggested retail price will be $499.
Friday, November 21st
Apple Announces Charitable Program
[TOP STORY] Apple Computer will begin donating a portion of Mac OS 8 sales to a trio of charitable organizations, the company announced today. Through January 15th, 1998, a donation of $10 for every consumer purchase of Mac OS 8 will be made to one of the following charities; The Humane Society of the United States, Second Harvest Food Bank, or The Make-A-Wish Foundation. Each contribution will be submitted in the name of the consumers who participate in the program. "During the holiday season, we want to demonstrate our commitment to worthwhile non-profit organizations through direct contributions on behalf of our customers," said Peter Lowe, Mac OS product line manger, Apple.
Press Release - Apple Computer
Ellison Talks Of CEO, Possible Investment
[TOP STORY] The top candidate for the vacant chief executive position at Apple Computer has not yet been officially offered the job, this according to Oracle Chairman and CEO Larry Ellison. Ellison, also an Apple board member, told the audience at the Asia Pacific Information Technology Summit in San Francisco that although the company is eyeing one candidate in particular, no final decisions have been made. "There's absolutely no decision yet," Ellison said. "We're going to take our time and get the right person for the job." The head of the world's second largest software company went on to say, ""Whoever leads Apple has to be an industry leader and a technology leader. It's not the easiest job to fill." Meanwhile, when asked if there was any truth to speculation that Oracle was planning an investment in the Cupertino, Calif.-based company, Ellison responded with a frank, "No."
Bloomberg News Report - Apple Computer - Oracle
RealNetworks Launches Initial Public Offering
[2:25PM] RealNetworks' initial public offering of 3 million shares was completed today, and Wall Street immediately reacted positively, sending shares of the Internet multimedia streaming software company up 55 percent. The company's stock jumped to 19 3/8 after the market's opening bell, up from the opening price of 12 1/2. Just yesterday, lead underwriters Goldman, Sachs, & Co. upped the opening range to $11-$13 a share from the previous scope of $9-$11. Based on today's opening price, RealNetworks, formerly Progressive Networks, generated $37.5 million.
Press Release - RealNetworks
Wolfram Pledges Committment To Macintosh
[12:35PM] Recent announcements from SPSS and Matlab that they would curtail Macintosh development of their products has quickly limited the number of technical software choices available to Macintosh users. However, earlier this week, Champaign, Illinois-based Wolfram Research re-committed their support of the platform with their market leading Mathematica. "The Macintosh has always represented a significant and enthusiastic proportion of Mathematica's user base," said John Bonadies, Director of Marketing and Creative Services. "Mathematica's design philosophy shares many of the core concepts that guide Apple Computer in delivering useful, powerful products. We also share the same ideals as our customers: they're innovative, creative people who can find the best solution in new and unconventional ways. We look forward to working with Apple to keep providing Apple customers with the best in technical computing power."
Press Release - Wolfram Research
IBM Keeps Gerstner Five More Years
[12:05PM] The man who's credited with resurrecting Big Blue from dire straits earlier this decade will be staying put for at least the next five years, the computer maker said in a two-paragraph statement released earlier today. Lou Gerstner, chairman and chief executive of IBM, has agreed to remain at the company until the age of 60, a contract extension of five years. As a result of his decision, Gerstner will be awarded additional stock options on some 2 million shares of IBM, which are currently valuated around $104. Prior to joining IBM in 1993, Gerstner served for four years as chairman and chief executive officer of RJR Nabisco, where he was eventually recruited for the top spot at Big Blue by Heidrick & Struggles, the search firm currently leading Apple Computer's quest for a new chief executive.
Press Release - IBM
Hitachi Readying Spacious Flash Memory Card
[11:00AM] Sample shipments of a 45MB Flash memory card from Hitachi of Japan will be distributed in December, according to a Reuters report this morning. The "CompactFlash" cards will use six 64-megabit Flash memory chips and a single-chip controller, making them the most spacious Flash storage expansion cards available today. A spokesman at the company told Reuters that the reduction to one single-chip controller will result in a drop in power consumption, a welcome sign since the majority of cards are used with portable devices. Presently, the surge in sales of digital cameras, and to some extent, handheld personal computers, are contributing to an increase in demand for Flash storage, to which some companies have adjusted their focus to meet.
Reuters Report - Hitachi America, Ltd.
Thursday, November 20th
Power Selects DecisionOne To Handle Support
[TOP STORY 2:45PM] Questions surrounding Power Computing's plan for long-term customer and technical support on its Macintosh clones were answered today when the Round Rock, Texas-based company announced that DecisionOne has been awarded the duties going forward. Beginning December 8th, DecisionOne will provide warranty and post warranty, on-site and depot service and support for the more than 250,000 Mac OS machines that were sold by Power. "Our goal has always been to provide superior customer support, and this announcement with DecisionOne ensures that our customers will have excellent service going forward," said Steve Kahng, Power Computing's founder and CEO, in a statement. "DecisionOne is widely recognized as the leading independent service provider with a proven reputation for multivendor service and support. We are pleased DecisionOne will be taking care of Power Computing's customers," said Kahng.
Under the agreement, DecisionOne will continue to provide out-of-warranty repairs for a minimum of seven years. To support this, Power Computing will transfer more than $2 million of parts to the company. "The combination of depot repair and DecisionOne's extensive field service infrastructure of more than 4,000 technical personnel operating from more than 150 service offices means that Power Computing's customers will have ready access to DecisionOne service and support wherever they may be located," said Steve Felice, DecisionOne's president.
Press Release - Power Computing
Apple Intros New PowerBook Configuration
[5:10PM] Apple Computer will be beefing up its low-end PowerBook line of machines with a new configuration of the PowerBook 1400/166, The Mac Observer learned earlier today. Added to the December 13 dealer price lists is the 1400/166cs, a passive matrix model with 12MB RAM, 1.3GB hard drive, and 12x CD-ROM. Apple's minimum advertised price (MAP) is $2,299, although O'Grady's PowerPage reports that several resellers are expected to come in $100 lower, due to recent changes many have made in their adherence to the set MAPs.
Apple Computer - O'Grady's PowerPage
Motorola Set To Announce 56K Software Modem
[1:30PM] Despite their recent withdrawal from the retail space, Motorola has no plans to wave their committment to the modem market, as NEWS.COM reports the company will announce next Monday plans for a 56K software modem. Instead of going directly at end-users, the technology will be shopped around to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), who are expected to use the K56flex-compatible implementation in low-end, sub-$1,000 PCs. "We really just exited a channel. We are still very much committed to the modem market, and software modems are a strategic [technology]," Michael Tramontano, product marketing manager for Motorola's Communication Products group, told the online publication. Because software modems rely on the computer's main processor, the need for specialized DSP chips is no longer needed, resulting in reduced cost for OEM vendors. Doubts about software modems have been casted, however, with many saying that speed and reliability trade-offs remain a key issue.
NEWS.COM Article - Motorola
Roaster Brews Up Roaster Release 4
[11:30AM] Roaster Technologies is dubbing this latest incarnation of Roaster the cornerstone of the extended Roaster family of products. Roaster Release 4 is not only extensible, but is also written entirely in Java, making it seamlessly transferable across all platforms. "Roaster Release 4 represents a major innovation in the field of Java IDE's," noted John Dhabolt, president and chief executive of Roaster Technologies. "This product is the foundation of a substantial and extensible architecture which offers technological innovations within a modular environment. Using this family will dramatically increase the creativity, the power, and the productivity of any developer."
New Source Editing Views provide developers with the choice of working with the editor in ObjectView enabling them to focus working on each Java class separately. Or the developer can choose to work in full source view which gives them the freedom to work with the entire Java source file. Developers can also switch between these two viewing options on-the-fly. The extended support for Javadoc found in Release 4 is another welcomed addition. Javadoc comments are now placed into a separate editor which makes using Javadoc comments much more user friendly. Previewing Javadoc is as simple as clicking on a preview button.
Additional key features found in Release 4 include: the ability to debug multiple projects simultaneously and an integrated JavaBeans builder to aid in working graphically with JavaBeans and other components. And in clarifying Roaster Technologies' commitment to the Macintosh platform, Dhabolt was delighted with Apple's announcement about opening its operating system to Java, its impressive advances in MRJ 2.0 and reiterated that "all Roaster products will be supported under Mac OS 8 and Rhapsody."
Roaster Technologies - Roasted Java News
Wednesday, November 19th
Apple Ships Rhapsody Blue Box Component
[TOP STORY 10:05AM] After reaching the first true Rhapsody milestone with last's month shipping of the Developer Release 1 CD, Apple Computer today hit another important landmark on the roadmap to its next-generation operating system. At the company's annual European Developer Forum, the company announced that it will begin providing developers with the Mac OS compatibility environment for Rhapsody, code-named "Blue Box." The component, which is a full version of the Mac OS running under Rhapsody in native-mode, will be seeded to developers who've already received the original Rhapsody Developer Release 1 and can simply be installed on their existing copy.
"Since the introduction of the Rhapsody Developer Release just last month, Apple has made great progress with the Blue Box and we wanted to make it immediately available to developers," said Avie Tevanian, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering. "The Blue Box leverages current investments in the Mac OS by allowing existing applications to run on Rhapsody without modification. Developers who tested current Mac OS applications on an early version of Blue Box at Apple's World Wide Developers Conference (WWDC) this year responded positively to both its compatibility and performance. We think the added functionality of the Blue Box will impress them even more."
Press Release - Apple Computer
ASTARTE Unveils DVD Playback Software
[6:50PM] During the recent Macworld Expo in Dusseldorf, ASTARTE broke ground in the field of DVD by becoming the first software producer to roll out a product that enables DVD-Video playback for the Mac. In addition to ASTARTE's product DVD Video Player, Macintosh users will need a MPEG-2 Decoder card which will allow for the decoding and displaying of the MPEG-2 streams on to the screen. ASTARTE has hinted that they will continue to develop new and bolder DVD products for Macintosh users which will put them on the cutting edge of the DVD field.
ASTARTE DVD Video Player
Intel Planning Raid On Sub-$1,000 Market
[5:15PM] Variations of the upcoming "Deschutes" processor from semiconductor giant Intel will be used as the company's firepower in an forthcoming attempt to gain a foothold in the growing sub-$1,000 personal computer market. Outlined this week at Comdex by Pentium II marketing director at Intel, Richard Dracott, the company's plan will be centered around at least two slightly different designs, both of which will be variants of the current Pentium II processor, and both of which are scheduled for release within the next 12 months. The first design to hit the market will be a low-cost, cache-less take off of the Pentium II. A second-generation chip, scheduled for 1998 as well, will be in many ways similar, with the exception being the addition of a 128K L2 cache module, which will be directly integrated on the chip.
NEWS.COM Report - Intel
Shipments Of PhotoDeluxe Reach 5 Million
[1:35PM] Adobe Systems has shipped five million copies of its consumer-oriented photo-editing software, PhotoDeluxe, since the product's summer 1996 launch, the company announced today. In addition, the company expects the number of units to double to 10 million by the end of this year, as a result of the large amount of bundling arrangements with makers of digital cameras, printers and scanners. Currently, PhotoDeluxe, which was recently named "Most Compelling Digital Applications Product of 1997" by Lyra Research/Questra Consulting, is being bundled with more than 100 devices from 30 different companies.
Press Release - Adobe Systems
Stanford Recipient Of Apple Memorabilia
[12:30PM] A collection of memorabilia and artifacts detailing the storied 21-year history of Apple Computer has been donated to Stanford University. The gift fills about 2,000 boxes and is comprised of documents, hardware, software and other items, ranging "from rare to quirky to cheeky," according to Henry Lowood, library curator for the history of science and technology collection at Stanford. "It's really a longitudinal picture of Apple from its lifetime," Lowood said. "From what I've learned through my contacts at Apple, they were very interested in doing something with this collection because it just seemed like the stuff was in danger from sitting around in storage."
Managed by Apple employees since the mid-1980's, the archives were intended for an Apple museum, one that never got past the rudimentary planning stages. Stanford will add the valuable memorabilia pieces to their collection, which includes such prominent pieces as the papers of William Shockely (a pioneer who helped invent the transistor), and Russell and Sigurd Varian (early pioneers in the semiconductor industry).
Reuters Report - Apple Computer - Stanford University
Web Site Tracks FileMaker-Based Storefronts
[11:35AM] Blue World Communications' "FileMaker Pro Shopping Carts on the Web" is an online repository tracking Web storefronts which use FileMaker Pro 3.0 & 4.0 for Windows 95, Windows NT, Windows 3.1, and Mac OS as their database serving engine. "FileMaker Pro is an ideal database for building sophisticated Web commerce solutions," said Bill Doerrfeld, president and CEO of Blue World. "We're pleased to offer this directory as a service to the burgeoning FileMaker Pro Internet community." Released yesterday, the directory, in addition to its listing of sites, will also have in an area intended for submissions from Webmasters currently using FileMaker solutions.
FileMaker Pro Shopping Carts on the Web
Earning's Forecast Sends Adobe Plummeting
[10:55AM] Adobe Systems' warning yesterday that revenues for its fourth quarter will likely be lower than expected, prompted a sell off in the high-tech sector during Tuesday's trading session, and in turn, sent shares of the San Jose, Calif.-base company down 6 5/8. SoundView research director Russ Crabs, who attended Adobe's presentation at SoundView's technology outlook conference today, told Reuters that a missed product sales cycle late in the quarter would hurt revenues by about $5-$10 million for the period. Crabs said that stronger-than-expected product margins will result in the company posting earnings of just "a few pennies."
Reuters Report - Adobe Systems
Tuesday, November 18th
Mac OS 8 SoftTrends' Top Seller In August
[TOP STORY 9:50AM] With the release of Mac OS 8 this past summer, Apple Computer captured SoftTrends' top market share position in August, with 35.1 percent of entire units sold, out muscling the still strong selling Windows 95, which saw a 27.8 percent share. This marked the first time any Apple-branded operating system sat atop the SoftTrends ranking, according to marketing information provider, The NPD Group. "The success of Mac OS 8 can be attributed to many things," stated Diane Freedman of The NPD Group, "Apple has made a number of improvements in the new release, including ease of use, stability, performance enhancement, and Internet capabilities."
The NPD Group - Apple Computer
Windows NT 5.0 Will Miss Scheduled Release
[TOP STORY 9:15AM] Months after Microsoft admitted that its "Memphis" upgrade to Windows wouldn't see the light of day until the spring of next year, it appears as if Windows NT 5.0 will suffer a similar setback, following news out of Comdex yesterday. Officials at the Redmond, Washington-based company said that a second beta of the operating system would be released in the second half of 1998, a timeframe that was originally pegged as the wide-scale public introduction of the ambitious upgrade. Described by Microsoft's Bill Gates as a release the company is "betting on," analysts are now questioning if the company, whose failure to deliver a large-scale operating system revision on time now stretches some four years, can get Windows NT 5.0 out the door before the end of the year. According to a NEWS.COM report, given the state of the first beta, the launch could even slip into 1999.
NEWS.COM Article - Microsoft
WestCode Releases Series Of OneClick Add-Ons
[6:20PM] WestCode Software today announced the availability of new add-ons to their popular utility, OneClick. WebFinder 1.1, FC Admin, Can I He'p You?, OC Startup Manager, Open Sesame, FileDate Extension, and ListFinder Extension are all included in this latest release. Features of key interest found in this rendition of OneClick are Web Finder and File Date Extension. Web Finder places a OneClick button onto the user's browser window enabling them to search the Web using any of the major search engines with a simple click of the mouse. Using OneClick's macro language EasyScript, the FileDate extension retrieves the creation or modification dates of a file. The new add-ons for OneClick can be downloaded from WestCode's Web site.
New Image Compression Plug-In From BoxTop
[6:15PM] ImageVice 1.0, a color reduction Photoshop/API plug-in from BoxTop Software, Inc. is now available for the Macintosh. ImageVice offers Web and multimedia designers a solution to the ever increasing problem of bloated graphic files without compromising image quality. Using ImageVice designers can reduce the size of GIF, PNG, PICT and BMP by up to 70 percent. The technology behind ImageVice takes advantage of the perceptual processes in human vision to model image data and incorporates a new color mapping technique based on shape-form shading to produce superior visual results in such a way that it is not only visually correct, but also much more compressible.
BoxTop Software, Inc.
National Semi's Acquisition Of Cyrix Approved
[4:55PM] National Semiconductor's $550 million acquisition of Cyrix was approved by shareholders of Cyrix at a special meeting in Dallas yesterday. The intent of the acquisition -- to further National Semi's move into the sub-$1,000 PC market through the use of Cyrix' MediaGX technology -- will move ahead full steam, now that the merger, which was originally announced this past July, is complete. "The merger gives us all the pieces to integrate towards a PC on a chip, enabling us to continue driving the cost of full-featured computers deep into the sub-$1,000 price," National Semiconductor CEO Brian Halla said in a statement.
Kevin McDonough, senior vice president and co-general manager of Cyrix, said, "The completion of this transaction is key to the future growth of Cyrix products in the microprocessor marketplace. Cyrix has a strong product roadmap for both the high-performance MMX-enhanced 6x86MX processor, and the innovative integrated MediaGX processor that has established a leadership position in the sub-$1,000 PC marketplace."
National Semiconductor - Cyrix
Macintosh Programmer's Workshop Available
[12:10PM] Apple's Macintosh Programmer's Workshop, "a general-purpose development environment that can be used to create 68K and PowerPC Macintosh applications," is now available from the company's FTP servers. Included in the development environment is an editor (MPW Shell), C/C++ compilers, assemblers, linkers, and dozens of useful tools and utilities. Apple is currently providing the software "as is," with no technical support or online documentation available.
Core Mac OS Tools - Interfaces Libraries
Tenon's WebTen Headed For Rhapsody
[11:35AM] A Rhapsody version of Tenon Intersystems' Web server, WebTen, will ship to coincide with the Premiere Release of Apple's next-generation operating system, currently slated for arrival early next year, the company told The Mac Observer yesterday. The port of the server, which already sits upon a Unix execution environment in its Mac OS Incarnation, will be completed "very fast" due to the nature of Rhapsody's OpenStep underpinnings.
WebTen Homepage - Tenon Intersystems
Jobs Honored With Lifetime Achievement Award
[10:55AM] Following his induction into the Computer Reseller News Hall of Fame yesterday, Apple Computer's interim chief executive Steve Jobs was presented today with PC Magazine's Lifetime Achievement Award. Editors at the publication say they singled out Jobs for his contributions as "a guiding force behind many of the most important innovations in personal computing." "Steve Jobs has packed several careers into the last two decades," noted Michael J. Miller, editor-in-chief. "It's fitting that this year we take this opportunity to honor him."
Eudora Pro Holiday Promotion From Qualcomm
[10:10AM] A special holiday promotion from Qualcomm, announced today, offers price reductions on Eudora Pro 3.0. Through December 8th, customers will be able to purchase the email client for an estimated price of $29, a decrease of approximately 50 percent from the previous price point of $59. "Eudora Pro 3.0 is an essential tool for anyone using email today," said Tom Clarkson, vice president of Sales and Marketing for Qualcomm's Eudora Division. "With the holiday gift-giving season around the corner, we hope many people will take advantage of this price reduction to buy Eudora Pro 3.0 and see for themselves why Eudora software is the world's most popular Internet e-mail."
Eudora Homepage - Qualcomm
America Online Tops 10 Million Subscribers
[9:40AM] After adding nearly three million subscribers during a year which, by all accounts, was one of great public turmoil for the company, America Online announced yesterday that its worldwide membership has surpassed the 10 million milestone. "As our success in reaching the 10 million member mark shows, the interactive medium is exploding into a global mass market phenomenon," said Steve Case, Chairman and CEO of America Online. "Cyberspace is becoming an indispensable part of everyday life, and it is exciting for AOL to be at the heart of this revolution." "People around the world increasingly are taking advantage of AOL's convenience to communicate with friends and colleagues, find information, play, shop and conduct business," said Bob Pittman, President and CEO of AOL Networks. "Advertisers and marketers are discovering that AOL's strong brand momentum and flat-rate pricing will continue to attract millions of educated and upscale consumers around the world."
"This is a great day in the development of a new medium," said Ted Leonsis, President and CEO of AOL Studios. "We are thrilled that our original content, such as Digital City, Entertainment Asylum and WorldPlay Entertainment, are now reaching a mainstream audience of 10 million consumers." In its announcement, AOL put the size of its audience in perspective. Ten million people is equal to one of the following: the daily of the nation's 11 largest daily newspapers combined, the combined circulation of Newsweek, People, and Sports Illustrated, and the populations of both New York City and Los Angeles.
Monday, November 17th
NetHopper Developer Acquired By Spyglass
[TOP STORY 8:30AM] In an effort to boost its assets in the portable Internet device market, Spyglass, Inc. announced today the acquisition of privately held AllPen Software, Inc., a leading developer of Internet software for handheld PCs. Outstanding shares of the Los Gatos, Calif.-based AllPen, who is most widely known for their work on NetHopper, a Web browser currently being bundled with Apple's MessagePad and eMate line of devices, will be converted into 360,000 Spyglass common stock options, putting the value of the acquisition in the neighborhood of $2.8 million. Spyglass president and chief executive Doug Colbeth noted that AllPen's strengths will fit nicely with Spyglass' goal of making a wide variety of devices functional with the Web.
"AllPen is one of the fastest-growing players within the Internet device marketplace. They have a proven track record of delivering solutions to companies like Apple, Daimler-Benz, 3Com/Palm Division and Hewlett-Packard, just to name a few," Colbeth said in a statement released by the company. "This deal significantly enhances Spyglass' ability to deliver comprehensive solutions to our customers. It will also allow us to aggressively expand our professional services organization to meet the overwhelming demand for services in the Internet device marketplace."
"We think the synergy between Spyglass and AllPen is ideal," said Wayne Yurtin, Co-founder of AllPen. "We chose Spyglass because their business strategy is a great fit for what we are trying to accomplish at AllPen. We have seen first hand the explosion of the Internet device marketplace. By combining our technologies and solutions consulting expertise with Spyglass, and their professional services group, we are poised to take full advantage of this growth arena." Yurtin pointed out that opportunities with AllPen's existing customer-base can be fully leveraged because Spyglass can offer more resources and technologies to address projects.
Spyglass, Inc. - AllPen Software, Inc.
Jobs Joins 14 Others As Hall Of Fame Inductee
[5:30PM] Apple Computer's interim chief executive Steve Jobs will be one of 15 industry visionaries inducted into the Computer Reseller News Hall of Fame tonight at an event at Fall Comdex in Las Vegas. Jobs joins other industry veterans such as Steve Ballmer, Paul Brainerd, Rod Canion, Bill Gates, Andrew Grove, Chip Lacy, and Mitch Kapor. Each of the inductees will have a special plaque in their honor housed at the Computer Museum of Boston, an endorsee of the award. "Creating the concept of an industry Hall of Fame is a lot easier than deciding which 15 executives should be honored the first year," said Robert Faletra, Vice President/Editorial Director of CMP's Channel Group and Editor-in-Chief of Computer Reseller News. "Selecting them, I can assure you, was not an easy task given the number of brilliant executives who have contributed to the advancement of our industry.
Computer Reseller News
Diamond To Ship Supra PC Card In December
[1:55PM] Diamond Multimedia Systems said today that its new 56K Supra PC card modem for PowerBooks will begin shipping in early December. Built using the Rockwell-developed K56flex protocol, the Supra card features a sleep mode, which consumes half the power of other PCMCIA modems for extended computer batter life. In addition, the modem, expected to be priced at $169, will be upgradeable to the forthcoming 56K ITU standard. "Diamond's Supra PC Card is the perfect 56K solution for the mobile Macintosh user," said Jim Cady, vice president of Diamond's Communications Division. "It delivers the speed that today's mobile user demands, and it reflects our award-winning reputation and commitment to the Macintosh market."
Diamond Multimedia Systems
Lucent Heats Up Inferno With Java Support
[1:40PM] After a less-than-stellar reception to its first version of Inferno, a light-weight network operating system which was often compared to Java, Lucent Technologies has retooled the product and is now attempting to tap the burgeoning consumer device market. Unveiled today at Comdex, Inferno 2.0 brings a number of key improvements to the OS, the most prominent of which being full support for Sun Microsystems' PersonalJava programming language, a subset of Java specifically designed for consumer products. With this integration, Inferno will have the ability to run software written for the Sun spec, as well as applications which use Lucent's native Limbo language.
In addition, the new release, which operates in as little as 512K of RAM and 256K of ROM, is packaged with an integrated suite including an Internet browser for small devices, an e-mail application, a phone directory/address book and a notepad. Lucent also says that Inferno 2.0 has the capability to handle "software modem" technology, making the OS ideal for the markets its being aimed made. "Inferno 2.0 will accelerate the deployment of Inferno in emerging network appliances, screen phones, intelligent set-top boxes and network elements," said Mike Skarzynski, president of Lucent's Inferno Network Software Solutions Group.
PDA Accessory Bundle From Concept Kitchen
[11:40AM] Personal digital assistant users looking for a one-stop accessory solution for their devices will find that with Concept Kitchen's new "PDA Starter Kit," announced today at Comdex in Las Vegas. Available for PalmPilot, Windows CE, Apple MessagePad and eMate units, the $69 package includes four components: WriteRight Screen Enhancements (the popular protective screen overlays that prevent scratches while at the same time provide a more natural writing surface), Karma Cloth (a leather shammy-like cloth that buffs out minor scratches), Brain Wash (a two-step cleaning solution that claims to restore the luster of PDA screens), and the Desktop Stylus (a larger, more ergonomically designed stylus).
IBM Plans Call For $700 Million Chip Facility
[10:40AM] This morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal reports that IBM is expected to announce today plans for a $700 million advanced computer chip development facility in upstate New York. The announcement, coupled with news that the company will abandon plans to sell its old headquarters, and instead use $10 million to renovate the space to house its Credit Corp. unit, will create 500 jobs, the paper said in its Web edition.
Reuters Report - IBM
Adaptec Endorses Sony's 1394 Tech Brand
[10:00AM] Don't count on knowing the 1394 high-performance serial bus technology developed by Apple Computer as one entity. The technology the inventor likes to call "FireWire" will also be dubbed "i.LINK," as a part of Sony's new branding initiative for new peripherals and systems based on the technology. However, confusion over the different names will eased by Adaptec's endorsement of Sony's brand, which was announced today. Adaptec, who is working on 1394 add-in host adapters, plans to use the i.LINK logo on future packaging, products, and marketing collateral as appropriate, in addition to the FireWire name.
"Adaptec is working with many industry leaders to bring 1394 to market. Some companies, such as Sony and Apple, have chosen to brand 1394 technology with a specific name to make 1394 identifiable to key customer segments," said Robert Botchek, director of Adaptec's 1394 Program Office, in a statement. "Adaptec fully supports and encourages 1394 branding initiatives like Sony's i.LINK and, as the leading I/O company, we are committed to providing the underlying 1394 technology to all companies building 1394 solutions."
Adaptec - Apple Computer - Sony Electronics
Netscape's Dwindling Market Share Continues
[9:20AM] The strangle-hold Netscape Communications once had on the Web browser market continues to erode, and as outlined in a projection released today by research firm Dataquest, Microsoft is likely to catch the browser pioneer by the middle of next year. Dataquest's survey for the third quarter shows Netscape to have a 57.6 percent share of the market with Microsoft continuing to make major inroads at 39.4 percent. "If Microsoft's growth in browser share continues, Dataquest projects Internet Explorer to reach parity with Netscape Navigator as early as the second quarter of 1998," Kathryn Hale, principal analyst for Dataquest's Internet Strategies Worldwide program, told NEWS.COM.
NEWS.COM Report - Netscape Communications - Microsoft
Friday, November 14th
Apple Has A CEO Favorite, Ellison Reveals
[TOP STORY 9:45AM] With the ongoing search for a replacement leader in Cupertino entering its fifth month, the board of directors at Apple Computer has apparently found a favorite candidate for the full-time chief executive position, Oracle Corp.'s Larry Ellison exposed late Thursday afternoon. Speaking at the annual dinner of the Churchill Club, a public forum in California's Silicon Valley, Ellison said, "We've got someone we like very much, although I can't tell you who it is." Ellison, who joined the Apple board in early August, also commented on Steve Jobs' position at the company, saying that it doesn't seem likely he'll stay on board as permanent CEO. "I'm almost positive he's not (staying on). I think he'll serve as acting CEO until we find the right person. I think he wants to focus on Pixar and his kids."
Reuters Report - Apple Computer
McNealey CRN's Most Influential Executive
[4:50PM] In Computer Reseller News' 15th annual Top 25 Executives issue, to be published on November 17th, Sun Microsystems' Scott McNealey is named the computer industry's most influential executive. "Scott McNealy is on a mission," said Robert Faletra, Vice President/Editorial Director, CMP's Computer Reseller News. "The pugnacious, in-your-face leader of Sun Microsystems is out to change the world -- or at least the computer world as we know it. His presence has changed the industry more than any other figure this year, so much so that he easily earns the top spot on our publication's annual list of Top 25 Executives in the industry." Apple Computer's acting chief executive Steve Jobs was given the number 18 spot, after just two months of having "official" control of the company.
Press Release - Computer Reseller News
Resellers Sitting On Brink Of Price War?
[3:40PM] Recent changes made in Apple Computer's sales channels may be the fuel in igniting a price war among Macintosh resellers. Last week, Irvine, Calif.-based Pacific Business Systems Inc.'s ClubMac made the first move by cutting prices on some Macintosh machines, putting prices 5% lower than Apple's minimum advertised price (MAP) suggests. The popular online reseller Cyberian Outpost followed suit by marking the recently introduced Power Macintosh G3 desktop systems $100 below what is currently be charged in Apple's new online store. "I think we're on the verge of a huge price war," ClubMac president Mike McNeill told MacWEEK, leading one to believe that it is only a matter of time before others fire similar shots.
The cause of this new price war was not insinuated by the introduction of the Apple Store, as some have suggested, but rather as a result of cuts to the "co-op funds" Apple has in place with resellers. Resellers who previously stuck to the MAP were rewarded by the co-op program, which helps cover the costs of advertising and marketing. However, come January 1st, co-op funds will be cut by 75%, leaving little incentive for observance of MAPs. "The co-op funds were a powerful incentive to maintain authorized prices," McNeill said. Whether or not Apple will react in any way is unknown at this time, as the company has stuck by their statement made earlier in the week that the Apple Store is not designed to undercut resellers.
MacWEEK Article - ClubMac - Cyberian Outpost
New Communicator Posted, Java Logo Removed
[1:55PM] Netscape Communications has posted Communicator 4.04, a minor update to the company's suit of Internet tools. First time support for the blooming PNG graphic format is introduced, but unlike it's Windows brethren, the Macintosh version does not include a bundled copy of the AOL Instant Messenger client. Meanwhile, Netscape has removed traces of Sun Microsystems' Java logo from the "about box" of Communicator, a sign indicating that Netscape isn't taking any chances with it's Java implementation, especially in light of Sun's lawsuit against Microsoft. Having the logo in the product signifies full Java compliance, which the engine in Communicator doesn't adhere to, as Netscape still only implements part of the Java Development Kit 1.1 standard.
Netscape Communicator 4.04 - Apple Computer
Michael Dell Finds Jobs "A Little Bit Silly"
[1:20PM] Apple Computer's new pledge to take on Dell Computer with its new online storefront and build-to-order manufacturing is in Michael Dell's mind "silly." When asked to comment on the new Apple initiative laid out by interim chief executive Steve Jobs earlier in the week and the ensuing comments made by Jobs, Dell told PC Week, "I don't know what to think [about Jobs]. It's a little bit silly." These remarks come several weeks after Dell told a Gartner Group Conference that he would close Apple's doors and return the money to shareholders, if he were CEO of the company. Now he is trying to backpedal on his answer. "If you listen to the tape, I tried to [dodge] the question two times," Dell said. "It was a silly question, so I gave a silly answer."
PC Week Article - Apple Computer - Dell Computer
From Zip To 10 Million In Just 33 Months
[10:25AM] Earlier this week, Iomega Corp. announced that worldwide shipments of its Zip drive have eclipsed the ten million mark. Since its introduction in March of 1995, the popular storage medium has become a viable replacement to the floppy disk, in part because of its high capacity, low cost, and speed. In fact, in the PC world, some companies (such as Micron Electronics) are moving the floppy to a supplemental role, and are using the Zip as the primary portable storage solution. "Shipping ten million Zip drives since its introduction only two years and nine months ago is a clear indication that the users know Zip is now the new standard in high-capacity removable storage solutions," said Kim B. Edwards, president and CEO of Iomega. "By offering customers a simple, affordable, and reliable product, the Zip drive and disks make it easier to move, use, and share their stuff with one another."
Press Release - Iomega Corp.
Companies Look To Standardize NCs
[10:05AM] A group of prominent network computer allies said earlier this week they will work together to develop technology specifics for the devices, in hopes of forming a standard for network computers. In January, the group, which includes the likes of IBM, Netscape Communications, Novell, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems, will meet to develop a specification for NCs, the outcome of which will be submitted to an open standards board for review. Supporters of such a model believe that a NC standard could translate into wider acceptance for the devices.
Thursday, November 13th
Apple Quietly Lowers Price Of Sub-Notebook
[TOP STORY 3:30PM] Apple Computer recently cut the price of its PowerBook 2400 by $500, but failed to notify the public of the new price tag on the sub-notebook it co-developed with IBM. Originally launched in early September at $3,499, the company quietly lowered the price of the 4.4 pound, 180-MHz machine to $2,999 when it debuted its new online store earlier this week. The price lists of nearly all resellers contacted by The Mac Observer reflect the change as well, with many now listing the sub-notebook at $2,899.
PowerBook Homepage - Apple Computer
Iomega Is Snapping A New clik!
[TOP STORY 1:50PM] After the recent eye-opening success of its Zip and Jaz families, Iomega will now take their storage technology to portable digital products (digital cameras, hand-held computers, etc.) with a new drive and disk tandem called "clik!." Unveiled today at a press conference in New York, the low-cost, high-capacity removable storage family is centered around three products; clik! drive, clik! drive for OEMs, and clik! disk. The clik! drive, which is small enough to fit in a shirt pocket, will be manufactured and sold by Iomega using their current distribution channels, at an estimated price of $200. For OEMs, they will be able to license a miniaturized version of the clik! drive for inclusion in their products, ranging from digital cameras to hand-held computers. The heart of the family, and what makes the technology innovative, however, are the actual clik! disks. Coming in at half the size of a credit card, the disks will be able to hold 40MB of information, and will cost $9.95 a piece.
Already, industry leaders representing the digital photography, imaging and portable computing markets have pledged support for the new storage format, which is currently scheduled to begin showing up in the second half of 1998. Kodak, HP, Hitachi, Microsoft, Digital Equipment, Citizen, Motorola, Matsushita, Texas Instruments and others have all issued endorsements and statements supporting the technology. Microsoft, for one, will use clik! as a companion for its Windows CE operating system. "Iomega's clik! product family will extend the functionality of today's HPCs, and future Windows CE devices, by offering affordable, removable storage," said Harel Kodesh, general manager of Microsoft's Consumer Appliances Group. "We are excited about working closely with Iomega to integrate the power of the clik! drive with Windows CE to deliver new capabilities."
The market clik! is entering -- highly portable, low cost storage -- has, more or less, never been tapped before (with the possible exception of high-cost flash memory cards), opening a tremendous opportunity for Iomega, as IDC Storage Research vice president Crawford Del Prete notes. "The potential market impact of clik! drives is significant. The absence of affordable storage for ultra-portable and consumer products has been a gating factor in market acceptance," Del Prete said. "Clik! drives provide a missing piece of the puzzle, opening a whole new array of applications for these products."
Press Releases - clik! Homepage - Iomega
Omega Fails To Deliver COS As Promised
[TOP STORY 8:10AM] Skepticism about the alternative Macintosh-compatible operating system German developer Omega GmbH claims to have in the works will heighten, following admission from the company that they will not have the software available on their Web site today, as they originally planned and promised. For months, Omega said that COS would be released to coincide with this week's MacWorld & Publishing Expo 97 in Düsseldorf, although since details of the operating system surfaced, many have been skeptical about the existence of an OS that offers what Omega claims it does (everything from preemptive multi-tasking, to memory protection, to full Mac OS compatibility, to a genuine B2 security layer is what COS would supposedly bring to Mac desktops). And now this morning, the day in which Omega was scheduled to release the software, the company has posted the following note on their homepage:
"We are very sorry that we are unable to deliver the COS at this point in time. When we have further news we will display it on the this server"
MkLinux Update Addresses Serial Support
[9:00PM] MkLinux users will now be able to enjoy improved serial support on both the NuBus and PCI class machines, thanks to the latest update of the Unix variant for PowerPC machines, MkLinux DR2.1 Update 6. With the upgraded serial drivers, PPP connections on PCI systems are now more reliable, putting them on par with the performance of NuBus designs. In addition, Update 6 also adds basic audio support on older NuBus systems and further, support for various three button mice.
MkLinux DR2.1 Update 6 - MkLinux Homepage
"Inventor" Of K6 Processor Resigns From AMD
[12:30PM] Vinod Dham, a top executive at Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. who was largely responsible for the development of the company's flagship K6 processor, tendered his resignation yesterday, for what he labeled as "personal reasons." AMD spokesman Scott Allen didn't elaborate further, saying only that "he resigned and the company accepted it." After lending a hand in the development of the Pentium processor while at Intel in the early 1990's, Dham became one of the principal executives at NexGen, a start-up who developed Pentium-compatible chips. In 1995 the company was acquired by AMD and the blueprints of the NexGen 586 chip were used as the basis of what eventually became the company's K6 processor.
Reuters Report - Advanced Micro Devices
Live Picture Subsidiary Appoints New VP
[10:50AM] The LivePix Company, the consumer arm and wholly owned subsidiary of San Francisco, Calif.-based Live Picture Inc., announced today that Sharon Manuel has been named vice president of OEM sales and business development. Manual brings an extensive background in working with software development and consulting companies to her new role at LivePix, where she'll be managing OEM relationships and developing new business opportunities. "Sharon Manuel has a proven track-record of results-driven management style and strategic vision," said Nicolas Van den Berghe, president and chief executive officer of The LivePix Company. "We look forward to working with Sharon at LivePix and applying her expertise as we forge ahead in achieving our corporate goals."
Press Release - The LivePix Company
Power Takes Its Bow From Direct Sales
[9:55AM] Jeff Keller's PowerWatch has confirmed reports that Power Computing has ceased selling Mac OS clones via their direct sales line, leaving the remaining inventory of clone machines (which now includes only the PowerCenter Pro 240) to be sold by third party resellers MacWarehouse and MacMall. Meanwhile, Power's upfront and gutsy way of advertising continues to be seen even in the company's latest advertisement, which reads as follows: "I Think We Were Just Too Different... Thanks to Everyone Who Joined Us in the Fast Lane."
PowerWatch - Power Computing
Iomega Announces Two-For-One Stock Split
[9:25AM] Iomega Corp. announced yesterday that its board of directors has approved a two-for-one stock split, to be effected as a 100% dividend. The stock's current price of $28 raised question about the split, but analysts explained that this upholds the company's tradition of keeping shares priced attractively for small investors. David J. Dunn, chairman at Iomega, however, pointed to employee options as the main reason for the move. "The principal reason for the stock split is to increase the number of option shares available to recruit and retain the company's growing employee population," Dunn said. "Since Jan. 1, 1996, Iomega's employees have grown from approximately 1,700 to approximately 3,700 as of Sept. 30, 1997." Dunn added that, "The stock split not only gives the company the additional shares that it needs, but also allows the company to make option grants to new employees at levels consistent with its historical grants."
Press Release - Iomega Corp.
DEC Looking To Sell Networking Business
[9:05AM] Digital Equipment is nearing an agreement to unload its computer-network equipment business to Cabletron Systems, the Wall Street Journal reported this morning, citing sources close to negotiations. No agreement has been reached thus far, but the two companies are likely to make their deal public within the next few days. The electronic version of the paper said that the purchase price could come in at between $400 to $500 million.
Reuters Report - Digital Equipment
Wednesday, November 12th
Brisk Sales At Apple Store Continue
[TOP STORY] Following Apple's announcement yesterday that $500,000 of sales were booked in the first 12 hours of the Apple Store's existence, comes word from sources at the company that the early success is continuing. Total sales for the two days since the virtual store officially staged its opening on Monday have totaled $1.4 million, a figure which encompasses all products in the storefront. Of those orders, sources say that 50% have been placed via the actual Web site, while telephone calls to the 800 number represented the other half, indicating that customers are not entirely confident with placing transactions over the Internet. Early reception to the build-to-order Power Macintosh G3 series has been positive as well, with 49 machines having been sold on the first day and 190 following on the Store's second day of operation.
VST Begins Shipping PowerBook Zip Drive
[TOP STORY] VST Technologies announced today that their line of internal, removal Iomega Zip drives for the PowerBook series will begin shipping immediately. Hit by lengthy delays since its original announcement, the "Zip100," as VST is calling it, is compatible with any PowerBook that features an expansion bay, which includes the 190, 5300, 1400, 3400 and G3 Series (a version for the 2400 is possible, as Iomega has recently begun shipping evaluation units of its upcoming 12.7mm notebook drive to OEMs for testing and for the eventual inclusion into sub-notebooks). "Iomega has succeeded in establishing the new standard for removable, high capacity storage that finally replaces outdated floppy drive technology," said Vince Fedele, President and CEO of VST. "Partnering with Iomega to develop and market the new Zip drive for PowerBook computers is a logical choice for VST since no other company offers such cutting edge storage solutions for the mobile community."
"The notebook Zip drive was developed as a result of strong mobile customer demand for increased capacity, performance and flexibility to support today's demanding multimedia applications," said Andy Grolnick, general manager, Zip OEM Business at Iomega. "Teaming with VST was an easy decision because it allowed us to answer PowerBook customer needs quickly and reliably." Quantities of the $349 drive, available now from major distribution, mail order and computer retail chains, will likely be limited, at least initially, as Iomega acknowledged today the number of drives being shipped to manufacturers will be restricted.
Press Release - VST Technologies - Iomega
IBM Prepping Series Of New PowerPC Designs
[12:10PM] As uncovered last month, IBM is preparing a new PowerPC design for introduction at the International Solid State Circuits Conference (ISSCC) in San Francisco February 5th through 7th. However, the 1-GHz chip from IBM's Austin Research Laboratory will not be the sole PowerPC chip unveiled at the show, as according to an InfoWorld report, the company has several other labs working on a series of PowerPC blueprints, and will describe each of them at the conference. From InfoWorld: infoworld report<>
"IBM's Burlington, Vt., laboratory will describe a full-feature PowerPC chip that uses the company's copper interconnect technology and 0.2-micron production process to achieve 480 MHz at 85 C and more than 500 MHz at room temperature. The dual-issue PowerPC 750 processor uses copper for six layers of interconnect wiring. An IBM laboratory in Rochester, Minn., will provide a paper on a commercial multithreaded version of the PowerPC chip."
Metrowerks Forms Alliance With Access Co.
[11:25AM] Metrowerks, Inc. and Access Co., Ltd. have formed a strategic alliance and will work together to provide enhanced development tools for the growing information appliance device market, the two companies announced at this week's Microcomputer Systems and Tool Fair in Tokyo. Metrowerks will incorporate the Access NetFront suite Internet access software modules into the CodeWarrior integrated development environment (IDE), as part of the alliance. "With a strategic relationship with Access, we will be able to provide world class development tools integrated with world class Internet access software modules to better address both our customer's pre-platform and post-platform software development needs," said John Cheuck, president of Metrowerks Co. Ltd. in Japan.
Press Release - Metrowerks
Rockwell Sues Bay Over K56flex Pact
[9:55AM] Rockwell Semiconductor Systems, a unit of Rockwell International Corp, has filed a lawsuit against Bay Networks, Inc., alleging that Bay breeched a contractual agreement to license Rockwell's K56flex modem technology. "We have been trying to resolve this issue with Bay Networks for quite some time and are disappointed that we now must ask the court to enforce the terms of our K56flex licensing agreement," said Dwight Decker, Rockwell Semiconductor Systems' president, in a statement. This latest suit will likely further delay the approval process of a global 56K standard, as Decker points out. "We believe litigation of this sort is yet another unfortunate consequence of the delay in the deployment and approval of a global 56K modem standard."
Rockwell Semiconductor - Bay Networks
Newton Software Promotion From Stand Alone
[8:45AM] From now until the end of November, Chicago, Illinois-based Newton developer Stand Alone, Inc. is offering a 15% discount on orders of more than $25 when you simply mention their Web page. Developer of such regarded Newton applications and utilities as BackDrop Plus, ButtonBar Plus, Paper Boy, Stand Alone is recognized as one of the leading shareware contributors to the Newton community.
Stand Alone, Inc.
Compaq Says No To Windows Terminal
[8:30AM] Compaq Computer is planning to shy away from manufacturing Windows-based "dumb terminal" machines and will instead continue their focus on the Net PC, in spite of apparent agreements the company has with Citrix Systems to promote the terminal concept. Although related in some ways, the Net PC and terminal ideas differ in the fact that the Net PC "standard" is essentially a stripped-down computer, while a terminal front-end, like Citrix is promoting with the Windows compatible WinFrame, is entirely dependent upon the server which it is connected to. "We looked at the terminal market and said, 'Well, it's still a relatively small part of the market,'" said Michael Takemura, product marketing manager for desktops at Compaq, speaking to NEWS.COM. "Most of the customers we talked to said that the Net proposition in terms of cost of ownership is better than the terminal [proposition]." Compaq, however, will still support terminals through the sale of servers for such networks.
NEWS.COM Report - Compaq Computer - Citrix Systems
CompuServe Purchase Wins Federal Approval
[7:55AM] WorldCom, Inc., who this past Sunday reached an agreement to buy MCI Communications for $37 billion, has won federal approval from the U.S. Justice Department to proceed with their planned purchase of CompuServe, the parties involved announced earlier this week. The proposed $1.2 billion acquisition, which is still pending approval from foreign regulators and shareholders, would eventually end up in the lap of Dulles, Va.-based America Online Inc., who has agreed trade their ANS Network to WorldCom in exchange for the CompuServe consumer online services division and a set amount of cash. If the deal passes the necessary hurdles, AOL would add some 2.6 million subscribers to a customer base that is already slated to hit 10 million by the end of this month.
Press Release - America Online - CompuServe
Tuesday, November 11th
Apple Store Books $500,000 Of Orders
[TOP STORY] Just twelve hours after opening the virtual doors of its online store initiative, Apple Computer reported that its new Apple Store received over 4 million "hits" and booked over $500,000 of orders since the site's debut yesterday afternoon. "We're thrilled by this immediate customer response to our Apple Store and new G3 computers," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive officer. "Apple is really 'thinking different' about the way we do business." An analyst at Gerard Klauer & Mattison, speaking to Reuters, was also impressed with the early reaction. "It's an excellent start," said Lou Mazzucchelli. "Obviously, there is a lot of pent-up demand from customers who wanted to buy from Apple this way. I think it's a terrific number. The question is, can they sustain it?"
Press Release - Reuters Report
BeOS Posted, Ready For Free Downloading
[TOP STORY] In hopes of broadening their exposure to as many individuals as possible, Be, Inc., as promised, has taken their high-powered digital media operating system to the Web and is now providing the Preview Release 2 of the BeOS as a free download for Power Macintosh users. The downloadable version of the BeOS, which the company says is hampered in no ways, is surprisingly small at 9MB, but this basically includes only the core architectural engine and a few sample applications. While not included in the basic distribution, the supplemental software and documentation packages found on the "retail" CD are available for downloading as well from Be's homepage. A variety of Power Macintosh hardware remain supported (nearly all 603/604-based PCI machines are supported, although the list of BeOS Ready Systems should be checked before downloading the software), and customers will need at least 100MB of free disk drive space available (on either a separate drive, Jaz, Zip, or partition drive).
BeOS Preview Release 2 - Be, Inc.
Microsoft Responds To Government's Case
[4:15PM] Responding to the U.S. Justice Department's anti-trust case, Microsoft filed their reply to the government complaint last evening, claiming the lawsuit "is aimed squarely at preventing Microsoft from including improved features and functionality in upgraded versions of Windows 95 provided to computer manufacturers," and should thus be thrown out. According to the 48-page filing, Microsoft believes it "retains unfettered freedom" to add new functions to Windows, and that the government's case is merely a contract dispute, referring to the 1994 consent decree. The software giant also contends that instead of trying to prevent new features from being integrated into the Windows family, the "DOJ should be encouraging Microsoft to disseminate such new technologies to consumers as quickly and as broadly as possible." The government now has 10 days to respond to Microsoft's filing.
Press Release - Microsoft Corporation
WestCode Releases PopFont, OneClick Add-On
[4:00PM] PopFont, a free add-on for WestCode Software's OneClick, is a pop-up menu that provides instant access to any character or symbol of any font. This eliminates the need to remember keyboard combinations for characters and symbols that don't appear on the keyboard. "Pop Font is another example of how OneClick replaces many other utilities, saving startup time, memory, and extension conflict frustrations." says WestCode co-founder Rob Renstrom. "And like all OneClick add-ons," added Renstrom, "PopFont can be used in any application."
OneClick Add-Ons - Westcode Software
New Image Map, Text Tool From Lakewood
[2:40PM] Ontario-based Lakewood Software said last week that they have begun shipping webAlias 1.0, their new integrated image map editor and anti-aliasing text tool for Macintosh Web and graphic designers. Featuring an anti-aliasing text engine developed by WetWare, Inc., webAlias is the first Mac-based client-side image map editor to integrate such functionality, according to the company. "What we have endeavored to do here is to build a complete web design tool kit that delivers the pixel-level control and attractively rendered text sought by graphic designers," explained David Hutchison, the lead developer at Lakewood Software. "We've integrated support for line, shape, freeform, field, and button objects and wrapped all of this functionality within a WYSIWYG, object-oriented graphic design tool that itself has the 'look and feel' of a web browser."
webAlias 1.0 has a suggested retail price of $129.95 and can be purchased from several retailers, including Cyberian Outpost. A fully functional demo is available from Lakewood's Web site.
InfoSpace, Apple Enter Into Partnership
[1:35PM] InfoSpace's directory and information services will be integrated into Apple Computer's MessagePad 2100, as part of a partnership announced today between the two companies. "The MessagePad 2100 is one of the fastest handheld computers on the market," said Naveen Jain, president of InfoSpace, in a statement. "Now users will also have access to the best directories and information sources through InfoSpace." "InfoSpace's directories and Information services are a perfect fit for the needs of mobile users," said Joe Hayashi, Product Manager of Apple's Newton Group. "The MessagePad has been widely adopted by both mobile business professionals and corporate users. Getting accurate and useful information is key to a business person on the road."
Named as one of the "Top 50 Private Technology Companies of the Digital Universe" by The Red Herring September 1997 issue, InfoSpace has placed their technology in several prominent locations, providing licenses to such services as Lycos, The Microsoft Network, The Wall Street Journal Interactive Edition, Compuserve, AT&T; Worldnet, etc. The company also has strategic partnerships with Microsoft, Intel, Oracle, Sega, and Bandai.
Press Release - InfoSpace - Apple Computer
GEO Working On New Image Compression Tool
[10:00AM] Emblaze WebCharger, announced yesterday from GEO Publishing, Inc., is a cross-platform image software package that is being billed by the company as a "breakthrough Internet compression technology." According to GEO, WebCharger is able to compress 16 or 24-bit images up to 400% more than JPEG, while at the same time, maintains byte for byte compatibility with the popular file format. "The most beautiful graphic in the world doesn't do you any good if your Web audience has an unsatisfactory site experience because they had to wait too long to view Web pages," said Sharon Carmel, executive vice president of R&D; for GEO. "Since Emblaze WebCharger is so easy to use, anybody involved in Web design, including graphic artists, designers, Webmasters, and Web programmers can easily compress large graphic files within minutes." WebCharger will be available later this year.
Press Release - GEO Publishing, Inc.
275-MHz Power Mac G3 Coming In January
[9:30AM] At several Apple Market Centers throughout the country yesterday, representatives from the company made mention of an addition to the Power Macintosh G3 line that will likely arrive in late December or early January. Taking on the exact configuration of the mini-tower model, the speedbump will replace the PowerPC 750/266-MHz processor of that machine with a 275-MHz variation. Pricing will reportedly be several hundred dollars higher.
Power Macintosh G3
Umax Sales Up 118% In Month Of October
[9:10AM] Attributing the swift growth to increasing sales of its scanners and computers, Umax Data Systems said yesterday that its sales in the month of October jumped 118% to $1.513 billion from the year ago mark. Revenue at the Taiwanese firm has totaled $11.8 billion thus far this year, making it possible that the company will meet its sales target of $15 billion for the fiscal year. Left as the one of the few remaining Mac OS clone vendors, Umax vows to continue supporting the platform as long as Apple permits.
Reuters Report - Umax Data Systems
Qualcomm Goes Shopping, Picks Up Now
[8:45AM] Qualcomm, Inc. announced yesterday that it has acquired privately held Now Utilities, the Portland, Oregon-based cross-platform developer best known for its work on such products as Now Utilities and Now Up-To-Date And Contact. The deal calls for the Now family of products to be incorporated into Qualcomm's Eudora division, giving the Internet-oriented wing additional strength in its key market segments. "The acquisition of Now gives Qualcomm access to exciting new technologies and talented individuals," said Jeff Jacobs, vice president and general manager of Qualcomm's Eudora Division. "It also will provide Eudora's 18 million users with enhanced communications capabilities and expand the way they communicate and work together on the Internet and ultimately the wireless environment."
"Now technologies are committed to saving users time and energy, and promoting improved personal and professional communication capabilities," said Duane Schulz, president and CEO of Now Software. "The combination of Qualcomm's Internet and wireless expertise signals an exciting future for these products."
Press Release - Qualcomm, Inc. - Now Software
Next BaNG Meeting To Feature Developer Panel
[8:15AM] This month's BaNG (the Bay Area NeXT Group) meeting, scheduled for Wednesday, November 19, 7PM at Apple's Cupertino Town Hall, will feature a panel of Macintosh developers who have been coming up to speed on Rhapsody, via Developer Release 1. Developers will share their insights about similarities, differences, tools, tips, tricks, benefits of the Rhapsody development environment from the perspective of a Mac developer. Further details and directions can be found at BaNG's Web page.
Monday, November 10th
Power Mac G3 Series: "It's The Chip"
[TOP STORY] World-class performance was something always available in an Apple Power Macintosh machine, but for the most part, such performance carried a premium, making it almost impossible for customers, with corresponding budgets in the $2,000-$3,000 range, to purchase best of bread machines from the company. However, today's formal introduction of the Power Macintosh G3 line, named after the third generation PowerPC processor that drives the machines, changes that notion. Offering speeds, in almost all cases, faster than any other prior machine from Apple, the G3 series, which consists of two desktop models and a mini-tower design, is hailed for not only its relentless speed, but also the bargain price that comes along with them.
Beginning at $1,999 for the "entry-level" 233-MHz model, the series extends to two 266-MHz models (one a desktop enclosure and the other a mini-tower), and comes standard with 32MB memory, 66-MHz system bus, 24X CD-ROM drive, 2MB video memory, ATI 3D Rage II+ graphics accelerator. Zip drives are included on the 266-MHz systems, as is a 133-MHz backside bus speed (2:1 ratio) between the 512K of backside cache and the processor.
Press Release - Power Macintosh G3
Jobs Declares Dell New Target For Apple
[TOP STORY] With a rekindled relationship with Microsoft in hand, Apple Computer now has its sights set on a another major player in the PC industry. This time it's the number one direct marketer of PC hardware, Dell Computer. At Apple's self-labeled "milestone event" at the Flint Center in Cupertino earlier today, interim chief executive Steve Jobs officially unveiled the Apple Store, the company's first foray into the business of direct marketing over the Internet. The virtual store, which went live at 12PM Pacific today, contains the entire line of Apple-branded products, including software, Newton machines, servers, etc. Nearly all aspects of the site are now fully functional, but the company has a expansion plan that will rear its head next spring. Come that time, the site will be opened to customers in Europe and Japan, and clients associated with the education market will be able to order directly from the store. In addition, third party software is scheduled to be added to the Apple Store, in the same spring time frame.
But besides being just a storefront, the big news is that Apple Store will also be the hub of Apple's new build-to-order method of manufacturing. No longer will the company have huge volumes of inventory sitting around. Instead, Apple will build each and every system (initially only the Power Macintosh G3 line can be configured) when orders are placed. This puts the company in a position to directly compete with other players in the field, namely Dell. Steve Jobs pointed this out, and in fact the Austin, Texas-based PC firm will soon be the subject of an entire Apple advertising campaign, both print and TV.
Press Release - Apple Store
Adjacency Played Role In Apple Store
[4:40PM] San Francisco-based Web design company Adjacency, Inc. was a major player in the development and design of Apple Computer's new on-line store. The just announced Apple Store (see story above) will enable customers to order products directly from Apple via the Internet. Visitors to the Store will experience an interface mirroring that of the user friendly Mac OS interface. The store will carry both new and refurbished equipment with the newly unveiled Power Mac G3 and PowerBook G3 headlining the store's grand opening. The Apple Store was created using Power Macintosh computers, Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and BBEdit.
Adjacency Inc. - Apple Store
Viking Components Riding Ship To G3 Systems
[4:00PM] Riding on the coat tails of Apple Computer's new product line announcement, Viking Components has announced immediate availability of a series of memory upgrades for the G3 PowerMac and G3 PowerBook machines. The new product line includes synchronous DRAM (SDRAM) DIMMs, synchronous graphics RAM (SGRAM) SO-DIMM video upgrades, and extended data out (EDO) DIMM upgrades. SDRAM upgrade solutions for the G3 PowerMac series are priced as follows: 16MB-$215, 32MB-$210, 64MB-$430 and 128MB-$840. Upgrade solutions for the G3 PowerBook series are priced at: 8MB-$80, 16MB-$125, 24MB-$170, 32MB-$215, 48MB-$320, 64MB-$410 and 128MB-$785.
Bug In Intel's Pentium Chip Uncovered
[9:05AM] Details of a bug in Intel's Pentium line of processors have been discovered, and customers using one of the many millions of machines decked out with the chip can be affected. Dubbed the Pentium "F0" or "F00F" bug, the flaw affects both the original Pentium and the newer MMX-furnished Pentium, although apparently, neither the Pentium Pro or Pentium II are affected, due to the design nature of the latter two. According to Robert Collins, whose Intel Secrets Web site tracks inside information relating to the semiconductor giant, the bug has the potential to crash machines and could conceivably be used for sabotage. "This is for real. I've known about it for a couple of months," Collins told NEWS.COM. "I actually think there's no excuse for [Intel] not having found this." Intel says that they were just made aware of the bug this past Friday and are currently conducting investigation on what can be done to mend the problem.
NEWS.COM Report - Intel Secrets - Intel
State Of Texas Slaps Microsoft With Lawsuit
[8:30AM] In the latest in a long string of lawsuits, it was revealed on Friday that Microsoft has been hit with another indictment, this time from the state of Texas. The suit claims that the software company has interfered with a state investigation, for which Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray firmly denies. "There is nothing unique about Microsoft's confidentiality agreements, and there is nothing in Microsoft's confidentiality agreements that would prevent any company from being able to raise concerns with government agencies," Murray told Reuters. Texas attorney general Dan Morales sees it differently, however, saying that a provision Microsoft has with its licensees, which requires them to inform the Redmond, Washington-based firm before providing any information to state and federal investigators, is hampering his office's investigation. Morales is seeking a court order to nullify the provisions that Microsoft has put in place.
Reuters Report - Microsoft Corporation
Proteron Turns On "Lite" With New Utility
[7:55AM] Proteron's new LiteSwitch brings the program switching functionality seen in its popular GoMac utility to desktops via a free, lightweight control panel. As seen in such other operating systems as Windows 95, the "ALT-TAB" switching routine gives users the ability to switch between running applications via the key combination, although LiteSwitch takes the idea one step further by enabling users to hide, show, and quit open programs.
Proteron, LLC - LiteSwitch Homepage
Farallon Announces New Company Moniker
[7:35AM] Spurred by the success of its Netopia family of Internet/Intranet connectivity hardware and collaboration software, Farallon Communications announced today that they will adopt the particular brand name and will now become Netopia, Inc. The company, whose best known for their line of connectivity solutions, says that it will create a Farallon division to continue to develop and support comprehensive LAN and WAN connectivity solutions for the Macintosh platform. "Netopia has turned into one of the most powerful Internet brands in the marketplace," said Alan Lefkof, president and chief executive, Netopia, Inc. "The strength of name recognition for Netopia Internet Routers and Netopia Virtual Office software became a compelling rationale for the change in our company name."
"Changing the company name to Netopia, Inc. is excellent news for the investment community," said Christopher Stix, director, Institutional Research, Cowen & Company. "With over 8 million customers since 1986, Farallon is the second most recognized brand in the Macintosh industry behind Apple. However, the Farallon brand name no longer represents what the company as a whole offers to the Internet marketplace. With the introduction of Netopia, Inc., the company is now able to more clearly articulate its leadership position in the Internet/Intranet market."
Press Release - Netopia, Inc.
MessagePad 2000 Upgrade To Begin Today
[7:15AM] Originally scheduled to begin last Friday, Apple Computer now says the Newton MessagePad 2000 upgrade program will commence sometime today. Customers anxious to take advantage of the program, which allows exisiting owners of the MessagePad 2000 to upgrade their machines to recently announced MessagePad 2100, were meet with (for the most part) lengthy waits last Friday and finally, ensuing admission from the company that the program would officially begin today. The mail-in upgrade offer expires on April 30, 1998, or until supplies are exhausted. Pricing for the program is set at $99 for customers stateside, while international users will be faced with a higher cost (European users, for example, will be charged $199).
MessagePad 2000 Upgrade Program
Friday, November 7th
AOL Nearing In On 10 Million Subscribers
[2:15PM] America Online will likely reach the 10 million subscriber mark before the end of this month, company chairman and chief executive Steve Case told Reuters yesterday. Previously expected to reach the milestone by the end of December, the better than expected growth comes at a time when the nation's largest online service cut back promotional and advertising efforts. In their first fiscal quarter of this year, AOL added 821,000 members worldwide, a two-fold increase over the 414,000 members who joined the service in the year ago period.
Reuters Report - America Online
Tenon Working On Major Upgrade To WebTen
[1:55PM] Hoping to beat StarNine Systems to the punch with the impending release of WebSTAR 3.0, Tenon Intersystems will soon issue a major upgrade to WebTen, their Apache-based Web server for the Macintosh. The company is preparing the release of WebTen 2.0, an upgrade which will extend and refine the features of what the company already claims to be the fastest Web server for the Mac OS. Adding integrated FTP services and support for Secure Sockets Layer (SSL), Tenon says they have also been able to double performance of the software, making it, in the company's own words, "three times faster than WebSTAR."
Tenon Intersystems - WebTen Homepage
Macromedia CFO Parsons Tenders Resignation
[1:15PM] Macromedia said today that they have initiated a search for new chief financial officer, following the resignation of John C. Parsons Jr, who left his post to pursue other interests. Parsons' position will be filled on an acting basis by Betsey Nelson, vice president of corporate development. "Jack did a great job of strengthening the finance function and we wish him well in his future endeavors," said Rob Burgess, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia. "Over the last 10 months, Jack added several key players to the finance team, particularly Doug Griscom as V.P., Corporate Controller, and Patt Mayer as V.P., Finance."
Press Release - Macromedia, Inc.
Thursday, November 6th
Power Acquisition Put On Hold By Investigation
[TOP STORY: 9:55AM] The ongoing anti-trust investigation into Microsoft's practices has spawned a review of Apple Computer's asset buyout of Power Computing, temporarily putting the acquisition on hold, the Austin-American Statesman reported today. The U.S. Justice Department requested thousands of documents from Power, although the company's general counsel John Teets says they have little to do with the actual buyout by Apple. "It appears that they're fishing for something more than our transaction with Apple," Teets said. "It appears to pertain to their ongoing investigation of Microsoft." As for Apple's part, company spokeswoman Katie Cotton told the newspaper that are cooperating fully with this "routine" investigation, which is required for corporate mergers valued at over $15 million, as outlined in the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act.
American-Statesman - Apple Computer - Power Computing
McNealey Asks Others To Flood Gates' Mailbox
[7:50PM] Speaking at his company's International Internet Associate Conference in Berlin, Germany, Sun Microsystems' chief executive Scott McNealey propelled against Bill Gates, urging the 3,000 people in attendance to begin flooding Gates' email box with protest messages. "Flood his mailbox -- say that you want 100 percent pure Java," McNealy said, provoking the industry to show support for Java capability. The Sun chief also pressed for software developers to stop using Java development tools from Microsoft. Instead, McNealey invited them to use products provided by Borland, Symantec, or his own company, Sun. (Note, to access the NY Times article, which further details comments made by McNealey, you'll need to complete a free registration form.)
New York Times Article
Photography Of Apple "Store" Available
[5:05PM] Posted on Apple's Web site is a conceptual mockup picture of what the "store within a store" environments at CompUSA's Superstores will look like. As mentioned in the announcement earlier this week, the atmosphere will be centered around Apple's current "Think Different" advertising campaign, as clearly depicted in the sample photograph.
Apple Store Photography
Conflict In GoMac Promotes Problems In Riven
[UPDATE: 12:55PM] Mac Observer reader Ron Vyskocil forwarded his findings about a conflict in Proteron's popular shareware control panel GoMac (which adds a Windows 95-esque start menu and taskbar to the Macintosh) that prohibits Broderbund's Riven from running. Turning GoMac's "Auto Hide" feature on is a work around for the problem. (An explanation from Proteron's chief engineer Sam Caughron follows.)
GoMac Homepage - Riven Homepage
"There is a bug with GoMac and Riven on the Mac. I am using a PowerMac w/ 96MB RAM, 12MB RAM dedicated to Riven. With GoMac in my system control panels folder, Riven will not start. Riven gives me a "please set your monitor to 640x480" message. Well, my monitor was set at 640x480. Checked it twice. I have a 14" Apple Multisync monitor, and as soon as I took GoMac out and trashed it, restarted, then Riven ran fine. I reinstalled GoMac, and again Riven would give me this message."
Sam Caughron writes:
First, I would object to your use of the word "bug" in describing the conflict. In fact, it is not a bug in GoMac that programs do not recognize the space used by the Program Bar. It is just this fact which prevents most programs from creating or rearranging their windows to interfere with the Program Bar. Riven's failure to see the extra space is not a "bug"; more of a conflict.
The work around for the problem is documented in GoMac's Read Me file. When GoMac's Auto Hide feature is turned ON, GoMac does not "shrink" the usable monitor space. This is necessary, not only for Riven, but also for many other games. The Auto Hide feature can be turned on either from GoMac's control panel, or by Control-clicking on the Program Bar. It should be noted also that the problem will only occur on machines using monitors sized to 640x480.
Gateway 2000 Dives Into The ISP Market
[12:00PM] PC manufacturer Gateway 2000 said today it is becoming a national Internet Service Provider (ISP), marking the first time a systems vendor has entered the national ISP market. Customers purchasing a new computer from the company will receive systems configured for the new service, tentatively dubbed "gateway.net." Exisiting customers will be able to take advantage of the service from the Sioux City, SD-based company beginning in early 1998. Interesting, however, is the fact that Gateway will not be offering a flat-rate pricing structure. Instead, users will receive up to 30 hours online time for $12.95 a month, with additional blocks of time coming in at $2.95 per hour.
Reuters Report - Gateway 2000
Infodata, Adobe Sign Licensing Agreement
[11:15AM] Infodata Systems, a Fairfax, Va. firm specializing in enterprise solutions, and Adobe Systems will begin cross-licensing select technologies, as the company's announced today that the have signed a non-binding letter of intent. In addition to licensing and marketing the unspecified technologies, Infodata will also perform development services for Adobe, for which it will collect license and service fees in excess of $1.5 million over the next six months, upon completion.
Press Release - Infodata Systems - Adobe Systems
Reports Points To McCracken As Top Candidate
[9:15AM] According to several unconfirmed reports, and a corresponding story coming out of a San Francisco television station, ex-Silicon Graphics chief executive officer and chairman Ed McCraken has become the front runner for the number one position at Apple Computer. The news station, citing sources close to the executive staff in Cupertino, said that McCraken has been eyed by the Apple board of directors since his departure from SGI. Just over one week ago, McCraken resigned from the troubled high-end workstation maker, amidst falling revenue, a disappointing earnings report, and the imminent announcement of a restructuring at the company, which will result in nearly 1,000 job cuts. Things weren't always so bad for the McCraken-ran SGI, however, as some of the company's best years were under his regime. He joined the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm as chief executive in 1984 following a stint at Hewlett-Packard, and rode the company into prominence in the early 1990's.
Apple Computer - Silicon Graphics
Wednesday, November 5th
Apple To Unveil Online Store, Sources Say
[9:55AM] Next Monday's planned introduction of Apple's PowerPC 750-based line of machines will likely be overshadowed by a bigger announcement, if sources in the Macintosh industry are correct. The Cupertino, Calif. company is apparently planning to outline a grand scheme that will shift part of its core business to the Internet, enabling customers to purchase machines from an Apple online store that will likely be run by WebObjects. How true this is remains to be seen, but interim chief executive Steve Jobs did issue a memo to Apple employees this week, notifying them that a change in the way the company does business would be announced on Monday. In fact, Apple put out a media alert yesterday, notifying members of the press of a "big event" featuring Jobs and other Apple execs at a local college campus in Cupertino. Moreover, the event will also be available via a live video feed at several Apple "Market Centers" interspersed throughout the country.
Apple Computer - WebObjects - Media Alert
[UPDATE: 5:55PM] As noted by a Mac Observer reader, a sub-domain of Apple's Web site entitled http://store.apple.com/ is accepting connections from a Web browser (it seems no homepage has been uploaded, thus attempts will conclude with a "not found" error message), lending some credence to beliefs that the company is preparing to launch some sort of an online storefront.
AT&T; WorldNet Begins 56K Deployment
[5:30PM] AT&T;'s WorldNet Internet service will begin providing customers with 56K modem connections through 3Com's x2 technology, the company announced today. Initially, 11 cities will be supported (including New York City, Houston, San Francisco, San Diego, Milwaukee, Norfolk, Charlotte, Cincinnati, Tampa, Plainview, and New Brunswick), with plans calling for further expansion into 15 additional locations by the end of November. The company says it will have access to the high-speed modems for all of its subscribers by June 1998. Support for the other, and generally more accepted, K56flex technology from Rockwell is forthcoming, although no specific dates were announced.
Press Release - AT&T; WorldNet
AOL Wins Court Order In "Spam" Case
[2:00PM] America Online won a court order from a federal judge in Alexandria, Va. last week, barring Las Vegas-based pornography-promoter Over the Air Equipment from sending unsolicited email to members of the online service. The preliminary injunction goes into effect immediately. "We've won the first round in our fight against unsolicited junk email," said George Vradenburg, Senior Vice President and General Counsel of America Online, "but the battle continues." "From the outset we've believed that the law was on our side in our legal efforts to stem the tide of unsolicited junk e-mails targeted at AOL members. The court's ruling reinforces that belief and gives us a powerful weapon to use in our continuing campaign against junk e-mail."
Press Release - America Online
"Sound Blaster" Firm Acquires Cambridge
[12:15PM] After testing the water with a shared distribution rollout of the PCWorks, SoundWorks, and MicroWorks speaker systems, Creative Technology, the force behind the PC's most established family of sound cards, announced last week that they have entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Cambridge SoundWorks, the Newton, MA-based renowned speaker manufacturer. The tendered offer, valued at roughly $38 million, will result in Cambridge becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Creative, if it passes regulatory and shareholder approval. This will in turn put Creative in the unique position of have the ability to sell a complete computer audio solution. Before the acquisition, Creative held a 25% stake in Cambridge, whose technology has garnered stunning reviews.
"Creative's leadership position in the industry and its tremendous distribution program, combined with Cambridge SoundWorks' technology, puts us in a position to advance our goals and to become the leading provider of multimedia speakers for the PC in the world," said Thomas J. DeVesto, president and chief executive officer of Cambridge SoundWorks. "This relationship will also allow us to have access to Creative's cutting edge research and development resources which will enable us to explore new technologies and break into new territories in our drive to provide the most realistic sound to our customers."
Press Release - Creative Technology
Intuit Launches Latest Quicken Service
[11:40AM] Intuit, Inc. announced yesterday the launch of QuickenMortgage, a new Web service offering consumers one-stop shopping for mortgages. Six of the nation's top 25 lenders (Chase Manhattan Mortgage Corporation, Countrywide Home Loans, HomeSide Lending, North American Mortgage Company, PNC Mortgage, and Principal Residential Mortgage) pledged their support for the service, giving users an easy way to compare the different mortgage options that are available. The current list of vendors will be offering a wide ranging list of products, including conventional and jumbo loans with fixed or adjustable rates, or balloon payment loans, directly to customers visiting the QuickenMortgage site. Also available are Veteran's Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans.
"By comparison shopping online, consumers can save time and money and make a more informed mortgage decision," said Bill Harris, Intuit executive vice president. "At Intuit, we strive to make financial decisions easier, by providing objective information and interactive tools on all aspects of household and family finances. In this case, we have created a new channel for mortgage lenders to communicate directly with their customers and prospects."
Press Release - QuickenMortgage - Intuit, Inc.
Jobs Will Not Take CEO Post, Merc Reports
Latest twist in Jobs saga has the mercurial one not taking CEO spot on a permanent basis.
[10:25AM] Steve Jobs' role as interim chief executive at Apple Computer will not become a permanent position, the San Jose Mercury News reported this morning. The paper, citing sources close to the company, said that Jobs informed the board of directors at Apple of his decision following his return from a Hawaiian vacation last week. "He's still passionate about the company, but he made the decision for personal reasons," the Merc quoted an insider as saying. With an apparent settlement in Jobs' position in-tow, the search for a full-time candidate will now resume (Heidrick & Struggles' quest was halted several weeks ago in order to give Jobs time to make a decision), with it being the one of the main topics at today's conveying of Apple's board members.
Mercury News Report - Apple Computer
Microsoft Eyes Cable Industry Once Again
[9:45AM] Microsoft Corporation is preparing to make another large investment in the cable market, as this morning's edition of The New York Times is reporting that the Redmond, Wash.-based software company is nearing an agreement to invest as much as $1 billion in the cable television branch of US West. This latest deal, which could be finalized by next month, would give Microsoft 6.3% of US West, the Times said. The software giant made a similar investment this past summer, paying $1 billion for an 11.5% stake in Comcast, a major cable player in the northeast.
New York Times - Microsoft Corp. - US West
Tuesday, November 4th
Another Delay Hits QuickTime 3.0 Rollout
Apple Computer's ambitious effort to align the Windows and Macintosh feature set of its perennial multimedia engine has caused another setback in the project's release date. Originally scheduled to make its debut this past summer, Apple has confirmed that the latest version of its multimedia architecture, QuickTime 3.0, will be delayed until early next year, possibly to coincide with Macworld Expo in San Francisco. According to a MacWEEK report, the delay is being blamed on difficulties with Windows testing, a side of Apple's ambitious plans. The company's scheme has been to completely align the feature set of both the Macintosh and Windows implementations of QuickTime 3.0, a daunting task at best, especially considering the plethora of multimedia devices (and their accompanying drivers) found on the Wintel platform.
Meanwhile, Apple has revealed that future development of the QuickTime VR and QuickDraw 3D technologies will now fall under the QuickTime banner, meaning the widely recognized moniker will soon envelope all aspects of the QuickTime Media Layer.
MacWEEK Article - QuickTime Homepage
PowerBase Fully Compatible With PowerForce
Owners of Power Computing's low-cost, entry-level PowerBase line of machines now have an upgrade path to the vaunted PowerPC 750 processor, as PowerLogix confirmed today that their PowerForce G3 upgrade card is compatible with the Alchemy-based series, which previously had no upgrade options. The architecture of the PowerBase was believed to be a sticking point in allowing the system to reap the full benefits of an upgrade such as the PowerForce, but PowerLogix contends that because of the upgrade card's backside cache, the relatively slow 40-MHz system bus of the PowerBase becomes irrelevant.
PowerLogix - Power Computing
AOL Co-Founder Steps Down From Board
After co-founding America Online in 1985 and holding various ranks at the company throughout the past 12 years, James Kimsey has decided to entirely part ways with the core company. Kimsey announced that he is stepping down from the company's board of directors, effective immediately. However, the one-time chairman, chief executive, and president of the nation's largest online service will still be associated with AOL, through the chairman position of the newly created AOL Foundation. Daniel Akerson, chairman and chief executive officer of Nextel Communications, will replace Kimsey on the company's board.
Press Release - America Online
Apple "Store" On Its Way To CompUSA
On the heels of yesterday's distribution partnership with Ingram Micro and MicroAge, Apple today inked a partnering agreement with CompUSA to launch a new "store within a store" retail format for selling Apple-branded products and technology within CompUSA Computer Superstores nationwide. Initially, forty stores will dedicate a portion of their retail space to an Apple "store", complete with Apple-trained employees, and over the next three to five months, the new environment will be rolled out nationwide. "We believe in the future of Apple, and we are making a large investment to show our recommitment to Apple," said Jim Halpin, president and CEO of CompUSA. "These specialized departments within our Superstores will offer a superior buying experience for the Apple customer."
The deal is seen as the first step in Apple's attempt to revitalize their stagnant public perception in the retail market space. Interim chief executive Steve Jobs first hinted that such deals would be made during his appearances at Seybold and the ensuing Macromedia User Conference last month. "The Apple stores within the CompUSA Superstores will offer our customers one of the best and most informed buying experiences available," Jobs said in a statement today. "To be partnering with CompUSA, the nation's largest and best computer superstore retailer, is really terrific."
Press Release - Apple Computer - CompUSA
Apple Plugs Security Hole Present In MRJ
One week after THe Mac Observer broke news of a security flaw in Apple's JDirect technology, which allowed Internet-based Java applets the ability to gain access to the native Mac OS toolbox, the Java engineering team at the Cupertino, Calif.-based company has released a patch that addresses the issue. The new version of Mac OS Runtime for Java, labeled as 1.5f1c3.2, is available from the Apple Java "Bleeding Edge" homepage. The company hopes to solicit feedback from the developer community with the patch, specifically asking that "(a) this updater fixes the security hole and (b) we didn't break something else in the process." Developers are encouraged to submit their findings to the address below.
"Bleeding Edge" - Apple Computer - firstname.lastname@example.org
Iomega Addresses Customer Satisfaction
Obviously aware of the wide ranging problems users have experienced with Jaz drives and disks, Iomega Corporation announced yesterday the addition of four new directors that will join the company's consumer oriented teams and help mend any problems going forward. The new directors are as follows: David Hubbard (director of supply management), Gerard Klaes (director of OEM customer satisfaction), Mark McDonagh (director of quality assurance), and Catherine A. Moore (director of channel customer satisfaction). "As a market leader that has seen sales grow from $141 million to $1.2 billion in approximately two years, strong leadership is essential," said Kevin O'Connor, Iomega's vice president of human resources. "The addition of these four professionals better enables us deliver on our commitment to delight our customers in each of their encounters with Iomega."
Press Release - Iomega Corporation
Netscape, CUC Form Strategic Partnership
Netscape Communications and video game conglomerate CUC International announced a pact today to promote CUC's membership-based, value-oriented netMarket through Netscape's recently introduce online store, Netcenter. The agreement calls for netMarket to be included as a button in Netscape's NetSearch page, and CUC in turn will provide Netcenter members the opportunity to purchase discounted goods and services online. "This is a strategic alliance for CUC," said Scot Melland, vice president of business development for CUC's interactive division. "We believe Netcenter will be an important vehicle for increasing our interactive membership base. In addition, Netcenter will help CUC build worldwide brand awareness for netMarket."
Press Release - Netscape - CUC International
Monday, November 3rd
Dale Joins MacAddict As New Publisher
Stephanie Dale, former publisher of The Net Magazine, was appointed the publisher's seat at MacAddict, the magazine's parent firm Imagine Publishing announced earlier today. Before joining the Brisbane, California-based Imagine, Dale held numerous sales management positions at Miller-Freeman, working on such computer publications and Web sites as Dr. Dobb's Journal, Unix Review, AIXtra and ComputerLand Magazine. Most recently, Dale oversaw the launch of Web Techniques, where she was Director of Sales. In combination with the sales team at Web Techniques, Dale directed online advertising sales for the September 1996 relaunch of Web Review, one of the first magazines on the Internet.
Press Release - MacAddict Magazine
"Feel the Power of the Force" Sweepstakes
To celebrate the initial shipments of PowerForce G3/250 accelerator cards, industry upgrade specialist PowerLogix is running the "Feel the Power of the Force" Sweepstakes. Starting today, individuals can sign up on the company's homepage for the chance to walk away with one of the PowerPC 750-powered upgrade cards. A winner in the promotion will be announced on December 8th.
PowerLogix, Inc. - Sweepstakes
Apple Unveils New Product Distribution Plans
Company hopes new strategy will reduce inventory and get products into the channel on a more timely basis.
Apple Computer today announced an alteration to its U.S. product distribution strategy, one that will leverage long-standing relationships with Ingram Micro Inc. and MicroAge, Inc. into helping the company reduce channel inventory, increase Apple advocacy, and streamline channel operations. An area of trouble before, Apple is hoping the new move, which is effective December 1st, will bolster the management of inventory and in turn enable customers to receive products faster than ever before. "We're working with distributors who have made a sizable investment and commitment to Apple and are focused on helping us get our products into the channel faster," said Mitch Mandich, senior vice president of the Americas. "Ingram Micro and MicroAge are both increasing the number of resources they dedicate to Apple and improving their advocacy of our products."
"This move is good news for the channel. As Apple's largest distributor in the world and longtime authorized distributor, we have always supported Apple and their customers, and will continue to do so. We fully support their effort to streamline distribution and better manage channel inventory," said Jeff Rodek, worldwide president and chief operating officer, Ingram Micro. "Ingram Micro was the first distributor to start a division dedicated exclusively to Macintosh, which we continue to invest in. We also continue to support our Apple resellers and VARs, as well as our 500 vendors who supply Mac-related products."
"As an Apple distributor for over 15 years, we're delighted to be an integral part of Apple's success," said Bob O'Malley, president of MicroAge. "Apple has designed a program that will benefit everyone in the supply chain, especially our customers, while simultaneously contributing to the bottom line."
Press Release - Apple Computer
Diamond's "Shotgun" Blasts To 112Kbps
By combining the bandwidth of two separate telephone lines, Diamond Multimedia Systems says that its new proprietary "Shotgun" modem technology will be able to conceivably deliver speeds of up to the 112 kilobits per second (Kbps). Developed in conjunction with Ascend Communications, the technology will be built into Diamond's software and can run on the company's existing SupraExpress 56K modems, although the potential benefits of such speeds will not be realized unless ISPs use Ascend-branded equipment. The introduction of products using the technology will likely happen early next year, after the planned official unveiling at this month's Comdex in Las Vegas.
Reuters Report - Diamond Multimedia Systems
Berkeley Expands beZerk With Acrophobia
Berkeley Systems today unveiled Acrophobia, the latest addition to beZerk, the online entertainment network home to the popular You Don't Know Jack: The Netshow. Now available in an "open pilot", which lasts until November 17th, the multiplayer word game is initially only available for Windows 95, but a Macintosh version is due after the first of next year.
"Acrophobia is an insanely addicting gaming experience," stated Jim Stoner, product marketing manager for Berkeley Systems. "The fast-pace of the game play, original music, cool graphics and chat feature combine to create a completely immersing experience that is not offered anywhere else on the 'Net except for beZerk!"
Press Release - beZerk Network
Power's Online Store Now Power-Less
For reasons unknown, Power Computing has shut down its online storefront and is instead directing customers to call their toll-free ordering line. Meanwhile, as has been the case since the announcement of Apple's buyout of Power, availability on the remaining inventory of Mac OS-compatible machines at Power continues to be limited. In fact, just last week the company said that the PowerCenter Pro 240 remains as the only system available, making it seem likely that inventory will be exhausted before their official departure from the market at the end of this year.
Power Computing - Online Store
Byte Pits Alpha Against PowerPC In Benchmark
This month's issue of Byte magazine has a comparison of performance between Digital's 600-MHz 21164 Alpha, the design of which was recently acquired by Intel as part of a settlement in a lawsuit, and a PowerPC 604e/350-MHz. BYTEmarks revealed the PowerPC to be faster at integer performance, with the Alpha holding an edge in the floating point department. As customary with Byte, a copy of the article is not available online, however a running discussion about the topic can be joined via their Web site.
Byte Magazine - Online Discussion
Feature: Yesterday's Future Tomorrow
With Apple's line of G3-powered machines just one week away, Mac Observer contributing editor Bryan Chaffin takes a candid look inside Motorola's CHRP-compliant StarMax Pro 6000/266 to give you a sneak peak at what we might expect from Apple's systems, as well as future CHRP and G3 implementations.
Yesterday's Future Tomorrow