|February, 1998 Archive
Friday, February 27th
Apple Officially Ends Newton Development
[TOP STORY 9:30AM] After months of uncertainty, Apple Computer today finally revealed plans for its Newton technology. The company said it will discontinue further development of the Newton operating system and Newton OS-based products, which include the MessagePad 2100 and eMate 300. "This decision is consistent with our strategy to focus all of our software development resources on extending the Macintosh operating system," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive, in a statement. "To realize our ambitious plans we must focus all of our efforts in one direction." Remaining inventory of the MessagePad and eMate will continued to be marketed and sold, and Apple said it will provide support for its current installed base of users. Meanwhile, the company says the "affordable mobile computing" market, currently occupied by the eMate, will be filled with Mac OS-based products beginning in 1999.
Apple Computer - Newton
Adobe Brings In Dyer To Head Up Sales
[1:20PM] Adobe Systems today said Richard Dyer has joined the company as vice president of North American sales and marketing. Dyer, a 25-year veteran in the high-tech management and sales fields, will report directly to Fred Snow, executive vice president of worldwide field operations, and assume the responsibility for sales and financial performance of the North American geography. Most recently, Dyer worked as a vice president at Eastman Kodak in the Digital and Applied Imaging Division. He also spent nine years at Apple Computer in several sales capacities, the most notable being a position in the Enterprise Marketing Division. There he redesigned the marketing organization and its strategies to achieve over 30 percent sales growth and a $500 million goal.
Adobe Systems - Kodak - Apple Computer
IBM, Advanced Micro Close Chip Production Deal
[11:45AM] Just one day after negotiations were first leaked, Advanced Micro Devices today signed an agreement with IBM to help manufacture its Pentium rival, the K6. The pact will augment AMD's capacity from Fab 25 in Austin, Texas, which has been struggling in recent months to meet demand for the Pentium-compatible chip. In terms of price, the K6 has been an attractive alternative to Intel's family of processors, but large PC manufacturers have been unable to secure enough quantities from AMD to meet demand. Today's deal with IBM could reverse that, although the companies say that wafter starts are not planned to commence until the third quarter of 1998.
IBM - Advanced Micro Devices
Thursday, February 27th
IBM To Enter Co-Production Pact With AMD?
[5:35PM] IBM, already deeply involved with the development and production of the PowerPC chip, may be in talks with Advanced Micro Devices over the possibility of co-producing AMD's rival Pentium processor, the K6. A Reuters report today said sources familiar with the discussions between the two companies categorized negotiations as "early to mid-stage," and said that a deal would have IBM building chips according to designs specified by AMD. Several of IBM's consumer-targeted computers already utilize the K6, which is significantly lower in price compared to Intel's Pentium II, but further widespread adoption has been hindered by supply issues. In that aspect, a deal with IBM would be quite a boon for AMD. Reports of the talks lifted AMD shares by 10 percent in today's trading.
Reuters Article - IBM - AMD
Netscape's "Javagator" Put On Back Burner
[4:45PM] Development on Netscape Communications' "Javagator," an all-Java version of its Navigator Web browser, has been shelved for the time being while the company seeks third party help, NEWS.COM reported today. For the first time, officials at Netscape acknowledged that the lofty project has been put on hold while they discuss it with their "partners." "The Javagator is still something we're doing, but while we talk to our partners it's on hold," spokeswoman Maggie Young told the publication, noting also that resources are still assigned to the project. Though Young declined to disclose the names of those partners, NEWS.COM speculates that IBM and Sun Microsystems are both involved in ongoing technical and marketing discussions with Netscape. It was both IBM and Sun who reportedly stepped in when Netscape was ready to scrap the Javagator project all together following a recent company-wide restructuring effort.
NEWS.COM Article - Netscape Communications
Iomega, Others Join 1394 Trade Association
[2:15PM] The 1394 Trade Association, a group which backs the high-speed digital-bus interface commonly known as "FireWire," today said it passed the 170 member mark, adding a handful of new constituents during the first month of 1998, including Konica Corporation, Denso, Tokyo Electron, and Iomega. In addition, Computer Access Technology, Oxford Semiconductor, Tektronix, Next Wave Technology, Unixtar Technology, and Shuttle Technology also joined the group since January 1. "The 1394 Trade Association continues its rapid growth, with this impressive list of new members from several continents," said 1394 TA Chairman James Snider in a statement. "It comes from a broad range of different market sectors, reflecting the versatility and appeal of the 1394 multimedia standard." Snider said the Trade Association expects the fast pace of membership growth and new product development to continue throughout 1998.
The 1394 Trade Association
Roizen Joins Board At Canto Software
[11:05AM] Heidi Roizen, former vice president of worldwide developer relations at Apple Computer, today was named to the board of directors at Canto Software, a leading supplier of Media Asset Management software applications and makers of the cross-platform Cumulus Media Management System. "Canto has already established a leadership position in the exploding field of managing media assets," said Roizen, who also sits on the boards at Great Plains Software, and Be, Inc. "Their combination of superb technologies and customer focus will, in my opinion, make them one of the star performers in the software arena."
Canto Software - Apple Computer - Be
CompUSA Announces Expansion Into Kentucky
[10:30AM] CompUSA will make its first inroads in Kentucky tomorrow with the opening of a superstore in Lexington. The new 19,800 square-foot facility, situated at 161 Lexington Green Circle, in the Lexington Green shopping center, is scheduled to officially open Friday at 8AM/EST. "While some of our competitors are consolidating, CompUSA continues its steady growth nationwide, emerging as the dominant computer retailer," said Jim Halpin, CompUSA president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "We're looking forward to serving the Lexington community with CompUSA's unique, 'total solution' package for consumers and businesses." Approximately 50 local jobs are expected to result from the new location, which CompUSA said is its latest "prototype." In addition to the store's traditional areas, including the Apple "store within a store," new CompKids and Software Sampler sections will be showcased at the new location.
Promotion Deal Has Egghead Saying "Yahoo"
[9:45AM] Egghead.com, the online remnants of the Egghead retail store chain, today landed a deal with Yahoo to become the premiere computer and software merchant on Yahoo. Starting today, Egghead "merchant buttons" will be seen throughout all computer-related areas within the Yahoo network of properties. In addition, the storefront will be promoted on the front page of Yahoo as well as the Yahoo and Netscape New and Cool areas. "This agreement is a major element in Egghead.com's strategic move to the Internet," George Orban, Egghead.com chairman and chief executive said in a statement, referring to the company's risky shift to an Internet-only business. "By teaming up with Yahoo, the Egghead brand name and Web sites, which are synonymous with computers and software, are now available to millions of Yahoo users worldwide," Orban added.
Egghead.com - Yahoo
Movie-Making Competition Finalists Announced
[8:50AM] A group of 24 entries were selected today by MetaCreations as finalists for the 3rd Annual Teen Digital Movie-Making Competition to screen on March 14 as part of the Santa Barbara International Film Festival. The competition, which is sponsored by MetaCreations, Intel, and the SBI Film Festival is designed to encourage students between 13 and 19 to learn the art of digital design and multimedia production. A total of 61 entries in four categories (action/adventure, comedy, sci-fi and western) were received, of which 24 made the final cut (finalists' names can be seen in today's press release).
Meanwhile, MetaCreations also said today that the competition has formed a new advisory board. Members include Alfonso Arau (Like Water for Chocolate); Ed Burns (The Brothers McMullen); Elizabeth Dailey, dean, School of Cinema-Television, USC; Michael Douglas; Laurence Fishburne (Othello); Milos Forman (The People vs. Larry Flynt); James Hindman of American Film Institute; and director Ron Underwood (Mighty Joe Young).
Press Release - MetaCreations
Wednesday, February 25th
PowerMac G3 Users Get New Memory Options
[5:45PM] Peripheral Enhancements Corporation announced the introduction of a 256 MB RAM upgrade module for PowerMac G3 users. Both the desktop and minitower versions of the PowerMac G3 shipped with only 3 DIMM slots for RAM. With the new 256 MB upgrade modules, G3 users will be able to expand to a maximum of 768 MBs of RAM, double that of the 384 MBs in the original Apple specifications. This new found expandability does not come cheap, however, as the modules carry the blisteringly high price tag of $1979.00.
Allegiant Puts SuperCard Up For Sale
[5:35PM] Allegiant Technologies Inc. said this week it is seeking a buyer for its SuperCard technology, the basis for one of the most successful multimedia authoring and applications development platforms on the Macintosh. Allegiant developed and released four new versions of SuperCard since it acquired the product from Aldus Corp. in 1994. The product has consistently won the industry's most prestigious awards, including a MacUser Eddy Award and a Macworld World Class Finalist selection. Allegiant says it was unable to meet its principal business objectives and as consequence its Board of Directors has resolved to find a new home for the Company's technology assets and customer franchise. Allegiant intends to continue to maintain, sell and support SuperCard until a suitable buyer has been identified.
Half Price Data Recovery For Tornado Victims
[5:25PM] The expert data recovery company DriveSavers is extending an emergency data rescue offer to Central Florida tornado victims. Effective immediately, the company is offering a 50% discount on its 5-7 day service for recovering computer data. The offer, which applies to systems and drives damaged by severe weather caused by the on-going El Nino weather effect, extends until March 31, 1998. "We wish to extend our years of experience in data recovery to help those residents who have had their valuable computer data lost due to the recent tornadoes," said Scot Gaidano, president of DriveSavers. Tornado victims who have damaged drives with critical data are also welcome to call the DriveSavers Assistance Hot Line at 800-440-1904. DriveSavers offers data recovery with as fast as one-to-two day turnaround to Macintosh, PC and UNIX computer users nationwide.
Equilibrium's Debabelizer 3 Begins Shipping
[4:35PM] Equilibrium is now shipping Debabelizer 3.0 for the Mac. At $599.95, Debabelizer offers support for Photoshop and other third party plug-ins. The software will also "enables you to process and translate digital video and image files to Web-ready formats, including animated GIF and QuickTime 3.0," making Debabelizer one of the first commercial releases to support Apple's upcoming QuickTime release.
Rhapsody Gains Another Application
[4:35PM] MacInTouch reports today that ACI will be releasing a native Rhapsody version of its star database server 4D. No price has been listed yet, but the company expects the product to be released "soon after Apple releases the final version of its new operating system." 4D joins the ranks of several other enterprise class software applications that have been promised for the Rhapsody platform during the last 12 months.
MacInTouch - ACI
Quarterdeck Mail Changed to StarNine Mail
[2:25PM] StarNine Technologies, Inc. today announced the immediate name change of Quarterdeck Mail to StarNine Mail. The product name change to StarNine Mail follows the sale of StarNine by Quarterdeck Corporation to Platinum Equity Holdings. StarNine plans to release an upgrade to the email package under the new name of StarNine Mail (version 4.2) sometime in March 1998.
StarNine - Quarterdeck
1 Million AOL Members in Europe
[2:00PM] America Online, Inc. announced today that its AOL service has reached 1 million members in Europe just over two years after the launch of its first European service in Germany in November 1995. "At the core of our dramatic membership growth has been our continued ability to provide the most exciting, easy to use and convenient service in cyberspace, with state-of-the-art technology and services and seamless Web connections," said Jack Davies, President of AOL International.
State Governors In Support Of Internet Taxes
[3:15AM] In a move that runs contrary to trends in Congress, state governors seem to be moving towards official support for taxing the sale of goods and services sold through the Internet. Gov. Frank Keating (Rep, Ok.) referred to the matter as "a significant issue of no mean importance to both federal and state officials." The move comes during the four day National Governor's Association meeting in Washington, D.C. While the governors of the several states may be in support of such a move in an effort to protect local government revenue streams, there has been a growing movement on congress to prohibit any and all such taxation from being enacted.
Tuesday, February 24th
Intel Continues Empire Building
[3:30PM] Intel and Advanced RISC Machines (ARM), Cambridge, UK, have announced an agreement concerning the StrongARM microprocessor family under license. The StrongARM is the power behind Apple Computer's Newton hand held PDAs. The StrongARM family of RISC processors is known for being very powerful yet energy efficient, attributes that Intel can not currently claim. Under the agreement, Intel will be allowed to produce, sell and enhance the StrongARM microprocessor family under license.
Intel - ARM
Iomega Vs. Nomai: The Latest
[3:30PM] In a double edged ruling today, the District Court of Amsterdam has ended the first round of the bitter fight between rivals Nomai and Iomega. Iomega has been trying to stop Nomai from using Iomega trademarks and other imagery in marketing their Zip disk substitutes. In the ruling, Nomai is prohibited from using any XHD packaging that incorporates images resembling Iomega's familiar block Zip 100 logo. Nomai must remove all Iomega related imagery within 8 days of the ruling or face a fine of up to 1 million Dutch guilders. At the same time, the court has blocked Iomega from incorporating a light baffle used to keep Zip drive owners from inserting unlicensed Zip disk copies or other media such as floppy disks.
Iomega - Nomai
Microsoft Windows NT 5.0 On Schedule?
[3:30PM] Microsoft claims that Windows NT 5.0 is on schedule while not disclosing what that schedule actually is. In what has become an increasingly difficult job during the last few years, delivering OS releases on time, Microsoft has been the subject of much rumor during the last year on whether the mammoth NT 5.0 project would be on time.
Bare Bones Releases BBEdit Lite Update
[3:30PM] Bare Bones Software, Inc. today announced the release and immediate availability of a new version of BBEdit Lite, their popular freeware text editor. BBEdit Lite 4.1 is derived from BBEdit 4.5, the company's award-winning flagship text and HTML editor for the Mac OS. "In addition to being a great text editor in its own right, BBEdit Lite is a great way for Mac users to get the sense of the depth and power of BBEdit," said Rich Siegel, president and CEO of Bare Bones Software. "We're very happy that the success of our Mac OS product line has enabled us to continue our tradition of providing useful free software to the Mac user community."
Bare Bones Software
The Corel Corp Saga Continues
[3:30PM] Corel Corp has been hit with a stockholder lawsuit accusing the Canadian company of misrepresenting its sales figures to artificially inflate the stock price. Pointing to the recent restatement of losses for the past 4 quarters that resulted in a cumulative loss of $3.34 per share, the law firm Wechsler, Harwood, Halebian and Feffer on behalf on the Great Neck Capital Appreciation Investment Partnership has filed the lawsuit in New York. The lawsuit alleges that the defendants had "knowingly and recklessly employed devices, schemes and artifices to defraud." Corel stock fell $.31 to $2.25 on the news.
At Home's Stock Price Sky Rockets
[3:30PM] At Home has landed the contract that may involve up to 11 million next-generation television set-up boxes. Cable giant Tele-Communications Inc. has named At Home Network to develop software and support for these devices. In addition, At Home will provide connection services for Tele-Communications' customers' electronic mail and will manage the systems that run TCI e-mail services. With the announcement, At Home's stock rose over 700% from $4.81 to $33.94.
AOL Offline Monday Night, Problems Persist
[7:15AM] The world's largest online service suffered the latest in a long line of outages last evening. Due to what the company classifies as an electrical problem, America Online was effectively offline after 9:15PM/EST Monday night, and though regular service returned before midnight, Reuters reports that email problems still persisted in the early hours this morning. "This is the first time something like this has happened in well over a year," AOL spokeswoman Tricia Primrose told Reuters, noting the service's much publicized problems in recent years and the absent of any major hiccups in the past year.
Reuters Article - America Online
Monday, February 23rd
Netscape Prepares For Source Code Release
[6:30PM] On the heels of its ground-breaking announcement last month, Netscape Communications today announced the creation of mozilla.org, a dedicated team within the company and an affiliated Web site that will promote, foster, and guide open dialog and development of the Communicator 5.0 source code. The company says mozilla.org, the name of which reflects the original Navigator code name, will act as a focal point for developers who are interested in modifying and redistributing the Communicator source code, which is still scheduled to be released on March 31. The Web site will provide a central point of contact and community by encouraging developers to download the client source code, post their enhancements, take part in newsgroup discussions, and obtain and share Communicator-related information with Netscape and others in the Internet community.
"By making our source code available to the Internet community, Netscape can expand its client software leadership by integrating the best enhancements from a broad array of developers," said Marc Andreessen, executive vice president of products for Netscape, in a statement. "This Netscape team will be dedicated to assisting developers in the development of the source code, building a community that addresses markets and needs we can't address on our own and allowing our customers to reap the benefits through access to superior products."
mozilla.org - Netscape Communications
Hutchings Extends Cyberdog Bookmarks
[2:15PM] Hutchings Software last week released a new library that extends the capabilities of the built-in Cyberdog notebook editor. Rapid-I Bookmarks, now in public beta testing, adds a Netscape Navigator-esque button to Cyberdog's menu bar that tracks user's preselected notebook entries. The $10 tool, which Hutchings said was created in a mere ten days with their revised version of ODF (OpenDoc Developer Framework), enables CyberItems (newsgroups, mailtrays, email addresses, Web sites, etc.) to be accessible from anywhere in Cyberdog. The final version of Rapid-I Bookmarks is scheduled to be released in mid-March.
Hutchings Software - cyber.general Newsgroup
SGI Showcases Macintosh Cosmo At VRML 98
[12:50PM] The fruit of a partnership, announced over fourteen months ago, between Apple Computer and Silicon Graphics may finally be nearing. According to a report on Dave Garaffa's BrowserWatch this morning, SGI showed Cosmo 2.1, its high-powered VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) browser, running on the Macintosh at last week's VRML 98 conference. Since Apple and SGI inked their multi-tiered agreement, in which SGI committed to bringing its browser to the Mac and natively supporting QuickDraw 3D as a rendering engine, SGI's VRML subsidiary, Cosmo Software, has been hazy at best about the release date for the Mac version. Recently, however, Cosmo began tagging the second quarter of this year as a probable timeframe, and based on BrowserWatch's report (which cited a March release), it appears as if that could pan out.
BrowserWatch Article - Cosmo Software - SGI - Apple
Adobe Moves Customer Forums To The Web
[11:25AM] Adobe Systems today added Web-based User-to-User Forums, built by Sausalito, Calif.-based Well Engaged, to the CustomerFirst program, its suite of customer support options. Formerly available to only America Online and CompuServe subscribers, Adobe says it moved the forums, which will voluntarily staffed by industry professionals, to its Web site in order to strengthen its user community and to satisfy the needs of customers who requested a Web-based alternative. "The forums provide the Adobe user community a venue to communicate and share information with each other in an interactive and productive way," said Manny Freitas, Adobe's VP of North American Sales and Support, in a statement. "They are an exciting new tool adding even more benefits to Adobe's existing customer support options."
Adobe - Customer Support - Well Engaged
Yahoo, First USA Team On Platinum Visa Card
[10:45AM] Yahoo and First USA, one of the nation's premier credit card issuers, today unveiled a new, co-branded Yahoo Platinum Visa card. Designed to be a "user-friendly" credit card for online and offline shopping, the Yahoo card will carry a special 9.99 percent annual percentage rate (APR) and no annual fee for charter members. The companies will also offer Web-based account access, which will allow users to obtain balance, available credit, unbilled account activity, and account applications information. In addition, a special awards program will give cardmembers one reward point for every dollar they spend using the card. Accumulated points will be redeemable from leading online merchants, including Amazon.com, CDnow, Cyberian Outpost, Garden Escape, The Sharper Image, Toys.com.
Yahoo - First USA - Yahoo Platinum Visa
MetaCreations Names Lauer President, CEO
[9:50AM] The board of directors at MetaCreations today appointed Gary L. Lauer as the full-time successor to recently departed founder, John Wilczak. Lauer, a 21-year computing and visual technology veteran, becomes president, chief executive officer, and a director of the graphics software company, succeeding not only Wilczak, but also William H. Lane, who served an interim leadership role at the company. According to Howard Morgan, chairman of the board at MetaCreations, Lauer's extensive senior management, marketing and business growth experience within the visualization technology field were particularly enticing.
Most recently, Lauer was president of Silicon Graphics' World Trade Group, where he was responsible for revenues approaching $3.5 billion. Prior to that, Lauer's career portfolio included a number of executive positions during a nine-year tenure at SGI, as well as an eleven-year stint at IBM, where he held a variety of senior management positions. metacreations
RealNetworks Buys Vivo, Consolidates Market
[9:15AM] RealNetworks, the leading force in the streaming multimedia marketplace, today acquired long-time competitor Vivo Software, in a stock swap deal valued at $17.1 million. The move, which will help consolidate a genre known for its incompatible technologies, shifts Vivo's technology, intellectual property, and customers to RealNetworks. "Key personnel" at Vivo will also make the migration, suggesting that it will be only top-level executives joining RealNetworks. Of the deal, Rob Glaser, founder and CEO of RealNetworks, said, "RealNetworks acquisition of Vivo's technology is a significant step in our efforts to provide content creators with a broad range of the most powerful tools to produce streaming media content and the broadest choice of hosting platforms. We are committed to both supporting Vivo's current Web site and customer bases and providing smooth integration and upgrade paths into the rest of RealNetworks product lines."
Terms of the deal call for all outstanding shares of Vivo to be exchanged for 1.1 million new RealNetworks issues, which are currently valued at around $17.1 million. Upon completion of the acquisition, which the companies expect to close within 60 days, the new shares will represent 3.4 percent of the total 32 million shares outstanding. Seattle, Wash.-based RealNetworks said it will write off a substantial portion of the purchase as in-process R&D;.
RealNetworks - Vivo Software
Sales Soar, As Mactell Sees Triple Digit Growth
[8:30AM] In spite of Apple Computer's efforts to curtail licensing, and the widely-held belief that Macintosh cloning is a thing of the past, Mactell Corporation has been seeing record breaking sales. According to a statement released last Friday, the Austin, Texas-based company, who holds a Mac OS sublicense through Umax Computer, experienced triple digit growth in its last fiscal quarter, although where that puts the company in terms of units shipped is not currently known. Nonetheless, however, Mactell believes the surge in sales is a strong indication of what the market wants. "We feel that the consumer still wants and supports Mac OS clones," Pat Berry, vice president of Mactell, said in the statement.
Mactell Corp. - Apple Computer
Friday, February 20th
Delayed Shareholders Meeting Set For April 22
[5:20PM] Apple Computer's annual shareholders meeting, postponed from its traditional early February timeframe, has been rescheduled for April 22, PC Week Online reported today. A company spokeswoman told the publication that the original date was never set in stone and that the postponement was a sign of Apple's growth. "They've [company management] been so focused on so many different things -- the online store and new products -- that they just bumped the date," said Cara Lewis, a spokeswoman for the Cupertino, Calif.-based company.
PC Week Article - Apple Computer
DOJ Subpoenas EarthLink, America Online, MCI
[4:55PM] As of a part of the ongoing federal antitrust investigation into Microsoft's business practices, reports today confirm that the Justice Department has subpoenaed America Online, MCI Communications, and EarthLink Network to determine whether the Internet providers agreed to favor Internet Explorer over competing products, such as Netscape Navigator. The first report of the subpoenas broke in this morning's Wall Street Journal, who cited sources close to the companies involved. A subsequent story from the Bloomberg news wire later confirmed the report, adding that officials at two other ISP giants -- AT&T; and Concentric Network -- declined to say if they had been served subpoenas.
Bloomber Article - Wall Street Journal
Applied Micro, Metrowerks Forge Alliance
[12:30PM] Leading development tool vendor Metrowerks and Applied Microsystems today announced a strategic alliance, whereby the two will cooperate on tools for the embedded sector. Applied Micro will incorporate Metrowerks' advanced software debugger technology into their embedded hardware-enhanced debug and software test products. In addition, the companies said they will work together to ensure their tools are compatible with each others as well as supporting industry standard debug formats for compatibility with tools from other vendors. The first implementation of the alliance will be targeted at the PowerPC family, the companies said, with expansion planned later this year to include other processors. "Integrating Applied's comprehensive line of hardware-enhanced test solutions with Metrowerks CodeWarrior IDE and debugger provides both our companies with complete development solutions out of the box," said Jean Belanger, chairman and CEO of Metrowerks, in a statement.
Metrowerks - Applied Microsystems
Thursday, February 19th
Shearin Fills VP Position At FileMaker, Inc.
[2:45PM] FileMaker, Inc. today announced the promotion of Robert Shearin, presently director of worldwide business systems, to vice president of information systems. In his new role, Shearin will assume responsibility for the worldwide planning, strategy, and design of information systems for the Apple Computer software subsidiary. Prior to joining Claris in 1997, Shearin served as the director of information systems and chief technical officer at Leasing Solutions Inc., a financial services company. He also held various IS management positions at Apple from 1986 to 1993. "Our information systems are increasingly a competitive advantage," said Dominique Goupil, president of FileMaker, Inc., in a statement. "Robert Shearin's proven expertise in strategy and implementation in this rapidly changing field makes him a key leader in FileMaker, Inc.'s growth."
FileMaker, Inc. - Apple Computer
Apple, Microsoft To Host New Seminar Series
[10:55AM] Apple Computer and Microsoft will jointly produce a new nationwide seminar series that will focus on Microsoft Office 98: Macintosh Edition, Apple's Power Macintosh G3 machines, and Mac OS 8.1. The "Think First, Think Fast, Think Different Seminar Series," to be held at Apple's Market Centers, will begin on March 10 in Las Vegas, Nevada. The series will run throughout March and April, ending on April 22 in Honolulu, Hawaii. Apple says seating at the events will be limited and is now taking reservations for all 20 dates on their Web site.
Seminar Information - Apple Computer - Microsoft
IBM, Adobe Agree To Cross-License Patents
[9:55AM] IBM and Adobe Systems today extended their business ties by agreeing to license portions of each other's software patent portfolios. The cross-licensing agreement laid out addresses a broad range of patented software inventions in areas such as graphics, multimedia, printing, and document publishing, the companies said. Under the arrangement, Adobe will be allowed to use IBM graphics and multimedia inventions for current and future products, and it extends to Adobe's end-user and OEM customers, as well. At the same time, the deal also augments IBM's existing licenses for Adobe's PostScript and PostScript Extreme software technologies, which IBM uses in its printer products. Both companies declined to disclose specific terms of the agreement.
Of the deal, Marshall Phelps, Jr., IBM's vice president of intellectual property and licensing, said, "This agreement with Adobe is representative of the growing acceptance and awareness in our industry of the need to license software patents. These licenses allow the exchange of ideas and inventions throughout the industry to the benefit of both technology providers and customers, while protecting the investments of the inventors."
IBM - Adobe Systems
MetaCreations Ships Two Ray Dream Tutorials
[9:05AM] MetaCreations today began shipping two new CD-based tutorials developed by RAYflect of Paris. The Ray Dream Studio 5 and Ray Dream 3D Training Packs, available for both Macintosh and Windows, bring interactive training lessons and a reference glossary to 3D artists and designers.The packs feature a intuitive, direct link interface, allowing users to jump from the training tutorials directly into either Ray Dream Studio 5 or Ray Dream 3D. MetaCreations says the training packs, which will be sold separately for a suggested $39 retail price, include a thorough glossary and hundreds of tips and techniques.
Metrowerks Launches TechEXPERT Program
[8:40AM] Metrowerks today launched a new CodeWarrior TechEXPERT technical training program for its European embedded products resellers and business partners. The program is designed to furnish channel partners, distributors, and resellers with the technical expertise needed to provide their customers with support for CodeWarrior embedded products. "The training gives participants a thorough grounding in all our embedded tools," said Dave Mark, vice president, Discover/Academic products, Metrowerks, in a statement. "We want our end customers to have complete confidence in not only our ability to support their purchase, but our resellers ability to provide knowledgeable and useful technical assistance when needed."
Participants taking the course will be introduced to the CodeWarrior Integrated Development Environment (IDE) and its components, including project manager, editor, search engine, browser, and build system, as well as the CodeWarrior debugger. Metrowerks says the inaugural training sessions will be held in Stuttgart, Germany, while similar programs for the North American market will be announced next month.
Wednesday, February 18th
Ziff-Davis Prepares $460 Million Public Offering
[5:45PM] Ziff-Davis, the publishing mogul behind such trade magazines at PC Magazine, PC Computing, Interactive Week, Computer Shopper, and MacWEEK, plans to go public this spring with an initial offering valued at $460 million, its Japanese parent company, Softbank Corp. said today. A new company called Ziff-Davis Inc. will be formed, encapsulating the existing Ziff-Davis publishing and ZDNet Web site operations, the ZD COMDEX and Forums Inc. trade show and conference business, as well as leading businesses in the technology training, consulting, and market research fields. In connection with the IPO, Softbank said the new company will refinance $1.5 billion of its intercompany debt in the public debt and bank markets.
Xaos Ships First Consumer-Oriented Program
[4:50PM] Xaos Tools' FlashBox, a consumer photo-editing program first previewed at last month's Macworld Expo, began shipping to retailers today. Self-labeled as the first "phototainment" product, FlashBox will initially be available only on Windows, as the Macintosh version has suffered slight delays and is now slated to be released in the second quarter of this year. The $49 product comes with more than 90 brush-on special effects and a truly intuitive, drag-and-drop interface that is structured around a "drawer" metaphor. FlashBox also marks the first publicly released example of ispk (I speak), Xaos' proprietary, platform independent, graphics software development language. By using the new environment, Xaos says FlashBox went from conception to a shipping product in just seven months. Officials maintain that without ispk, it would take at least two years to develop FlashBox. "Essentially, ispk makes it possible to deliver our special effects imaging power to an application almost immediately," says Doug Tuttle, engineering program manager at Xaos.
The ispk language has also opened the door to FlashXubes, the individual software modules that actually power FlashBox. Xaos say the retail version ships with seven cubes oriented around such themes as photo retouching, holidays, gardening, and monster makeup, but in the future, users will be able to purchase "bargain-priced" cube collections from Xaos' Web site.
Xaos Tools - FlashBox Information
Lucent Forms $100 Million Venture Capital Fund
[4:00PM] Taking a lead from firms like Adobe Systems and Cisco Systems who have set up similar groups, Lucent Technologies today said it will establish a new $100 million venture capital fund, aptly titled Lucent Venture Partners, Inc. The new subsidiary is designed to target high growth technology areas such as wireless, data networking, semiconductors, communications software, and professional services. Lucent says the group will leverage external investments into its exisiting operations through the formation of joint marketing agreements, joint product development efforts, and possibly partnerships and acquisitions. "This venture will give us early insight into the technologies, products and companies developing outside Lucent's walls that can help support our growth," said Rich McGinn, Lucent's chief executive officer, in a statement. Incidently, McGinn will add chairman to his current title, succeeding Henry Schact who has been asked to step down and assume the chairman role for the new VC unit.
Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, Lucent's board of directors said at its annual shareholders meeting that it has approved a two-for-one stock split, the first since the company's record-setting initial public offering in April 1996. The company also said it intends to change its quarterly dividend rate. After the April 1 split-date, dividends will amount to 4 cents per share, or 8 cents on pre-split shares, up from the present 7 cents.
Oracle's NC Chief Resigns, Roux Takes Helm
[1:40PM] In a move classified by Oracle spokespeople as mutual, Jerry Baker, the man who headed Oracle's fabled network computer group since the unit's inception, resigned yesterday. David Roux, currently executive vice president at Oracle, was named Baker's immediate successor, assuming the additional responsibilities of CEO of Network Computer, Inc. (NCI). Over the past two years, Roux has been an instrumental factor in the growth of Oracle's NC business, even though his only official role was a seat on the unit's board of directors. In 1996, he spearheaded the Network Computer Reference Profile with Apple, IBM, Netscape, and Sun Microsystems, and last year, Roux orchestrated the merger between NCI and one-time Netscape unit, Navio Communications. Roux said in a statement that his mission is to build upon NCI's strong technological foundation and deliver products that will continue the growth and long term success of NCI.
Network Computer, Inc. - Oracle
Extensis Unveils Newest Photoshop Add-On
[1:10PM] Extensis Corporation today rolled out PhotoFrame, the newest member of its Adobe Photoshop plug-in family that allows users to create an unlimited number of frames and border effects for their images. Available immediately for both Macintosh and Windows platform, PhotoFrame leverages a number of features from PhotoTools, another Extensis Photoshop add-on, including interactive control elements, real-time previews, multiple undo/redo capabilities, and the ability to view and work with up to 3 different frames and borders simultaneously. The product comes with 150 professionally design, pre-built frames, all of which are cataloged by keywords with Portfolio 3.0, Extensis' media management solution. In addition, the company says PhotoFrame is fully compatible with any JPEG file and any frame from an Auto F/X Photo/Graphic Edges volume.
"Our goal with PhotoFrame is to elevate the technology available for creating digital frames and border effects," said Michael Ninness, product marketing manager for PhotoFrame, in a statement. "Instead of providing an interface that only allows users to place existing, static content, PhotoFrame puts complete creative control in the hands of the users."
Extensis - PhotoFrame Information
Apple Announces Dates For Annual WWDC
[12:25PM] Dates for Apple Computer's annual developers gathering were announced earlier this week. According to MacWEEK, the company has set aside May 11-15 for this year's Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC), which will take place take place at the Convention Center in San Jose, the event's traditional locale. Apple says the convention will focus on its operating systems, QuickTime, hardware, and Internet strategy, among other things. And as in previous years, the company will run hands-on labs and a tools-vendors exhibit during the week.
MacWEEK Article - Apple Computer
Report: Microsoft To Explore 3D In IE 5.0
[11:00AM] Microsoft has begun alpha-testing a new graphics-friendly upgrade to Internet Explorer that will support an unknown vector graphics file format, a report in trade publication InfoWorld said yesterday. The upgrade, currently known internally as Internet Explorer 5.0, is expected to arrive before the end of the year, sources told the magazine, and will also feature enhanced 3D capabilities using technology Microsoft acquired through its purchase of Dimension X last May. At the time of the acquisition, Microsoft said Dimension X' Java products, Liquid Motion and Liquid Reality, would be morphed into its DirectX architecture, however, it appears now as if the technology will be melded directly in IE. Meanwhile, sources also told InfoWorld that the 5.0 upgrade will also include QuickWeb, Intel's new Web graphics compression technology, and first-time support for FTP uploads.
InfoWorld Article - Microsoft
Investors Infuse SyQuest With $30 Million
[10:15AM] Struggling removable disk drive maker SyQuest Technologies, stung by a continuously growing string of unprofitable quarters, today closed a new round of funding that gives the company $30 million in additional capital. Fremont, Calif.-based SyQuest said that the proceeds will be used as working capital to increase production units for its flagship product, SparQ, while a significant portion -- $8.75 million, to be exact -- will be placed into escrow. The financing will be released from escrow upon a pending S-3 registration statement being declared effective by the Securities and Exchange Commission no later than March 16, 1998, the company said. Of the new financing, Edward Marinaro, SyQuest's chairman, said, "We are pleased that this round of financing has been accomplished on more favorable terms than any of the earlier investments concluded during the last 18 months, reflecting the growing interest and confidence in SyQuest and its products."
Macromedia Goes Glitz With ShockRave Site
[9:40AM] As expected, multimedia software developer Macromedia will take its first steps into the entertainment realm today. The company is scheduled to officially roll out ShockRave, a free online service featuring exclusive Shockwave content created by leading entertainment companies, at 3PM/EST this afternoon. Games, puzzles, cartoons, music, and more will be furnished by content providers such as United Media, Columbia TriStar Interactive, Comedy Central, SegaSoft Networks, Circumstance Design, Zeek Interactive, Ezone, and TheDJ.com. Macromedia says the new site will feature over 45 games, special ShockRave message boards, twelve music channels from TheDJ.com, and popular cartoons, such as Dilbert and South Park. The list of sponsors backing the new site features a number of big names as well, including 7 UP, Apple Computer, and The LifeSavers Company.
"Macromedia's ShockRave is a new entertainment site targeted at Internet enthusiasts," said Steve King, vice president of corporate marketing at San Francisco, CA.-based Macromedia, in a statement. "ShockRave offers consumers access to fun, fast interactive entertainment and our developers have the opportunity to distribute their content to millions of Web explorers."
ShockRave - Macromedia
Teletraining CEO Named To Media 100 Board
[8:55AM] Digital video systems provider Media 100 yesterday appointed former Piper Jaffray managing director, Roger W. Redmond, to its board of directors. Redmond, who now serves as president and chief executive officer of Teletraining Systems, a provider of training for distance educators, was also named to the audit committee of Media 100's board. "Roger comes with extensive knowledge about our company from his work at Piper Jaffray, and his experience gained from thirteen years of providing investment banking advice to high technology companies will be of tremendous benefit to the Company as we pursue our ambitious strategic plan for 1998 and beyond," said John Molinari, president and chief executive officer of Media 100, in a statement.
Tuesday, February 17th
QuickTime 3.0 Honored By NewMedia Magazine
[6:25PM] QuickTime, Apple Computer's most celebrated software product outside the Mac OS, continues to pile up a strong collection of accolades. Less than a week after the technology received a ringing endorsement from the International Standards Organization (ISO), who accepted a proposal to make the QuickTime file format the basis for the MPEG-4 standard, Apple announced today that QuickTime 3.0, the software's latest revision due to be finalized later this month, has been selected as winner of NewMedia magazine's 1998 Hyper Award in the System Software category. The magazine will showcase QuickTime in the special awards section of its March 3rd issue, and on its Web site. NewMedia's recognition of the multimedia architecture follows closely behind an award given at last month's Internet Showcase '98, where QuickTime grabbed a People's Choice award.
"These honors from Internet Showcase and NewMedia magazine are endorsements of QuickTime 3's unique, multi-platform capabilities and integral role in the new media industry," said Avie Tevanian, senior vice president of Software Engineering at Apple, in a statement. "QuickTime 3 epitomizes what Apple software is all about. In delivering outstanding ease-of-use and unparalleled functionality, it raises the bar for the entire industry."
Apple Computer - NewMedia
Berkeley, Yoshimoto Bringing "Jack" To Japan
[5:05PM] A localized version of the award-winning You Don't Know Jack CD-ROM game will be making its way to Japan, courtesy of a partnership struck today between Berkeley Systems and Yoshimoto Kogyo Co. Already localized for markets in the United Kingdom and Germany, the quiz show party game has been a huge success domestically, shipping nearly one million units and spawning an online sibling. The Japanese version of the title, slated to ship this spring for Windows 95 and Macintosh machines, features all new localized content and the voice talent of Masatoshi Hamada, a comedian hailed as one of the funniest men in Japan, as the host of the game. Berkeley says Hamada is directly involved in the creative process for the new version, contributing to the humorous content and witty dialogue of the game.
Berkeley Systems - Jack Net Show
Kodak Chooses GOO For Cameras, Scanners
[2:30PM] MetaCreations today completed an agreement to license a special OEM (original equipment manufacturers) version of Kai's Power GOO to Kodak for use in Kodak's line of digital cameras, tethered cameras, and scanners. The agreement covers the U.S., European, and Japanese markets and will run through the end of December. "A perfect accompaniment for Kodak's digital cameras and scanners, Kai's Power GOO SE allows users to quickly capture digital images which can then be viewed and manipulated in real time" said Fred Brown, MetaCreations' senior vice president, sales & marketing, in a statement. "We're pleased that Kodak finds our relationship beneficial and has chosen to bundle GOO with their cameras and scanners."
MetaCreations - Kodak
Diamond Latest To Join ADSL Working Group
[1:35PM] Diamond Multimedia Systems today became the latest member of the Universal ADSL Working Group (UAWG), a body formed last month to accelerate the delivery of a simplified version of ADSL to consumers. Diamond's commitment comes just one week after Motorola made a similar pledge, and just one day after news surfaced that the ITU has begun preliminary discussions concerning the UAWG's proposed standard. "Customers have a virtually insatiable demand for increasingly faster Internet access speeds," said Jim Cady, vice president and general manager of Diamond's Communications Division, in a statement. "As a contributor to the UAWG, Diamond Multimedia intends to help the group develop ADSL standards and deliver ADSL products to the consumer as quickly as possible."
Apple, Others Standardize On Accrue Insight
[1:10PM] Apple Computer has standardized on Accure Insight, an enterprise-class Web site analysis solution developed for complex, highly trafficked and rapidly growing sites, to monitor traffic to its Web site and online storefront, Accure said today. Other leading technology companies have begun using Accure for their sites as well, including Sun Microsystems, National Semiconductor, Silicon Graphics, Micro Warehouse and Netopia, Inc.
Accure Software - Apple Computer
PC Sales Up, As Avg. Prices Dip Below $1,300
[11:25AM] Average prices for personal computers dipped below $1,300 for the first time ever, a report by market-research analyst Computer Intelligence (CI) revealed today. During the fourth quarter of 1997, the report also said sales maintained their traditionally strong holiday season performance, growing by 25 percent over the same period last year. Sub-$1,000 PC sales remained strong throughout the period as well, although the frenzy might have dimmed somewhat. CI says their market share slipped slightly to approximately 30 percent, in large part because of the low prices now seen across the entire industry. "On average, desktop PC prices have declined more than 20 percent from January 1997," said Aaron Goldberg, executive VP of CI, in a statement. "We don't expect this trend will stop or slow down dramatically, either, with $799 machines in the market now and $699 products on the shelf next Christmas," he added, noting that CI wouldn't be surprised if the average PC price falls between $1,100 and $1,150 by December.
In terms of market share for each vendor in the sub-$1,000 category, CI says that Compaq's share rose to 44.1 percent in December, up after seeing a sluggish 26.7 share in November and a Q4-leading 50.8 percent in October. The big surprise, however, was Hewlett Packard, who bolted from a minuscule 0.3 percent share in September to 15.2 in December.
MacWEEK Names Morgenstern New Editor
[10:40AM] David Morgenstern, an eleven-year veteran of the Macintosh industry , today was promoted editor of MacWEEK. The 45-year old Morgenstern, who previously was executive editor/news, will take over the day-to-day editorial duties at the publication, and will report to Rick LePage, publisher and editor-in-chief of MacWEEK. "Not only does David have the respect of his peers and the Macintosh industry with his technical expertise and market savvy, but he also has the knowledge and experience to deliver the market's most timely and relevant editorial coverage," said LePage. Prior to joining MacWEEK in 1993 as a senior writer, Morgenstern was a contributor to such trade magazines as MacJapan, MacPublishing, and MicroTimes.
Former Be Exec Named VP Marketing At Micron
[10:10AM] Filling a role that has been vacant for the past year, Micron Electronics said today it has named former Be executive Mark Gonzales vice president of worldwide marketing. Gonzales, who held a number of high level executive positions at Apple Computer before joining start-up Be in the early 90's, will report directly to Micron president and chief operating officer Joel Kocher, the former Power Computing president who joined the PC vendor last fall. "In short order, Micron has established itself as a premiere systems company known for quality products and innovation." said Gonzales in a statement. "This next phase of growth will rely heavily on strategic marketing, brand creation and differentiation. The opportunity that exists at Micron Electronics today is what compelled me to join the team."
NetObjects Acquires Scripting Developer Acadai
NetObjects - Acadai Software
Monday, February 16th
New Plastic Display Technology Unveiled Today
[7:00PM] An England-based company today unveiled a prototype for a next-generation television screen built using, of all materials, plastic. Cambridge Display Technology (CDT) and Seiko-Epson said they have entered into a joint agreement to produce televisions and computer monitors based on CDT's Light Emitting Plastic technology, a move which could facilitate the downfall of traditional TVs and CRTs. But before that can happen, the companies will have a number of difficult hurdles to pass. As it stands now, the prototype is only monochrome, although is has a size advantage over current screens -- Cambridge says the current version measures 50mm square and just 2mm thick -- as well as the absence of restricted viewing angles and blurring images commonly found in LCD displays. Both companies say a full size color display screen -- the existing model is apparently being aimed as a monitor for portable VCR's and digital cameras -- will be announced later this year, with the technology becoming widely available within the next five years.
Of the partnership, Danny Chapchal, chief executive officer at Cambridge, said, "It is hard to over-estimate the significance of this announcement, not only for CDT but also for the global display industry. Through a very effective joint partnership with Seiko-Epson, we have shown that our technology can begin to deliver the commercial benefits promised," he said in a statement, noting that the plastic technology will make it to the market far faster because of the partnership.
Cambridge Display Technology
Psion Greets Mac With New Connectivity Tool
[2:45PM] Psion Computers earlier this month introduced MacConnect, a software connectivity package, developed by French software house Atelier, that links its Series 5 personal digital assistant (PDA) with Macintosh desktops. Generally well-received in the mobile community, the Series 5 has been absent of any Mac connection utilities, with Psion choosing to instead develop Windows-only tools. However, with the debut of MacConnect, which comes in English, French, and German versions, Series 5 owners using a Mac now have similar data management capabilities, albeit at a $70 price tag, compared to the free Windows product. Nonetheless, Daniel Doulton, Psion's product marketing manager, said the company is now fully committed to the Macintosh market.
"We at Psion take the Mac market very seriously," Doulton said in a statement. "As a handheld company, we will not ignore or abandon Mac users particularly in strong markets such as America, France and the UK. It is part of our ongoing commitment to customers to provide local solutions to as many people as possible," he said, adding that Mac users will be able to use the free Psion Messaging Suit upon purchasing the $70 MacConnect.
RealNetworks Introduces New Suite Of Tools
[11:55AM] RealNetworks today extended the reach of its multimedia streaming architecture with the introduction of an updated package of publishing components. The suite, available immediately from the company's Web site, includes RealPublisher 5.1, a new version of the tool which provides one-click publishing of streaming RealAudio and RealVideo to any server, in addition to a RealPublisher plug-in for Adobe Premiere and a RealPresenter plug-in for Microsoft PowerPoint. "We are pleased to be offering this new suite of tools which are designed to work either as a standalone application or with other leading applications such as Microsoft PowerPoint and Adobe Premiere," said Phil Barrett, senior vice president, Media Systems, RealNetworks, in a statement. "These tools enable anyone to create and publish compelling streaming media in minutes."
The RealPresenter add-on for PowerPoint allows users to stream narrated presentations over the Internet or corporate Intranet to standard RealPlayer clients. The publishing plug-in for Adobe Premiere, on the other hand, enables users to create and publish streaming RealAudio and RealVideo content from directly within the popular authoring tool. Realnetworks - RealSystem 5.0 Tools
Quark Scoops Up "Coris Publisher" Developer
[9:45AM] After saying six months ago that it would put aside $200 million for outside investments, Quark today dipped into that fund for the first time by agreeing to purchase all assets of Coris, Inc., a subsidiary of R.R. Donnelley and Sons specializing in publishing and production management tools. Terms of the deal, which is pending approval from R.R. Donnelley shareholders, were not disclosed by privately-held Quark. The QuarkXPress developer did however say that the acquisition centered around Coris Publisher 3.0, a global-media publishing tool that has been adopted by organizations such as Avon, parent company R.R. Donnelley, and Modus Media. "Coris has some superb customers and a great knowledge base in publishing, pre-press, and production processes," said Susan I. Friedman, Quark's VP of product management, in a statement. "Long-term plans include leveraging Quark and Coris technology to produce a best-of-class content management solution for future Quark client-server applications."
Quark - Coris
Report: DSL Standardization Presses Ahead
[8:35AM] The International Telecommunications Union (ITU), fresh off their recent standardization of the 56Kbps V.90 protocol, is now turning its focus to G.lite, the recently proposed low-speed, consumer DSL technology. According to a report from TechWeb, the group met with members of a DSL working committee last week, agreeing to use Discrete Multitone (DMT) encoding to deliver the DSL service over common telephone lines. DMT, an encoding scheme widely used throughout the world, will simplify DSL equipment, TechWeb says, as many equipment companies already have staff with expertise in designing DMT systems. Four additional meeting are planned between now and October, the report added, with the ITU hoping to complete all technical specifications for G.lite by the commencement of those talks.
TechWeb Article - ITU
Iomega Slashes Jaz Prices, Ships Successor
[7:45AM] Iomega's second generation Jaz 2 drive, a 2GB followup to the award-winning Jaz that's been sitting idle in the on-deck circle since last fall, began shipping to U.S. resellers last week, the company said on Friday. The product's belated release hurt Iomega's revenues in its most recent fiscal quarter, and subsequently sparked a class action lawsuit filed by shareholders who charge the company knowingly misrepresented the rollout's timeframe. But Iomega says customer can expect "shortly" to be able to purchase Jaz 2 drives and disks through mail order, computer superstores, distributors, and resellers. Pricing on the new drives will be $649 for the external model and $549 for the internal variation, with disks priced at $149 each when purchased in a 3-pak. Meanwhile, in preparation for the successor's release, Iomega slashed prices on the original, legacy Jaz. Effective this past Saturday, February 15th, the external model now retails for $299, down from $399, while the internal version has been cut by a more modest $20 to $279.
Iomega - Jaz Information
Friday, February 13th
Iomega Says It Will "Vigorously" Defend Suit
[7:10PM] Publicly addressing a class action lawsuit brought about by its shareholders, Iomega today said it will vigorously defend against the suit, which accuses the company and unnamed, high-ranking officials of violating federal securities laws. "We believe that Iomega has highly meritorious defenses to the allegations made in the lawsuit," said Laurie B. Keating, Iomega's senior vice president and general counsel, in a statement. "Iomega believes that it and its officers have always acted with integrity and in compliance with the Company's legal disclosure obligations. We will contest any claims that allege otherwise."
Motorola Joins Group To Help Develop ADSL
[4:45PM] Motorola said this week that is has joined the newly formed Universal ADSL Working Group (UAWG), a consortium whose hope is to accelerate the development of a simplified version of ADSL (Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line) technology, currently called "Universal ADSL." Members of the group who pledged support for the initiative late last month include Compaq Computer, Intel, Microsoft, and telecommunications providers Ameritech, Bell Atlantic, BellSouth, GTE, SBC Communications, Sprint, and US West Communications.
Cannavino To Headline IAD '98 Conference
[11:55AM] James Cannavino, the former president and chief executive officer of Perot Systems once thought to be a potential candidate for the top spot at Apple Computer, will be keynoting the 1998 Internet/Intranet Application Development (IAD) Conference and Expo. Cannavino's keynote will focus on the need for innovation in software development projects and in the software industry, show organizer SPG Conferences & Expositions said. The former IBM executive will also look at trends in the computer industry by examining the companies he expects will thrive, which companies will suffer, and what technologies can be expected to succeed over the next five years or so.
The fourth annual show, scheduled to take place March 18-20 at the New York Hilton & Towers in New York City, will provide solutions for complex application development issues in the Conference track, while the Expo Hall will feature tools, technologies and services for app/dev managers, IS executives and Internet developers to evaluate.
IAD '98 Conference
Mactell Upgrade Speeds Apple's G3 Machines
[10:30AM] Mactell Corp., who remains the sole Mac OS licensee outside of Umax, earlier this week announced the PowerJolt OverDrive, a new line of G3-based processor upgrade cards designed for use in Apple's Power Macintosh G3 series. Slated to begin shipping immediately, the cards come in four different flavors, ranging from a low-end 266-MHz version with 1MB of cache to the top-of-the-line 300MHz model, which comes with 1MB of cache operating in a 1:1 ratio with the processor. Mactell says the high-end card achieves MacBench 4.0 processor scores of up to 1200, putting the OverDrive significantly in front of Apple's stock G3 machines, which score 878 on the same tests. "Many processor intensive applications will see speed increases up to 60% over Apple's stock G3 Machines," said Pat Berry, vice president of Mactell. Pricing for the line is as follows:
266MHz 1MB Cache (2 to 1 cache): $995
300MHz 512K Cache (2 to 1 cache): $899
300MHz 1MB Cache (2 to 1 cache): $1195
300MHz 1MB Cache (1 to 1 cache): $1995
Mactell - Apple Computer
Parts Availability Slips 61/71/8100 Upgrades
[9:30AM] Originally announced for availability in February at last month's Macworld Expo in San Francisco and on their Web site, Newer Technology is now shooting for late March for the much anticipated G3-based upgrade cards for Power Macintosh 7100 and 8100 machines. The 6100 version of the PDS card should now be available in mid-April, according to Eric Dahlinger, NewerTech's communications director. "Our problem has nothing to do with engineering... but has to do with acquiring parts in the quantities we need. When you need 200-300 of something, that's usually no problem, but when you're talking 20,000 units it can become a problem," Dahlinger said.
Dahlinger also warns that sites around the Web, including MacCPU, are not the official sources of information on NewerTech's products. "MacCPU seems to get more attention than seems necessary. The Newer Technology website is the source for all MAXpowr G3 product information," Dahlinger said.
Newer Technology - MacCPU
Thursday, February 12th
Revenues Plunge, Losses Soar In SyQuest's Q1
[3:55PM] Attributing the dismal results to start-up costs and increased advertising for the launch of its new SparQ product, revenues in SyQuest Technology's first quarter plunged 50 percent to $32.1 million, down from $48.3 million in the year ago period, the company said yesterday. Losses were equally gloomy as well, amounting to $39 million, or 57 cents per share, compared with a net loss of $12.7 in the corresponding year-earlier quarter. SyQuest also said revenues and profits were affected by competitive price cuts on its SyJet and EZFlyer 230 lines, a move away from high-margin products, a short-term loss on SyJet cartridges, and shortages of parts needed for the SyJet and SparQ drives. "First quarter results were shaped by several adverse factors, from pricing pressures to production delays," said Ed Harper, SyQuest president and chief executive, in a statement.
Olympus SOAPs Up Digital Cameras, Scanners
[1:55PM] MetaCreations said today it will license Kai's Photo SOAP SE, a special edition of its consumer photo image editing program, to Olympus for bundling with a variety of Olympus' digital cameras and scanners. Olympus will include the software with its Camedia C-1400L, C-1000L, C-820L and C-420L cameras and the Camedia ES-10 digital scanner series, including versions in English, Japanese, Spanish, French, Italian and German.
MetaCreations - Olympus
EarthLink Forges Internet Alliance With Sprint
[1:20PM] Sprint Corp. and EarthLink Network yesterday announced a long-term alliance that calls for the two companies to create a single, unified Internet service. As part of the multi-faceted deal, Spring will pay $24 million in cash and provide a $100 million line of credit to EarthLink. In exchange, Spring receive 4.1 million convertible preferred shares directly from EarthLink and initiate a tender for 1.25 million EarthLink issues at $45 per share. Additionally, EarthLink will receive Sprint's 130,000 Internet Passport subscribers, boosting its membership to 600,000, and the commitment from Sprint to provide 150,000 new customers a year for the next five year. The unified Internet service, sharing both companies' brands, will be managed on an operational basis by EarthLink, while both companies will work together on marketing, sales and product development.
"The EarthLink-Sprint alliance takes our company to the next level. The alliance pairs EarthLink with one of the most powerful brands in the world, helping us bring our services to millions of potential new members in the coming years," said Sky Dayton, found and chairman of EarthLink, in a statement.
EarthLink Network - Sprint
Insignia Beats Connectix With 3Dfx Enabler
[11:35AM] Beginning today, Insignia Solutions and TechWorks will be jointly offering a free downloadable 3Dfx enabler for SoftWindows 95 5.0 and RealPC that gives both emulation packages the capability to natively run DOS and Windows 95-based 3Dfx-enabled games. Differentiating today's announcement and the one made by Connectix and TechWorks last month is that owners of either Insignia-branded compatibility product can experience 3Dfx-enabled PC titles today, provided they have a TechWorks Power3D card; Connectix fans will have to wait until Virtual PC 2.0 ships later this month. It should be noted however that the patch from Insignia, which is now available from their Web site, still remains in beta form.
"This is the breakthrough Mac gamers have been waiting for," said Joseph A. Taglia, Insignia's senior vice president for sales and marketing. "We expect this product to blow the gaming market wide open for both developers and gamers and have a positive impact on the sales of both companies' products," Taglia added, failing to seemingly realize that such an impact could be decremental to developers of native Macintosh titles. With playable performance now apparently available through an emulator, sales of Mac games could be adversely affected as gamers purchase more and more PC titles to use under emulation.
Insignia Solutions - TechWorks - Connectix
Report: Apple's CEO Search Nearing Its End
[11:00AM] A report from the Bloomberg News service says that Apple Computer has narrowed its search for a full-time chief executive down to fewer than five candidates and a final decision could come next month. The man leading the now seven-month search, John Thompson, vice chairman at Heidrick & Struggles, told the news outlet that Steve Jobs is currently interviewing the unnamed candidates, with the hopes that a selection could be made shortly. "We are keeping our fingers crossed. We're close to a decision in the next 30 to 45 days," Thompson said. Apple's surprising $47 million first quarter profit has helped the search, Thompson said, adding also that Jobs' presence at the company has been a turnoff for some and an encouragement for others. "It's an extraordinarily unique circumstance with Steve coming back," the 50-year-old executive, who was most recently responsible for Rick Belluzo's placement at Silicon Graphics, said. "The company was in deep trouble when he walked in. The right candidate will want to make sure that Jobs has some continuing involvement."
Bloomberg Article - Apple Computer
FileMaker, Inc. Debuts New Corporate Emblem
[10:20AM] Continuing the rapid transition of Apple Computer's software subsidiary, FileMaker, Inc. today introduced a new corporate logo. According to a statement released by the company, the new emblem features an elegant dark gray and blue original logotype bearing the company name. Valorie Cook Carpenter, vice president of marketing for FileMaker, Inc., said of the new look, "This striking new FileMaker, Inc. logo aptly captures the enterprising spirit of the new company and reflects both the stature and stability of our legendary award-winning FileMaker Pro line of world-class database software products."
FileMaker, Inc. - Apple Computer
Three New CompUSA Stores Coming This Year
[9:50AM] Expanding its legion of computer retail superstores, CompUSA said today it has completed three lease agreements for locations in Chandler, Arizona, Arlington, Texas and Austin, Texas. The Chandler and Austin properties are scheduled to open late this year, with each one expected to create 70 local jobs. The Arlington site, a relocation of the company's current store, will open this summer. Until then, CompUSA said it will continue to operate its existing location in Arlington until the grand opening of the new store. Each of the new locations will feature seven main product departments, including the Apple "store within a store."
CompUSA - Apple Computer
Graphics Chip Market, Say Hello To Intel
[9:30AM] With the majority of the mainstream microprocessor market firmly under its wing, Intel is now set on joining the exceptionally competitive graphics chip market. The company today formally announced its first high-end 3D graphics chip, the Intel740, an accelerator, built specifically for Pentium II machines and the AGP interface, that combines a new 3D architecture, dubbed "HyperPipelined 3D," with powerful 2D capabilities. Intel says the chip, which was developed in conjunction with Real3D, the recently spun off Lockheed Martin unit, enables a new generation graphically stunning consumer and business applications on the PC, including games and DVD titles. "The Intel740's HyperPipelined 3D architecture enables mainstream PC users to experience unique graphics quality and performance for a new generation of exciting applications such as arcade-style 3D games and movie-quality DVD titles," said Avtar Saini, vice president and general manager of Intel's Platform Components Division.
Technically, most analysts think the Intel740 will perform in-line with the graphics chips from established PC players such as nVidia and ATI. The chip's HyperPipelined architecture includes Parallel Data Processing (PDP), which drives the 3D acceleration, Precise-Pixel Interpolation (PPI) for realistic image quality, and Direct Memory Execution (DME), enabling more memory bandwidth for high-quality new generation 3D applications. Performance aside, however, pricing, if anything, is what will likely make the Intel740 a success. Intel says the chip will be available in volume this month for third party vendors and OEM manufacturers, at a price of $34.75 in 10,000 unit quantities.
Intel - nVidia - ATI Technologies
MetaCreations Names Winners Of Art Contest
[8:30AM] Winners in MetaCreations' "Real World" Portfolio Contest, a graphic design competition open to college student, were announced yesterday. An independent panel who selected winners from a field of more than 65 entries included Nancy Duckworth, art director, Los Angeles Times; Jon Lee, creative director, Promo Animation, CBS Television; Karen Sperling, owner, Artistry Magazine; Henry Vicarra, owner, Sixty Designs; and Jake Widman, editor and chief, Publish Magazine. First place and $2,000 in cash was awarded to Miles Tilman from Florida State University for his poster and Web site designs. Chris Duncan from Kent State University in Kent, Ohio, won second place and will receive an Epson color printer. And lastly, third place went to Ken Nishikawa from the University of Texas at Arlington, who will receive a suite of MetaCreations products for his efforts.
Apple Computer - QuickTime
Wednesday, February 11th
QuickTime Adopted As MPEG-4 Storage Format
[10:20AM] The International Standards Organization (ISO) today accepted a proposal from Apple Computer, IBM, Netscape, Oracle, Silicon Graphics, and Sun Microsystems that will make the QuickTime file format the basis of a unified digital media storage format for the MPEG-4 specification. The next-generation version of MPEG, still being defined by ISO's Moving Picture Experts Group (MPEG), will enable users to select, view, and manipulate audio, video, and other forms of digital content. With the adoption of QuickTime, MPEG-4 will support real-time video and audio streaming, making it suitable for delivery over the Internet, corporate networks or broadcast directly into homes, the companies say. Further, by utilizing a QuickTime-based file format, content producers are assured that the vast majority of existing hardware and software will work seamlessly with MPEG-4.
"Over 50 million PCs have QuickTime installed today, making it by far the most widely adopted multimedia standard in the world," said Steve Jobs, Apple's interim chief executive, in a statement. "Choosing QuickTime guarantees that the huge amount of QuickTime content being created and delivered today can be easily retargeted to be delivered in MPEG-4 in the future."
Apple Computer - QuickTime
AOL Tops Q2 Estimates, Announces Stock Split
[8:50AM] America Online reported yesterday net income of $20.8 million, or 17 cents per share, in its fiscal second quarter, topping Wall Street estimates of 16 cents per share and reversing a year-earlier loss. The nation's largest online service said revenues for the quarter increased 45 percent year-over-year to a record $592 million. In the corresponding quarter last year, sales totaled $409.4 million while losses surmounted to $129.1 million, largely due to one-time charges related to the company's upgrade efforts. During the period ended December 31, 1997, AOL's subscriber base increased by more than 1.2 million members, slightly exceeding the growth of its previous best quarter, which was a year earlier when the company moved to a flat-rate pricing plan. Member usage during the quarter also grew substantially, the Dulles, VA-based company said. Users spent a daily average of 41 minutes on the service, up from just 21 minutes in same quarter last year. At the same time, however, AOL's network capacity tripled, growing to more than 640,000 simultaneous connections.
"AOL added almost 1.3 million new members this quarter, and members increased their usage, demonstrating that we're becoming more and more a part of people's daily lives," said Steve Case, chairman and chief executive officer of AOL, in a statement. "During the quarter AOL continued to expand its international reach, launched compelling original content and made significant progress in developing advertising and commerce revenues."
Meanwhile, AOL also announced yesterday a two-for-one stock split, its fourth since late 1994. The company says shareholders on record as of February 23 will receive their additional shares on March 16. After the split's effective date, AOL will have roughly 220 million shares outstanding.
Tuesday, February 10th
Belgian Microsoft Employee Behind Pie Attack
[5:45PM] Though it was Noel Godin behind last week's pie throwing blitz on Microsoft's Bill Gates, the infamous 52-year-old Belgian author told Netly News in interview yesterday that the so-called mastermind behind the attack was actually one of Gates' troops. An anonymous employee at Microsoft Belgium, who saw Gates becoming tainted by his power, figured it wouldn't be bad to teach Gates a lesson and "bring him back to reality." So to get his wish, the employee contacted Godin and relayed him details of Gates' itinerary. The Microsoft tipster even knew how many motorcycle-bound policeman Gates would have in his entourage, information which proved useful to Godin, who ended up bringing 29 other individuals with him for the pie slinging prank.
Netly News Interview - Microsoft
EarthLink Attempts To Lure AOL Customers
[4:55PM] In the first of what will likely be many similar cases, nationwide ISP EarthLink today introduced its "Get Out of AOL Free" program, an initiative designed to take advantage of AOL's coming $2 price hike in April. As part of its program, EarthLink will waive the typical $25 setup fee, and set up a system that will send "change of address" notifications to let user's acquaintances know that they've left AOL. "AOL just raised the price of inferior service," said Sky Dayton, EarthLink's founder and chairman. "We're sticking to our $19.95 per month pricing, and we'll continue to welcome new AOL graduates to the EarthLink family."
EarthLink Network - America Online
Catch Rearden Technology's SiteZAP In Action
[2:45PM] Web surfers can now catch a glimpse of the Software Development '98 conference at the Moscone Center in San Francisco thanks to the help of a Power Macintosh G3, StarNine's WebSTAR, and Rearden Technology's Web-controllable video camera, SiteZAP. Through the end of this week, Rearden will be broadcasting live video from the event through their Web page, enabling users to roam around the event as they please.
SiteZAP In San Francisco - Rearden
IDG To Produce RealNetworks Conference '98
[2:10PM] IDG Conference Management, the newest division of IDG World Expo, will produce the second annual RealNetworks Conference '98, scheduled for April 27-29, 1998 at the Hyatt Regency, located at the San Francisco Airport in Burlingame, California. Focused on developers and users of RealNetworks' products including RealAudio and RealVideo, the conference will cover all topics surrounding streaming multimedia. The expected audience of 1,000 developers, customers, partners and press will see demonstrations of advanced applications as well as previews of new products and technologies introduced at the conference. And judging by RealNetworks' prior product introduction schedules, it's likely that the conference will be used to launch the next version of the company's end-user client, RealPlayer 6.0.
RealNetworks - IDG World Expo
DataChannel Releases Java-Based XML Parser
[11:40AM] In conjunction with the W3C recommendation of the XML 1.0 spec, DataChannel today announced the immediate availability of the DataChannel XML Parser (DXP) 1.0 beta, a Java-based parser designed for server side-based XML parsing and integration. A redesigned version of the Norbert Mikula's NXP, DXP allows application developers to make their applications XML-aware by providing them with the ability to import XML data into their own data structure. Data can come from a database, the Web, a file, or from a local application, the company said.
DataChannel XML Parser 1.0
W3C Ratifies XML As An Official Web Standard
[10:55AM] XML (Extensible Markup Language), the HTML relative that many think will drive the next great leap forward in Web-based content, today became an officially endorsed Web standard, as the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) announced the release of the XML 1.0 specification as a W3C Recommendation. "The development of XML 1.0 illustrates the power of the W3C process," said Dan Connolly, W3C Architecture Domain Leader and XML Activity Lead, in a statement. "From its inception, The W3C has been committed to the evolution of Web data formats. XML is the next step in that evolution and we are proud to have spearheaded this initiative."
Developed and created by the W3C XML Working Group, which includes such players as Adobe, Hewlett-Packard, Microsoft, NCSA, Netscape, SoftQuad, Sun Microsystems, and Fuji Xerox, the XML metalanguage is design to make it easy and straightforward to use SGML on the Web. SGML is the international standard used for defining descriptions of the structure and content of different types of electronic documents. Further information regarding XML, including time lines, FAQs, and a wide variety of software can be found via the link below.
W3C's XML Homepage
Vendors Begin V.90 Interoperability Testing
[10:05AM] Diamond Multimedia Systems and Cirrus Logic both announced today that they have begun interoperability testing of the V.90 multi-vendor modem standard, which was established last week at a plenary meeting of the International Telecommunications Union (ITU) group in Geneva, Switzerland. In its testing, Diamond said it was able to successfully establish connections with both V.90-enabled Ascend MAX and 3COM Total Control remote access servers, which combined power over 90 percent of the ISPs in North America, using its SupraExpress 56 product line. Cirrus, for its part, did not divulge details of its preliminary investigation, but like Diamond, the company does anticipate being among the first to provide off-the-shelf V.90-enabled modems, as well as software upgrades for existing owners.
Diamond Multimedia - Cirrus Logic
RealNetworks Branches Out With Mobile Audio
[9:15AM] Streaming audio has truly gone portable for the first time, following RealNetworks' announcement yesterday of the "Mobile Daily Briefing." Intended specifically for the Audible MobilePlayer, a handheld computer peripheral that holds up to 2 hours of audio, the daily briefing makes it possible to download RealAudio content, which has typically been confined to desktop computers, and access programming through the MobilePlayer. Content providers joining the mobile lineup including PC Week Radio, CNET, PC World Radio, America Online's Entertainment Asylum, Pseudo Online, NetRadio Network, SonicNet/Addicted to Noise, Winston Cup Today, and PlanetOut.
Mobile Daily Briefing - Audible MobilePlayer
Iomega Slapped With Class Action Lawsuit
[8:40AM] Investors who purchased stock in Iomega between September 22, 1997 and January 22, 1998 have hit the removable storage maker with a class action lawsuit, stemming from delays to the company's Jaz 2 drive. Kaufman Malchman Kirby & Squire, LLP, together with other unnamed law firms, filed their complaint against Iomega late last night, alleging that the company knowingly misrepresented the release date of the Jaz 2 product. During the period in question last fall, Iomega continually asserted that the Jaz 2 would be released in the fourth quarter of 1997, the suit says, and as such, Iomega's stock reached a new all-time high. At that time, investors allege that senior officials at the company were unloading "millions of dollars" at prices that were hinged on the delivery of the next-generation drive.
But when December rolled around, Iomega announced that the product would not be released in the fourth quarter of 1997, and would be delayed at least until the end of the first quarter of 1998, costing the company in excess of $70 million in revenues, as revealed in Iomega's fourth quarter results. In addition, the suit criticizes a $100 million advertising campaign Iomega had embarked upon as "extraordinarily expensive and risky." Plaintiffs are seeking to recover damages on behalf of investors who purchased Iomega shares during the four month period.
Mitsubishi Suspends Partnership With DEC
[8:00AM] Just as Samsung Electronics was moving in yesterday as Digital Equipment's newest Alpha partner, Mitsubishi Electric decided to head for the exits, a Digital executive told online publication NEWS.COM. An agreement that Digital had with Mitsubishi to make a low-end version of the Alpha chip for personal workstations and high-end PCs has been suspended, according to Harry Cooperman, a senior vice president at Digital. Cooperman added that yesterday's broad base licensing partnership with Samsung (see yesterday's news) will fill the vacancy left by the departing Mitsubishi.
NEWS.COM Article - Mitsubishi Electric - DEC
FileMaker, Inc. Promotes Two Database Vets
[7:30AM] In its first upper management shift since becoming a newly focused subsidiary, FileMaker, Inc. today promoted two seasoned database veterans to its executive staff. Effective immediately, FileMaker 4 product director Chung Le becomes vice president of product development, while Steve Marcek, a long-time FileMaker product manager, takes the reign of chief technical officer. Le, a 17-year industry veteran, joined Claris just last year, after managing engineering groups at Sun Microsystems for the previous decade. In his new role at FileMaker, Inc., Le will lead the software development, internationalization, and release management teams for the FileMaker Pro line. In contrast to Le's limited experience at Claris, Marcek joined the Apple Computer software arm in 1987 as the FileMaker product-development manager. Prior to that, Marcek was a member of Apple's Advanced Technology Group where he was responsible for researching information systems.
"FileMaker, Inc. plans to grow by expanding the power of our product line while maintaining our legendary ease of use. Chung and Steve, with their intimate insight into database technologies of today and tomorrow, will be key leaders in our mission to create the best solutions for customers from small offices to enterprise," said Dominique Goupil, FileMaker, Inc. president, in a statement.
Claris - FileMaker Information
Monday, February 9th
Lack Of Sub-$1,000 Mac "Concerns" Apple Euro
[6:05PM] Like executives here in the U.S., managers for Apple Computer's European division are well aware of the need for sub-$1,000, entry-level machines, and are concerned over the absent of a Macintosh in a market that now represents at least 40 percent of all computer sales. "We are concerned about Apple not having a sub $1,200 product. Today, to buy a Macintosh you need to spend at least $1,500," European manager Diego Piacentini said in an interview with Reuters on Monday. "We are concerned because 40 to 50 percent of the market is there (below $1,200)," he added. "This is what we need to go back into revenue." But Piacentini declined to give details on how the company might do that, but did say that Apple has no intentions of licensing another manufacturer's design. Recent speculation has pointed to a sub-$1,000, all-in-one, G3-based Mac arriving here this summer.
Meanwhile, Reuters reported today as well that the Apple Store, the company's burgeoning online storefront will go live in Great Britain sometime this summer.
Reuters Article - Apple Computer Europe
CompuServe Sheds 500 Jobs, New "C" Service
[5:20PM] One week after officially becoming a unit of America Online, CompuServe today laid out a company wide restructuring plan that will cut 500 jobs and return focus to its core online service. As part of the process, the company will "suspend" development of its Web-based "C" service, which was rolled out just over a month ago, and use most of the completed work in its flagship service, as well as in the development of its next-generation software client, CompuServe 5.0. In addition, CompuServe's SPRYNET unit, a nationwide Internet service provider, will be put under review as the company evaluates all possible strategic alternative for the business. And finally, in hopes of operating its service more efficiently, CompuServe's work force will be streamlined by 500 jobs.
CompuServe - America Online
Two More Microsoft Mac Applications Coming
[3:30PM] As Microsoft prepares for the imminent release of its highly-anticipated Microsoft Office 98: Macintosh Edition (Ric Ford's MacInTouch Web site cited a February 20th release date this morning), today's edition of the Sydney Morning Herald reports that the software giant has two more Mac applications in the pipeline. Outlook 98, the full-scale sibling of the currently available Outlook Express email client, and FoxPro 98 are due in late May or early July, the paper says.
Morning Herald Article - Microsoft - MacInTouch
MessagePad Nominated For Mobility Award
[2:45PM] The list of nominees for the fourth annual Mobility Awards was released today, and though the field was largely dominated by PC-related products and peripherals, Apple Computer's MessagePad 2100 came away with a nomination in the personal digital assistant (PDA) category. Nominees for the awards, which recognize the top products and services in mobile computing and data communications, were selected by a panel of industry analysts and members of the press. Winners will be announced on Tuesday, March 3rd at a Microsoft-sponsored banquet during the Mobile Insights '98 conference at the Ritz-Carlton Huntington Hotel in Pasadena, California.
Mobile Insights - MessagePad 2100 Information
AOL To Hike Unlimited Usage Prices In April
[1:40PM] America Online is finding that having 11 million members is no cheap task. The world's largest online service said today that, beginning in April, pricing for its unlimited use plan, now at $20 a month, will be increased by $2, in order to keep pace with the increased usage by its members. The extra revenue gained from the marginal price hike will also be used to fund continued improvements of the online experience for its members, the company said. "Each additional minute our members spend online adds to our cost of delivering unlimited use service," said Steve Case, chairman and chief executive officer of AOL, in a statement. "Revenues from advertising, commerce and other sources continue to grow as anticipated, but they are not yet able to cover the growth in member usage. The price increase will help cover these costs and fund continued investments in network access, customer support, programming and technological innovation."
SGI's NT Machines Coming In 2nd Half Of '98
[1:00PM] The first signs of Silicon Graphics' semi-migration to Windows NT will arrive in the second half of the year, a senior executive at the company told Reuters today. A staunch UNIX supporter since its inception, SGI says the move will help facilitate lower-costs machines, something that has been a problem for the company whose systems, even its new, lower-end O2 line, have often been sold at a premium. However, according to Bob Bishop, chairman of SGI's non-U.S. manufacturing division, the Mountain View Calif.-based company will not abandon its traditional UNIX roots. "We believe the world will be a hybrid of Unix and NT for some time to come," Bishop said. "Our intention is to be very focused and very strong in the technical market place, which is where we came from and where our roots are."
Reuters Article - Silicon Graphics
XML Standard Decision Could Come Tomorrow
[11:05AM] World Wide Web Consortium (W3C) director Tim Berners-Lee is expected make an announcement as early as Tuesday on whether XML, or eXtensible Markup Language, will become a Web standard, NEWS.COM reported late last week. Many companies have been strong proponents of the HTML relative, including Microsoft and Adobe Systems, as the language allows data to be organized in a much more efficient manner than is possible using today's Web technologies. But if XML is to become an adopted standard, it will be up to Berners-Lee, who is credited with inventing the Web's underpinnings in the early 1990's. Because the voting is not binding, even if the W3C committee approves the specification, Berners-Lee must still sign off on the proposal before it becomes officially sanctioned.
NEWS.COM Article - W3C
DEC Licenses Alpha Architecture To Samsung
[10:40AM] Digital Equipment today expanded its previously instituted partnership with Samsung Electronics by granting Samsung an architectural license to its high-powered Alpha microprocessor. Under the agreement, in which financial terms were not disclosed, Samsung will gain access to all Alpha intellectual property, including patents, and future implementations, allowing the company to make its own version of the processor for specific markets. And to handle the marketing and sales of Alpha chips, Samsung said it will set up a new subsidiary that will work under Digital's marketing and technical support guidance.
"Samsung already has developed very fast versions of the 21164 and 21264 Alpha microprocessors through current implementation licenses with Digital," said Dr. Daeje Chin, executive vice president and CEO of Samsung's System LSI Division, in a statement, referring to the companies' 1996 agreement to develop and support a high-volume market for Alpha-based products. "We now have access to Digital's future generation Alpha designs as well as the freedom to build successive generations of cutting-edge Alpha products to serve a broader customer base."
Digital Equipment - Samsung Electronics
ClearWay Announces Web Archer Promotion
[10:10AM] Through the end of February, ClearWay Technologies will be offering a special promotion on its desktop search software, the company said today. When customers purchase Web Archer at its full $29.95 price tag, an additional copy will be offered at half price. Free 30-day demos of Web Archer, which is available for both Windows 95/NT and Macintosh machines, can be downloaded from ClearWay's homepage.
Corel's Cowpland Optimistic Of Turnaround
[8:55AM] With a dismal financial year now behind it, -- one which included the public collapse of a large-scale Java effort -- struggling Canadian software maker Corel Corp. is now hoping a stream of new products can reverse its flagging fortunes. After losing $232 million in 1997, chief executive officer Michael Cowpland expects a turnaround in 1997 to be led by a new wave of products, including a new Macintosh version of its Corel Draw graphics suite and a low-cost appliance for accessing the Internet. "Everything is beginning to come together this year," Cowpland told Reuters last week. "Last year was a year where we spent a lot of time developing products and now we're beginning to roll them out."
Corel Draw, a dominant force in the PC software world (Cowpland estimates that Corel holds 75 percent of the Wintel graphics market), debuted to a fairly unreceptive Macintosh world last year, despite receiving generally decent reviews from the press. Corel is hoping a feature-packed version 8, due for release in April or May, will have what it takes to make inroads on Mac market leaders, such as Adobe and Macromedia.
Reuters Article - Corel
Friday, February 6th
Avid Reports Record Q4 Revenue, Income
[2:00PM] Avid Technology, a leading provider of digital audio and video tools for the Macintosh, reported yesterday record revenue of $123.7 million in its just completed fourth quarter. Sales increased 9.3 percent over 1996's level of $113.2 million, while net income rose to new heights as well, jumping to $9.3 million, compared with a loss of $4.8 million in the year ago period. For the year ended December 31st, the Tewksbury, Mass.-based company recorded revenues of $471.3 million versus $429 million in the prior year, where as income totaled $26.4 million, compared with a loss of $38 million in 1996. Results in that year, however, were adversely affected by a number of pretax charges, including restructuring costs, product transition costs, and the company's decision not to release the Avid Media Spectrum line.
"The strong revenues reflected favorable demand for our film and video products both domestically and in Europe and included revenues from our new product releases, AvidNews and MediaShare F/C," said William J. Million, Avid's chairman and chief executive officer, in a statement. "Our audio products also experienced a record revenue quarter due to the recent release of Pro Tools 24. During the quarter, we continued to improve gross margin and operating income."
ITU Committee OK's 56K Modem Standard
[12:50PM] A 56Kbps modem standard that will bridge the gap between the two competing and incompatible 56K modem specifications -- 3Com's x2 and the K56flex protocol endorsed by Rockwell International and Lucent Technologies -- was completed this week by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU), an arm of the United Nations, at a conference in Geneva, Switzerland. The companies involved say the technical aspects of the "determined" standard, known officially as V.pcm, are frozen, although there may be subsequent editorial changes. Still, it won't be until September 1998 until this week's determined standard becomes officially ratified by the committee. That won't slow modem manufacturers, who pledged commitment to begin shipping compatible modems by March, with software upgrades for existing 56K modems arriving even sooner.
3Com - Lucent - Rockwell - ITU
Insignia Finalizes $17.5 Mln. NTRIGUE Sale
[11:20AM] Insignia Solutions and Citrix Systems today sewed up a previously announced agreement under which Insignia dealt its NTRIGUE technology to Citrix for $17.5 million. In the arrangement, Citrix acquired Insignia's X-11 technology, Keoke technology, Macintosh and UNIX ICA client, and all NTRIGUE modifications and enhancements to WinFrame. For Insignia, the sale will allow them to return focus on its core product line, which includes several emulation packages for the Macintosh and UNIX. "With the completion of the agreement and the transition of the NTRIGUE development staff to Citrix, Insignia is focusing on its core competencies in providing virtual machine/emulation technology in the form of SoftWindows for both the Macintosh and UNIX workstations, RealPC for the Macintosh marketplace, and our recently announced plans for a Java Virtual Machine and development tools targeted at the embedded systems market," said Richard M. Noling, Insignia's president and CEO, in a statement.
Insignia Solutions - Citrix Systems
FileMaker's Existence Begins With Promotion
[9:40AM] In an effort to drive sales of its FileMaker Pro database line, FileMaker, Inc., the Apple Computer subsidiary formerly known as Claris, today announced a new retail promotional program. During the "Work Like A Pro" promo, which runs through March 31st, customers purchasing FileMaker Pro 4.0 at one of four participating retailers (CompUSA, Computer City, Micro Center, and Fry's Electronics) will be eligible for a gift, such as a stainless coffee tumbler valued at $30. The offer requires proof of purchase, $5 for shipping and handling, and a valid gift coupon available at each store, the company said. Advertising, in-store displays, offer coupon pads and other promotional materials will be used by FileMaker to support the program.
"Our focus on growing sales of FileMaker Pro is more intense than ever," said Valorie Cook Carpenter, vice president of marketing for FileMaker, Inc., in a statement "The retail promotion will increase the visibility of the product where our customers shop most frequently, as well as acknowledge them with a meaningful thank-you gift they can use each day -- just as often as they use FileMaker Pro."
FileMaker Pro Information - Claris
Thursday, February 5th
Bozell Awarded SyQuest Advertising Account
[5:25PM] To complement its newly re-energized marketing image, SyQuest Technology today named the Silicon Valley arm of Bozell Worldwide as its global advertising account holder. "SyQuest has built a reputation for developing products that our customers can depend on," said Gary Marks, executive VP of marketing for SyQuest. "We selected Bozell because of its successful track record in expanding brand and product recognition as well as its expertise in the consumer technology sector."
SyQuest Technology - Bozell Worldwide
Windows CE To Drive Sega's "Katana" Console
[2:30PM] Microsoft will build the software layer for Sega Enterprise's next-generation video game system, Sega officials finally acknowledged this week after months of rumors. As trade magazines have reported in the past, the operating system will be a derivative of Microsoft's Windows CE, which over the course of its lifespan, has been planted in hand-held computers, automobiles, and palm-top devices. The nextgen machine, currently code named "Katana," will be Sega's follow-up to the flopped Saturn, which has all but vanished from the video game scene amidst the success of the Nintendo 64 and Sony CE's PlayStation.
Even though Katana's release is still months away (current estimates point to a U.S. launch in the fall of 1999), the project has been garnering controversy even in its developmental stage. According to reports, Sega and 3Dfx Interactive, maker of the popular Voodoo chip set, had a contract that called for 3Dfx to build the 3D sub-system of Katana. Last summer, however, Sega backed out and instead contracted NEC, whose PowerVR 3D technology will now be the basis of the high-powered machine.
Sega - Microsoft - 3Dfx - NEC
Microsoft Edges Netscape In Japan, Report Says
[12:55PM] For the first time, Microsoft's Internet Explorer has toppled Netscape's Navigator in Japan, taking a 53 percent share of the browser market, research firm Dataquest said today. The report, compiled during the week of December 21st, was based on traffic logs from major Japanese Web sites such as Yahoo Japan and ZDNet Japan. Interestingly though, while 66 percent of Windows have switched over to the Microsoft browser, 95 percent of Macintosh users have stuck with Navigator, the report said.
Dataquest - Microsoft - Netscape Communications
Newer Adds Low Cost Cards To Upgrade Line
[11:35AM] Newer Technology added to its MAXpowr G3 PowerPC 750-based upgrade line today with new cards in the low-to-mid price range, including offerings aimed at entry-level Macintosh clones. Owners of Power Computing's PowerBase machines as well as the Umax C500 and C600 series can now reap the benefits of the G3 processor with the MAXpowr Pbase and MAXpowr C-series. Both cards are priced at $700 and feature a 220-MHz PowerPC 750 and 512K of backside cache, which operates in a 2:1 ratio with the processor. For a wider range of Macs, Newer also has the MAXpowr 220, an exact twin of the Pbase and C-series, and the MAXpowr 266. The latter, which is priced at $1,050, uses a 266-MHz PowerPC 750 and 512K of backside cache running on a cache bus of 133-MHz. Wichita, Kas.-based Newer says that MAXpowr 220 and 266 will begin shipping later this week, while the solutions for the PowerBase and Umax C-series will not be available until next month.
"With the addition of these products, customers for the first time will be able to boost CPU performance on most upgradeable systems, from the Power Mac 6100 on up, at an affordable price, without having to sacrifice quality," said James P. Wiebe, chief executive and president of Newer, in a statement. "We have delivered exactly what Macintosh users have been asking for all along -- choice across the entire price/performance spectrum."
Microsoft, DirecTV Satellite Partnership Withers
[10:30AM] A partnership between Microsoft and DirecTV that would have enabled television channels to be broadcast alongside Web content has apparently fallen apart. Citing a report in Satellite Direct magazine, InfoWorld says that the Hughes Electronics satellite division will develop the DirecTV Interactive system on its own. The company expects to have the product ready for launch next year, and DirecTV officials say, in spite of the failed alliance, they will provide Microsoft with its development plans so the system can be compatible with Windows 98.
InfoWorld Article - DirecTV - Microsoft
Report: Netscape In Talks With Industry Giants
[9:35AM] Netscape Communications is in talks to sell some or all of its assets to a number of suitors, including America Online, IBM, Oracle, and Sun Microsystems, the Wall Street Journal reported in Thursday morning's edition. Speculation over the past few days of a buy out by Sun jolted shares of Netscape, helping the stock bounce off the 52-week low it recently hit, although most analysts dismissed the rumors as typical gossip. But the Journal, citing individuals familiar with the situation, reports the companies are in fact having discussions, even though no deal is believed to be imminent with any of the players. And as far as which of Netscape's assets the parties are reportedly interested in, the article only said that AOL has discussed taking over or buying Netscape's Netcenter Web site.
Netscape Communications - Wall Street Journal
Apple Takes On Intel In New Commercial
[9:10AM] After revitalizing its corporate image last September with the initial "Think Different" television campaign, Apple Computer is now seemingly set on promoting its actual product line, or specifically, the advantages its lineup has over the competition. In its new hard-hitting television ad, which debuted during ABC's prime time line-up last night, Apple draws a comparison between the Power Macintosh G3 machines and Intel's Pentium II processor. As the commercial begins, viewers see a snail, affixed with a Pentium II cartridge, slowly slithering across the screen. A narrator, whose voice comes by way of actor Richard Dreyfus once again, pipes in, "Some people think the Pentium II is the fastest processor in the world... Not quite." A fly-by of a Power Mac then is shown, with Dreyfus continuing, "The chip inside every new Power Macintosh G3 is up to twice as fast."
Commercial (QuickTime) - Apple Computer
Wednesday, February 4th
Netscape Shares Jump On Buyout Rumors
[5:25PM] Shares of Netscape Communications jumped by as much as 13.4 percent in today's trading, as rumors of a potential buyout by Sun Microsystems circulated. The browser company has been the subject of dozens of buyout rumors since going public in August of 1995, and an earnings disappointment in its most recent quarter has sparked speculation once again. Like in the past, however, most analysts believe nothing will come of this latest round of gossip. "There has been a tremendous amount of market speculation about these guys," Bill Burnham, senior research analyst at Piper Jaffray, told TechWeb. "But I think it's more speculation than truth. A lot of this is people just spinning tales, although I don't think anybody would be surprised."
TechWeb Article - Netscape Communications
"Merced" To Get Java Fix Courtesy Of HP
[4:05PM] Hewlett-Packard will port Sun Microsystems' Java to the upcoming IA-64 platform and expand the IA-64 jump-start advantage program to include such Java Internet developers as Ariba and WebLogic, the company announced today. IA-64, more often known by the codename of the platform's first scheduled chip "Merced," will be the basis of future HP systems, and by pledging support for the Sun-developed environment themselves, HP said it hopes to ensure Java application availability. And as part of the jump-start program, HP will establish a porting and testing facility for Java developers within its partners' lab to ensure optimum performance with full Java compliance for developers' applications.
Hewlett-Packard - Sun Microsystems
Price Tags Tumble On Select Apple Machines
[3:10PM] This week Apple Computer quietly trimmed prices on select segments of its notebook line, as well its consumer series. The PowerBook 1400, introduced in October 1996, saw the deepest cuts, with the top-of-the-line, 166-MHz PowerPC 603e machine with an 11.3-inch active-matrix display having been reduced to $1,999 from $2,999. The variation with a dual-scan display was lowered to $1,749 from $2,299, while the model featuring a 133-MHz processor was dropped to $1,899 from $2,699. Pricing on the company's sub-notebook model, the PowerBook 2400, was also cut for the second time since its debut last August. The 4.4 pound, 180-MHz unit, co-developed with IBM, is now tagged at $1,999, down from $2,499.
The company's Power Macintosh 6500 consumer line, which also is powered by the PowerPC 603e, was cut across the board as well, although all prices still remain above the elusive $1,000 barrier, even for the lowest-end machine, the 6500/225, which was modestly dropped to $1,299 from $1,599. The rest of the family saw deeper cuts, however. The 6500/250 was lowered to $1,499 from $1,999, while the 6500/275 is now priced at $1,799, down from $2,499. Finally, the line's high-end machine, the 6500/300, was cut $700 to $2,299, although its still priced above the higher-performing Power Mac G3/233 desktop model. The G3, however, does not include as big a hard drive, or modem.
eMate Package Nominated For Codie Award
[12:45PM] Knowledge Revolution's eProbe, a portable science laboratory package for Apple Computer's eMate 300, has been nominated for a Codie Award in the "Best Education Software Program" category. With eProbe, students can collect and visually analyze complex scientific data in the lab, the classroom or in field settings, Knowledge says. Using a variety of probes, they can also investigate a range of science problems, including temperature, pH, barometric pressure, and dissolved oxygen. The annual Codie awards, or the Software Publishers Association's (SPA) Excellence in Software Awards as they're officially known, recognize the best software products of the year. This year's winners will be announced on March 23rd at a Washington, D.C., luncheon.
Knowledge Revolution - eMate Information
Macromedia Readying Entertainment Site
[11:50AM] Macromedia is planning the rollout of a new consumer-oriented entertainment site, containing exclusive content from Sony Pictures, Disney, and United Media, among others, a report said earlier this week. Dubbed "Shockrave," the free site is expected to launch on February 18th, NEWS.COM said, and will feature games, cartoons, and music, all showcasing Macromedia's Shockwave technology. SegaSoft and Broderbund will provide content as well, along with Sony's Columbia TriStar Interactive unit, the report said. The Macromedia-registered shockrave.com domain name is currently password protected.
NEWS.COM Article - Macromedia - Shockrave
Purchaser Of Exponential Patents Uncovered
[11:15AM] Exponential Technology's collection of 45 valuable patents were sold to S3, Inc. in last summer's private auction, NEWS.COM revealed today. Citing sources inside and close to the graphics chipmaker, the online publication reported that S3 spent between $5 to $10 million on the patents (yet took a $17 million charge in its most recent quarter), outbidding Intel, Advanced Micro Devices, and Cirrus, who also participated in the August auction. Exponential's portfolio of patents, which detail a 64-bit microprocessor that can read both RISC and CISC instruction sets, plays a key role in the next-generation semiconductor market, in large part because of the similarities between the design and Intel and Hewlett-Packard's "Merced" chip, which is also covered under U.S. patents.
Because Exponential was the first to file their design, its patents can theoretically supersede Intel's patents, as part of the "prior art" coverage, putting the new owner, S3, in potentially lucrative position. They could conceivable build their own chip from the design or use the patents as bait for a financial windfall with Intel.
NEWS.COM Article - S3, Inc.
De Luca Joins Logitech As President, CEO
[10:20AM] Guerrino De Luca, Apple Computer's former executive vice president of worldwide marketing, has joined peripheral vendor Logitech as president and CEO, the company announced today. The 45-year-old De Luca, who was routinely regarded as one of the Macintosh industry's most well respected and generally well liked executives, bolted from Apple in mid-September, just one day after Steve Jobs was given his interim leadership title at the company. De Luca also spent time as president and CEO of Claris, playing a major role in the company's early success. He was brought into the Apple fold during Gil Amelio's tenure, but lasted only two months after last summer's executive shakeup.
Of his new position at Fremont, Calif.-based Logitech, De Luca said in a statement, "I'm very excited about joining a market leader, whose products are used by millions of people every day. The upcoming months hold significant opportunity in both existing and new markets, and I look forward to addressing the challenges of today's fast-paced and highly competitive environment as we move to seize these opportunities."
Logitech - Apple Computer
IBM Demos World's First 1,000-MHz Processor
[9:45AM] As a prelude to a major semiconductor conference later this week, IBM demonstrated today the world's first experimental CMOS microprocessor that can operate at one billion cycles per second (1,000-MHz or 1-GHz). The breakthrough project, which was designed by a team of 15 engineers at IBM's Austin Research Labs, puts IBM in a prime position to produce the first commercial chip of such clock speeds. "With this demonstration, we believe it is possible to design 1,000-MHz products," said Mark Dean, IBM Fellow and director of the Austin Research Lab, in a statement. "Equally significant is the fact that we've developed the tools and insight that will be necessary to push this technology to even greater performance levels."
Big Blue also released several, albeit scant, technical details about the project. The chip, which IBM says can sustain clock speeds of up to 1,100-MHz, contains one million transistors and was built using the company's exisiting 0.25-micro CMOS 6X technology. The recently introduced copper chip technology was not utilized in the project, IBM said, but the company maintains that it will eventually apply the microarchitecture, circuits, and testing techniques that resulted in future microprocessors.
IBM confirmed, as well, that it will be presenting two related microprocessor papers at the annual International Solid State Circuit Conference in San Francisco this week. One describes a commercial multi-threaded RISC processor demonstrating IBM's ability to use microarchitecture technology in a commercial application, while the other maps IBM's first use of copper technology on a desktop-level with the PowerPC 750 processor.
IBM - IBM Research
Jobs' Employee Address Proves Uneventful
[8:40AM] A company-wide employee meeting, rumored to contain untold details of Apple Computer's strategy going forward, proved to be an uneventful address by interim chief executive Steve Jobs, a report in MacWEEK said. In his talk with Apple's worldwide staff yesterday morning, Jobs, however, did cover a wide range of topics, from sales and marketing to the introduction of new products. The company's next big product push will take place in March, Jobs said, while a new television advertising campaign will begin airing later this week. In addition, Jobs reportedly mentioned a new top-of-the-line PowerBook, as well as a change in the company's overall laptop strategy. Apple will apparently narrow the portable line down to one basic model that will be available in various configurations. Lastly, as a hint of what is to come, Jobs said the fall season will mark a major invasion into the home and education markets.
MacWEEK Article - Apple Computer
Tuesday, February 3rd
MetroWerks Revs "CodeWarrior For Palm OS"
[4:45PM] Programming tool vendor Metrowerks said today it began shipping Release 4 of CodeWarrior for Palm OS, the latest version of its development suite for the Palm Computing platform. Available for hosting on Windows 95/NT and Macintosh machines, Release 4 features a number of improvements, including first-time support for C++, increased support for stand-alone code resources and multi-segment applications, and an improved version of the Windows-hosted Constructor for Palm OS. The revision also adds a debugger console, which allows users to communicate with the target device. Release 4 is priced at $369, and is currently available from Metrowerks, 3Com, and Metrowerks authorized resellers. An academic version is also available for $119.
Metrowerks - Palm Computing
Lycos Spends $58 Million In Tripod Buyout
[12:45PM] Privately held Tripod, an online community whose "Free Homepage Builder" has attracted over 1.6 million personal pages, was acquired today by search engine Lycos in a stock deal worth approximately $58 million. Lycos says the acquisition will create a "new generation" online service, one which will become the fifth most visited Web site with an estimated 24 percent reach. "The unbeatable combination of Lycos and Tripod symbolizes the strategic evolution of the Web. Overnight, the unification of two great companies moves us to the very forefront of this industry," said Bob Davis, CEO of Lycos, in statement. "This powerful user destination model will greatly benefit members, advertisers and commerce partners like no other media network on the Web."
Under the terms of the deal, Williamstown, MA.-based Tripod will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Lycos with Bo Peabody remaining as chief executive of Tripod. In addition, Dick Sabot, who co-founded Tripod with Peabody and is now chairman of the company, will assume a seat on Lycos' board of directors.
Lycos - Tripod
Diamond's Family Of Modems Enter Best Buy
[12:15PM] Beginning today, Diamond Multimedia Systems' family of SupraExress 56K modems will be offered in all of Best Buy's 284 retail locations in the United States, the companies said. Specific products include the Supra Express 56i internal and the SupraExpress 56i SP (internal with full-duplex speakerphone), as well as external models for both the PC and the Macintosh.
Diamond Multimedia - Best Buy
Fuji Touts New Lightweight Digital Camera
[11:25AM] At next week's Photo Marketing Association (PMA) show in New Orleans, Fuji Photo Film U.S.A. will be introducing its new Fujifilm MX-700 digital camera. The 10-ounce camera features a Fuji-designed .556-inch CCD with 1.5 million square pixels that supports up to a 1,280 x 1,024 resolution, as well as an Autofocus TV-Fujinon lens with macro capabilities, which ensures a high standard for image quality, Fuji says. In addition, the MX-700 is equipped with a large 2-inch Poly Silicon LCD monitor that reduces glare, making it ideally suited for better indoor and outdoor shooting. Connectivity cables for both Windows and Macintosh machines will be provided with the camera, as will a copy of Adobe Photo Deluxe 2.0. Fuji failed to comment on specific pricing, however, saying only that the new camera will be priced appropriately for the consumer market.
Fuji Photo Film U.S.A.
IBM To Detail Next-Generation PowerPC Plans
[10:35AM] The race toward the semiconductor industry's mystical 1,000-MHz microprocessor barrier will heat up this week as IBM furnishes the public details of a 1-GHz (gigahertz) PowerPC processor. Plans for the chip will come at this week's International Solid State Circuits Conference in San Francisco, only days after Digital Equipment discussed details for a new version of its 64-bit Alpha processor that will break the 1,000-MHz barrier by the year 2000. And not to be outdone by either IBM or DEC, Intel is expected to contend that its "Merced" project, which is being developed in part with Hewlett-Packard, will reach the 1-GHz mark shortly after the initial designs ship in 1999.
Meanwhile, in regards to products which actually have a better chance of shipping before the new millennium, Big Blue will also sketch details at the conference for a 500-MHz PowerPC 750 (G3) processor, the first chip design that will make use of the company's breakthrough copper wiring technology.
IBM - Digital - Intel
Aldus, Visio Co-Founder Joins Extensis Board
[9:40AM] Jeremy A. Jaech, one of the founding fathers of Aldus Corp., the "PageMaker" company who was so instrumental in the early success of the Macintosh, has joined the board of directors at Extensis Corp., the company announced today. "As an innovative leader in the graphics and visual software industry, Mr. Jaech brings a wealth of talent, experience and vision to Extensis," said Craig Barnes, president and CEO of Extensis, in a statement. "With a proven track record building successful software companies, Mr. Jaech's contributions will be invaluable as we continue our course of providing leading-edge technologies to creative professionals." Jaech now spends time as president and CEO at Visio Corp., a leading supplier of enterprise wide business diagramming and technical drawing software that he co-founded as well.
Extensis - Visio
Apple's Annual Shareholder Meeting Postponed
[9:05AM] Apple Computer's annual shareholder meeting at its headquarters in Cupertino, California, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed. The company failed to give reason for the cancellation, although an Apple spokeswoman said a newly rescheduled date should be publicly announced shortly. "We expect to have a date nailed down within the next few days. We haven't finalized the proxy," Apple spokeswoman Nancy Paxton told wire service Bloomberg News, referring to a proxy statement that was filed in its preliminary stage on December 5th.
Bloomberg Article - Apple Computer
Monday, February 2nd
Six Months Pass, But Intel Gets Its Chips
[4:35PM] Two weeks after winning approval from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), Intel formally brought a close to its $420 million acquisition of Chips & Technologies last Friday, the companies announced earlier today. Originally announced in July of this past year, the merger will make Chips, who is the largest vendor of graphics chips for notebooks, a wholly owned subsidiary of Intel, part of the company's Graphics Component Division. As many will recall, Apple Computer's entire PowerBook line utilizes Chips' graphics technology.
Intel - Chips & Technologies
Connectix Emulator Gains Native 3Dfx Support
[3:45PM] The unfilled promise of top-notch PC gaming performance under a Macintosh emulator may become a reality shortly, as TechWorks and Connectix jointly announced today that the forthcoming Virtual PC 2.0 will include native support for 3Dfx chipsets. The technical feat will allow Mac gamers with TechWorks' Power3D graphics accelerator card to play 3Dfx-enabled titles, of which the majority of PC games are these days. And because the video card will be doing what it does best (handling 3D routines and calculations), chances are that performance will be at least in the neighborhood of a true PC. "The partnership between Connectix and TechWorks opens up the world of PC gaming to Mac users," said Roy McDonald, president and CEO of Connectix, in a statement. "The Power3D card and Virtual PC 2.0 turn the Mac into a true gaming machine."
Virtual PC 2.0 will be available later this month, starting at $49 for a DOS edition. A version pre-installed with Windows 95 will be priced at $149. Meanwhile, TechWorks also said today that it will be releasing a PC version of the Power3D this month.
Connectix - TechWorks
Qualcomm Licenses Palm Computing Platform
[2:25PM] Ironically, just as speculation predicting the imminent demise of Apple Computer's Newton division rears its head again, Palm Computing struck a significant licensing deal with Qualcomm today that will plant portions of the Palm platform into Qualcomm's next-generation CDMA wireless communication products. Under the alliance, Qualcomm will use components of the Palm Computing platform to develop a new class of wireless products that will facilitate the use of data applications, e-mail, and the Internet in wireless computing environments, the companies said. "We selected the Palm Computing platform because of its tremendous success in the marketplace with its intuitive user interface and open architecture," said Dr. Paul E. Jacobs, president of Qualcomm's Subscriber Products Division, in a statement. "We are pleased to work with Palm Computing to create a whole new class of products and usher in a new era of wireless access."
Even though the 3Com unit entered the PDA market several years after the Newton first arrived, the Palm Computing platform, which mostly entails the company's PalmPilot, has managed to sell over 1 million units, making it the fastest-adopted computing platform in the industry's history. Further, a recent Dataquest report showed the Palm platform to have a 66 percent share of the handheld market, despite it limited capabilities.
Palm Computing - Qualcomm
Intellihance Upgrade Boosts Software Support
[12:45PM] Extensis Corporation today released an upgrade to its imaging enhancement plug-in, Intellihance. Version 3.0.2 of the software, now available from the company's Web site, features additional support for Adobe Photo Deluxe 2.0, adding to the product's prior compatibility with Adobe Photoshop and Live Picture. In the Windows edition, the update now allows for functionality with Corel Photo-Paint 8.0.
Extensis - Intellihance Information
Former Netscape, NeXT Exec Joins Active Board
[12:15PM] Todd Rulon-Miller, former senior vice president worldwide sales, support and professional services of Netscape Communications Corporation has joined the board of directors at Active Software, a leading provider of packaged integration software. "Todd will be instrumental in guiding Active through continued high-growth," said Jim Green, chairman and chief executive officer of Active, in a statement. "As the key architect of Netscape's worldwide sales operations and record-breaking revenue growth, Todd is a proven leader in the industry and we are thrilled to have him involved." Rulon-Miller, a 23-year industry veteran, spent six years as vice president of North American Operations at NeXT prior to his stint at Netscape.
MetaCreations Readying Project Code "Show"
[11:20PM] Adding to its budding line of consumer digital imaging products, MetaCreations today announced the imminent arrival of Project Code "Show," a new home photo and business presentation software player for Windows and Macintosh machines. With Show, home and business users will have the ability to easily and quickly create multimedia photo shows and enhance existing presentations. Projects could then be liven up with real-time TV-like transitions and animated placements of digital photos, artwork, and video clips, all of which will be accessible through a simple yet sophisticated interface, reminiscent of other MetaCreations software. In addition, the product will allow completed work to be shared via a standard computer display, projector, stand-alone player, printer, or videotape.
When it arrives this spring, Show will be priced at $49.95, complementing MetaCreations' consumer trilogy of Kai's Power Goo, Kai's Photo Soap, and Art Dabbler (formerly Dabbler).
Apple Addresses Change In Retail Strategy
[10:25PM] Classifying it as a change in the buying experience for customers, Apple Computer today confirmed that its products will be phased out in Best Buy, Circuit City, Computer City, Office Max, and Sears, while the company focuses exclusively on its national retail efforts with CompUSA. The retail computer superstore will become the Apple headquarters for America, as CompUSA's president and CEO Jim Halpin classified it, putting to rest the retail group often known for their notoriously dismal Macintosh efforts. On the other hand, even in its early stages, Apple's relationship has already been a boon for both companies. Since the Apple "store within a store" environments launched on November 4th, the percentage of Macintosh sales to total PC sales at CompUSA increased from 3 percent to 14 percent.
"We set out on a national level to create a full selection of Apple hardware, software and peripherals all in one place," said Mitch Mandich, senior vice president of the Americas at Apple, in a statement. "Our customers have responded enthusiastically to this new format as shown by the huge Mac sales we've had at CompUSA since the launch of the 'store within a store.'"
Addressing Apple's relationship with the retail stores it severed ties with, Mandich said, "These have been very important business relationships but we believe it's an important time to move away from them." "This does not represent a retreat from retail, but instead a redefinition of what the retail buying experience will be for our customers," Mandich added.
Apple Computer - CompUSA