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April, 1998 Archive


Thursday, April 30th
V.90 Patch For Apple Modems Due This Summer
[6:15PM] Owners of the K56flex-based modems bundled with Apple's Power Macintosh 6500 and G3 series will have to wait until sometime this summer before upgrading to the V.90 protocol ratified earlier this year. Apple says it is in the process of developing and testing software that will make these modems fully compliant with the 56K standard, and it expects a patch to be available in summer 1998, though no specific date is available. In addition, modems that already adhere to the V.90 standard will begin shipping at approximately the same time, the company says.

Apple Computer

Lakewood Software Revs Web Graphics Tool
[4:45PM] Lakewood Software has released an updated version of webAlias, its integrated image map editor and anti-aliasing text tool for Web designers, that improves compatibility with Mac OS 8.1. Version 1.1, regularly priced at $79.95 but available for $39.95 for a limited time, also adds the ability to export a selected area of a panel as an image map, a feature which allows webAlias to be used in a conjunction with other Web and multimedia design tools. A fully-functional demo version of the product can be downloaded from Lakewood's Web site.

Lakewood Software - webAlias Information

Sonnet Ships G3 Cards For First-Gen Power Macs
[1:15PM] Sonnet Technologies today began shipping its line of PowerPC G3-based upgrade cards for the first-generation series of Power Macintosh computers. Available in two configurations -- a $499 215-225-MHz model with 512k backside cache, and a 240-250-MHz version with 1MB cache priced at $699 -- the Crescendo G3 line is compatible with the following models: Power Mac 6100, 7100, 8100; 6110, 6112, 6115, 6116, 6117, 6118 Performa's; WorkGroup Server 6150, 8150; and one clone -- the Radius 81/110. Sonnet says each of the card configurations has an AutoConfig feature that automatically determines the speed of the host computer, then sets the clock speed of the upgrade card to the appropriate level for maximum performance. For example, with the low-end card, a 66-MHz Power Mac 7100 with a 33-MHz bus will be set to run at 215-MHz, while a 80-MHz Power Mac 7100 with a 40-MHz bus will run at 220-MHz.

Meanwhile, for the 7100 and 8100 series, Sonnet is also offering an optional adaptor kit that allows users to attach existing high-speed VRAM or AV video card to the Crescendo G3 through a pass-through connector. With the $99 adaptor, the video card will occupy one NuBus slot space.

Sonnet Technology

Revenues Jump 180 Percent In SyQuest's Q2
[11:45AM] SyQuest Technology this week reported a sharp spike in revenue for its second quarter of 1998, as demand for its storage devices increased 297 percent year-over-year. For the period ended March 31, revenues surged 180 percent, to $47 million, from $16.8 million in the year ago period. The jump also represented a sequential increase of 47 percent from sales of $32.1 million in the company's first quarter of 1998. SyQuest attributed the improved results to the "strong market acceptance" of its 1GB, PC-only SparQ device and "strong" shipments of SyJet, its mid-range 1.5GB drive. But despite the impressive turnaround in sales, losses continued to pile up. While revenue increased $30.2 million, the company's red ink diminished by only a trivial amount -- $31.7 million compared to $34.4 million.

SyQuest Technology

New Motorola BurstRAM To Boost Throughput
[10:35AM] Motorola said today it has developed a new larger, faster digital burst synchronous SRAM that will substantially boost system throughput in network computers, switches, routers, sensors, workstations, and desktop computers. Slated to enter full production this quarter, the new BurstRAM has a larger level-two cache, which handles more data, lessens system demand on main memory, and in communications networks can buffer more cells or frames at a faster rate to the processor -- relieving what is a chronic bottleneck function in many systems. Motorola says the 128K x 32 pipelined and flow-through configurations provide a burstable, high performance secondary cache for PowerPC and other high-end processors.The product's higher speeds -- it has a burst capability up to 150-MHz pipelined and 8.5ns flow-through -- and 4Meg densities will provide greater performance the computer and communications segments.

Motorola Semiconductor Products Sector

AppleMasters To Appear At Next Month's WWDC
[9:30AM] Five AppleMasters will deliver a presentation on the creative uses of Macintosh hardware and software at Apple's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) next month, the company announced today. Individuals scheduled to participate in the conference -- AppleMasters on Apple -- include Sir Chris Bonington, mountaineer, writer, and photographer; Jim Ludtke, video animator; Douglas Adams, author and fantasist; Michael Kamen, musician and composer; and Paul Davis, graphic designer and artist. How these AppleMasters utilize the Mac platform and software solutions to create exciting and innovative results will be demonstrated, Apple says, with topics ranging from how Bonington took his solar-powered Apple IIc to Mt. Everest's Camp 2 at 22,500 feet for logistics planning and communications, to how Kamen uses his keyboard and Mac to create unique musical scores for films as diverse as Lethal Weapon, Jack, and Mr. Holland's Opus.

AppleMasters - WWDC 98

Lycos Acquires WiseWire In $39.75 Mln. Deal
[9:10AM] Lycos has shelled out $39.75 million in stock to acquire WiseWire and its proprietary technology for directory-building, the search engine company announced today. The WiseWire technology finds, prioritizes, and organizes relevant content into thousands of pre-defined hierarchical directories, and will immediately be integrated into Lycos' search results page. "The combination of Lycos and WiseWire brings the interactive and collaborative underpinnings of the Web to users and we expect this new paradigm to raise the bar for our competitors," said Robert David, chief executive of Lycos, in a statement. "The marriage of machine and end-user helps shape, define and classify the Internet, ultimately delivering users the most relevant up-to-date search results that are virtually free of dead links. The Internet user now has a better alternative than Yahoo!"

As part of the acquisition, several top WiseWire executives will be moved into key positions at Lycos. Ken Lang, who developed WiseWire's proprietary technology, will become chief technology officer of Lycos. WiseWire president Dennis Ciccone will be named vice president of mergers and acquisitions, and Robert O. Frasca, senior vice president of WiseWire, has also been named a vice president of Lycos.

Lycos - WiseWire


Wednesday, April 29th
Adjacency, Apple Win Award For The Apple Store
[5:30PM] The One Show Interactive Awards -- the advertising industry's prestigious annual awards competition -- recently awarded a Gold Pencil to Adjacency and Apple for best "Direct Marketing (Commercial Transactions)" for The Apple Store, according to Apple Hot News. The competition is sponsored by The One Club for Art and Copy, a non-profit organization founded in 1975 to promote creative excellence in advertising. The club has a membership of approximately 900 art directors and copywriters.

The Apple Store - Apple Hot News - Adjacency

Yocam's Borland Changes Name, Product Line
[4:35PM] As part of a new corporate strategy laid out today, Borland International, the programming tool vendor that once the third largest software company in the world, will change its name to Inprise Corp. and expand its focus on enterprise computing. The company, whose lead ex-Apple executive Del Yocam, said a new product line will be unveiled in the coming months, starting with the Inprise Application Server, an integrated suite of enterprise middleware and tools that provide a complete solution for simplifying the development, deployment, and management of middle-tier business logic in a distributed application environment.

Inprise Corp.

HP To Begin Manufacturing Printers In Brazil
[2:35PM] Hewlett-Packard, fresh off its deal with Apple to bring Macintosh compatibility to its line of ink-jet printers, today said it will begin producing printers in Brazil beginning in May, a move which could spell lower prices for Latin American customers. The plan is part of the company's Consumer Product Group's regional hub manufacturing strategy, which ensures that each of its worldwide regions is self-sufficient in terms of providing products quickly and cost-effectively to the retail and commercial channel in the region in which it operates. HP has contracted two U.S.-based companies -- SCI and Solectron -- for manufacturing, and initial production will be for the HP DeskJet 692C ink-jet printer.

Hewlett-Packard

Disappointed With Sales, Blue Byte Says Adios
[1:25PM] After seeing lower than expected sales of Settlers II, Blue Byte Software has decided to cut off all future Macintosh development including a planned Settlers II add-on, Next Generation Online reports. In explaining his company's position, Blue Byte chief executive officer Thomas Hertzler also said a lack of support from Apple added to the company's decision. "We have recently reviewed the situation and feel that due to the small number of sales for The Settlers II on Macintosh, it would not be beneficial for Blue Byte to continue developing and publishing titles for the Macintosh," explained Hertzler. "As a huge Mac Fan, I was disappointed that we didn't receive support from Apple when working on this title."

Next Generation Online

NASA, Dartmouth Among Office 98 Adopters
[12:55PM] NASA Ames Research Center, Dartmouth College, Turner Broadcasting Sales, and Apple are among the early adopters of Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition, Microsoft said today. Customers cited the product's ease of installation and management, cross-platform compatibility, and true Macintosh design as primary reasons for making the upgrade. George Alger, deputy chief for IT services at NASA Ames Research Center, said the new installation and enhanced maintenance features in Office 98 have contributed greatly in helping NASA Ames upgrade more than 500 Power Macintosh computers so far. Apple employees are also deploying Office 98 throughout the company, Mitch Mandich, Apple's senior VP of worldwide sales, said.

But corporations aren't the only ones upgrading. Bill Brawley, computing services group at Dartmouth, said the college's computer store has sold more than 2,000 licenses of Office 98 since its debut several week ago, which topped their optimistic projects. Brawley said he expects sales to continue at a steady pace.

Microsoft - Office 98 Information

CompUSA Paints Dark Fourth Quarter Outlook
[11:05AM] Computer retail giant CompUSA today announced a drop in net income of 22 percent for its third quarter, and again presented an increasingly dark outlook for Q4. The computer retail giant said the third quarter was "especially challenging" due to lower level of sales and a higher level of investment in strategic initiatives. Revenues for the period ended March 28 rose 14 percent to $1.45 billion, but net income tumbled to $25.4 million from $32.7 million in the year ago quarter. And while overall sales increased, sales were up only 1.2 percent for the 122 open one year or more. James Halpin, president and CEO of CompUSA, said the company was naturally disappointed with the results, and that it would examine every aspect of its business and take the proper measures to ensure efficient operations going forward. (CompUSA's quarterly report was absent of any update on the performance of the Apple "store within a store" environment.)

Meanwhile, the grim fourth quarter picture CompUSA recently painted became even darker today. The company had previously estimated a 0 percent comparable same store sales increase, but based on the continued weakness of sales, it's now saying the increase will likely be negative.

CompUSA - Apple Computer

MacFair Attendees To Hear From AppleMasters
[10:15AM] A special Apple-hosted conference session, "AppleMasters, Forward Thinkers, and World-Changers," will take place tomorrow at 12PM during MacFair LA '98 at the Burbank Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. The session, which showcases individuals who use the Macintosh for creative expression, will feature AppleMasters Michael Backes, producer and screenwriter; Howard Bingham, photographer; Jim Ludtke, video animator; and Harry Marks, video and broadcast designer. The MacFair audience will be introduced to Ludtke's award-winning animations and illustrations, and Bingham's photography of fellow AppleMaster and friend Muhammad Ali.

AppleMasters - MacFair LA '98

Apple Sees Global Market Share Bounce Back
[9:35AM] In the first quarter of 1998, Apple's piece of the U.S. market bounced back from lows in the fourth quarter of 1997 to match the previous year's share, preliminary International Data Corp. figures obtained by MacWEEK reveal. Based on sales of 319,000 machines, IDC said Apple's share of the domestic market was 4 percent -- the same level it was at in the year ago period, when 280,000 systems were sold. More importantly, for the first time in several years, the company saw quarter-to-quarter improvement. Apple's share in the fourth quarter of 1997 -- the holiday selling season -- was only 3.4 percent. "Apple definitely held its own, growing at the market rate," analyst Kevin Hause told MacWEEK. "It's very nice for Apple; it's been a while."

Apple's worldwide share for the first quarter of 1998 was 3.2 percent, a slight decrease from a 3.3 percent share in the prior year's period, this despite the fact that the company increased its unit sales by 48,000 systems. Like in the U.S., however, worldwide market share bounced back from levels in the fourth quarter of 1997, when Apple had a 2.6 percent share.

MacWEEK Report - Apple Computer

SyQuest Technology CFO Tenders Resignation
[7:50AM] Bob Corey will step down from his position as chief financial officer at SyQuest Technology, effective April 30, to purse an opportunity in the software industry, the company announced today. The position will be succeeded by Michael Clemens, currently senior vice president and treasurer, who will serve as an acting replacement. "Bob is leaving SyQuest to return to the software industry with a company that has leading products within the market niche it serves," said Ed Harper, SyQuest president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "His financial management efforts have contributed greatly to our new business strategy and we wish him continued success." Prior to joining SyQuest in 1996, Clemens spent 11 years at Western Digital as vice president and assistant treasurer.

SyQuest Technology

CompUSA Issues Statement Denying Wrongdoing
[7:20AM] Responding to a lawsuit filed by its shareholders last week, computer retailer CompUSA today issued a statement categorically denying any wrongdoing. The complaint, which alleges that the company made false or misleading statements or omissions related to its business and prospects, was filed last Thursday by Schiffrin Craig & Barroway on behalf of investors who purchased options between December 31, 1997 and March 5, 1998. "We have reviewed the complaint and believe the claims are without merit," remarked James Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive. "CompUSA will vigorously contest all allegations contained in the complaint and we deny categorically that any securities laws were violated by CompUSA or any of its officers."

CompUSA


Tuesday, April 28th
Hitachi, NEC Get Hands On HP-UX For IA-64
[5:50PM] Support for HP-UX, Hewlett-Packard's homegrown version of Unix, and Intel's 64-bit Merced chip, the processor which will usher in the platform officially known as "IA-64," reached new levels today, as a trio of enterprise computer makers -- Hitachi, NEC, and Stratus Computer -- licensed the software for use in their own IA-64-based systems. HP, whose involvement with the new platform has been a constant since day one, hinted at further deals in a statement announcing the new licensees. Said Bill Russell, the company's Enterprise Systems Group head: HP "is in discussions with other potential HP-UX OEMs worldwide for even broader adoption of HP-UX on IA-64."

Hewlett-Packard

Netscape Unveils Core Of Messaging Strategy
[3:15PM] "Troopers ISP," the code-name to Netscape's new high-performance server that will enable Internet Service Providers (ISPs) and telcos to provide scalable, reliable messaging services to users, was unveiled today. The new product, due to ship in the second half of 1998, is central to Netscape's new messaging strategy, which is focused on providing solutions for a new class of Enterprise Service Providers and ISPs. Netscape previewed the high-performance Internet Mail Access Protocol (IMAP) support in "Troopers ISP" that will enable highly-scalable and reliable messaging support for millions of users. Customers will also be able to combine value-added messaging products with "Troopers ISP's" high-performance messaging backbone to deliver premium-priced services, such as unified messaging and Web-based email to businesses and consumers.

As an example, the company pointed out Amteva, who will deliver solutions that enable service providers to offer unified messaging services that integrate the access, delivery, and presentment of email, voice mail, fax mail, and paging into one universal inbox. Netscape says this is only made possible because of "Troopers ISP's" IMAP performance.

Netscape Communications

Retrospect Update Supports 20 New Devices
[12:55PM] Version 1.4 of the Retrospect 4.0 Driver Update, released today, adds support for twenty new backup mechanisms to Dantz Development's Retrospect 4.0. The free update can be downloaded from the company's Web site (a floppy disk version of the update is also available via Dantz' customer service line), and it works with English, French, German, and Japanese language versions of the popular backup utility. A full list of drives supported with the new update can be seen on the company's site.

Retrospect Driver Update Version 1.4 - Dantz

NetObjects Chief Wins Web Innovator Award
[12:35PM] Samir Arora, chief executive officer and co-founder of NetObjects, was recently honored with a Web Innovator award from CNET's BUILDER.COM. The awards -- announced earlier this month -- honor individuals who are responsible for Web business, design, technology, and development innovations that have helped shape the Web and changed the rules for site developers. Arora founded NetObjects in November 1995, and has helped mold the company into a dominant player in the Web development genre. "Samir's vision on information architecture and design helped create Web authoring products, NetObjects Fusion and NetObjects TeamFusion, which defined a whole new category of such tools," said Trisha Gorman, senior editor of CNET's BUILDER.COM Web site, which sponsored the awards.

NetObjects - BUILDER.COM

Netscape Moves Sparking Browser Resurgence?
[11:05AM] Netscape's move in recent months to give away its Web browser appears to be paying dividends, as company officials are claiming a swing in market share, albeit by the slimmest of margins. Speaking at the Hambrecht & Quist Technology Conference in San Francisco this week, Netscape executive vice president Mike Homer said the Navigator giveaway has not only stopped the company's deteriorating share of the market, but has actually helped improve its piece of the pie. The company's share dropped from 60 in December to 56.5 in February, but officials maintain that is has since improved to 56.57 percent -- the slimmest of gains, but an improvement nonetheless.

Meanwhile, according to ZDNN, Homer also outlined Netscape's expansion plans for its Netcenter Web site. In the future, Homer said to expect: a Netscape-branded search engine, more integration between its browser and Netcenter; and more leveraging of Netscape technology to deliver information to users.

ZDNN Report - Netscape

Extensis Announces Availability Of PhotoAnimator
[10:05AM] Extensis yesterday rolled out PhotoAnimator, its new stand-alone application for creating GIF animations for the Web. Available immediately for Mac OS and Windows, PhotoAnimator includes a number of power features for professionals, such as dynamic time-line based animation which gives users the ability to edit and change parameters of an animation at any given time, without having to redo the entire scene. The product also provides full compatibility with Photoshop, enabling users to view, import, and export Photoshop layers. Additionally, PhotoAnimator features multiple undo, multiple layers, interactive previews, live updates, and transition layers that incorporate transition effects, such as merge, fade, wipe, and barn door. PhotoAnimator's street price is $99.95, but for a limited time it can be purchased online for $69.95.

Extensis - PhotoAnimator Information

Hewlett-Packard, Apple Ink Printer Agreement
[9:25AM] As part of an agreement announced today, Hewlett-Packard has committed to making its future ink-jet printers compatible with the Mac OS. In return, Apple will begin reselling two HP printers -- the DeskJet 890CM with Mac network bundle and the DeskWriter 694C -- to its education customers in May, with expansion to additional direct channels planned for later in the year. Furthermore, Apple and HP also said they intend to work together to extend Apple's ColorSync technology to HP ink-jets, so that Macintosh users can get "the colors you see are the colors your print" on their HP printers. Of the pact, Apple interim chief executive Steve Jobs commented, "Apple and HP are working together to ensure that Macintosh customers continue to have the best affordable printers. HP's commitment to provide built-in Mac OS support with HP's industry-leading printers is a big win for Macintosh customers."

Added Antonio Perez, vice president and general manager of HP's Consumer Products Group, "HP is very happy to be recognized as Apple's premiere ink-jet printer partner. HP has a long history of providing world-class Macintosh-connect products, including LaserJet and DeskJet printers, ScanJet scanners and DesignJet large format printers that complement Apple's product offerings. This agreement will enable HP to provide state-of-the-art printing technologies to a broad range of Macintosh users."

Apple Computer - Hewlett-Packard

Woz To Give Commencement Speech At Berkeley
[7:55AM] Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak will be returning to his alma matter next month as the guest speaker at UC Berkeley's commencement ceremonies on May 12. Wozniak was selected by the university's Senior Class Council because of his prominence in the business world, and the fact that he is a Cal grad. The council did have other candidates, including First Lady Hillary Clinton and 49er quarterback Steve Young, but neither were able to attend the ceremonies, leaving the Apple visionary at the class's choice. During his two year stay at Berkeley (he spent two years at De Anza Community College in Cupertino), Wozniak, now a full-time teacher, focused on electronics and computer science, which ultimately contributed to his early work at Apple. Wozniak's time at the university culminated in 1987 when he received an honorary bachelor's degree in electrical engineering and computer science.

Daily Cal Article - UC Berkeley

Apple's G3 All-In-One To Include Avid Cinema
[7:20AM] Avid Technology's Avid Cinema, a digital video editing and publishing solution designed for use at home, school, and office, will now be included in Apple's Power Macintosh G3 266-MHz All-in-one education-only model. The video editing suite, which was jointly developed in 1996 by Avid and Apple, provides educators and students with an easy and affordable way to design innovative projects such as video yearbooks and mock news reports that combine video clips, photographs, and audio segments. "Bringing multimedia and video editing to the classroom helps students to think creatively and teaches them real-world technology skills that they will use far beyond their schooling experience," said Mike Lorion, VP of Education Sales for Apple, in a statement.

Power Macintosh G3 All-in-one - Apple - Avid


Monday, April 27th
Qdea Announces Release Of SpeedShare Pro
[6:00PM] Qdea's SpeedShare Pro for Macintosh, a file sharing utility which utilizes the TCP/IP protocol to provide access to files resident on Macintosh servers across both local area and Internet networks, debuted today. The product, which Qdea claims will transfer files across networks faster than any other commercially available solution, sports a Finder-like interface, and features automatic pre-compression of files on the server, the ability to limit connection to certain IP addresses, and real-time messaging between users and the server. List prices for SpeedShare Pro Server start at $129.95 -- client licenses are free. A free trial version is available from Qdea's Web site.

Qdea president Hugh Sontag remarked, "We are very excited at the performance characteristics of this product. SpeedShare Pro has been measured in excess of 8.4 MB/second over 100 base-T. In this environment a 1GB file transferred in only two minutes. As a comparison, AppleShare IP was less than half as fast."

Qdea - SpeedShare Pro Information

Adobe's Photoshop 5.0 Coming Next Month
[5:10PM] Adobe Systems has targeted next month for the release of Photoshop 5.0, the latest upgrade to its best-selling image-editing software package. Priced at $995 for new owners and $199 for existing customers, version 5.0 will sport key new features such as the History Palette, History Brush, Editable Text Layers, Magnetic Selection Tools, Spot-Color Channels, and Color Management support. "Customer input has played a major role in shaping the Photoshop 5.0 release," said John Leddy, Photoshop group product manager, in a statement. "In addition to answering our customers' top requests, we've added a wealth of powerful features that address the full range of Photoshop uses-from color correction to photo-composition and from print production to Web design. Users will gain more freedom to experiment, more predictable results, and more saved time."

Photoshop 5.0 Information - Adobe Systems

Microsoft Plays Fair With Gaming Zone Update
[4:10PM] Microsoft's Internet Gaming Zone, often brought up as an example of the company's gaining control on the Internet, today opened its doors to users of Netscape Navigator for the first time. A new update to the PC-only online gaming service introduces support for Netscape's "4.0" browsers (Navigator stand-alone and Communicator), making the service which was once accessible only via Internet Explorer open to all users. In addition to its browser friendliness, the IGZ update also features a streamlined interface and the Zone Rating System, which allows game players to determine how they fare against other players. (IGZ, formerly known as the Gaming Zone, was a Macintosh-compatible service before being bought out by Microsoft in early 1997.)

Internet Gaming Zone - Microsoft

MacShareware.com Opens Doors With Promotion
[3:35PM] To celebrate its grand opening, MacShareware.com is holding a promotion where visitors can win their choice of any Ambrosia Software game, including titles such as Maelstrom, Mars Rising, Harry the Handsome Executive, or even the upcoming Escape Velocity sequel, EV Override. Ten winners will be chosen, one each Friday for the next ten weeks. MacShareware.com currently hosts shareware games and commercial demos, and will soon be offering a more thorough library of Macintosh shareware.

MacShareware.com - Ambrosia Software

Nisus Software Charts Cross-Platform Course
[2:20PM] Long-time Macintosh developer Nisus Software has charted a new strategy moving forward, one that includes its first ever Internet and PC products. The company has signed strategic partnership and distribution agreements with MicroSeconds and Maui Software, and will announce others at a press conference from its San Diego-area offices on May 6. "We are very excited to have aligned ourselves with two quality organizations who produce superior software products as we prepare to unveil our new line of Nisus Cross-Platform Products," said Reginald Grant, VP sales and marketing at Nisus, in a statement. In addition to product demonstrations from MicroSeconds (Easy Desktop, Screen Saver Creator) and Maui (TimeSlice, Yank Pro), Nisus will demo wwwDigger, GIA Bookmarks, and MathHelp at its conference.

Nisus Software

Apple Offers Rebate On Mac OS 8.1, Office 98
[1:45PM] Beginning today, Apple will be offering a $30 mail-in rebate to customers who purchase the full install retail versions of both Mac OS 8.1 and Microsoft Office 98 Macintosh Edition. The offer, which is the latest example of the reinvigorated partnership between Apple and Microsoft, runs through June 30, however, customers have until July 31 to apply for the offer (the companies note that the two products do not need to be purchased at the same time). Rebate coupons for the promotion are available at point of purchase from resellers carrying the tandem, as well as through Apple's Web site and Faxback service.

Office 98 Promotion - Apple Computer - Microsoft

Krause, Williams To Headline Digital Living Room
[11:45AM] Kai Krause, MetaCreations' chief science and design officer, and NBC News correspondent Brian Williams will be among the speakers at David Coursey's Digital Living Room conference, scheduled for June 21-24 at the Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel in Dana Point, CA. The new conference, which is intended for senior executives interested in digital technology and consumer electronics, will answer the question "What happens when the consumer's world goes digital?" Krause, the graphics guru behind Kai's Power Goo and Kai's Power Tools, will headline the roster of speakers and presenters for DLR's Video, Animation, and Broadcasting Festival, while Williams, the NBC White House Correspondents who also anchors MSNBC's prime time newscast, will answer audience questions about broadcasting, technology, and the future of information delivery to the digital home.

Digital Living Room

USA.NET Thinks Biz With New Email Service
[11:10AM] USA.NET, the company behind the popular NetAddress service, today launched PostOffice.Net, a Web-based email solution designed specifically for small-to-medium-sized businesses. The company, whose technology will be used in Netscape's recently announced WebMail service, says the new system can be customized to meet the unique needs of small-to-medium-sized businesses and provides employees with instant access to email anywhere in the world through an Internet connection. Companies will be able to use their own personalized domain name to send and receive email, and a "postmaster" function allows domain administrators to manage employee email addresses within their company post office. In addition, PostOffice.Net can be integrated with existing email systems so that users can retrieve email through traditional POP3 mail clients.

"We are delivering on our promise to create the post office of the future. PostOffice.Net was designed specifically to meet the needs of businesses, utilizing USA.NET's proven, proprietary mail engine architecture," said John Street, chief executive officer of USA.NET, in a statement. "PostOffice.Net is for companies that want all the benefits of business e-mail, without getting into the e-mail business themselves," he added.

PostOffice.Net - NetAddress

Despite Flat Revenues, Avid's Q1 Profits Soar
[10:45AM] Slowed by seasonal weakness, adverse currency effects, and lower revenue in the Asia Pacific region, Avid Technology's first quarter sales came in flat year over year. The digital audio and video tool vendor's revenues for the period ended March 31 were $108.7 million compared to $108.2 million in the year ago period, while profits, reflecting improved gross margins and manufacturing efficiencies, soared to $7.7 million from $1.8 million. Commenting on the results, William Miller, Avid's chairman and chief executive, said, "We believe we are well positioned to grow our revenues by providing innovative products that will allow us to maintain and expand our leadership position in the film, video and audio markets and target new opportunities for growth in markets such as television finishing, digital news production and corporate and industrial."

Avid Technology

CE Software Wants To Automate Your Mac
[9:40AM] CE Software's Instant QuicKeys, a new Macintosh automation tool announced today, will be available the first week of May at a special introductory price of $29.95 (a free, 30-day demo version will be available the week of May 4 as well). Designed to increase user productivity, QuicKeys includes keyboard shortcuts that automatically launch applications, open folders, type text, open network file servers, automate basic system tasks, and much more. CE says Instant QuicKeys, which is based on the award-winning utility of the same name, features a simplified interface and extensive setup wizards that help even beginners create keyboard shortcuts in minutes.

CE Software - Instant QuicKeys Information

QuickTime 3.0-Savvy HyperCard Now Available
[9:15AM] HyperCard 2.4, the QuickTime 3.0-savvy upgrade to Apple's custom software development tool first announced earlier this year, is now available as a free upgrade via Apple's Web site. (The full $99 version of the software will be available on The Apple Store and through volume licensing and maintenance agreements at the end of May.) Thanks to its utilization of QuickTime 3.0, version 2.4 of HyperCard lets users add sophisticated multimedia experiences to existing or new applications. More than 30 of the standard file types supported by QuickTime can be embedded within HyperCard stacks, and a new suite of HyperTalk scripts makes it easy to establish links to QuickTime movies, QuickTime VR scenes, and the Internet. In addition, scripts can be set up to resize, flip, mirror, rotate, skew, and loop movies.

Apple Computer - HyperCard Information

TechWorks Partners With Newer On PowerCPU
[8:15AM] TechWorks today announced it has signed an OEM deal to use Newer Technology's processor designs in a new series of G3-based upgrade cards called the "PowerCPU G3." TechWorks will manufacture and sell the cards, which will be available in two configurations early next month. A 250-MHz model with 512K backside cache will be priced at $729, while the high-end 300-MHz configuration and its included 1MB backside cache will retail at $1,379. "We chose Newer Technology for our partner in CPU upgrades because they offer the highest quality and highest value to our customers," said Mike Frost, TechWorks president and chief executive, in a statement. "TechWorks is known best as the computer upgrade company of choice. Adding CPU accelerators to our product line reinforces this position and allows us to continue supporting our core business of Macintosh customers."

TechWorks - Newer Technology

States To Stand In Front Of Windows 98 Debut?
[7:50AM] A group of attorneys general are expected to file a joint action that could block the June 25 debut of Microsoft's Windows 98 in twelve states, sources told PC Week Online. According to the publication, the states are likely to seek a preliminary injunction within the next two weeks that prevents Microsoft from releasing its latest operating system upgrade until the states can hold formal hearings about the company's alleged anti-competitive practices.

PC Week Report - Windows 98

CompUSA Faced With Shareholder Lawsuit
[6:55AM] Investors who purchased shares of CompUSA from December 31, 1997 through March 5, 1998 have filed a class action lawsuit against the computer retail giant, law firm Schiffrin Craig & Barroway announced Friday. The suit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas, alleges that CompUSA "insiders" artificially inflated the price of the stock by issuing false statements regarding the company's overall financial picture. Plaintiffs claim insiders cashed out 564,790 shares of their holdings for $17.6 million in proceeds after telling the securities markets that A.) CompUSA was experiencing strong sales of high margin products; B.) the company's overall profit margins were intact; C.) the industry's trend toward lower-priced PCs was "healthy" for CompUSA's business; and D.) CompUSA expected to achieve strong revenue and ESP growth. Schiffrin Craig is seeking to recover damages on behalf of class members.

CompUSA


Friday, April 24th
WWDC "Bootcamp" Targets Smaller Developers
[2:35PM] A new series of workshops designed to help smaller software developers compete effectively in the global marketplace will be an optional track for attendees of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) next month. The "Business Development Bootcamp," sponsored by Apple and the Center for Software Development (CSD), is a five program of in-depth seminars presented by respected Silicon Valley venture capitalists, industry experts, and business consultants. The seminars, which will run parallel to WWDC's technical sessions, include: Venture Funding & Financing; Successfully Entering the Japanese Market; Strategic Marketing Workshop; Doing Business in the United States; One-One-One Market Strategy; Soup-to-Nut: Mergers, Acquisitions & Initial Public Offerings.

WWDC Bootcamp - Center for Software Development


Thursday, April 23rd
Apple Apart Of The PHLX Computer Box Maker Sector
[8:25PM] The Philadelphia Stock Exchange (PHLX) yesterday won approval from the Securities and Exchange Commission to launch the nation's first index option of computer manufacturer stocks -- the PHLX Computer Box Maker Sector (BMX). Nine companies round out the index including Apple Computer, Compaq Computer, Dell Computer, Gateway 2000, Hewlett-Packard, IBM, Micron Technology, Sun Microsystems, and Unisys.

Philadelphia Stock Exchange

Insignia's First Quarter Revenues Drop 46%
[6:45PM] Insignia Solutions today reported revenues of $5 million for its first quarter of 1999, a decline of 46 percent year over year, as sales of the company's Macintosh and Unix product lines both dropped off considerably. The company, whose best known for its SoftWindows emulator, incurred an operating loss of $3.4 million for the period ended March 31, but proceeds from the sale of its NTRIGUE product line gave the company a diluted earnings per share of 62 cents, compared to a loss of 41 cents in the year ago period. Sales of Insignia's Macintosh-based products decreased by 29 percent compared to sales in the first quarter of 1997, but the recent launch of SoftWindows 5.0 helped push revenues up 2 percent from their fourth quarter 1997 levels. Similarly, sales of Unix-based product were down 37 percent over year ago levels, but a distribution agreement with Sun Microsystems to provide PC and Windows 95 compatibility for Sun's Ultra workstations helped increase sales by 46 percent compared to Q4 1997.

Insignia also reiterated its plans to launch a new product line sometime later this year. As they announced earlier in the quarter, the line is expected to deliver a virtual machine for the emerging Java-based embedded systems marketplace.

Insignia Solutions

FileMaker Most Popular Database, Study Shows
[3:30PM] According to a recent study released by research firm International Data Corporation (IDC), FileMaker Pro is now the most popular stand-alone database product in the United States, with sales to Windows users having tripled in the past two years. Furthermore, IDC says corporate spending on database applications will increase 35 percent by the year 2001.

FileMaker, Inc. - FileMaker Pro Information

EveryWare Updates Tango for FileMaker
[2:25PM] Tango 3.1 for FileMaker, an upgrade to EveryWare Development's visual Web development tool used to integrate FileMaker Pro 3.0 and 4.0 databases with the Web, began shipping today. According to the company, version 3.1 offers an enhanced visual drag-and-drop environment for rapid Web application development, server side Java integration, JavaScript 1.2 compatibility, projects for grouping application files, and enhanced supported programmatic constructs. In addition, version Tango 3.1 is Independent Software Vendor (ISV) enabled. "This latest version of Tango for FileMaker shows EveryWare's commitment to the Macintosh developer community, by providing a feature set that enables developers to create sophisticated web-based applications," said Michael Senechal, Tango Product Manager.

EveryWare Development - Tango Information

MS Posts Strong Q3, Warns Of Slower Growth
[12:15PM] Microsoft yesterday said its third quarter profits rose a better-than-expected 25 percent, as consumer demand for its products remained strong. But the company's growth has slowed for each of the last four quarters, and it expects to see slower growth for the balance of calendar 1998. For the period ended March 31, Microsoft earned $1.34 billion, or 50 cents per share, compared with 40 cents a share in the same period last year. Revenue climbed to $3.77 billion, an 18 percent increase from the $3.21 billion in the prior year, fueled by continued adoption of Office 97 by large and small customers worldwide. In addition, the company said its Macintosh edition of Microsoft Office 98 drove two outstanding months for its Macintosh Office business.

Microsoft - Office 98 Information

IBM To Ship Intel-based Network Station In '99
[11:15AM] IBM will expand its choice of network computers in the first half of 1999 with a high-end version of its Network Station utilizing an Intel microprocessor, the company said today. At the same time, Big Blue also announced it is working with Intel to "tune" the JavaOS for Business product for Intel-based NCs. The Intel version of the operating system will support both the Network Computer Reference Platform and the Intel Architecture Lean Client Guideline, and is expected to be available to OEMs by mid-year. Development of the Intel version will focus on performance of the Java application environment, device drivers, multimedia, security, and communications, the companies said. Meanwhile, IBM, Intel, and Lotus will pursue enhanced performance of the Lotus eSuite WorkPlace for use on Intel processors.

IBM Software - Intel - JavaOS for Business

Cyberian Begins Delivering Software Digitally
[9:55AM] Through a partnership with Digital River, computer online reseller Cyberian Outpost will now be offering digital delivery of software products, the companies announced yesterday. Under the deal, which pushes Cyberian's total inventory to more than 120,000 hardware and software products, Digital River will receive revenue from all Cyberian sales through its central commerce server, and will then pay a percentage of each sale to its software partners and Cyberian. In addition to the significant inventory increase, secure online sale, and digital delivery solution, Digital River will also provide Cyberian with full data center management, customer service and direct marketing support for their electronic software distribution (ESD) titles

"Until now, physical delivery of goods has been the foundation of our business, but we also want to offer our customers a choice of delivery preferences, especially digital delivery," said Ira Feigelman, vice president of product marketing for Cyberian, in a statement. "By partnering with Digital River we immediately increase our product selections and provide our consumers with the option of electronic distribution that is fast and easy."

Cyberian Outpost - Cyberian Software Store


Wednesday, April 22nd
Macromedia Releases Dreamweaver Update
[5:15PM] Macromedia this week released Dreamweaver 1.2, an upgrade to its visual Web design tool that adds new, enhanced Dynamic HTML capabilities. Available immediately, the revision introduces a tweaked Dynamic HTML engine that enables Web developers to take advantage of the features found in 4.0 browsers, while maintaining full compatibility with 3.0 browsers. In addition, Macromedia says the update includes a behavior to automatically send viewers to the page optimized for their particular browser. Also new in version 1.2 are refreshed JavaScript behaviors, advanced interactivity, and international authoring. Lastly, users will now be able to check for broken or external links within pages, directories, or entire Web sites with the update's new site management capabilities.

A 30-day trial version of Dreamweaver 1.2 is now available from Macromedia's Web site, as is the free 1.2 upgrade for existing owners. Retail pricing of the full version will at $299, the same as the introductory price for the initial release, Macromedia said.

Macromedia - Dreamweaver Information

MetaCreations' Q1 Hurt By Weak Foreign Sales
[1:30PM] Attributing the results to weak international sales, expected seasonal weakness, and significant increases in research and development expenditures, MetaCreations yesterday reported a loss of $823,000 on revenues of $14.4 million for its first quarter of 1998. International revenues, hurt by a low number of localized products, were down 26 percent in the quarter, while sales in North America, fueled by the release of three new products -- Painter Classic, Kai's Photo SHOW, and Painter 3D -- were up 41 percent over their year ago levels. Gary Lauer, who came over in February from Silicon Graphics to become MetaCreations' CEO, commented, "After having been with the company only 60 days, I am very impressed and enthusiastic about the technology, technical assets and the people of MetaCreations. As we move forward, we will focus on strategically deploying our resources and technologies toward markets that give us larger growth opportunities."

Looking into the future, Carpinteria, Calif.-based MetaCreations said it expects to release a significant number of new products and technologies during the remainder of the year as a result of its increased research and development efforts.

MetaCreations

DVant Puts Macintosh, PC Files On Single DVD
[11:55AM] A new DVD mastering format developed by DVant Digital, a start-up out of Novato, California, will make it possible for developers to package Macintosh and PC files, as well as DVD movies on the same disk, TechWeb reported earlier this week. According to the online trade, DVant developed the technology in conjunction with Kao Infosystems, which holds the only license to manufacture computer DVD and some DVD movies with the new technology, and it could eliminate the present day need that makes it necessary to manufacture separate DVDs for PC and Mac machines, due to the DVD technology's inherent ignorance of the resource fork needed for Mac files. In effect, DVant's technology could potentially spawn the equivalent to the cross-platform hybrid CD-ROM which is popular these days.

TechWeb Article - DVant Digital


Tuesday, April 21st
SoftArc Product Aimed At Migrating Mac Users
[6:15PM] SoftArc today announced the release of the FirstClass Intranet Server (FCIS) POMigrator (Post Office Migrator), a new utility aimed at Macintosh users migrating to Windows NT. The product allows Mac users to convert exisiting FirstClass Intranet Server Post Office files to the Microsoft Windows environment with local reseller support. "We want to continue to support our Macintosh users as they make future server hardware decisions," says Henry Yip, general manager of Business Development for SoftArc, in a statement. "POMigrator allows users to save messages and other data when they move their FCIS server from a Macintosh to a PC running Windows NT. Without it, you would lose all historical messages and information."

SoftArc

Happy Endings: Little-endian Marketing
[PERSPECTIVE] Unfortunately, there probably isn't a way for this column to come off as anything other than defensive. I don't think that's the thrust of the argument, although it might be part of my reason for writing it. It's about that Quicken thing. I don't think the Windows model works in the Macintosh world. Deep in the process of writing a book on upgrading and repairing the Macintosh (in fact, I'd promised myself I'd avoid columns for the next few weeks), I find that one of my pre-book inkling about the Mac market was correct. The amazing inherent value in the Macintosh and many of its products preclude the Windows model for success -- chew it up and spit it out at an upgrade price. [MORE]

Support For Clik! Builds, As NEC Joins Crowd
[3:45PM] NEC Corporation today signed a letter of intent with Iomega that would give the Japanese computer giant worldwide rights to manufacture and market Clik! mobile storage devices to both retail channels and OEMs. Under the anticipated licensing agreement, NEC would also develop new varieties of drives based on the Clik! technology, which provides 40 megabytes of storage on a diminutive, matchbook-sized disk. Like Iomega's version, James Kelly, vice president and general manager of Iomega's Mobile Storage Division, said NEC-branded Clik! drives are expected to be ready to ship to users and manufacturers of digital cameras and handheld personal computers during the second half of 1998. The mobile and OEM drives will be priced under $200, while the disks will carry at $9.95 tag.

Iomega - NEC - Clik! Information

Cyberian Nabs Exclusivity On Lycos Sites
[12:25PM] Computer online reseller Cyberian Outpost today inked a partnership with Lycos Bertelsmann that will make Cyberian the exclusive computing hardware and software retailer on Lycos' twelve European Web sites. Under the terms of the one-year agreement, Lycos Bertelsmann, a joint venture between Lycos and Bertelsmann AG, receives an exclusive license payment as well as a share of revenue from Cyberian for each sales transaction generated by the twelve Lycos Bertelsmann sites including the following countries: Austria, Belgium, Germany, Italy, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and UK.

Cyberian Outpost - Lycos Europe

Radius' Q2 Revenues Halved, But Profit Posted
[11:45AM] Radius, the one-time Macintosh cloner whose now in the midst of transitioning from a hardware peripherals company to an application vendor, yesterday reported profits of $3.3 million on revenues of $5 million for its second quarter. The Sunnyvale, Calif. company actually posted a $1 million operational loss, but managed to eke a profit with the sale of a $4.4 million stake in Splash Technology Holdings. In the year ago period, the company's revenues totaled $10.1 million, reflecting its higher-priced product offering, while one-time charges related to inventory write downs helped push losses to $5.5 million. "We achieved most of our targets for the quarter as we continued to execute our planned transition from a hardware peripherals company to an application software company," said Mark Housley, president and CEO of Radius, in a statement. "We continued to make substantial investments in our Digital Video Business, increasing spending on engineering, sales, and marketing."

Housley continued, "EditDV, our flagship nonlinear editing software application, which began shipping late fiscal Q1 was well received in its first full quarter of shipments, winning several prestigious awards. And, finally at the very end of the quarter we began shipments of Windows versions of our award winning PhotoDV and PressView products, making Radius the first to ship Apple Computer's QuickTime 3.0 for Windows."

Radius

Prairie Group Acquires CE's QuickConference IP
[9:55AM] Development and distribution of CE Software's QuickConference IP, an instant messaging application for use within small to mid-sized businesses, will be taken over by Prairie Group, the company's announced today. Iowa-based Prairie said QuickConference will ship for both Windows and Macintosh by May 1, and also noted that product development will continue under the direction of lead engineer Donald Brown, who spearheaded the project at CE. "The transfer of QuickConference to Prairie Group benefits everyone involved with QuickMail," said Christian F. Gurney, president and CEO of CE Software, in a statement. "It allows CE Software to concentrate on continually improving QuickMail in order to better serve customers. Plus, any business that needs real-time communication now has a low-cost, low-maintenance solution in Prairie Group's new product."

Prairie Group - CE Software

Iomega Baits Seagate Exec To Head OEM Sales
[9:25AM] Iomega yesterday filled a vacancy on its executive sales staff with the appointment of Will Hake, a former Seagate Technology executive, as vice president of worldwide OEM sales. Hake fills the position vacated by David Gnatt, who was promoted to managing director at Iomega Japan in January. "Bill's extensive experience as an OEM sales professional is a great addition to our management team," said Edward Briscoe, president of Iomega's Personal Storage Division, in a statement. "His diverse OEM management, product marketing and strategic planning skills will enhance Iomega's ability to continue to satisfy OEM demand for Zip Built-In, and further our efforts to establish the Zip drive as the floppy replacement." Most recently, Hake was with Seagate, where he served as executive director of marketing for the company's desktop PC disk drive product division.

Iomega - Seagate Technology


Monday, April 20th
Apple Commits To Porting Sun's Java Plug-In
[6:25PM] At Spring Comdex '98 today, Sun Microsystems announced that Apple has committed to doing a Macintosh port of the Java Plug-in, an add-on that allows Web browsers to take full advantage of the latest capabilities and features of the Java platform. The plug-in, formerly code-named "Java Activator," integrates complete support for JavaBeans and Java Foundation Classes 1.1, and is set for a April 30 release for Windows 95/NT and Solaris machines. Apple's Macintosh port for Netscape Navigator browsers will arrive "soon," Sun said. "Java Plug-in software has received strong support throughout the industry because it gives enterprises the power to immediately deploy full-featured applets that will run reliably and consistently in both Internet Explorer and Navigator," said Jon Kannegaard, vice president of software products at Sun's JavaSoft division, in a statement. "Apple's commitment to port the Java Plug-in software is great news for enterprise customers supporting multiple platforms because it provides consistent, Java Compatible application support in leading Web browsers on the three major platforms."

"The Java Plug-in will allow Apple's customers to use our Java Virtual Machine, Mac OS Runtime for Java (MRJ), to run Java applets in Netscape Navigator," said Steve Naroff, director of Java technologies and core tools at Apple, in a statement. "Our work with Sun on the Java Plug-in is another indication of Apple's commitment to make Mac OS the best platform for authoring and viewing Internet content."

Java Home Page - Apple Computer

Broadcast Engineering Vet Joins Media 100
[5:05PM] Media 100, developers of the noted Macintosh digital video systems, today announced that broadcast engineering veteran David Acker has joined its product development group. Acker, currently an active member of SMPTE and the EMMY National Academy of Arts and Sciences, Technical/Engineering Achievement Awards Committee, will help lead the future product development of the Media 100 and Finish product lines. Prior to his appointment at Media 100, Acker was directly involved in the development of products based on digital television signal processing and has contributed numerous articles and technical papers in domestic and international television and imaging technology conferences. Additionally, Acker, a MIT grad, served as president of FOR.A Corporation of America from 1982 to 1993.

Media 100

Amelio To Promote Apple Tell-All At Alma Mater
[4:25PM] Gil Amelio will follow up his "one and only" April 9 San Jose book signing with an appearance this week at Georgia Tech -- his alma mater -- to promote his new tell-all, "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple." The former Apple chief, now a partner at The Parkside Group, a San Francisco investment firm, will be present at the Georgia Tech University Bookstore on Thursday, April 23, from noon to 1PM to discuss the book and answer questions about his eighteen-month reign atop Apple.

HarperCollins Publishers - On The Firing Line

Iomega Breaks $100 Barrier With ATAPI Zip
[1:30PM] Portable storage maker Iomega today introduced a new Zip model that is the first of the popular drives to break the $100 price barrier. Iomega says the $99 "ATAPI Zip," named for its use of the ATAPI/IDE bus interface, will help extend its "Zip Built-In" initiative to the growing sub-$1,000 PC market. In addition, a consumer version will be available, although the internal-only nature of the drive could be a potential stumbling block for users hesitant with opening their machines and installing equipments. To help alleviate this issue, Iomega will include a video with step-by-step instructions for installation. However, another more serious red flag is the compatibility issues with Macintosh machines. Unlike the other models in the Zip family, the new drive uses an ATAPI/IDE interface, meaning the only Apple machines that will support the drive are the Power Mac G3 and 4400 series.

Iomega - Apple Computer

CompUSA Expands Presence In Philly, Phoenix
[12:40PM] New CompUSA superstores will be coming to the Phoenix, Arizona and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania markets within the next 18 months, CompUSA announced today. The computer retail giant signed lease agreements for stores in Peoria and Montgomeryville -- both of which will be the company's fifth location in the Phoenix and Philadelphia markets, respectively. Both stores will feature the Apple "store within a store" environment, and each is expected to create approximately 70 local jobs. Work on the 30,000-square foot Peoria location will be completed in time for an opening this summer, while the Montgomeryville store isn't slated to open until the summer of 1999. "Meeting the 'total solutions' needs of our customers is CompUSA's number one priority," commented Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We look forward to opening these locations because they will enable us to deliver better, more convenient service."

CompUSA - Apple Computer

Press Banned From Apple Shareholder Meeting
[10:45AM] Closing the door on its traditionally press-friendly event, Apple said Friday it will bar reporters and analysts from attending its shareholder meeting this week. The company told Reuters that only those shareholders on record as of the close of business on February 23 will be able to attend the meeting, which after a hodgepodge of delays is now scheduled for Wednesday, April 22, at 10AM/PST at the company's Cupertino campus. "We are focusing on the shareholders," an Apple spokeswoman told Reuters. "It is not a press event." Among the items to be covered at the annual event are the ratification of Apple's new board of directors and the authorization of a stock option plan for executives at the company, granting a total of 17 million options to purchase shares for top executives and directors. And despite the inevitable innuendos that will be raised by the company restricting press coverage, analysts expect no major news to come out of the meeting, especially given the timing of Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference, which is just three weeks away.

Reuters Article - Apple Computer

Qualcomm To Sell Eudora Through Digital River
[7:20AM] Qualcomm late last week inked a deal with Digital River that will expand the online distribution of its Eudora software package. Under the pact, the popular email client, which is now the application of choice for some 18 million Internet users, will be sold through Digital River's network of more than 100 online dealers. "We are extremely pleased to be a part of Digital River's new distribution venue," said James DeBello, vice president and general manager for Qualcomm's Eudora division, in a statement. "We are excited about the opportunity to attract new Eudora software users and expand the ever-growing revenue base."

Qualcomm's Eudora Place - Digital River


Thursday, April 16th
Analysts Up Apple Fiscal 1998, 1999 Estimates
[8:30PM] Apple's second consecutive quarter of profitability -- its first back-to-back periods in the black since 1995 -- today prompted brokerage houses Bear Stearns and Gerard Klauer Mattison to raise their fiscal 1998 and 1999 earnings estimates for the company. Bear Stearns analyst Andrew Neff raised fiscal 1998 to $1.45 a share from $1.25 previously and raised 1999 estimates to $1.60 from $1.45, while maintaining an attractive rating for the stock. "We think one of the most significant things for investors is that Apple is no longer a survival story," Neff said. "The question is can they grow... Yes, I think they can. Everyone says they are a niche business. It's a pretty big niche." Likewise, Gerard Klauer analyst Lou Mazzucchelli upped his fiscal 1998 estimates to $1.50 a share from $1.35 and 1999 estimates to $1.70 from $1.65 previously. Mazzucchelli also reiterated a buy rating on the stock, keeping his previous price target of $35 over the next 12 months in place.

Apple Computer - Bear Stearns - Gerard Klauer Mattison

Q2 Results Put Apple Near 52-Week High
[5:55PM] Shares of Apple jumped more than 4 percent in this afternoon's trading session on Wall Street, finishing the day near a new 52-week high. Boosted by yesterday's better than expected second quarter earnings, Apple shares were up 1 3/16 on extremely heavy volume to close the day at 28 5/8, stopping just short of the yearly high of 29 3/4, which was set back on August 7.

Apple Computer

Former CEO Edwards Severs All Ties To Iomega
[4:30PM] Kim Edwards's ties to Iomega will be completely severed later this month when the recently departed chief executive relinquishes his seat on the company's board of director. Edwards, who yielded his CEO title to James Sierk in late March, and Iomega jointly announced today that Edwards will step down from his director seat following the company's annual shareholders meeting this month. Of Edwards's board resignation, Iomega chairman David Dunn commented, "Kim's drive, creativity and leadership were pivotal in transforming Iomega into the worldwide leader in personal removable storage solutions, and in increasing the company's revenue more than ten-fold from 1994 to 1997. The entire board is grateful to Kim for the accomplishments achieved under his leadership as president and chief executive officer and as a board member, and wishes him every success."

Iomega

Iomega Lures Gateway Exec To Head Marketing
[1:55PM] Iomega today appointed Jim Taylor, the man primarily responsible for building Gateway 2000's brand name, as executive vice president, global sales, and marketing. At Iomega, Taylor, who was recognized in 1997 as a "Marketer of the Year" by Brandweek Magazine, will direct all worldwide sales and marketing activities at Iomega including global distribution, foreign and domestic reseller and retail sales, channel marketing, marketing communications, public relations, and global market development. "Adding Jim's distinguished talent and marketing experience to Iomega's management team will notably strengthen our global marketing efforts," said James Sierk, president and CEO at Iomega, in a statement." We've had substantial success in creating global consumer brands for the Zip, Jaz and Ditto product lines; Jim will continue that tradition, leading one of the industry's top marketing teams."

Before joining Gateway, Taylor directed Hill & Knowlton's New York City operations as their executive vice president and general manager. Previously, Taylor was president and managing partner at Yankelovich Partners and a partner at Ernst and Young, where he served as global marketing chair and U.S. marketing director.

Iomega - Gateway 2000

Diamond Aims "Shotgun" At Internet Providers
[10:15AM] In an effort to give Internet Service Providers (ISPs) around the country a first hand look at its innovative Shotgun modem acceleration technology, Diamond Multimedia Systems yesterday announced a new Shotgun Trial Program. By supporting Shotgun, which bonds the throughput of two phone lines to deliver theoretical download speeds of up to 112Kpbs, Diamond contends that providers will help differentiate their service. And because of its full support for both the MP+ and MLPPP, the company says Shotgun is simple to implement. Successful tests of Shotgun have already been completed on Ascend, Cisco, 3Com, and Livingston equipment, Diamond said, adding that many ISPs already have software on their switches to support the technology, while others can enable the service through a software upgrade. On the end-user side of things, Shotgun currently supports Diamond's new dual-line SupraSonic II modem, as well as its full line of SupraExpress 56 modems.

Diamond Multimedia - Shotgun Information


Wednesday, April 15th
$55 Million Profit Keeps Apple In The Black
[TOP STORY: 4:55PM] For the second consecutive quarter, strong sales of its Power Macintosh G3 machines and continued cost cutting measures helped Apple report a tidy profit. The company today announced second quarter net income of $55 million, up from the jaw-dropping $708 million of red ink posted last year, which included one-time charges related to the December 1996 purchase of NeXT. Unit shipments for the quarter reached 650,000, an 8 percent increase from the prior year quarter, and international sales accounted for 50 percent of total revenues. Likewise, gross margins for the period, which ended March 27, continued to show signs of improvement by jumping to 25 percent, substantially better than the 19 percent margins in the year ago period. However, like Apple's first quarter 1998 results, revenues fell year over year to $1.4 billion from $1.6 billion.

"Apple had a great quarter, no question about it," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO, in a statement. "We are very pleased with the strong demand for our Power Macintosh G3 computers, which accounted for 51 percent of all units sold." Commenting on the earnings, Fred Anderson, Apple's CFO, said, "The G3s' higher margins coupled with disciplined expense controls have yielded continued positive cash flows and solid, high-quality earnings."

Apple Computer

Sculley To Speak At Online Advantage '98
[3:25PM] Former Apple chief executive John Sculley will be keynoting the Washington Software Alliance's fourth annual Online Advantage conference next month. The Wall Data-sponsored event, titled "Thriving in a World Transformed," is designed to give attendees the perspectives of key visionaries and tools to develop online business strategies. Sculley, who now runs Sculley Brothers LLC, an investment company specializing in Internet holdings (NetObjects, Live Picture, Zapa Digital Arts, SoftVideo, Cambridge Display Technologies, and Sirius Thinking have all been funded by Sculley's firm), will discuss techniques for integrating the Internet into existing company environments.

Washington Software Alliance

Seagate Posts Third Straight Quarter Of Losses
[2:55PM] Losses at Seagate Technology, the world's largest maker of hard drives, totaled $129 million for its third quarter, as falling prices and a continuing shortfall in product demand caused revenues to drop to $1.68 billion, down from $2.5 billion in the year ago period. The big loss, the company's third in as many quarters, included a $165 million restructuring charge to cover the cost of a worldwide realignment, which included 10,000 job cuts. Excluding the one-time charges, the Scotts Valley, Calif. company would have posted an operational loss of 10 cents per share (actual losses were 53 cents a share), a number in-line with Wall Street expectations. As such, the results prompted brokerage houses Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs to raise their ratings on Seagate to outperform and market outperformer, respectively.

Seagate Technology

Apple Germany Announces Virtual PC Bundle
[1:20PM] A press release today from Apple Germany confirms a Mac Observer report earlier this week that the foreign unit will begin bundling Connectix's Virtual PC 2.0 with its entire line of Power Macintosh G3 machines. Under the promotion, which lasts until May 31, customers purchasing any G3 system in Germany will receive a free copy of the popular PC emulator, as well as one user-installable 32MB SDRAM module.

Apple Germany - Press Release (In German)

Real Agencies Affiliates Program Expands
[12:35PM] RealNetworks today announced continued growth of its Real Agencies Affiliates Program, a resource program designed to facilitate and promote the use of streaming audio, video, and animation technology in online advertising. New Affiliate member joining the consortium include Agency.com, Ammirati Puris Lintas, Bernard Hodes Advertising, Blue Marble ACG, iXL, T3 Media, Four Points Digital, and Urban Oasis. New Charter Affiliate members include OgilvyOne, BBDO (Apple's former ad house), Razorfish, Modem Media, CKS SiteSpecific, Leftfield, Ketchum Interactive, US Interactive, Organic Online, Ikonic, and Messner, Vetere, Berger, McNamee, and Schmetterer/Euro RSCG. As members, agencies have access to product training, pre-release software, Software Development Kits, and discounts on RealNetworks advertising, products, and services.

RealNetworks

Netscape Debuts New Site For Web Developers
[10:45AM] Netscape yesterday announced the debut of Netscape Open Studio, a new DevEdge program and accompanying Web site targeted at Internet content developers, Web designers, and site administrators. The Open Studio site draws upon content from CNET's BUILDER.COM and Wired Digital's Webmonkey, and features information and special product discounts on tools from top Web application vendors, including Adobe, Apple, Bitstream, Equilibrium, Headspace, Sun Microsystems, Macromedia, NetObjects, RealNetworks, and TRUSTe. "Today's launch of the Open Studio program and accompanying Web site echoes the renewed commitment Netscape is making to the development community at large," said Mike Homer, executive vice president and general manager of Netscape's Web Site Division, in a statement. "With Open Studio, Netscape, its content partners and leading Web development tool vendors are building a community of Internet content developers and Web designers."

Netscape said it will offer three levels of membership that include a variety of services, support, and information. Level 1 includes subscriptions to Open Studio Direct Magazine and Netscape DevEdge News, and access to developer newsgroups. The second program, Level 2, adds the DevEdge CD (which includes Netscape Communicator and test license for Netscape FastTrack Server) and discounts on tools from software partners through software.net's Netscape Software Depot. Lastly, the Level 3 program features discounts of up to $500 on tools from Netscape and third-party vendors, a development and test license of Netscape Enterprise Server, two development support incidents, and a 50 percent discount on additional fee-based development support. The premium program also includes several co-marketing and promotion opportunities. To enroll in any of the programs, individuals can visit the Open Studio site.

Netscape Open Studio

Vendor Begins Shipping Motorola Soft Modem
[9:50AM] Shark Multimedia, a Motorola Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM), yesterday began shipping one of the first board-level products to use Motorola's host-based SM56 software modem. Santa Clara-based Shark, a maker of sound cards and modems, is incorporating Motorola's Host Signal Processing (HSP) technology into its new Leopard Win 56K internal telephony/fax/modem. Developed by Motorola's Information Systems Group, the SM56 software modem uses Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) technology for optimum performance and interoperability, as well as the HSP technology, which reduces costs by utilizing the computer's CPU to perform modem functions rather than a costly dedicated chip. As a result, cost savings can be passed on to OEMs and eventually to consumers.

Motorola's Information Systems Group


Tuesday, April 14th
Global Village Warns Of Fourth Quarter Loss
[5:20PM] Hurt by falling revenues and reduced OEM shipments, Global Village Communications today warned of a $2.5-$3 million loss for its fourth quarter of 1998. The company, which is currently in the process of selling its modem division to Boca Research and reworking itself as a server provider, expects revenues for the period ended March 31 to be $12 million, down from sales of $19 million in the year ago quarter. "As we announced in January, revenues for the fourth quarter were expected to be lower than the previous quarter. Significantly reduced OEM shipments to Apple during this quarter, the transition to V.90 products, and a continued decline in the Macintosh market all contributed to the lower sequential revenues," said Neil Selvin, president and chief executive officer of Global Village, in a statement. Global says it will announce official fourth quarter results on May 18.

Global Village Communications

Simulations Plus Supports Mac With New Title
[4:55PM] Simulations Plus today announced that the first of its FutureLab series of science simulation software programs will ship on a hybrid CD-ROM with support for both Macintosh and Windows 95 machines. "The release of the Macintosh versions of our FutureLab software effectively doubles the size of our market," said Walt Woltosz, chairman and CEO of Simulations Plus. "This is the culmination of an effort of nearly 12 months. Last May, when we began the conversion of our existing software titles from Visual Basic for Windows only, to Visual C++ for both Macintosh and Windows, we believed the conversion would be done before the end of 1997," Woltosz said, noting that the transition turned out to be more difficult than previously expected. However, the company said it has solved common issues for cross-platform compatibility and will be generating new titles for both Macintosh and Windows 95 quickly and efficiently.

Simulations Plus

Macromedia Opens Up Flash File Format
[4:20PM] Macromedia, hoping to turn its Flash animation engine into a widely adopted Web standard, today pledged to make the Flash file format available as an open Internet standard. San Francisco, Calif.-based Macromedia said the move will enable platform vendors to provide a more attractive environment to content publishers, allow Web designers to make animation a standard element in their Web site designs, and enable developers to deliver Flash-compatible authoring and editing tools. The company also said it will submit the format specification to a recognized Internet standards organization, although it stopped short of naming the specific body. The consensus, however, is that Macromedia is planning to approach the Worldwide Web Consortium with the open Flash format. Meanwhile, to coincide with the opening of Flash, several leading platform vendors announced new or broadened plans to incorporate the Flash player within their platform. These included @Home Networks, IBM, Microsoft, Pointcast, PowerTV, Spyglass, Sun, and WebTV.

Macromedia - Flash Information

Diamond Elects Scharith To Director Seat
[3:40PM] Diamond Multimedia Systems yesterday elected James Scharith to its board of directors. The 40-year old Scharith currently serves as president and chief executive officer of ShareWave, a company specializing in the convergence of computers, communications, education, and entertainment appliances in the home. Prior to joining ShareWave, Scharith was vice president and general manager of the North America Division for Compaq Computer, where he was responsible for all aspects of the North American and Canadian business. In recent years, Scharith also spent time in the executive ranks at The Cerplex Group, AST Research, and Schlumberger. "I am excited about joining the board of directors at Diamond Multimedia and look forward to playing a role in the company's future direction," said Scharith in a statement. "Diamond is a first-class organization that participates in a number of fast-paced industry categories."

Diamond Multimedia Systems - ShareWave

Funding To Help Expand Cyberian's Marketing
[1:20PM] Computer Internet reseller Cyberian Outpost yesterday announced it has secured $22 million in a second round of private equity financing. The investment was led by Primus Venture Partners and Brand Equity Ventures, and included T. Rowe Price's Threshold Fund, Winfield Capital Corp. and Connecticut Innovations, Inc. BT Alex. Brown acted as the placement agent for the transaction. The funding will be used by Cyberian to help expand its marketing channels and brand building programs. A portion of the capital will also be allocated to new technology advancements. "Three years ago we were a $28,000 startup," commented Darryl Peck, president and CEO of Cyberian. "Today we have the capital to go head-to-head with the world's largest computer retailers. This cash infusion gives us the resources to continue growing as the primary consumer site in the largest, and one of the fastest growing segments of electronic commerce."

Cyberian Outpost

Microsoft Sets Release Date For Windows 98
[12:45PM] Windows 98, Microsoft's oft-delayed successor to Windows 95, will roll out on June 25, nearly a full year after the once-labeled Windows 97 was originally planned for introduction. The upgrade, which provides just a fraction of the improvements and changes Microsoft made with its predecessor, will be available simultaneously to customers in stores and on news PCs from leading manufacturers. Retail pricing for the upgrade version for users of Windows 95 and 3.1 is $109. Meanwhile, Microsoft said today that over 150,000 "eager" consumers have participated in the Consumer Beta Preview Program, which charges customers $29 to "test drive" the unfinished beta version of Windows 98.

Microsoft - Windows 98

MPEG4 To Use MIT-Developed Sound Format
[11:15AM] The MPEG4 format, already slated to use Apple's QuickTime technology as the basis for its file format, will be utilizing a new form of digital audio developed by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Media Lab when it reaches formal standardization later this year. According to Wired News, the new "synthesis" sound format, called Structured Audio, is a set of specifications for describing and transmitting sound. Rather than using bandwidth hungry digital bits, the technology is represented as a language -- the Structured Audio Orchestra Language -- which the Media Lab says provides the utmost in efficiency. CD-quality sound can be sent through standard modems and used in a wider range of multimedia content as a result.

Wired News Report - Structured Audio Information

Macromedia Revs Flash, Unveils Generator
[10:45AM] Macromedia today announced a major upgrade to Flash, its vector-based graphic and animation Web design tool. Version 3.0, due this spring and now available in a public beta, will offer vector and bitmap transparency, meaning users can now create translucent graphics, overlay transparent vector objects on bitmaps, and vary the levels of opacity, transparent colors, gradients and other attributes at any time. Shape morphing capabilities that let designers easily morph any graphic across any number of frames also make their debut in version 3.0, which will be priced at $299. In addition, the upgrade features bandwidth profiling which gives a graphic representation of how Flash movies are streaming. Designers will be now able to adjust their target modem and see exactly how their movies are playing, enabling easy optimization. Lastly, with Flash 3.0, designers will have the option of using standalone projectors -- individual Flash players that are directly integrated into the same file as Flash movies.

Meanwhile, in a joint announcement, Macromedia unveiled its new Flash Generator, a server-based product that automates that real-time creation of Web graphics. With Generator, Macromedia says any graphics can be driven from a data source and refreshed without redesigning the entire graphic of page. The company says sites that will benefit the most from Generator include news and information sites, which need to display live information, such as sports scores, headlines, and stock quotes; corporate and commerce sites that dynamically generate promotional information, real-time advertising, charts, and schematics; and destination sites that require personalization and customization of the interface for each user, as well as branded, promotional content. Flash Generator will be available this summer, with a pre-release beta version expected to appear soon. Final pricing was not announced.

Macromedia - Flash Information

Motorola Brings PowerPC To Automotive Market
[8:15AM] A PowerPC processor might soon be operating more than your desktop computer -- it could be controlling your car. According to a report from Electronic Buyers' News, Motorola's Semiconductor Products Sector (SPS) has unveiled a new PowerPC chip that is tailored to manage all engine and transmission-control functions in an automobile. Scheduled to begin "sampling" in the third quarter at $45 (in quantities of 10,000), the MPC555 combines a PowerPC core capable of clocks speeds up to 40-MHz, integrated peripherals (including dual-timer processing units), and 448 kilobytes of flash memory.

"In many cases, engine and transmission-control functions have been handled be several microprocessors," Richard Spilo, strategic marketing manager with SPS' Transportation Systems Group, told the publication. "These applications demand large amounts of on-chip memory, high processing power, and peripheral devices. By integrating these requirements in a single chip, we can offer a more sophisticated and cost-effective solution to manufacturers."

Electronic Buyers' Report - Motorola


Monday, April 13th
Apple To Court: Stop Exponential Patent Sale
[7:40PM] In a lawsuit filed today against one-time partner Exponential Technology, Apple has asked a Delaware Chancery Court to stop the sale of Exponential's valuable portfolio of patents. According to a report from Reuters, Apple's suit names the now defunct chip maker and five of its associates (Gordon Campbell, Donald Schriner, George Taylor, Paul Dali and Eddie Kawamura), and alleges a breach of fiduciary duty. Apple is asking the court to halt the sale of certain patents and to appoint a custodian. Exponential's claims, which outline a revolutionary chip design that can understand both RISC and CISC instructions, were put on the auction block last August, and reports which circulated months later pointed to chip maker S3 as the buyer. However, it appears as if Apple isn't so much interested in the actual patents as it is the finances Exponential reaped from the sale. Reuters quotes court documents as saying Apple's suit seeks to stop the defendants "from disposing of the proceeds of (the) sale of certain patents."

Reuters Report - Apple Computer

Virtual PC To Be Bundled With G3s In Germany
[6:40PM] Starting tomorrow, purchasers of Apple's Power Macintosh G3 systems will be able to enjoy Windows compatibility straight out of the box -- that is if you live in Germany. Thanks to a new promotion from Apple's German unit, every customer purchasing a G3 machine through May 31, 1998 will receive a free copy of Connectix's Virtual PC 2.0, marking the first time since the discontinuation of Apple's DOS hardware cards that the company has offered a bundled PC compatibility solution. Marc Korthaus, editor of the macnews.de Web site, also notes that customers will receive one 32MB SDRAM module as part of the promotion.

Apple Germany - macnews.de

Testing Position Open At Microsoft's Mac Unit
[4:25PM] Microsoft has put a call out for a "few enthusiastic, motivated, and talented individuals" to join its Bay Area Macintosh Business Unit as a tester for the next-generation version of PowerPoint for the Mac. The position's responsibilities include developing, implementing, and executing test cases/suites for PowerPoint features. This includes testing through manual methods and some automation tools, identifying and tracking bugs; and working with developers to ensure bugs are identified and fixed, and working with program management on issues with feature design. According to Microsoft, qualified candidates will need a minimum of two years testing experience on commercial Mac products. In addition, the company prefers that applicants have knowledge of a structured programming language (such as C), as well as a computer science degree. An understanding of Windows and Visual Basic is a plus, Microsoft says. Interested applicants can email their resumes in plain text to the address below.

Microsoft - letitiad@microsoft.com


Friday, April 10th
Exercise Gives SyQuest $30 Mln. In Proceeds
[1:50PM] Removable storage maker SyQuest Technology recently received $30 million in total proceeds from the exercise of approximately 12 million shares of existing common stock, the company announced today. SyQuest said the exercise reduces the number of outstanding issues by roughly 18 percent. As of March 31,1998, the number of outstanding warrants represent nearly 53 million shares. Upon the exercise of these warrants, the company has approximately 81 million common shares issued and outstanding. Proceeds from the exercise will be used by SyQuest as working capital and to help the fund the expansion of existing manufacturing capacity to support market demand for the company's one-gigabyte SparQ drive.

SyQuest Technology

March Revenues At Umax Set New Monthly High
[1:15PM] Propelled by a surge in its scanner business, sales at Umax Data Systems hit a new monthly high, reaching T$1.587 billion. The Taiwanese-based computer and scanner maker said yesterday its March revenues jumped 33.4 percent from T$1.19 billion in the identical period a year ago. Scanner shipments are expected to continue to climb in the Umax's second quarter, although the company failed to provide specific figures. In addition, Umax said it will expand its network computer business by using both its brand name and by being an original equipment manufacturer for other foreign companies.

Reuters Report - Umax

Apple Addresses Imatec's Patent Lawsuit
[12:15PM] Addressing Imatec's patent infringement lawsuit for the first time, Apple today said it has filed an answer denying the allegations of the suit, which contends that Apple's ColorSync technology violates Imatec's patents related to color calibration of computer equipment. The suit, which was originally filed on February 13, yet wasn't made public until March 24, seeks $1.1 billion in damages. Apple has denied any wrong doing and has counterclaimed to invalidate the Imatec patents. In a press release this morning, the company quoted Jawdatt Mawassii, vice president of Heidelberg, as saying, "Rudolf Hell GmbH, which is now part of Heidelberg Prepress, developed and used techniques for calibration of color and luminance between images displayed on a video monitor and hardcopy printed images long before the Imatec patents were filed." Mawassii added that products using this color calibration were on the market as early as 1985.

Apple said it used Heidelberg's techniques, as well as other routines which were publicly available before the filing of the Imatec patents, in developing ColorSync, which originally hit the market in 1993. Recently, Apple began heavily promoting ColorSync at industry trade shows, and last month it announced plans to take the technology cross-platform.

Apple Computer - ColorSync Information


Thursday, April 9th
Apple Promises To Lay Out Strategy At WWDC
[TOP STORY: 2:35PM] As hinted by Steve Jobs at last month's Seybold Seminars in New York, Apple will use its Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in mid-May to outline its long-awaited corporate strategy. The company today promised that Jobs will lay out all aspects of Apple's technology and business, including plans for Mac OS, Rhapsody, QuickTime, ColorSync, AppleScript, and WebObjects, at the annual event. Apple's marketing initiatives will also be covered by Jobs, as will "future hardware directions," lending some to believe that the event will be used to announce details of top-secret projects, such as Columbus. The WWDC runs from May 11-15 at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., and developers can register for the conference at Apple's Web site. The cost for the five day event is $1,045 per attendee, while a one day pass is priced at $500.

"At WWDC we are planning to announce Apple's software strategy to the worldwide community of Macintosh developers," said Jobs, who will make his second straight WWDC appearance (last year, as some will recall, Jobs held a "fireside chat" with developers). "We think this is a meeting developers won't want to miss."

Apple Computer - WWDC Information


Wednesday, April 8th
Acquisition Makes Play Force In 3D Market
[3:15PM] Lured by Electric Image's revered 3D technology, Play Incorporated this week announced it has acquired the high-end 3D animation, modeling, and rendering software maker. Play, a predominately Wintel-oriented company who rose to prominence with its Snappy Video Snapshot, a low-cost video capture card, said it expects the move to dramatically impact the 3D graphics industry. The merger will allow Rancho Cordova, Calif.-based Play to integrate powerful 3D animation technology with its video technology, thereby creating a new breed of graphics and video products. Electric Image's product line has been used in the creation of movies (Star Trek: First Contact, Star Wars Special Edition, etc.), broadcast television (Dateline, The X Files, etc.), and video games (Star Wars: Shadows of the Empire, Journeyman Project). The Electric Image name will be retained by Play to signify its 3D modeling, rendering, and animation products.

"3D graphics software is one of the most significant areas in all of computing. Electric Image, in the last decade, has developed the most advanced 3D technology in the industry," said Paul Montgomery, president and co-chief executive at Play, in a statement. "Adding the EI technology to what we've developed here at Play will result, we feel, in the most advanced video and graphics products found anywhere in the world."

Play Incorporated - Electric Image

Infowave Appoints Angerame As VP Of Sales
[1:00PM] Infowave Wireless Messaging, who earlier this week inked an agreement with Apple and Hewlett-Packard to develop exclusive printer connectivity solutions for designated HP printers, today expanded its senior management team with the appointment of Ron Angerame as vice president of sales for its wireless division. Throughout his sixteen year career in the software industry, Angerame has held notable sales and marketing positions at Xscribe Corporation, Autodesk, and GTE. Most recently, Angerame taught a module on sales, training, and customer support in the Software Development program at the University of Washington.

Infowave Wireless Messaging

PhotoDeluxe Top Consumer Imaging Product
[9:55AM] Adobe PhotoDeluxe was the top selling consumer photo-editing software product in the world for 1997, a recent report from Dataquest showed. According to the research firm, Adobe had more than twice the revenue of any other vendor and the number one position in worldwide unit shipments, due in large part to its aggressive work with OEM manufacturers. The company's dominance came in a category that grew by 239 percent in 1997 and is expected to continue robust growth well into 2001. "Adobe is well positioned as the industry standard for graphics professionals and has now successfully opened up new business opportunities and reached a new base of customers in the mass market," said Dataquest's Suzanne Snygg. "The bottom line is Adobe shipped more product and made more money that any other vendor in the consumer photo editing software category."

In the past year, PhotoDeluxe has garnered a number of industry awards, including top accolades from publications PC World, CNET, Windows Sources, and Family PC. The product also was named "Best Photo Editing Software of 1997" by Digital Focus and "Most Compelling Digital Applications Product of 1997" by Lyra Research/Questra Consulting.

Adobe Systems - PhotoDeluxe Information


Tuesday, April 7th
Apple Redrafts Developer Support Program
[TOP STORY: 4:00PM] Apple today announced the Apple Developer Connection, a redrafted and simplified family of support programs that provides developers with a choice of three levels of participation -- Online, Select, and Premiere. The new initiative lets developer decide the appropriate level of technical information and support that best suites their needs. "By delivering a global program, we ensure that all of our developers worldwide have access to the latest information on operating system technology, QuickTime, Java, WebObjects, hardware and our strategies for them," said Clent Richardson, Apple's senior director of Worldwide Developer Relations, in a statement. "With in-depth technical information now easily accessible online, we're also giving anyone with an Internet connection the opportunity to get on the fast track for Apple development."

Beginning today, developers will be able to enroll in the new program, which lets them choose from the three levels of participation. Online, the most basic of the three, is a free service that gives developers access to technical and business information via a Web site. Up-to-date technical documentation for existing and emerging Apple technologies is included on the site, as is the option to subscribe to the Apple Developer Connection News, a free weekly email broadcast newsletter.

In the middle is the Select program, an annual membership package suited for developers who want access to the Apple Seed Software CD and FTP site, which are the gateway to pre-release software, such as Allegro and Rhapsody. The Select membership, which costs $500 annually, also includes the Developer CD Series, a glut of technical resources, system software, development tools, technical documentation, Interactive Media Resources and Software Development Kits (SDKs). In addition, Select members will receive two technical support consultations from Apple's Worldwide Developer Technical Support (WWDTS) engineers, and a $100 coupon good towards the purchase of Metrowerks products.

Finally, one of the most appealing aspects of the previous Apple developer programs, the Developer Hardware Purchase Program, will now be available to only members in the top-of-the-line $3,500 per year Premier program. Developers previously enrolled in the Associates and Associate Plus are automatically being transferred to the Select program, meaning they'll lose the ability to order hardware at discounted rates. A two-week transition period, however, has been instituted, giving developers until April 24 to place product orders.

In addition to exclusive access to the hardware purchase program, Premier members will receive a subscription to the Developer Connection Mailing, which includes the aforementioned Developer CD series. Also included in the program are eight technical support consultations from Apple's WWDTS engineers, a $300 coupon for Metrowerks products, access to the seed software and compatibility lab, the Apple Service Source CD, and finally, a full-conference pass to the Worldwide Developers Conference.

Apple Computer - Apple Developer Connection

Extensis Kicks Off PhotoAnimator Contest
[12:50PM] Extensis Corp. today announced a GIF animation contest that give users of its upcoming PhotoAnimator application the chance to win the entire line of Extensis design tools -- a package worth an estimated $2,000. GIF animations will need to be created in PhotoAnimator, which is currently available in public beta for Macintosh and Windows, and must not exceed 15K in file size. Entries will be accepted up until July 15, 1998, and employees at Extensis will determine a winner within thirty days of the contest's conclusion. The beta of PhotoAnimator can be obtained from Extensis' Web site, and the final version is scheduled to ship next month for a street price of $99.95.

Extensis - PhotoAnimator Information

New Name, New Direction For Global Village
[11:10AM] Global Village Communication thinks the time is ripe for a company to simplify communications for the small office market. The Sunnyvale, Calif.-based company, who last week shed its modem business to Boca Research for a mere $10 million, today laid out its new corporate direction and new moniker. Now called "OneWorld Systems, Inc.," the firm will focus on a new family of communications servers aimed at the small and medium size office market. Its new product family will combine Internet access, routing, remote access, fax server, and shared modem capabilities all in a single, easy-to-use product. The server line, which the company said will be among the first to offer such a variety of capabilities to both Windows and Macintosh users, will use client software based on Global Village products such as GlobalFax and FaxWorks.

The initial family of OneWorld servers is expected to be launched within the next 90-120 days. And although the company warns of the difficultly in predicting revenues for a new product category, it expects calendar year 1999 revenues to be in the $10-$15 million range, with profitability pegged for late in the year. For the following year, OneWorld is projecting revenues to increase two-fold to $20-$30 million. Meanwhile, because of the higher selling price of servers compared to modems, OneWorld says it will be required to expand its VAR channel.

Global Village Communication

FileMaker Pro Used To Track "Titanic" Assets
[9:50AM] In the category of "who would have thought" comes news today that FileMaker Pro 4.0 was used as the asset tracking system for Fox Feature Productions' $200 million blockbuster "Titanic." In a statement released this morning, Rod Henson, IT developer for Fox, said all of the movie's assets, including props, sets, and costumes were successfully managed by a FileMaker database. "In the production of 'Titanic,' millions of dollars were spent on props, set dressings, wardrobe and construction -- all of which had to be accurately tracked," Henson remarked. "I chose FileMaker Pro for the job because it allowed us to rapidly implement a sound tracking system, make the information readily available and input thousands of assets, including digital images." Upon completion of the project, the database had more than 5,000 assets and 800 separate images within its tracking system.

FileMaker, Inc. - FileMaker Information


Monday, April 6th
Industry Support For QuickTime 3.0 Mounts
[4:25PM] As a sheer sign of the rapid industry adoption of QuickTime 3.0, Apple today said that more than 25 of the biggest names in multimedia and broadcast have developed products, tools, and solutions for the latest version of the cross-platform multimedia engine. "The companies supporting QuickTime 3, many of which are at NAB, are leaders in digital media and breaking new ground in their respective markets," said Avie Tevanian, Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering, in a statement. "Also, with QuickTime 3 integrating SMPTE-approved video effects and transitions, and the QuickTime file format now the starting point for the ISO's MPEG-4 specification, the industry is standardizing on this shipping technology -- rather than waiting for new, unproven technology initiatives to come to market."

Apple said the list of developers supporting version 3.0 include: Adaptec, Adobe, Canto Software, Digigami, Discreet Logic, Eidos Technologies, Electric Image, Engineering Consulting, Equilibrium, Heuris, Jazz Media Network, Kinetix, Lari Software, Linker Systems, Macromedia, MacSourcery, Media 100, McRoberts Software Incorporated (MSI), Pinnacle Systems, Post Digital Software, ProMax Systems, Puffin Designs, QDesign, Radius, Scitex Digital Video, Showtime, Sorenson Vision, TrueVision, and Xing Technology.

Apple Computer - QuickTime 3.0

Amelio's One And Only Book Signing This Week
[3:20PM] Gil Amelio, former chief executive of Apple, will make a public appearance at the Computer Literacy bookstore in San Jose, Calif. this week to promote his new book, "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple." Amelio will speak and answer questions about his autobiography, which details his experiences at Apple during his rocky eighteen-month tenure. Those wishing to attend the event, which takes place this Thursday, April 9, from 6:30PM to 8:00PM, are asked to contact Marc Franklin 650-638-3416, ext. 275 or via email at mfranklin@wmc.com. In addition to the book event, Computer Literacy is also offering an open forum on its Web site where readers can share comments about the book with others and write their own reviews.

Computer Literacy

Report: Apple To Sell Portion Of ARM Stake
[12:55PM] Apple will be selling a portion of its equity in Adavanced RISC Machines (ARM) Limited this week to coincide with ARM's initial public offering of 5.9 million shares, a report from Reuters said yesterday. Analysts told Reuters that ARM, whose most notable for the StrongARM processor that powered the Newton family of devices, could be a potential high-tech star this week because of the booming demand for smaller and smaller computer chips, ARM's speciality. Any such run up would bode quite well for both Apple and Britain's Acorn Group. The companies, who hold a combined 38 percent stake in ARM, are selling an initial 16.7 percent of their holdings in the offering.

Reuters Report - ARM - Apple Computer

Adobe Illustrator 7.0 Picks Up Codie Award
[11:15AM] At the recent Software Publishers Associations (SPA) awards ceremony, Adobe Illustrator 7.0 picked up a Codie in the "Best Text or Graphics Business Software Program" category. The popular illustration software package beat out finalists Microsoft FrontPage 98, Microsoft Word 97, and Trellix and Visio Standard. The Codie Awards honor the achievements of software publishers for outstanding creativity and innovation in 1997. "We're excited to be recognized by the Software Publishers Association as a leader in the Best Text or Graphics Business Software category," said Michael Hopwood, group product manager at Adobe, in a statement. "Each version of Illustrator has been enhanced to address customer interests. This award, along with ongoing market acceptance, validates these efforts."

Adobe Systems - SPA

Pro Edition Of QDesign Codec Coming In May
[10:40AM] The Professional Edition of the QDesign Music Codec for QuickTime 3.0 will begin shipping in May for Macintosh and Windows 95/NT platforms, developer QDesign Corp. said today. The $399 Professional Edition, which will be available from Apple, QDesign, and Terran Interactive, adds a host of expanded capabilities to the basic compressor, which ships as a standard component of QuickTime 3.0. Most notable are the Pro Edition's faster compression performance (speeds will reportedly be up to twice as fast as the basic version), extended range of bitrates, advanced perceptual coding parameters, and user-definable presets. In addition, users of Terran's MediaCleaner Pro will also enjoy enhanced batch control with the Pro Edition of QDesign.

QDesign - Terran Interactive - Apple Computer

Upgrade To Radius' EditDV Coming In June
[9:50AM] Radius' EditDV 1.5, the latest addition to its suite of DV software solutions, will be debuting at this week's National Association of Broadcaster's conference in Las Vegas. Based entirely on software, including Radius' SoftDV codec, EditDV is a complete DV editing solution that utilizes standard IEEE 1394 hardware for video transfer to and from DV devices. Version 1.5 offers performance and quality improvements, thanks to the dramatic increases of host processors. "Software based systems protect a user's investment in editing expertise," said Mark Housley, chairman and chief executive officer of Radius, in a statement. "A user who purchased EditDV 1.0 last November can achieve up to an order of magnitude improvement in speed and productivity by upgrading their system and software."

Radius says EditDV 1.5 improves upon the video editing workflow of prior versions. Batch capture, Edit Decision Lists (EDLs), and timecode are now supported and rendering speeds are improved at every resolution. Streamlined clip trimming and a variety of other time-saving features have also been added to the program's feature set. In addition, the new version, which is expected to ship in mid-June, also provides support for Apple's QuickTime 3.0. Current EditDV owners will be able to upgrade to version 1.5 for $149, and customers who purchase EditDV from now through shipment of 1.5 will receive the upgrade at no additional cost.

Radius

New PowerLogix G3 Cards To Start At $499
[9:25AM] PowerLogix today announced it has begun shipping several new models in its PowerForce G3 upgrade line, including the first sub-$500 PowerPC 750-based card. Priced at $499, the PowerForce G3/220 becomes the low-cost leader in the hotly contested upgrade market, yet doesn't shed performance for price. According to PowerLogix, the card, which comes standard with 512k of backside cache, offers speeds greater than Apple's Power Macintosh G3/233 machines. Meanwhile, at the other end of the spectrum, the Austin, Texas-based company is also shipping what it claims to be the fastest G3 upgrade available. The PowerForce G3/300 comes in two versions, each with 1MB of backside cache. Differentiating the two is the cache speeds -- the $1,099 model operates at a 2:1 ratio with the processor, while the cache of the top-of-the-line $1,699 card zooms at 300-MHz, or 1:1.

PowerLogix

Second CompUSA Store Coming To St. Louis
[8:30AM] CompUSA last week completed a lease agreement for a new 26,500 square-foot location in Sunset Hills, Missouri. Scheduled to open this summer, the new property, which is being developed and managed by Sansone Group, will be the company's second in the St. Louis market, and is expected to create approximately 70 local jobs. "By continuing our strategic expansion, CompUSA can more effectively serve the wide-ranging needs of our customers," said Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. As with nearly all CompUSA locations, the Sunset Hills unit will feature seven main product departments, including the successful Apple "store within a store" environment.

CompUSA - Apple Computer


Friday, April 3rd
Delaware Judge Approves Iomega Settlement
[5:10PM] According to a report from Reuters, Delaware chancery court judge Stephen Lamb today approved Iomega's settlement of a consumer fraud class-action lawsuit. The agreement of the 1997 case, which accused Iomega of breaching its product warranties and of failing to provide customers with adequate technical support, grants customers free support by telephone or by the company's Web site. Customers who purchased Iomega products during the period of July, 16 994 to September 1, 1997, an estimated 5 million, are covered under the settlement, the report says.

Reuters Report - Iomega


Thursday, April 2nd
Adaptec Job Cuts To Number 200-250
[1:20PM] In response to "turmoil in the personal computer industry," Adaptec today announced it will be cutting back its worldwide work force by an estimated seven percent. The cuts, which work out to about 200-250 jobs, will come during the company's first quarter ending June 30. To cover the associated restructuring costs, Adaptec will take a $8-$12 million one-time charge in the first quarter of 1999. Grant Saviers, Adaptec's chairman, chief executive officer, and president said in a statement that the downsizing move will focus predominantly on the company's domestic work force.

Adaptec

Cannavino Takes On Yet Another Executive Role
[1:00PM] If there's one technology industry executive in hot demand right now, it certainly seems to be Jim Cannavino. For the third time in as many weeks, the former Perot Systems chief executive was appointed to a high-ranking executive position. Computer Concepts, the same company who named Cannavino chairman of its Internet Strategy committee, this week elected him to chair its wholly owned SOFTWORKS subsidiary. At SOFTWORKS, which makes applications for Fortune 100 companies, Cannavino will be a sort of guiding light, providing the direction necessary to maintain the company's growth into the new century. Judy Carter, current president and chief executive officer of Alexandria, VA-based SOFTWORKS, will continue in her current position, reporting to Cannavino, who was long rumored to be a candidate for the top spot at Apple.

Of his latest role, Cannavino said in a statement, "The IT sector is in the beginning stages of an unprecedented reorganization that is being hastened by Y2K and Euro conversion necessities. Those companies that react quickly, and combine new technologies with services to help their clients manage the changing landscape, are the ones that will survive and thrive in the next century."

SOFTWORKS - Computer Concepts

QuickTime 3.0 To Ship With Radius' PhotoDV
[12:05PM] Continuing its aggressive support of QuickTime that began in 1991, Radius today said it will become the first license to ship QuickTime 3.0 with its products. PhotoDV for Windows, the company's still-capture DV solution, will ship this week with the latest version of Apple's cross-platform multimedia engine, while support for QuickTime 3.0 will also be included in Radius' MotoDV, a motion capture package, and EditDV, a fully-featured non-linear editor. "This is what we've been waiting for," said Joe Klingler, vice president of video engineering for Radius, in a statement. "This latest version of QuickTime is outstanding and significantly improves the quality of DV and multimedia production on the desktop. It is simply the best media layer on any platform anywhere. This new version, in combination with our DV products, will allow users to integrate 3D, still images, special effects and digital video on their choice of desktop platform."

"The Apple and Radius digital video relationship goes back to the very beginning when QuickTime first set the standard for digital video on personal computers," said Phil Schiller, Apple vice president of product marketing, in a statement. "Now QuickTime 3.0 is once again setting new standards for digital video quality and Radius is right there with us working to bring great cutting-edge digital video products to our mutual customers."

Radius - Apple Computer

Post Digital's Roto To Support QuickTime 3.0
[9:25AM] Post Digital Software said yesterday it has adopted QuickTime 3.0 as the basis for Roto, its upcoming real-time video painting, rotoscoping, and special-effects software application. Targeted at professional post-production houses, independent videographers, corporate communication, and education departments, Roto will utilize QuickTime 3.0's comprehensive file support to establish a video production workflow. Roto, which is due for release in May, will also take advantage of QuickTime 3.0's wide collection of effects and filters, as well as any plug-in effects written to the multimedia specification. "In designing Roto, we felt that standardizing on QuickTime 3.0 would be crucial to allow users to integrate our product into their existing workflow," said Post Digital founder, president, and chief executive Stephen Manousos, in a statement. "Post Digital supports the launch of QuickTime 3.0, and we are pleased to be one of the first developers to capitalize on the benefits of QuickTime 3.0."

Post Digital Software - QuickTime 3.0


Wednesday, April 1st
Happy Endings: QuickTime 3.0 - Good Timing?
[PERSPECTIVE] Although I'm pretty sure Apple didn't plan it this way, the release of QuickTime 3.0 has coincided exactly with the week I've spent on digital video for my upcoming Mac book. So, I ended up deep in the specifications that Apple has posted on their Web site, crawling all over the 'net looking for information on the various codecs, and scrounging around for people's opinions on how things work. I've looked at the back side of AV file formats, folks, and lived to tell about it... [MORE]

FileMaker Pro Snatches Up Two Codie Awards
[12:50PM] FileMaker Pro, the venerable database package from Apple's FileMaker, Inc. unit, was honored with two Codie awards at last week's Software Publishers Associations (SPA) 1998 Excellence in Software Awards. In the Best Business Software and Best Numeric or Data Business Software category, FileMaker Pro beat out five out nominees, including three products from Microsoft (Excel 97, FrontPage 98, and Word 97). The SPA also passed over Microsoft's Access 97 in the Best Numeric or Data Business Software group, giving top honors instead to FileMaker Pro. "We are elated by this double recognition of FileMaker Pro as the best software for business and the best numeric/data business software by our industry," said Dominique Goupil, president of FileMaker, Inc. "FileMaker Pro has become an essential software application for businesses of all types and computer users of all levels."

FileMaker, Inc. - FileMaker Product Info



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