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January, 1998 Archive


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.

Active Software

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).

MetaCreations

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


Friday, January 30th
Apple Out, Compaq In At Canon Sales' Stores
[6:15PM] Continuing this week's edition of retail musical chairs, Japanese retail chain Canon Sales said today that it has signed a sales and marketing agreement with Compaq Computer under which Compaq will become the exclusive U.S. personal computer provider at Canon's stores. The partnership will kick off this spring with a new line of Compaq Presario machines, the companies said, noting also that Canon will obtain exclusive rights to the new series. In the midst of this agreement, however, the odd player out is Apple Computer, who was Canon's exclusive provider, prior to today's news. Executives at Canon said the partnership shift was made in part because of trailing Macintosh sales. Macs accounted for about 60 percent of Canon Sales' total PC sales in 1996, but declined to less than 50 percent in 1997, officials said.

Earlier this week, Apple parted ways with retail giant Best Buy, while Compaq inked an exclusive deal with RadioShack, displacing arch-rival IBM as the store's sole PC vendor.

Compaq Computer - Apple Computer

Macromedia Surprises With Small Profit
[3:15PM] San Francisco, Calif.-based Macromedia yesterday reported a surprise pre-charge profit of $407,000, or 1 cent per share, for its third quarter, beating analysts' estimates of a loss of 6 cents per share. But when factoring in charges related to the acquisition of Solis, however, the company actually reported a loss $7.2 million, or 19 cents per share, compared with a loss of $2.3 million in the prior year. Revenues for the quarter ended December 31st were down marginally to $26 million, compared to $28 million in the same period a year ago, largely because of the company's delayed introduction of FreeHand 8, a major upgrade to its design and illustration package now scheduled to ship in March. In addition, the company noted the increase in Wintel-related sales. Compared to a year ago, Windows and cross-platform product sales increased 38 percent during the quarter, representing 58 percent of total revenue.

"We are making solid progress as we transform Macromedia to a webcentric company," said Rob Burgess, president and chief executive officer of Macromedia, in a statement. "We remain focused on generating top-line revenue growth through the introduction of new products and services and revenue streams that leverage our core franchises."

Macromedia

QuickTime 3.0 Honored By Showcase Audience
[1:00PM] The latest version of Apple Computer's multimedia software engine, QuickTime 3.0, was a recipient of one of five People's Choice Awards at this week's Internet Showcase '98 in San Diego. The awards, which are given to the companies that gave the best overall product demonstrations in front of an influential audience of media, analysts, and investors, also recognized General Magic's Serengeti, Homestead, Aeneid's IRA, and Audio Highway's Listen Up Player. Of the winners, conference host David Coursey said, "All of the participants at Showcase '98 have worked hard and they all have products that will shape the way we do business on the Internet in the next year."

Internet Showcase - Apple Computer

Continuing Losses Narrow In Insignia's Q4
[11:40AM] Despite an 8 percent drop in revenues, Insignia Solutions ended its fiscal fourth quarter of 1997 with considerably lower losses, the company announced yesterday. The Santa Clara, Calif.-based emulation software vendor, whose best known for its SoftWindows product, reported a $2.7 million net loss for the period ended December 31st, compared with $6.1 million in the year ago quarter. Revenues, which were grossly affected by an 85 percent drop in the company's UNIX business, slipped to $6.6 million, down from $7.2 million in the same quarter last year. Offsetting the adverse performance in the UNIX division were sales of Insignia's Macintosh line of software, which increased by 30 percent, primarily due to a $1.2 million revenue windfall the company received under a distribution agreement with Mitsubishi.

Insignia Solutions


Thursday, January 29th
Revenues Flat In MetaCreations' 4th Quarter
[6:05PM] Revenues for MetaCreations' fiscal fourth quarter of 1997 came in at $16.1 million, flat year over year, as demand for the software company's professional 2D and home photo digital imaging products was sluggish during the holiday buying season, the company said today. Sales were also adversely affected by significantly lower than anticipated OEM and licensing sales. The flat sales hurt the Carpinteria, Calif.-based company's pre-charge net income, which was $1 million for the period ended December 31st, down from $1.7 million in the previous year. MetaCreations declined to comment on net results after acquisition costs, instead saying only that a loss of $8.2 million was posted for fiscal 1997 after non-curring charges.

Demand for Windows and cross platform versions of the company's products represented 78 percent of net revenues in the quarter, up from 56 percent the prior year. Gross profits also increased to 84 percent of net revenue in the quarter and 83 percent for the year, up from 81 percent last year, due to stronger overall OEM sales and operating efficiencies achieved from the consolidation of the Fractal Design and MetaTools operations.

"The company has now completed revising the 1998 operating plan, and the management team is implementing the various tasks. We are also making progress in our search for a new CEO and are optimistic that a successor will be announced within the next 45 days," said Bill Lane, MetaCreations' acting president and chief operating officer, in the quarterly statement.

MetaCreations

Retail Struggles Prompt An "Egghead" Move
[1:35PM] Struggling in recent years as a retail store, veteran software outlet Egghead will take a gamble and become the first national chain store to abandon its physical space in favor of an Internet-based one, the company said yesterday. To make the transition to an e-commerce focused business, Egghead said it will cut over 800 jobs, close its remaining 80 stores, and take a substantial one-time charge of $42 million in its fourth quarter to cover the restructuring. The Spokane, Wash.-based company, whose name will now become "Egghead.com," also anticipates incurring substantial operating losses for at least the next two years as it makes the daring transition. In the meantime, to bolster cash reserves and fund future growth, the company expects to raise additional financing during the next twelve months.

"We have chosen to focus on Internet commerce," said George Orban, chairman and chief executive officer of Egghead, in a statement. "We believe that Egghead's strong brand name and growing base of over one million unique e-mail addresses will be significant assets as we focus on the Internet."

Egghead.com

Big Names Join In Sponsoring XML Conference
[12:50PM] Adobe Systems, Microsoft, Sun Microsystems, and seven other technology companies will join the Graphic Communications Association (GCA) in presenting "XML: The Conference," March 23-27, 1998 at the Westin Hotel in Seattle, Washington. The second annual, three-day event will exclusively focus on how XML (eXtensible Markup Language) can help companies enhance their business applications on the Web.

GCA - Adobe - Microsoft - Sun

Compaq Usurps IBM In RadioShack Deal
[12:25PM] Days after announcing its planned acquisition of Digital Equipment, Compaq returned focus to the consumer market yesterday, winning a deal to become the exclusive provider of personal computers at RadioShack, and, in the process, bumping arch-rival IBM from the store shelves it controlled throughout the greater part of this decade. Similar to Apple Computer and CompUSA's partnership, Compaq will set up a store-within-a-store environment in each of RadioShack's 7,000 retail stores, initially offering three differently configured Presario models, which will be sold through a "good, better, best" approach, much like Apple's online store. Eventually, the companies say, build-to-order machines will be offered.

Compaq - RadioShack - IBM

Roland To Bundle Zip With New Workstation
[11:55AM] Roland Corporation will adopt Iomega's Zip drive as the portable storage solution in its new VS-840 Digital Studio Workstation, marking only the second time a non-computer manufacturer has embraced the popular medium. The VS-840 Workstation, expected to ship later this month, will offer customers a complete 64-track personal digital audio record studio for under $1,400. "The convenience of recording directly to a Zip is a true breakthrough in digital music recording," said Tom Stephenson, digital product manager for Roland. "By including the Zip drive in the new VS-840, our customers have an inexpensive and convenient way to store their songs. Just pop in a Zip, work on a song, take it out and put in another. It's that convenient."

"By including the Zip drive in their new digital recording studio, Roland is continuing to lead the market by offering today's musicians an easy and reliable way to record all of their music tracks," said Mike Lynch, director, at Iomega.

Roland - Iomega

RealNetworks Out With Fourth Quarter Results
[10:50AM] In its first quarter as a publicly traded company, Seattle, Wash.-based RealNetworks, formerly known as Progressive Networks, reported a loss of $2.6 million, on revenues of $10.3 million. Sales for the fourth fiscal quarter of 1997 increased 80 percent year over year, however, losses also mounted sequentially, rising from $1.5 million in the year ago period. "Capping a very successful year, RealNetworks achieved strong growth in the fourth quarter of 1997, led by our introduction and shipment of RealSystem 5.0," said Rob Glaser, chairman and chief executive officer of RealNetworks, in a statement. "RealSystem 5.0 drove rapid adoption of server technology by both our Internet and Intranet customers. On the client side, we saw a 50% increase in player distribution compared to the third quarter 1997."

RealNetworks

Best Buy Bows Out Of Macintosh Market
[9:55AM] Citing intense competition in the PC marketplace, retailer Best Buy will discontinue selling Macintosh machines at its 284 domestic stores once remaining inventory is exhausted, a report from Reuters said yesterday. The Eden Prairie, MN-based retailer said it reached a mutual agreement with Apple Computer to no longer sell Macs as a result of "an ever changing and fiercely competitive PC market, as well as a time of redirection for Apple," a spokeswoman for Best Buy said, referring to Apple's present focus on the education and content creation markets. In addition, Best Buy, who will continue selling Mac software, pointed to slowing sales figures as another reason to exit the market. Sales for Mac machines accounted for less than a half percent of Best Buy's total computer-related revenue in the third quarter, the company said.

Reuters Article - Best Buy - Apple Computer


Wednesday, January 28th
Lotus' Java-Based Office Suite Nearing Debut
[7:45PM] Lotus Development's Java-based productivity solution, eSuite WorkPlace, will enter manufacturing and ship shortly thereafter on the IBM Network Station Series 1000, the company said earlier this week. Previously known as its codename "Kona," eSuite brings a desktop-like metaphor and the typical productivity applications -- word processor, e-mail, spreadsheet, calendar, address book and presentation graphics -- to users in a network computing environment. But instead of standing out because of its capabilities, eSuite will likely gain attention for being the industry's first Java-based office suite from a big name publisher. This will especially hold true considering that Corel's attempting to port its Office suite over to the Java environment quietly collapsed last fall.

Lotus expects to have eSuite ready for IBM's NCs by mid-February, with support for additional devices coming in the second quarter of this year. Meanwhile, Lotus also announced that the preview code of its eSuite DevPack, a set of Java-based applets for building interactive Web applications, is now available as a free download from its Web site. The preview package contains a word processor, spreadsheet, chart, presentation graphics, project scheduler, and a variety of sample applications. DevPack will ship this quarter for an estimated price of $1,495, Lotus said.

Lotus eSuite WorkPlace

Diamond, EarthLink Begin "Shotgun" Trials
[5:45PM] Diamond Multimedia Systems and EarthLink Networks recently began trial testing of Diamond's new "Shotgun" modem technology in parts of the United States, the companies said today. Targeted at home users and small businesses, the Shotgun system, which Diamond developed in partnership with Ascend Communications, pools the bandwidth of two separate telephone lines together for theoretical download speeds of up to 112Kbps. Also, Shotgun's voice priority feature will be a boon for home users, as it monitors the second telephone line and disconnects appropriately for incoming and outgoing voice calls while maintaining a connection on the first line. Diamond expects to ship the SupraSonic II, the first dual-line modem, and the Shotgun software at the end of this quarter.

Diamond Multimedia - EarthLink Networks

Q2 Profits Climb 44 Percent At CompUSA
[3:15PM] The second fiscal quarter of 1998 was a landmark one for the nation's largest computer superstore retailer, as CompUSA reported this morning record revenue of $1.46 billion for the period ended December 27th. Sales were up 22 percent year over year, the Dallas, TX-based company said, while net income jumped 44 percent to $34.1 million, or 36 cents per share, which was in line with analysts' expectations. "This was another outstanding quarter for CompUSA punctuated by excellent results which we achieved while continuing to make significant investments in all of our businesses," said James F. Halpin, CompUSA president and CEO, in a statement. "These accomplishments would not have been possible without the hard work of our over 17,000 team members."

CompUSA

New TextBridge Improves OCR Accuracy
[2:25PM] ScanSoft, the decade old subsidiary of Xerox Corp., introduced today TextBridge Pro Mac 8.0, its next-generation Optical Character Recognition (OCR) scanning software for the Macintosh, designed to improve text accuracy by up to as much as 82 percent over previous editions. Besides its upgraded character recognition engine, TextBridge 8.0 also features improved duplication of page layout, and unlimited toll-free technical support. Features aside, however, customers will see one of the product's biggest perks at the check-out counter. ScanSoft has slashed pricing by more than 35 percent and will be aggressively pushing TextBridge 8.0 at a street price tag of $49.

"Industry research and end user studies indicate that what consumers want most from their OCR software is accuracy," said Michael Tivnan, GM of ScanSoft, in a statement. "This new version of TextBridge offers our Macintosh users up to 82% more accuracy than previous versions. At the same time, it reaffirms ScanSoft's long-standing commitment to the Macintosh platform."

ScanSoft - Xerox

Glucose Releases Major Data Hammer Upgrade
[12:50PM] Baltimore, MD-based Glucose Development announced today the immediate availability of a major upgrade to its automatic text summarization tool for the Macintosh. Version 1.5 of Data Hammer introduces a powerful new text summary engine that adds the ability to extract a bulleted list of major topics from each section of a document. In addition, Glucose has added what it calls "round-trip" Web publishing, a feature that allows Data Hammer to fetch, summarize, and save any Web page as standard HTML. Priced at $34.95, Data Hammer 1.5 can be purchased and downloaded directory from Glucose's Web site.

Glucose Development

CybOut Inks Marketing Partnership With AOL
[11:05AM] Under a marketing partnership announced today, online reseller Cyberian Outpost will become the exclusive retailer of new computer equipment in the Computing Superstore area on America Online. The one-year, $5 million agreement also calls for Cyberian to have a presence in the AOL Shopping Channel, as well as a number of areas on the online service's Web site. "This online marketing partnership with AOL indicates Cyberian Outpost's position as the premier online brand for computer software, hardware and peripherals," said Darryl Peck, president and co-founder of Kent, Conn.-based Cyberian Outpost, in a statement. "The agreement allows us to gain access to AOL's unmatched global community of more than 11 million members, extend our brand, further strengthen our financial position and deliver unparalleled customer service to AOL members."

Cyberian Outpost - America Online

Third Annual PDA Expo Won't Feature Apple
[10:40AM] Based on its actions of the past year, it appears that unless the conference is called Macworld Expo or PC Expo, Apple Computer won't be attending. The third annual PDA Expo, scheduled to take place at the Clarion Hotel in San Francisco on February 18-20, will not feature the Cupertino, CA-based Newton maker. As of January 19th, Apple's name is absent from the exhibitors list, which is prime with a number of companies involved with Microsoft's Windows CE platform, including Casio, LG Electronics, Philips, and Sharp. Apple, however, isn't the only big name handheld provider skipping the show. 3Com and its PalmPilot division apparently will be a no-show as well, although IBM, who distributes an OEM version of the Pilot called the WorkPad, is slated to attend.

PDA Expo - Exhibitor's List - Apple Computer

Ellison's Comments Predict Strategic Shift
[9:45AM] If comments made by Larry Ellison bear any truth, Apple Computer could be headed for a transformation that involves a concentration on low-cost machines. According to a report on NEWS.COM, the Apple board member told the audience at a technology investment conference yesterday that the company's strategy will likely focus on products (including network computers) that cost $500 to $1,500. In addition, Ellison reiterated remarks made earlier this month by saying he believes that in Steve Jobs, Apple already has the best chief executive in the world.

NEWS.COM Article - Apple Computer

CFO Title Changes Hands At 3D Chip Maker
[9:15AM] 3Dfx Interactive, the company whose high performance technology drives TechWorks' Power3D video card, said yesterday that David Zacarias will join the company as chief financial officer and vice president of administration, beginning February 2nd. Zacarias, who currently serves as CFO and chief operating officer of Milpitas, Calif.-based OPTi, Inc., will replace 3Dfx' departing CFO, Gary Martin. "We are undergoing a transformation from start-up to a solid, rapidly growing public company," said Greg Ballard, president and CEO of 3Dfx, in a statement. "Though we will miss Gary, we are fortunate to have Dave Zacarias bring his significant high-tech experience to lead us into the future."

3Dfx Interactive - TechWorks' Power3D


Tuesday, January 27th
Apple Molds Software Arm Into FileMaker, Inc.
[TOP STORY: 6:00PM] Knowing a good thing when they see it, Apple Computer today made a thorough shakeup at its software subsidiary arm, Claris, in an apparent attempt to bolster its own bottom line. Reflecting a new, exclusive focus on the FileMaker Pro line of database products, the unit will no longer be known as Claris, instead preferring the aptly titled FileMaker, Inc. In addition, all products outside the FileMaker Pro loop will be divested (for specifics, see story below), with the exception of ClarisWorks and Mac OS 8. Beginning February 1st, the OS will be distributed by Apple in the U.S., while the popular productivity application will also live on at its parent firm, who will take over development, distribution, and support duties. Finally, as a result of the metamorphosis, about 300 jobs will be lost.

"As FileMaker, Inc. we can now focus all our energies on our very successful FileMaker business," said Dominique Goupil, president of Claris, in a statement. "We are totally committed to growing this business dramatically during the coming year."

Claris - Apple Computer

Goupil Reveals Plans For Emailer, Home Page
[7:00PM] After going unmentioned in today's announcement of Apple's restructuring of Claris, details of the fate of Claris Emailer and Home Page were revealed this evening by Claris president Dominique Goupil. In a letter to customers, Goupil said that the Claris Emailer, ClarisDraw, ClarisImpact and Claris Organizer product lines will move to Apple, where their future will presumably be determined on a per case basis. Home Page, on the other hand, will stay put at FileMaker, Inc., seemingly because of its tight-knit integration with the company's database product. But given the subsidiary's staunch focus on one single product, it's a strong possibility that the capabilities of the Web page authoring package will be eventually merged with FileMaker Pro.

Goupil's Letter - Claris

Greater Than Expected Loss Stings Netscape
[5:25PM] Attributing the disappointing results to slowing sales in both its client and enterprise software units, Netscape Communications today posted a loss of $88.3 million for its fiscal fourth quarter of 1997, on slowing revenue growth $125.3 million. Excluding non-recurring charges, the Mountain View, CA-based company would have seen $20.8 million, or 22 cents per share, in losses. Analysts' expectations, which were adjusted accordingly after Netscape issued a profit warning earlier this month, were looking for a loss of 16 cents per share. "No one factor contributed to the revenue shortfall we experienced in the fourth quarter of 1997. Instead, a decline in stand-alone client revenue and slower than expected growth in our enterprise sales and support revenue left us short of our goal," said Jim Barksdale, Netscape's president and chief executive, in a statement.

Netscape ended its fiscal 1997 year with sales of $533.9 million, up 54 percent over 1996's numbers, which were at $346.3 million. Losses, however, totaled $115.5 million, compared with profits of $24.4 million in the year ago period.

Netscape Communications

Details Of Sub-$1,000 Mac Begin To Leak
[3:25PM] A report in the UK edition of MacUser has unearthed details of a 233-MHz G3-powered, sub-$1,000 Macintosh from Apple Computer. Expected to be launched in July to coincide with Macworld Expo in New York City, the all-in-one system is currently targeted to house a Trinitron 16-inch monitor, 32MB of RAM, an IDE hard drive, and a 24X CD-ROM drive, the report says. A built-in modem is currently not part of the beta configuration, although one will apparently be included in the final version, if pricing permits. Apple's award-winning industrial design will also be evident throughout the machine's outer housing, MacUser says, with such items as transparent casing areas and a patterned backside standing out.

MacUser Article - Apple Computer

Email Vendors Submit HTML Threading Proposal
[1:30PM] Three of the industry's top email client vendors -- Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Lotus -- have submitted a proposal to the World Wide Web Consortium that outlines how eXtensible Markup Language (XML) can be used to enable threading in HTML-based email applications. The HTML Threading Proposal, available for public review on the W3C Web site, is based on HTML 4.0, specifically the CITE attribute, and it lays the groundwork for rich, structured data about the conversation thread in a message and about its authors, enabling a range of new features. As an example, the companies pointed to a scenario where email applications could potentially identify the author of each piece of text in an email thread, rearrange the segments of a thread in chronological or hierarchical order based on user preference, or display text from each author in a distinct way.

"We are pleased with the W3C's acknowledgment of our proposal with Microsoft and Lotus for a standard defining how to enable conversation threading of HTML-based e-mail," said James DeBello, vice president and general manager, Qualcomm's Eudora division, in a statement. "We have always been and will continue to be committed to open standards, especially as they benefit users of Internet messaging."

"This proposal will enable a new class of powerful e-mail features that we will support in future releases of the Microsoft Outlook client family,'' said John Ludwig, vice president of the Internet client and collaboration division at Microsoft, in a statement. "We look forward to working with Qualcomm, Lotus and others to advance this proposal through the W3C standards process."

Qualcomm - Microsoft - Lotus - Proposal

Intuit Finds Quicken ExpensAble Expendable
[11:35AM] Intuit's Quicken ExpensAble, a relatively unknown expense-reporting software package from the Mountain View, Calif.-based firm, has been sold to On The Go Software, the companies announced today. On The Go said it will immediately begin selling the software on a site license basis to corporations, but that it will not change the previously installed relationships Intuit had with distribution channels CompUSA, Office Depot, and Ingram Micro. "Corporations today are realizing that control over escalating travel costs is critical to their success in an increasingly competitive business environment," said Jim Wolcott, president and CEO of On The Go, in a statement. "On The Go Software is delivering enhancements to Quicken ExpensAble with clear focus on cost and policy control to provide corporations with a comprehensive expense management solution."

Even before today's announcement, On The Go had ties with Intuit and Quicken ExpensAble. The company recently released a version of the software for Windows CE 2.0-based handheld PCs.

Intuit - On The Go Software

Iomega Sends OEM Chief To Japanese Unit
[10:45AM] After a successful three year stint as Iomega's director of worldwide OEM sales, David Gantt will be heading to Iomega Japan as the unit's managing director, the company announced yesterday. In his new role, Gantt's responsibilities will involve the management of all Japan operations including sales and marketing functions. During his tenure as OEM chief, Gantt effectively built a strategy involving key vendors that has established the company's Zip drive as the de facto replacement to the floppy disk. Under his leadership, sales to OEM vendors represented over 30 percent of Iomega's overall Zip unit volume in 1997.

Prior to joining Iomega, Gantt spent time at Apple Computer where he was the company's national integration manager, a position that brought him frequent recognition for his sales accomplishments. Gantt helped in developing the market for personal digital assistants and was responsible for several notable accounts.

Iomega - Apple Computer

Claris Emailer Update Reaches Golden Master
[10:15AM] A maintenance upgrade to Claris Emailer 2.0 has reached golden master, according to Eric Belsley of the Macintosh Resource Page. The "2.0v3" update, which some believe will be the last significant development on the popular email client, adds a new address book, the ability to rearrange mail folders, and support for Mac OS 8 contextual menus, Belsley said. With the private beta test now complete, a publicly available update should be available from Claris shortly.

Claris Emailer Information - MRP

Riven Soundtrack Coming From Virgin In Feb.
[9:55AM] Plans revealed today call for Virgin Records America to release the Riven soundtrack on February 24. Meant to be a companion piece to the award-winning game, the soundtrack isn't the first video game score to be released separately, but it's undoubtedly one of the most prolific. Like in the actual game itself, musical pieces on the soundtrack were composed by Robyn Miller, who co-founded Cyan Productions, the company responsible for both Riven and Myst, with his brother Rand. In addition, Virgin also said today that it will follow up the Riven score with the release of the Myst soundtrack in March.

Virgin Records America - Riven Homepage

Hutchings Branches Out, Announces Contexture
[9:20AM] After spending recent years targeting component software users, Hutchings Software has branched out from the Macintosh OpenDoc world with the announcement of Contexture 1.0, an innovative new tool that encapsulates generic text files with search and replace commands in interactive "templates." HS, who is still involved in the component world with its ComponentX initiative, is aiming Contexture at software developers (C, C++, Java, Macintosh applications), as well as Web authors. A fully functional demo is now available from the HS Web site, and the company says the $29.95 commercial version will be available for purchase by mid-February.

Hutchings Software - Contexture Information

College Takes Leap, Embraces Oracle NCA
[8:45AM] Proving that Network Computers can be a boon to the educational market, Santa Barbara City College (SBCC), a community college serving more than 46,000 credit and non-credit students a year, announced yesterday that is has selected Oracle as its primary software provider for its "Project Redesign," a multi-year initiative to create a new model of the community college for the 21st century. The college will standardize on Oracle universal Data Server, Oracle Application Server and Oracle InterOffice as the foundation of a new Network Computer Architecture (NCA)-based infrastructure, designed to improve services and operating costs while also providing a host of learning options for students. In addition, SBCC said it will use a variety of other Oracle software for administrative purposes.

Oracle


Monday, January 26th
Motorola Behind Biggest Java Licensing Deal
[TOP STORY: 6:00PM] In what is being called the largest technology license agreement in the history of the Java platform, Sun Microsystems and Motorola announced today an agreement that will plant the Java environment into a wide portfolio of Motorola-branded products, including semiconductors, smart cards, automotive components, wireless devices, advanced electronics systems and computers. Because of its broad nature, the agreement could potentially be key in unifying Motorola's large and multi-business, global software, development activities, the companies said. "When you couple Java's 'Write Once, Run Anywhere' attribute, which can be employed throughout Motorola's independent business units, with its potential to be used in the widest range of complex to the simplest of embedded silicon solutions and telecom applications, Java is a sought after alternative for us and our customer partners," said Chris Galvin, chief executive officer of Motorola, in a statement.

Sun's chairman, president and chief executive Scott McNealey, who, in recent weeks, drop hints of a huge licensing windfall for Java, said of the deal, "This agreement marks the largest technology license agreement in the history of the Java platform. Motorola ships many tens of millions of embedded silicon solutions and radio products a year worldwide as the market leader in various industries. We look forward to seeing Java technologies in as many of those products as possible."

Sun Microsystems - Motorola

Compaq Spends $9.6 Bln. In Landmark Merger
[TOP STORY: 9:30AM] In a deal rumored for months, Compaq Computer said today that it will acquire Digital Equipment for $9.6 billion, creating what the company's term as the largest acquisition in the computer industry's history. The blockbuster move will be used to fuel Compaq's ongoing move to the enterprise market, a shift which was originally started with last year's acquisition of Tandem Computers. "We are committed to supporting these key customer relationships by investing in Digital's strategic assets, particularly its worldwide service organization, as well as its 64-bit leadership with Alpha microprocessors, OpenVMS, Digital UNIX and Windows NT enterprise systems, open storage and software products," said Eckhard Pfeiffer, president and CEO of Compaq.

Under the terms of the deal, shareholders of Digital, which will become a wholly owned subsidiary of Compaq, will receive $30 in cash and approximately 0.945 shares of Compaq stock in exchange for each share of Digital. In addition, Compaq will issue 150 million shares of stock and $4.8 billion of cash. The acquisition is subject to approval by Digital shareholders and is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 1998.

Compaq Computer - Digital Equipment

Iomega Signs Supply Agreement With Paradigm
[4:20PM] Iomega Corporation today inked a contract with Paradigm Technology, whereby the Milpitas, Calif.-based supplier furnishes two different fast SRAM devices for use in Iomega's popular Zip drive. Of the deal, Paradigm's president and chief executive officer Michael Gulett said, "We are pleased that Iomega has selected Paradigm as a supplier for their Zip drives. The qualification requirements for Iomega are among the most stringent we have faced."

Iomega - Paradigm Technology

Can Netcenter Replace Lost Browser Revenue?
[3:55PM] With the impending loss of revenue related to its browser division, Netscape Communications will soon be looking to other business areas to recoup their losses. One such segment apparently emerging is the company's personal online repository, Netcenter, which was launched last September. To date, the site has attracted 2.6 million members, and with today's announcement of a new deal with The SABRE Group, Netscape is hoping to lure even more viewers. The two companies said today that they will collaborate on Netcenter Travel by Travelocity, a new facet of Netcenter that provides the ability to make air, car and hotel reservations, buy vacation and cruise packages online, as well as research popular travel destination locations.

"This agreement combines The SABRE Group's leadership in electronic travel with Netscape's world-leading Internet site and growing online service," said Jennifer Bailey, VP of Netscape's Web site, in a statement. "Saving time is an important issue for our customers who want easy access to travel bookings. We are furthering our goal to make Netcenter the business hub for Internet users to access the online services they need."

Netscape Netcenter - Travelocity

Microsoft's Board Sets 2-For-1 Stock Split
[1:20PM] Shares of Microsoft, now hovering in the high-130 range, will see their first split in nearly fourteen months, following a decision by the company's board of directors to set a two-for-one stock split. The software giant says the move was made in an effort to make issues more affordable for potential investors. "We continue to hear from investors that they would like the stock price to be more accessible, and we hope this split will address that interest," said Gregory B. Maffei, CFO of Microsoft, in a statement. Shareholders will receive one additional common share for every share held on the record date of February 6.

Microsoft

PowerLogix Revs PowerForce G3 Software
[12:45PM] Austin, Texas-based upgrade provider PowerLogix released today a revision to the G3 Cache Control software component of its PowerForce G3 upgrade card. Version 1.2, which works with all PowerForce models with 1MB of backside cache, fixes several bugs and is more stable with Mac OS 8.1, the company said. All owners of the PowerPC 750-based card are encouraged to upgrade to the new version, even if system software versions other than OS 8.1 are being used.

PowerLogix - Download Information

NetObjects Announces Third-Generation Fusion
[11:00AM] Less than eighteen months after its initial introduction, NetObjects announced today the third-generation of its award-winning Web site creation and management tool, NetObjects Fusion 3.0. The upgrade builds upon NetObjects' efforts by adding over 150 new features and enhancements, including new flexible layout capabilities, Dynamic HTML-based animation and interactivity, global browser support, and database and e-commerce application integration. "To meet site-builders' changing needs, NetObjects has developed a truly open and flexible product which enables the creation of dynamic business sites that take advantage of key new Web technologies," said David Kleinberg, NetObjects' executive VP of products, in a statement. "Version 3.0 is a powerful solution that allows site-builders to work the way they want to work and integrate a broad range of code and content into a seamless site environment."

Fusion 3.0 will be demonstrated for the first time at this week's Internet Showcase in San Diego, and a March introduction is planned for the Windows 95/NT version, with a Macintosh edition arriving ninety days after, the company said.

NetObjects - Fusion 3.0 Information

Internet Showcase To See New MS Platforms
[10:05AM] Attendees of David Coursey's second annual Internet Showcase, which starts tomorrow in San Diego, will get a first-hand look at Microsoft's Auto PC and Palm PC, the two new Windows CE 2.0-based reference platforms unveiled earlier this month at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. "As the Auto PC and Palm PC make their first ever appearance at a computer industry executive conference, we hope that attendees will see how these new PC Companions increase their options for accessing and using valuable information, wherever they are," said Harel Kodesh, general manager, consumer appliance group at Microsoft, in a statement.

Internet Showcase

Apple's Market Share Continues To Slide
[8:55AM] As was expected, Apple Computer confirmed late last week in a 10K filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that its U.S. and worldwide market share fell sharply in fiscal 1997, Reuters reported. The company's worldwide market share slipped to 3.1 percent in its fiscal fourth quarter, down from 5.2 percent the year before. Likewise, in the United States, Apple's share fell to 4.3 percent from 6.6 percent, Reuters said. (We incorrectly noted earlier that the market share figures included sales of the Power Macintosh G3 line. Fiscal 1997, which the numbers reflect, ended on September 30th for Apple, forty days before the popular family was introduced.)

Reuters Report - Apple Computer


Friday, January 23rd
SGI Names HP's Belluzzo New Chief Executive
[2:50PM] Just months after embarking on a search for a new chairman and chief executive, Silicon Graphics completed their hunt with the announcement today that Hewlett-Packard executive Richard Belluzzo will succeed Ed McCracken, who announced his intention to step down last fall. Belluzzo, who spent his entire 22-year career at HP, will be given the task of turning around the struggling high-end graphics workstation maker, who is currently in the midst of a company-wide restructuring effort. But the 44-year-old Belluzzo is optimistic about the future of SGI. "I am delighted to have this unique opportunity and I'm confident I can provide the leadership to help Silicon Graphics improve its performance and achieve its extraordinary potential in the years ahead," he said a in a statement earlier today.

Silicon Graphics

Revenues Drop, Netopia Cites Weak Mac Market
[1:35PM] Citing weaker than expected performance in the Mac OS market, Netopia, Inc., formerly Farallon Communications, reported a significant drop in revenues for its fiscal first quarter. In the period ending December 31st, the connectivity provider's sales dipped to $10.5 million, down from $13.5 million in the year ago quarter. The small profit the company saw in its corresponding quarter last year also eroded, with a net loss of $1.1 million having been posted for Q1 1998. "We are disappointed by the greater than expected weakness in the Mac OS market which contributed to the majority of our earnings shortfall," said James Clark, vice president and CFO of Netopia, in a statement. "In particular, we believe our LAN business was negatively affected by Apple's reversal of its Mac OS cloner strategy, the lack of confidence in small business Mac accounts and K12 customer deferrals waiting for the Federal Government's E-Rate funding."

Netopia, Inc.

Digidesign Certifies SyJet For Audio Use
[12:50PM] SyQuest Technology's SyJet 1.5GB drive has become the first removable storage solution to quality for use with Digidesign's premium Pro Tools/24 digital audio workstation, the company said today. "SyJet is the superior solution for audio professionals who need the speed and performance of a hard drive and the flexibility of a removable cartridge to get the most out of their session," said Ed Gray, developer group manager at Digidesign, an Avid Technology division. In testing of 24-bit files, which are emerging as a standard in the audio community, a SCSI-enabled Macintosh, equipped with a SyJet drive, yielded recording and playback counts capable of up to 24 tracks of 16-bit audio (44.1 kHz) and 20 tracks of 24-bit audio (48 kHz).

SyQuest Technology - Digidesign

Apple's Gable Resigns, Schiller Fills Vacancy
[11:05AM] The executive position responsible for Apple Computer's product marketing quietly changed hands earlier this week. Phil Schiller, who was previously vice president of the company's hardware division, was promoted to vice president of product marketing, following the resignation of long-time Apple veteran Jim Gable, MacWEEK reported on Thursday.

MacWEEK Article - Apple Computer


Thursday, January 22nd
Netscape In A "Free" State Of Mind
Company announces plans to freely distribute the source code to its upcoming Communicator suite, in addition to a new "Unlimited Distribution" program.
[TOP STORY: 12:25PM] In an audacious move earlier today, Netscape Communications announced plans to make the source code to the next-generation version of its Communicator suite freely available on the Internet. Beginning with the developer release of Communicator 5.0, which is expected to arrive in the current quarter, Netscape will share the source code for modification and redistribution under the familiar GNU Public License (GPL). The company believes the bold step will enable them to harness creative talent of programmers on the Internet by incorporating their best enhancements into future versions of Netscape's software. The move will, in effect, create the Internet application equivalent to Linux, the high-powered UNIX-based operating system that has sparked the interest of thousands of independent programmers worldwide, who have, in the process, spawned one of the most sophisticated operating systems available.

Netscape says it intends to create a special Web site service where all interested parties can download the source code, post their enhancements, take part in newsgroup discussions, and obtain and share Communicator related information with others in the Internet community. Additionally, the company will continue to develop new technologies and offer periodic certified, supported releases of the Communicator and Navigator products, incorporating some of the best features created by the development community.

Meanwhile, in a joint announcement, the company announced a widely expected move that will make its Navigator and Communicator applications available to users for free. The new distribution initiative, called "Unlimited Distribution," will debut tomorrow, January 23rd, and enable thousands of Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), Internet Service Providers (ISPs), telecommunications companies, Web content providers, publishers and software developers to download and redistribute Communicator and Navigator easily with no strings attached. The new program will leave the $29 Communicator Professional Edition, which adds several enterprise additions, as the only commercial client software available.

"The time is right for us to take the bold action of making our client free -- and we are going even further by committing to post the source code for free for Communicator 5.0," said Jim Barksdale, Netscape's president and chief executive officer, in a statement. "By giving away the source code for future versions, we can ignite the creative energies of the entire Net community and fuel unprecedented levels of innovation in the browser market. Our customers can benefit from world-class technology advancements; the development community gains access to a whole new market opportunity; and Netscape's core businesses benefit from the proliferation of the market-leading client software."

Netscape Communications

Microsoft, DOJ Reach Partial Settlement
[TOP STORY: 11:25AM] A partial antitrust settlement in the U.S. Justice Department's case against Microsoft was reached earlier today, Reuters reported, although larger elements of the case still remain unresolved, the courts said. Under the surprise settlement announced today, licensees of Microsoft's Windows 95 operating system will be able to remove the default Internet Explorer icon from desktops without any penalty from the Redmond, Wash.-based software giant. However, the compromise doesn't not cover Microsoft's alleged violation of the 1995 consent decree it has with the DOJ. In respect to that part of the case, Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein, who has been on the matter since October, said, ""We are continuing to pursue that matter."

Reuters Article - Microsoft

Zip Highlighted In Four Super Bowl Spots
[2:45PM] After an all out promotional blitz earlier this month at Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Iomega will end the month will another round of significant marketing efforts. The company said today that it has purchased four advertisement spots during this weekend's Super Bowl, all of which will be used to highlight its popular Zip drive. Sunday's campaign, created by EURO RSCG Dahlin Smith White Partners, will be in the form of two pre-game, one in-game and one postgame 30-second commercials. Like several other companies, Iomega will also tie in its Web site by offering two sweepstakes promotions, including a trip to Bermuda.

Iomega

Sun Reorganization Places Zander As COO
[10:15AM] Ed Zander, once believed to be on the short list of candidates for the vacant chief executive position at Apple Computer, was promoted to chief operating officer at Sun Microsystems in a reorganization yesterday, putting the former Apollo Computer executive second in command at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based computer maker. Before becoming head of Sun's hardware division, the 51 year-old Zander was president of SunSoft, where he oversaw the development and marketing aspects of the company's UNIX variation, Solaris. In his new position, Zander will be responsible for day-to-day business operations, including management of Sun's computer systems, software, service and support, microelectronic product businesses, the SunLabs research and development group, and the office of the company's chief technology officer.

"I'm excited about the executive committee we've put together from our deep management bench strength," said Scott McNealy, president, chairman and chief executive officer of Sun, in a statement. "Ed's proven business and management acumen are ideal for leading Sun forward to its next level of growth."

Sun Microsystems


Wednesday, January 21st
Qualcomm's Q1 Revenues Hit $786 Million
[3:00PM] Led by the success of its Communications Systems division, Qualcomm reported yesterday record revenue of $786 million for its fiscal first quarter, an eye-opening jump over sales of $389 million posted in the year ago period. The Communications division, responsible for the company's Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) phones, was a windfall for San Diego, Calif.-based Qualcomm, accounting for $677 million of its total revenues. Net income for the quarter reached $37 million, or 50 cents per share after one-time items, which included a $10 million charge for the purchase of Now Software.

"We shipped a record number of CDMA phones and chip sets in the first quarter of fiscal 1998, with good progress in ramping production and improving the yields in our new phone models, particularly in the second half of the quarter," said Qualcomm chairman and chief executive, Dr. Irwin Jacobs.

Qualcomm

Intuit And Excite Team On Refinance Center
[2:10PM] Intuit and Excite laid out plans today for the launch of an online Refinance Center tomorrow, January 22nd. Created as a direct response to the current interest rate environment, the companies said the Refinance Center will give consumers, who are wishing to refinance their home loans, interactive tools and expert advice. Beginning tomorrow, the resource will be available on both Intuit's Home and Mortgage department as well Excite's Business and Investing Channel by Quicken.com.

Intuit's Home And Mortgage - Excite's Business Channel

FutureTense Licenses Netscape's KIVA Server
[10:55AM] FutureTense, developers of the original engine that now powers Macromedia's Flash technology, signed an OEM agreement today with Netscape Communications for rights to KIVA Enterprise Server software. The Acton, Mass.-based company will incorporate the KIVA server, an application server for enterprise-class intranet, extranet and Internet applications, as a major element in its own Web publishing product, the Internet Publishing System (IPS).

FutureTense - Netscape Communications

Amelio Lands At San Francisco Investment Firm
[10:05AM] Former Apple Computer chief executive and chairman Gil Amelio, who has most recently spent time penning an autobiography about his days at Apple, has joined The Parkside Group as a partner and will head up the investment firm's technology financing efforts. Amelio will focus on "management friendly" buyouts and early stage company financing, the San Francisco-based company said. In addition, a seat on Parkside's board of directors will make Amelio a participating party in all acquisitions considered by the buyout firm.

Of his new position, Amelio said, "This is a natural step in my career having started as a research scientist at Bell Laboratories, inventing technology that has wide application in today's high technology industry and having been the CEO of two big companies. I would like to utilize that experience with a multiplicity of companies in different industries. The Parkside Group is an opportunity to get in on the ground floor of an exciting partnership that has the vision, talent and freshness to make a difference."

Apple Computer - Digital Equipment

Licensing Deal Brings Painter 5 To DEC's Alpha
[9:15AM] The fruits of a licensing partnership between MetaCreations and Digital Equipment, originally announced last month, arrived today in the form of a native port of Painter 5 for Digital's 500-MHz Alpha-based Creation Studio Professional Workstation. DEC's pre-configured Windows NT workstation, including bundled software, is now available for $4,995.

MetaCreations - Digital Equipment

Symantec Out With Another Record Quarter
[8:50AM] Strong performance in its worldwide operations made the December quarter a recording breaking one for Symantec, as the company posted its fifth consecutive quarter of record revenue. In the latest period, sales reached $148.2 million, up 20 percent from the corresponding quarter in 1996. Net income for the quarter ended January 2nd rose even higher, jumping 65 percent to $21.8 million. "Throughout 1997 we maintained 20 percent revenue growth and won significant new corporate clients," said Gordon E. Eubanks Jr., president and CEO of Symantec. "By focusing our development efforts on understanding the needs of customers in new markets and producing innovative products to satisfy them, we are confident of maintaining the momentum in 1998."

Symantec

Lucent And 3Com Put Past Differences Aside
[8:20AM] The long-standing feud between two of the industry's top modem chip set makers will be put aside, at least for the time being, as Lucent Technologies and 3Com announced plans to work together. The companies said yesterday that they will conduct joint interoperability testing of their 56Kbps modems, in hopes of ensuring compatibility between each other's modem product with the forthcoming V.pcm standard. Work on the long-awaited 56K standard, which will allow communication between Lucent's and 3Com's proprietary technologies, picked up in December of last year when an International Telecommunications Union (ITU) committee agreed to a compromise on key technical issues, opening the door to what is now referred as V.pcm, a standard comprised of an equitable mix of K56flex and x2 technology.

One final meeting of the ICU is scheduled for February 5-6 in Geneva, Switzerland, where the committee will vote on the specifics of the V.pcm standard. In their announcement yesterday, both Lucent and 3Com said that expect to have interoperable products on the market shortly after the ITU meeting, as well as software upgrades to make existing K56flex and x2 modems compliant with the soon-to-be-released standard.

Lucent Technologies - 3Com

America Online Passes Another Milestone
[7:50AM] Continuing its leading pace in bringing the consumer market online, America Online said yesterday that its worldwide membership has passed the 11 million mark. The world's number one online service said strong membership growth in December and January, combined with a high retention rate, fueled the membership jump. In addition, AOL believes the emergence of sub-$1,000 machines from the likes of Compaq and Hewlett-Packard will further accelerate mass-market growth. "The strong, steady growth at AOL underscores our continued success in building a global mass-market online community," said Bob Pittman, president and CEO of AOL Networks, in a statement. "Our members are increasingly making AOL an important part of their everyday lives, breaking usage records and utilizing the service for essential activities like holiday shopping."

America Online


Tuesday, January 20th
Macromedia's Shockwave Becomes "Smart"
[4:55PM] Celebrating the two year anniversary of its Shockwave technology, Macromedia today released "Smart Shockwave," a JavaScript mechanism that allows users to automatically download, install and play the most current version of Shockwave without ever having to leave the intended Web site. In the past, if users found themselves with an older version of the popular multimedia content engine, they would likely end up rummaging through Macromedia's site to find the latest plug-in. Meanwhile, in a joint announcement, Macromedia said that Shockwave remains one of the top playback technologies on the Web, with over 1 million players having been downloaded each week in recent months.

Macromedia - Smart Shockwave

EveryWare Sees Revenues Soar 68 Percent
[3:30PM] In its most recent quarter, EveryWare Development, makers of the popular dynamic Web site authoring tool, Tango, saw revenue jump 68 percent to $2.6 million, up from the $1.6 million it posted in the year-ago period. With the increased sales, the company was able to squeeze out a slim profit of $9,585 in the quarter ended December 31st, compared to a loss of $1.8 million in the corresponding period in 1996. EveryWare attributed the revenue spike to strong sales of its newest version of Tango, release 3, which began shipping in December of last year.

EveryWare Development - Tango Information

Lucent's "WildWire" Advances DSL Technology
[11:35AM] The Digital Subscriber Line technology hyped in the past as a possible cure for the Internet's consumer bandwidth problems is quickly becoming a reality, especially after news that Lucent Technologies has completed work on a innovative new chip set. The company said yesterday that its Microelectronics Group has developed a new DSL technology, called "WildWire," that can transfer data at 1.5 megabits per second, or about 30 times faster than today's typical analog modems. Best of all, the advancement will not require additional equipment or modified wiring, something which has been a major hang-up in the acceptance of ISDN and previous DSL experiments. Users will merely need a DSL modem, expected to be price in the $200-$250 range, and a subscription to DSL service.

"The combination of Lucent's PC modem chips and its network switching equipment means WildWire is likely to be deployed in PCs and central offices throughout the world," said Bob Rango, general manager of modem integrated circuits for Lucent's Microelectronics Group. "And megabit speeds will enrich the entertainment value of the Internet, without the hassle and cost of installing a dedicated digital line," added Rango.

Lucent's Microelectronics Group

Japanese Cloner Akia Quietly Calling It Quits
[10:25AM] Come next month, Japanese clone vendor Akia will be latest casualty in the curtailment of Apple Computer's Mac OS licensing program, when the overseas cloner formally withdraws itself from the marketplace, a report in yesterday's Nihon Keizai Shimbun said. Akia, whose Mac OS certification came by way of IBM's sub-licensee program, was one of Japan's largest Mac vendors, yet the company decided to venture into the domestic market with only its line of innovative PCs and peripherals, a decision that held the company's Mac OS business unit to just 10 percent of overall sales. But its lack of reliance on Macintosh clone sales ended up saving the company, now that Mac OS licensing as we once knew it is a thing of the past.

NEWS.COM Article - Akia - Apple Computer

Bundling Arrangement Teams Symantec, Oracle
[9:40AM] Under an agreement laid out today, Symantec's Web page authoring program, Visual Page, will be bundled with Oracle Application Server 4.0, the database maker's software platform for deploying business-critical, thin-client applications with superior scalability, reliability and manageability. Although the software is in beta testing now, Oracle anticipates having the Application Server bundle ready during the first quarter of 1998.

Oracle - Symantec

Micron Snaps Up Another Former Power Exec
[9:00AM] One week after adding former Power Computing president Joel Kocher to executive committee, Micron Electronics today scooped up another former executive from the now defunct Macintosh clone vendor. Lyle Jordan, who headed up Power's fabled manufacturing operations, was appointed the vice president of strategic procurement position at the Nampa, Idaho-based PC vendor, where he'll be responsible for strategic contract negotiation and the development of worldwide supplier relation ships. "Lyle has consistently increased inventory turns and on-time customer shipments while decreasing product lead times, production costs and inventory levels during his previous appointments at other world-renowned companies," said Nelson Hanks, Micron's Senior Vice President, Purchasing. "Lyle is uniquely qualified to assist Micron Electronics' planned growth as we prepare for the 21st century. We expect great things from him."

Micron Electronics

Fujitsu Unveils 42" Plasma Display Monitor
[8:35AM] After becoming the first vendor to offer high-volume plasma displays in North America, Fujitsu continued to push further into the relatively uncharted market today with the announcement of ImageSite 42, its next-generation 42-inch, flat-panel plasma display. Since the product's prior iteration, Fujitsu has made a number of major improvements to the design, including component video input, better brightness and contrast output, quieter operation, white balance adjustment and improved SVGA compatibility. Even with these additions, however, the new ImageSite carries a price tag of $10,999, making it 20 percent cheaper than the previous model. "The ImageSite 42, with its improved performance and lower price, shows the true capabilities of plasma technology," said Joe Virginia, director of FMI's Flat Panel Display Business Unit. "We believe this latest model will generate even more interest in this emerging product category."

Intended for the age of digital convergence, the ImageSite is capable of displaying video signals from a wide span of sources, including PC, Macintosh, cable television, DSS and DVD, all of which are delivered at a resolution of 852x480.

Fujitsu Microelectronics

Macworld Honors Dantz Co-Founder Zulch
[7:35AM] For his work since the early days of the Macintosh, Richard Zulch, co-founder, chief technical officer and chairman of the board of Dantz Development, was recently honored with Macworld magazine's Lifetime Achievement Impact Award. In presenting the award, which recognizes people, products, and technologies that have had the greatest impact on the Macintosh, Macworld said, "Richard Zulch is one of the unsung heroes in Macintosh history. He's the co-founder of Dantz Development, the company that gave us Retrospect, but his contributions to the Mac go far beyond backup-utility software. Zulch played a key behind-the-scenes role in developing nearly every major storage driver for the Macintosh. You may take it for granted that your Mac works with hard drives from companies other than Apple; it was Zulch who helped make it happen."

Interestingly, the statement announcing Zulch's achievement also revealed that he played a significant role in the development of HFS+, the new file system format unveiled in the freshly released Mac OS 8.1. "Zulch was also a driving force behind HFS+," the magazine stated. "None of his work had a direct financial benefit for Dantz; instead, he gave freely of his time so that Macintosh users could have a better computing experience."

Dantz Development


Monday, January 19th
Apple Posts Anticipated Mac OS Update
[TOP STORY: 12:30PM] Now available from Apple Computer's recently revamped FTP server pool is the highly anticipated upgrade to the company's award-winning operating system, Mac OS 8.1. Although seen by many as a somewhat lacking release (in terms of new blockbuster features, at least) 8.1 includes two important features in Mac OS Extended Format (which can reclaim significant amounts of hard disk space) and support for DVD and UDF file formats. The later addition marks the first time either format has been natively supported in an operating system. Users of Mac OS 8 can download the free update from the link below, which include directions to several mirror sites. Two different distributions are available, with one containing all necessary components in a single archive and the other being 13 individual parts. Finally, for the latest technical information on the upgrade, Ric Ford, Eric Belsley and Ted Landau are combining efforts on a shared MacInTouch Mac OS 8.1 special report page.

Mac OS 8.1 Upgrade - MacInTouch Special Report

Apple Revs Built-In Personal Web Server
[6:00PM] After making its initial debut with the release of last summer's Mac OS 8, Apple Computer's Personal Web Sharing (PWS) received its first major upgrade today. To coincide with the launch of Mac OS 8.1, Apple unwrapped PWS 1.5, a revision that adds better configuration of MIME types, CGI support (which allow users to launch server applications through their Web browsers), log support and high alias resolution, which allows aliases to open items outside of the Web sharing folder. Apple says PWS 1.5 will be posted on its Web site today, although as of press time, the software does not appear to be available.

PWS Update - PWS Information

Report: Apple Europe Sales Jump 47 Percent
[11:30AM] Helped by the success of the Power Macintosh G3 line, first quarter sales in Apple Computer's European division climbed 47 percent to $415 million, a Reuters reported revealed today. Citing a story in MacWelt magazine which contained quotes from Apple Germany manager Peter Dewal, the report also said that revenues would be flat in the second quarter, with growth returning in the third and fourth quarters. This reiterates what executives here in the states have said in recent weeks.

Apple Computer Europe

Umax Offers Special Discount On G3 Upgrade
[10:50AM] Umax Computer Corporation said today it will offer select SuperMac customers a special discount on Newer Technology's MAXpowr Pro+ PowerPC 750-based upgrade card. Between now and March 15th, or while supplies last, registered owners of the J700 or S900 series will be able to purchase the 250-MHz upgrade, which also powers the recently honored S900BASE system, for $1,195, a savings of $700 off the regular price. The upgrade also contains 1MB of backside cache, operating at 166-MHz. "The tremendous success of our S900BASE system allows us to now improve our original offer and extend this to all of our existing loyal SuperMac customers," said Bruce Berkoff, director of product marketing at Umax, in a statement. "These folks demand and deserve the highest in performance and expandability in their systems."

Umax - Newer Technology

Media 100 Certifies Apple's G3 Machines
[10:25AM] Apple Computer's line of Power Macintosh G3 models has been certified for use with most models in the Media 100 family of digital video systems, Media 100 Inc. announced today. The certification makes the G3 models the first 3 PCI slot machines to be approved by Media 100 for data rates greater than 150KB. And with the appropriate peripherals, the G3's are capable of data rates of 300KB NTSC and 360KB PAL, Media 100 said. "Certification of Apple's new G3 computers is great news for our customers because it gives them another CPU option when working with Media 100," said Sue Imhoff, Product Marketing Manager, in a statement. "They are the only three slot machines we've ever certified for up to 300KB, making them the most powerful and affordable systems for use with our products," added Imhoff.

Media 100 Inc. - Apple Computer

Seagate To Trim Workforce By 10 Percent
[9:25AM] Intense competition in the disk drive industry coupled with two straight quarters of trailing sales has forced Seagate Technology into a global realignment, one that will cost 10,000 workers their jobs. The world's largest independent maker of disk drives said it will make the job cutbacks, which include 1,350 positions in the U.S., "to compete in an increasingly challenging global economic environment." The restructuring will also involve changes to a number of the company's assets, including the closing of its Clonmel, Ireland manufacturing plant and the consolidation of its five U.S. disc drive product design centers into three. In addition, Seagate will consolidate its domestic media operations, restructure its global manufacturing operations, and downsize its worldwide sales, marketing and administrative functions.

Seagate, based in Scotts Valley, Calif., has already announced its plans to take a $300 million restructuring charge in its fiscal second quarter, results of which are expected after the close of the market tomorrow afternoon.

Seagate Technology

Adaptec Expects Double-Digit Growth In Asia
[8:50AM] In spite of the continuing concern surrounding the Asian markets, Adaptec said today that it expects revenues in Asia outside Japan and South Korea to grow in double-digits for its year ending March 1998, Reuters reported. "We're looking at revenues of about U.S. $200 million for fiscal 1998 -- kind of 30-40 percent growth," said Chan Chee Keong, Adaptec's regional sales manager for Asia Pacific, in response to a question regarding the company's Asian outlook. Just last week, Milpitas, Calif.-based Adaptec warned investors of third quarter profits well-below estimates, in addition to flat revenues. The news sent shares of the company tumbling to a new 52-week low.

Reuters Article - Adaptec

Intellihance Part Of HP Scanner Bundle
[8:30AM] Recently acquired Macintosh developer Extensis Corporation announced last week that its image enhancement software package, Extensis Intellihance, will be included free with Hewlett-Packard's new ScanJet 5100 Cxi color scanner. The 5100 Cxi, available now at an estimated street price of $299, uses HP's Intelligent Scanning technology to optimize graphics and text in a single scan. This technology, in conjunction with Intellihance, significantly reduces the number of steps required for professional-quality image enhancement.

Extensis - ScanJet 5100 Cxi Information

Encryption Bug Hits Mac Internet Explorer 4.0
[7:55AM] An encryption bug in the 128-bit strong-security version of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0 for the Macintosh prohibits access to Secure Sockets Layer (SSL)-enabled Web sites, Microsoft acknowledged late last week. The bug, however, does not open any harmful loopholes, company officials said. Users attempting to visit sites which use the popular security layer are presented with a blank screen, meaning it's impossible to actually fall victim to stolen data, such as credit card information. "This is not a security hole, and there is no data compromised," Chris Carper, IE 4.0 product manager at Microsoft, told online publication NEWS.COM. Microsoft says a patch fixing the glitch will be posted on their Web site later today.

NEWS.COM Article - Microsoft - IE 4.0 Information

Macromedia, Oracle Team On RCO Format
[7:25AM] Macromedia, an apparent stranger to anything outside the graphics industry, forged a partnership last week with database maker Oracle to collaborate on the Reusable Content Objects (RCO) format for online learning and enterprise learning standards. Additionally, Oracle plans to implement the Aviation Industry CBT Committee (AICC) interoperability standard in its Oracle Learning Architecture (OLA). "The learning industry will benefit greatly from the adoption of these new standards and the ability of Oracle and Macromedia products to work together. We're extremely pleased that Oracle and Macromedia will be working together to unite the industry around a core standard of interoperability. Additionally, the RCO initiative is timely in solving a major industry problem of content reuse," said Jim White, vice president and general manager of Macromedia's Interactive Learning Division, in a statement.

Macromedia - Oracle


Friday, January 16th
Apple's Board Begs Jobs To Stay As CEO
[TOP STORY 12:45PM] Apple Computer's board of directors wants interim chief executive Steve Jobs to remain in the position full-time, so much so that they have begged and bribed him, at least according to Jobs' best friend and fellow board member, Larry Ellison. "We tried begging, bribing, everything," Ellison said in an interview covered by InfoWorld. "This is not subtle. We have gotten on our knees collectively on this." Throughout the last two weeks, Apple executives have admitted that the CEO search, originally initiated last July, has become increasingly difficult. However, they also feel Jobs is the perfect fit for the position, evident by the first quarter results the company posted earlier this week. "We have the best CEO in the world at Apple right now," added Ellison, who also serves as CEO and chairman of Oracle. "Steve is the right guy to run Apple -- from a knowledge, experience, compassion, intellect, and metabolism standpoint."

InfoWorld Electric Article - Apple Computer

Unsurprisingly, Apple Will Pass On Superbowl
[5:25PM] Because of the exorbitant costs for advertising air time during next weekend's Superbowl, Apple Computer will skip the big game and instead rollout a new series of "Think Different" spots over the next few weeks, online publication ZDNet reported today. With NBC charging $1.3 million for each 30 second block of air time, Apple spokeswoman Rhonda Hamilton said the company feels it can get more bang for its buck by bypassing the event. As you'll remember, Apple used the Superbowl over a decade ago to launch the Macintosh with its famed "1984" ad.

ZDNet Article - Apple Computer

Claris Emailer Going Nowhere, Company Says
[1:50PM] Despite published reports suggesting otherwise, Claris' perennial email client, Emailer, remains under development, a spokesman for the Apple Computer subsidiary told MacWEEK. "In a nutshell, Claris has not ceased development of Emailer," said Steve Ruddock, a Claris spokesman. Ruddock did not, however, address any long-term plans for the email client. (MacUser U.K. and several Macintosh Web sites, including Ric Ford's MacInTouch and Eric Belsley's Macintosh Resource Page, reported that Claris would fold back development of the product after the release of one additional, minor update.)

MacWEEK Article - MacInTouch - MRP

IBM Pledges Millions In Support Of Internet2
[1:15PM] Internet2, the lofty project designed to upgrade the aging infrastructure of the Internet, received another financial boost this week when IBM announced that they would be pledging $3.5 million in support of the project. Seven higher education institutes will receive donated hardware and software, IBM said, including Clemson University, Duke University, Indiana University, Northwestern University, the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the University of South Carolina.

Internet2 Project - IBM

Qualcomm Promotes Pair To Executive VPs
[12:00PM] Qualcomm, citing tremendous growth and success in its development as a worldwide leader in wireless communications, today promoted Steve Altman to executive vice president and general counsel and Anthony Thornley to executive vice president and chief financial officer. "We are pleased to acknowledge the outstanding achievements of these two key individuals and look forward to their continued leadership," said Harvey White, president of Qualcomm, in a statement. Prior to joining Qualcomm in 1989 as corporate counsel, Altman was a business lawyer in the San Diego law firm of Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich, where he specialized in intellectual property, mergers and acquisitions, securities and general corporate matters. Thornley, meanwhile, arrived at Qualcomm in 1994 by way of Northern Telecom, where he served as vice president of public networks.

Qualcomm

Yahoo Continues "Think Different" Parodies
[11:20AM] Like ABC and CBS with their respective "Think Dharma" and "Think Comedy" campaigns before it, Yahoo! has launched its own knock-off of Apple Computer's popular Think Different advertising campaign. Seen in promotional spots for its new "Style" site, an online storefront featuring company-branded apparel, Yahoo! is asking its visitors to "Dress different."

Dress different Advertisement - Yahoo!

Gil Amelio's Apple Memoirs Due This Spring
[10:35AM] If Jim Carlton's "Apple" book left you wanting more of a behind-the-scenes look at Apple Computer in recent years, an upcoming tale should pencil in the details, at least from Gil Amelio's point of view. Amelio's autobiography, "On the Firing Line: My 500 Days at Apple Computer," due in May from HarperBusiness, recounts the self-labeled turn-around expert's ride as chief executive officer and chairman of Apple, from the early days of his 17 month tenure to the final weekend before the board of directors decided they had seen enough. Amelio, who's last literary work storied his times at National Semiconductor, details the culture clash he experienced at Apple, along with his relationship with now interim CEO Steve Jobs. According to excerpts acquired by USA Today, Amelio says Jobs routinely showed confidence in him, only to have the Apple co-founder manipulate the board to fire him.

USA Today Article - Apple Computer


Thursday, January 15th
Positive Q1 Results Propel Apple Upgrades
[4:15PM] Yesterday's news of Apple Computer's first real profit in over two years prompted brokerage house A.G. Edwards and several others to adjust their outlook on shares of the company. A.G. Analyst Peter Andrew upgraded Apple to accumulate from maintain based on the company's improved financial outlook, the firm said. Meanwhile, both J.P. Morgan Securities and Gerard Klauer & Mattison revised their 1998 earnings estimates for Apple. J.P. Morgan analyst Daniel Kunstler significantly raised his fiscal 1998 estimates to $1.27 a share from $0.22 a share, while Klauer & Mattison analyst Lou Mazzucchelli was more on the moderate side, increasing his fiscal 1998 earnings to $1.25 a share from $1.10. Both Kunstler and Mazzucchelli also reiterated a buy rating on shares of Apple.

Apple Computer

Lane Steps In As Wilczak Takes Sabbatical
[11:55AM] MetaCreations founder Jon Wilczak will be taking a leave of absence from his day-to-day management duties and will be replaced by William Lane III, who was named interim president and chief operating officer at the graphics software maker earlier this week. During his time off, Wilczak will still play a role with the Carpinteria, Calif-based company, focusing on its role in the visual computing and graphics software industry. Lane, who held a number of top positions at Intuit before retiring in 1996, will also work with Wilczak to assure a smooth implementation of the company's 1998 business strategies, MetaCreations said. Meanwhile, after first announcing plans in October, the company reiterated that it is seeking to augment its senior management staff and has been searching for a full-time CEO.

MetaCreations

Avid Technology Shuffles Executive Lineup
[11:15AM] Readying itself to take advantage of the emerging digital video and interactive media opportunities in 1998, desktop multimedia innovator Avid Technology today promoted five of its senior executives to new positions in the company. Avid's board of directors approved the appointments, which are as follows: Clifford Jenks migrates from senior vice president of Worldwide Sales and Marketing to executive vice president; Jean Proulx, former senior vice president of engineering, moves to senior vice president and general manager of the Professional Products group; Ned Hazen has been promoted from senior vice president of business development and corporate treasurer to senior vice president and general manager of the Office & Consumer business unit; Kathy Weidman goes from vice president of sales operations to vice president of worldwide operations; and finally, David Olson, senior vice president and general manager will head up the Digital News Production business unit.

"Today, Avid's strong financial and operating performance coupled with our award-winning technology superbly position us to take advantage of a number of emerging market opportunities in the digital video, television production, and broadcast news arenas," said William J. Miller, chairman and chief executive of Avid, in a statement. "The strength of our senior management team and their demonstrated leadership capabilities will bring the required laser focus necessary to anticipate the needs of our customers in these advancing market segments."

Avid Technology

Live Picture Secures Additional Funding
[10:25AM] Live Picture, rumored recently to be the target of a possible takeover by Adobe Systems, said today that it has secured an additional $22.25 million of private financing. The cash infusion comes from a variety of global venture capital firms, investment funds, and previous investors and will be used to fuel growth in Internet imaging markets such as Web-based sales and marketing, publishing, and medical imaging, Live Picture said. Companies participating in the latest round of funding include PART'COM, Encompass Ventures, Eastman Kodak and Star Ventures. "We are entering 1998 with exciting new products and technologies, important strategic relationships, and a top-notch management team," said Kate Mitchell, president and CEO of Campbell, Calif.-based Live Picture. "With this latest round of financing, we have the resources to build a world-class, global company."

Live Picture

Real 3D Spins Off, Intel Investment Follows
[9:45AM] Lockheed Martin's 3D division, Real 3D, probably best known for its work on Sega's Model "X" arcade hardware designs, has been spun off as an independent corporation, Lockheed said yesterday. In addition, Lockheed announced that chip giant Intel has purchased a 20 percent minority stake in Real 3D, receiving in turn a non-voting seat on the board of directors at the newly created company. Over the past several years, Intel and Real 3D have been co-developing an integrated 3D/2D/video graphics solution, called the Intel740, to be used in mainstream desktop PCs. Previously, the multi-purpose chip was set to debut in the first quarter of 1998, although plans remain unclear at this time.

Real 3D - Lockheed Martin - Intel


Wednesday, January 14th
With Costs Down, Apple Posts $47 Mln. Profit
[TOP STORY 5:15PM] As was forecasted during Steve Jobs' keynote speech at Macworld Expo in San Francisco last week, Apple Computer reported today its first real profit in nearly two years. For its fiscal first quarter of 1998, the company turned a profit of $47 million on revenues of $1.6 billion, up from a net loss of $120 million in the year-ago period. Gross margins were also up sequentially during the quarter, reaching 22 percent on the 635,000 units sold. And with several cutbacks during the quarter, the company continued to reduce its recurring cost structure, trimming expenses to $313 million, down considerably from the $353 million it posted in its fourth quarter of 1997. Apple also reiterated the success of the Power Macintosh G3 family in today's quarterly statement. Since the line's introduction on November 10th, over 133,000 units were shipped, making it the most successful product launch in Apple's history.

"The December quarter results reflect the benefits of the disciplined focus that Apple has undertaken in recent months," said Steve Jobs. "We've concentrated on providing the powerful products our customers want at competitive prices, and we continue to streamline our business and work with industry partners to facilitate this focus. Returning Apple to sustainable profitability is the Company's number one objective for fiscal 1998, and we believe we're making great progress toward that goal."

"We're extremely pleased with the quality of the quarter's earnings," said Apple's chief financial officer Fred Anderson, who manned the company for a short time last summer following the exit of Gil Amelio. "Not only did we achieve a solid operating profit, but our improving asset management resulted in positive cash flow from operations of $143 million."

Apple Computer

Bungie Software Posts Final Myth 1.1 Update
[3:35PM] Available from Bungie Software's FTP server is an update to its immensely popular real-time 3D strategy game, Myth: The Fallen Lords. Version 1.1 introduces a significant upgrade to bungie.net, the service that drives Myth's Internet play, one that, however, makes v1.0 and v1.1 incompatible in terms of online play (gamers using the update will be directed to a different room). Improved support for the 3Dfx Voodoo chipset has also been added to the update, as have a number of bug fixes.

Myth 1.1 Update - Bungie Software

WebObjects Honored In Crossroads Awards
[2:40PM] Additional winners in Open Systems Advisors' fifth annual Crossroads 98 A-List awards were announced today, with Apple Computer's WebObjects walking away with one of the top honors. The awards, which recognize advancements in enterprise computing, will be presented at the Crossroads 98 Conference, to be held March 1-4, 1998, at the Westin Mission Resort in Palm Springs, CA. Other honorees include Sun Microsystems' Java Workshop and IBM's Net.Commerce.

Open Systems Advisors - WebObjects Information

Netscape To Slash 400 Jobs, WSJ Reports
[1:55PM] Netscape Communications will drop the ax on almost 13 percent of its workforce, Wednesday morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal reported. As part of its previously announced restructuring plan, Mountain View, CA-based Netscape is expected to lay off 400 of its permanent and contract workers, the Journal said. Currently the browser maker employs 2,600 full-time staffers and another 600 who operate under long-term contracts.

Netscape Communications - Wall Street Journal

New Ambrosia Shooter Hits Mac Desktops
[1:05PM] Earlier this week, Rochester, NY-based Ambrosia Software, the leading Macintosh shareware game development house, added another title to its ever-growing library of games. Developed in conjunction with David Wareing, of Swoop and Bubble Trouble fame, Mars Rising is a PowerPC-only vertical shooter, featuring 28 levels of button-pounding action, a custom stereo rock MOD soundtrack, and the top notch graphics long found in Ambrosia titles. The shareware edition includes 4 playable levels, with the remaining available upon paying the $20 registration fee. And to help celebrate the launch, Eric Belsley's Macintosh Resource is giving away ten copies of the game. Further details are available from Tuesday's MRP update.

Mars Rising - Ambrosia Software - MRP

Kawasaki To Keynote Web.Builder Conference
[11:50AM] On the heels of its inaugural show in New Orleans last October, CNET today released plans for Web.Builder San Francisco, to be held on April 14-16, 1998 at the San Francisco Hilton. This spring's edition of the conference, which is intended for professional Web developers, will feature Guy Kawasaki as keynote speaker, CNET said. Kawasaki's address, "Rules for Revolutionaries," will explain the rules that determine the success or failure of new products, services, and Web sites. Complete information and online registration for the conference is obtainable from the Web.Builder homepage.

Conference Information - Builder.com

Power's Kocher Settles Back In PC Land
[10:25AM] After his much publicized stint in the Macintosh market as president of Power Computing, Joel Kocher is making his way back to the industry where he spent the better part of the last decade. Micron Electronics announced yesterday that Kocher has been named president, chief operating officer and a member of the Board of Directors, reporting directly to Joseph Daltoso, Micron's Chairman and CEO. At Micron, where Kocher will be responsible for the company's worldwide marketing, sales, manufacturing and finance, one of his chief competitors will ironically be Dell Computer, the same mail-order giant he helped nurture during a seven-year tenure as president of worldwide marketing. Kocher, 41, left the fabled Mac OS clone vendor this past summer, amid an internal dispute with executives at Power over its licensing negotiations with Apple Computer. Shortly thereafter, some speculated that Kocher was being eyed as a possible candidate for the chief executive position at Apple, rumors which proved wildly unsubstantial.

Of his appointment, Kocher said, "Micron Electronics has enjoyed great success in the market and established itself as a multi-billion dollar company with enormous potential. I look forward to blending my talents with the existing team to help Micron continue its rise to the next level within our industry."

Micron Electronics - Power Computing


Tuesday, January 13th
With Apple's Help, Active Desktop Coming
[5:00PM] Microsoft has full intentions of bringing the Active Desktop functionality of its PC version of Internet Explorer 4.0 to the Macintosh, Microsoft product manager Chris Carper revealed in an interview with TechWeb. With cooperation from Apple Computer, Microsoft has been investigating ways to meld the Active Desktop, which converts the standard desktop into a fully-fledged Internet-ready container, into the Mac OS. Early research has gone well, Carper said, although a time frame for rollout has yet to be set. Meanwhile, Carper added that Microsoft's Internet Explorer Administrator Toolkit will be available for Macintosh network administrators later this month or early February.

TechWeb Interview - Microsoft

IBM Biggest U.S. Patent Winner In 1997
[2:20PM] As was the case over the past five years, 1997 saw IBM at the top spot among U.S. patent recipients with the second highest total in history. According to the nation's database, Big Blue was awarded 1,724 patents, the second largest total ever, falling only behind the 1,867 it received in the prior year. A large percentage of the company's intellectual properties were related to software, while network computing accounted for a surprisingly significant portion as well. Canon, NEC, Motorola and Fujitsu rounded out the top five for 1997.

Reuters Article - IBM

Innovation To Spawn Paper-Thin Computers
[1:00PM] A new liquid crystal display (LCD) technology, which will likely spawn an innovative wave of paper-thin computing devices, has been developed by Sharp and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory, Reuters reported today. Known as continuous grain silicon (CGS), the technology will allow video circuitry to be directly incorporated into a display panel. In addition to its more compact size, the new technology will also push electrons 600 times faster than the TFT LCDs currently in use in laptops, Sharp said. And knowing that the CGS innovation could become extremely lucrative, both Sharp and Semiconductor Energy Laboratory have applied for almost 500 patents for the CGS technology in Japan and abroad.

Reuters Article - Sharp

NBC Sports, MSNBC Huddle On Sports Site
[12:15PM] The playing field might already be crowded with the likes of ESPNet SportsZone, CBS SportsLine and CNNSI, but MSNBC, the cable and online collaboration between NBC and Microsoft, and NBC Sports feel there is room for another round-the-clock sports news and information player. The two announced today the formation of MSNBCSports.com, a new Web site that will provide users with original, up-to-the-minute, extensive coverage of sports events in an easy and compelling manner, the companies said. Ironically, just as NBC Sports is making a move into the online market, its parent network lost rights last night to AFC football, one of its biggest assets. The station is now in a bidding war for rights to Monday Night Football.

MSNBC - MSNBCSports.com

WSJ: FTC To Approve Intel's Chips Purchase
[11:35AM] Intel's planned $420 million acquisition of portable graphics chip maker Chips & Technologies, originally announced this past summer, is expected to win approval from the Federal Trade Commission, this morning's edition of the Wall Street Journal reported. The FTC originally intervened weeks after Intel's plan went public, fearing that the semiconductor giant could use its power to create a monopoly in the computer chip business. Chips & Technologies is a leading provider of graphics circuitry which is used in a wide variety of mobile computing products, including Apple Computer's line of PowerBook machines.

Intel - Chips & Technologies

Intel Intros Two New Pentium Processors
[11:00AM] Although Apple Computer's PowerBook G3 machines will remain atop the mobile computing performance chart for the forseeable future, Intel will try and ease the distant gap with a new faster Pentium processor aimed at the portable market. Yesterday, the Santa Clara, Calif.-based semiconductor giant introduced its highest-performing Pentium processor to date, a 266-MHz version, along with a retooled edition of the 166-MHz chip, which now becomes the most energy friendly model in the Pentium family. Both include the unremarkable MMX technology, hyped last year to give the chip family an edge on the multimedia front, and are manufactured using Intel's 0.25 micron process technology.

Intel - Apple Computer

Adobe Fills Newly Created Position With Snow
[9:45AM] Technology veteran Fred Snow has joined graphics powerhouse Adobe Systems as executive vice president, worldwide field operations, a newly created position reporting directly to Dr. Charles Geschke, Adobe's chairman and president. Snow, who most recently held the chairman and chief executive officer seats at Kenwood Management Group, a Silicon Valley-based consulting firm, was also named to Adobe's Executive Committee, the leadership group responsible for overseeing performance, strategies and policies of the company. In his new position, Snow will be responsible for all sales, field marketing, and technical and customer support worldwide in Adobe's four regions, which include North America, Europe, Japan, and Asia, Pacific and Latin America.

"Fred's talents fill a critical component of Adobe's aggressive growth plans. His breadth of international experience, industry knowledge and success in driving sales growth is an asset to our executive team," said Dr. Geschke.

Adobe Systems


Monday, January 12th
Quarterdeck Sells Off StarNine Technologies
[TOP STORY 2:15PM] Completing a major repositioning program, Quarterdeck Corp. said today that its Berkeley, Calif.-based Macintosh Internet software subsidiary, StarNine Technologies, has been sold to Platinum Equity Holdings. Additional details about the transaction were not disclosed by the companies, and it is presently unclear what virtually unknown Platinum Equity will do with the prestigious StarNine software lineup, which includes the premiere Mac Web server WebSTAR. Curt Hessler, president and CEO of Quarterdeck, did however comment on the implications for the PC utility maker. "These steps complete a year-long remake of Quarterdeck into a solid, more focused helpware company," Hessler said. "By concentrating on the Company's core strengths, Quarterdeck will be able to generate revenues faster and keep its cost structure lean and variable," he added.

Quarterdeck - StarNine - Platinum Equity

Ellison Continues To Drop Apple NC Tidbits
[8:25PM] Despite a continuing tight-lipped reaction from Apple Computer executives, details of the Network Computer machines reportedly in development at Apple continue to be leaked by way of company board member Larry Ellison. For example, during a presentation at last week's Consumer Electronic Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Ellison, who also serves as chairman of database maker Oracle, hinted at the early market segments for an Apple-branded NC. "Initially they will be Mac OS-based NCs for education and home. I could get myself in trouble for saying this... if I say any more, I'll get more email from my best friend," Ellison said in reference Steve Jobs, Apple's interim CEO. Previously, Ellison revealed that the project from Apple would be unveiled this spring, running on a 300-MHz processor for around $800, with an optional hard drive costing extra. Online publication NEWS.COM has further details of Ellison's CES address.

NEWS.COM Article - Apple Computer - Oracle

Storage Vets Join Executive Ranks At Iomega
[3:05PM] Increasing the executive staff behind the division responsible for its Jaz drive, Iomega announced last week the appointment of John C. Glavin and Greg Goelz as VP of research and development, and VP of marketing, respectively, at its Professional Products Division. Both executives bring extensive experience in the storage field, especially Glavin, who spent time at Samsung's Hard Disk division, Seagate Technology, Connor Peripherals and SyQuest Technology. Goelz, meanwhile, joins the prolific marketing team at Iomega after stints with Cipher, Micropolis, Connor, Seagate and O.R. Technology.

Iomega

Internet Faxing Comes To The Macintosh
[1:35PM] STF Technologies, makers of the popular Macintosh faxing program FAXstf, has partnered with NetCentric to develop FAXstf Internet, the first native Macintosh application that lets users fax over the Internet. The software package will be available in two incarnations -- a bare-bones system accessible via a Web browser and as an upgrade to FAXstf -- both of which add Internet capabilities via NetCentric's SDK, allowing seemless connectivity with NetCentric's FaxStorm Internet Fax System, which is used by major Network Service Providers (NSPs).

"Macintosh users expect cutting edge innovation that makes them more productive and efficient. Internet faxing is a productivity breakthrough in business communications," said W. Rick Wyand, STF president, in a statement. "NetCentric's FaxStorm technology enables FAXstf users to enjoy powerful new features such as simplified broadcast faxing while working within the familiar environment of their Macintosh desktop."

STF Technologies - NetCentric

Yahoo Tops Web's Most Popular List, Again
[12:45PM] For the second consecutive month, Yahoo!'s collection of Web sites was the Internet's most popular stop, a report released today by research firm RelevantKnowledge said. Over 16.7 million unique visitors passed through the www.yahoo.com domain last month, putting the ever-growing online service past both Netscape and Microsoft who ranked second and third, with 13.5 million and 10.5 million visitors, respectively. The same three sites, in the exact order, stood atop RelevantKnowledge's November report, as well.

Yahoo! - RelevantKnowledge

Profit Warning Sends Adaptec Tumbling
[11:15AM] Shares of popular SCSI-card manufacturer Adaptec hit a new 52-week low last Friday after the company warned that profits for its third quarter would come in well below analyst's estimates. Shares shedded over 40 percent of their value, closing the day at $21.56, down some 14 points, their lowest level since mid-1996. Further, CFO Paul Hansen told analysts not to expect a quick turnaround for Milpitas, Calif.-based Adaptec, as financial performance will remain flat at least through the next quarter.

Adaptec

Apple Sponsoring Coursey's Internet Showcase
[10:30AM] Apple Computer will be one of many technology companies sponsoring this month's second annual Internet Showcase conference, show organizers Upside magazine and David Coursey announced last week. Held from January 27-30, 1998 at the Sheraton San Diego Hotel and Marina, the event formerly known as "Demo" brings together a collection of premiere Internet and intranet products and technologies. "Internet Showcase has rapidly become the industry's top executive product and technology conference," said Coursey. "We could not put on a show of this quality without the help of these industry leaders. I am especially gratified because they help us keep costs low for participating companies, invite more members of the media, and maintain a higher quality venue."

Internet Showcase - Apple Computer

Global Village Announces Rebate For PC Cards
[9:45AM] As a part of a special promotion for its North American customers, Global Village Communication will be including a $50 mail-in rebate card for its PowerBook 56K fax/modem and 56K fax/modem/Ethernet PC Cards, the company announced today. "We're pleased to offer our loyal PowerBook customers this special program for our award-winning 56K PC Cards," said Brian Loucks, Director of Product Marketing, Global Village. "There's been no better time to get the best-selling 56K PC cards on the market at this low price," said Loucks. A downloadable rebate form and further details of the program, which runs until March 31, 1998, are available from Global Village's Web site.

Global Village


Thursday, January 8th
Seagate To Post Second Consecutive Loss
[2:55PM] Disk drive maker Seagate Technologies has announced that it will post a second quarter loss due to falling prices, a decline in product demand and an expected $250 million restructuring charge. "Revenues from drive operations were significantly less than previously anticipated and are currently estimated to be approximately $1.5 billion for the quarter," the company said in a statement. Total revenues for the quarter are projected to be $1.65 billion, more than 31 percent below the total revenues of $2.4 billion the company reported in the year ago period. Seagate, Quantum and Western Digital, the three top disk drive makers, have all issued recent concerns regarding the current status of the disk drive market.

Seagate Technologies

This Summer's Macworld Expo Gets New Name
[Macworld] Along with a change in venue, this summer's Macworld Expo at the Jacob Javitz Center in New York City will also be going under a different name. Show organizer IDG Expo Management has changed the name of the East Coast edition to "Macworld Expo + Creative World," reflecting a focus on new markets and opportunities in the city's Silicon Alley, issues which also played a part in the show's relocation from Boston. In addition, the show's traditional early August time frame has passed on as well, with the event now taking place from July 8th to July 10th.

Macworld Expo San Francisco

Hot New Products Grab "Best of Show" Honors
[Macworld] Andrew Gore, Macworld magazine editor-in-chief and senior news editor, Stephen Beale, used Macworld Live! this week as the stage to announce winners of the Macworld "Best Of Show" awards. In order to quality for the awards, which were also announced through a Web simulcast on AudioNet, products must have debuted for the first time during the exposition. The products grabbing top honors at this year's show were: Macromedia's FreeHand 8, MAXpowr G3 6100 and 7100/8100 from Newer Technology, Alsoft's PlusMaker, Connectix' SurfExpress, Debablizer 3 from Equilibrium; and Test Strip 2.0 from Vivid Details.

Macworld Expo San Francisco

Extensis And Astrobyte LLC Tie The Knott
[Macworld] Extensis Corporation made public this week their plans to merge with Astrobyte LLC, creators of BeyondPress 3.0, an Internet authoring software application used to transform traditional page-layout designs into Web-ready documents. As the two companies are privately held, financial details of the planned merger were not disclosed, although both did say that the newly formed entity has no plans to make staff reductions. The integration of the two companies will offer publishing authors an extensive, cross-platform product line for both the print and Web mediums.

"Integrating our technologies and expertise will enable us to develop compelling new Internet publishing products," said Craig Barnes, president and chief executive officer at Portland, OR-based Extensis. "The combination of Astrobyte and Extensis will expand the Extensis product line to include award-winning productivity solutions for print, electronic and Internet publishing. The long term benefit of this merger will be the addition of key Astrobyte engineering and management talent, who will play a significant role in Extensis' future product strategy and development."

Extensis - Astrobyte

Claris Ships Major HomePage Upgrade
[Macworld] Claris HomePage 3.0, the Web page authoring package from Apple Computer subsidiary Claris, shipped this week for the Macintosh and Wintel platform. The upgrade, in public beta since last fall, adds complete integration with FileMaker Pro 4.0 for automated database connectivity, in addition to new site management tools. "Claris HomePage 3.0 is the only Web authoring software available that delivers exactly what users want in a Web authoring tool: easy-to-use Web page creation along with the ability to integrate Web pages with dynamic data," said company president Dominique Goupil. Price at $99, HomePage 3.0 will also ship with a free copy of ICentral's ShopSite Express, which adds secure online commerce functionality to Web sites.

Claris - HomePage Information

Adaptec Adds Macintosh Support To DirectCD
[Macworld] This week at Macworld, Adaptec announced it has added Macintosh support to its popular CD-Recordable packet writing software, DirectCD. The utility makes the recordable media easier to use, by allowing files to be directly saved to both CD-R and CD-ReWriteable drives, in much the same way a floppy or Zip disk does. DirectCD conforms to the Universal Disk Format (UDF), which will be supported on the Macintosh upon the release of Mac OS 8.1, and it's outputted disks are interchangeable between the popular operating systems, so Mac and Windows users will be able to exchange the same data.

"DirectCD has made CD-R drives easy-to-use for consumers, and Macintosh users have been anxious to see this software on their platform," said Tom Shea, general manager of Adaptec's Software Products Group. "CD-R will now be a perfect solution for Mac users who need significant storage space for graphics, desktop publishing, and multimedia applications."

Adaptec

MetaCreations' "Beyond Canvas" Competition
[Macworld] MetaCreations' sixth annual digital art competition, "Beyond Canvas," invites all amateur and professional artists to send their best work for the chance to win a trip for two to Spain. Artists can join in by submitting art work created with any MetaCreations product alone or in conjunction with other graphics applications. Prizes will be awarded in the following categories: Fine Art ED, Fine Art 3D, Commercial Illustration 2D, Commercial Illustration 3D and Animation. A special "Best Of" award will be also be awarded to a student entrant between the ages of 12-18 years old. The entry deadline is July 31, 1997 and the winners will be announced in September, during Seybold San Francisco.

MetaCreations

Qualcomm Commits To Now Utilities Update
[2:35AM] Fans of the popular Now Utilities suite, undoubtedly disappointed by the product's incompatibility with Mac OS 8, finally have something to cheer about. Following their recent buy out of Now Software, Qualcomm committed this week to providing an update to the utilities suite, saying that several of the top components -- Now SuperBoomerang, Now Menus, Now WYSIWYG Menus, Now Scrapbook -- will become Mac OS 8-ready in a compatibility release, slated for March of this year.

Qualcomm - Now Utilities Information

Yahoo! Hears AudioNet Tune, Invests $1.5 Mln.
[1:25AM] Days after making a $5 million investment in free Web page supplier GeoCities, growing online resource Yahoo! said yesterday that they will be making a $1.35 million investment for a minority stake in streaming media broadcaster AudioNet. For its investment, Yahoo! will receive, for its subscribing customers, links to the variety of content on Dallas-based AudioNet. The move is just the latest made by Yahoo!, who recently said they intend to shift gears and become more of an online service, similar in function to America Online and the Microsoft Network.

Yahoo! - AudioNet

Power Computing Calls Shareholder Meeting
[12:30AM] In hopes of bringing closure to the deal announced last August involving the purchase of Power Computing's core assets by Apple Computer, the former Austin, Texas-based clone maker announced a special shareholder meeting, Reuters reported this week. In a letter dated January 6, Power's board of directors requested that investors approve the $100 million stock deal. The special meeting is scheduled to take place January 26, in Dallas, Texas, with all shareholder on record as of December 22, 1997 eligible to vote on the buy out.

Reuters Article - Power Computing


Wednesday, January 7th
Xaos Goes After Consumers With FlashBox
[Macworld] Xaos Tools is showcasing its new consumer-oriented photo imaging program, FlashBox, this week at Macworld. The $49 tool offers powerful capabilities in a light-hearted way, so that it's easy for the average home user to pick up and use. FlashBox will ship on both the Macintosh and Windows platform in late February, and the company says it will support Rhapsody with its line of products, once the next-generation OS from Apple Computer "matures."

Xaos Tools

Be Names Boosman New VP Of Developer Relations
[Macworld] Former Red Storm Entertainment executive Frank Boosman was appointed vice president of developer relations at Be yesterday, giving the operating system vendor extra power in its attempt to attract developers to its BeOS. Effective immediately, Boosman's role will involve all aspects of developer relations. "Of course, we're delighted to have Frank join the Be team, "said Alex Osadzinski, Be's vice president of sales and marketing. "We're obsessed with developing and maintaining excellent, productive relationships with our developers. Frank clearly shares this mindset and has the experience necessary to be successful. Prior to his stint at Red Storm, Boosman spent time at Adobe Systems.

Be - BeOS Information

SyQuest Shows Off 4.7GB Removable Solution
[Macworld] Fremont, Calif.-based storage maker SyQuest Technology has upped the ante in the removable storage arena with its new "Quest" drive, a 4.7GB system that uses removable hard disk cartridges. The drive is the first removable cartridge solution to integrate dual-stripe magneto-resistive (MR) recording heads, which are found in the majority of today's hard drives. This combined with the product's 2MB cache buffer and ultra-wide SCSI interface allows for uncompromised performance when dealing with full motion video and studio-quality audio. Quest carries a $599 price tag, with additional cartridges priced at $199, and supports Mac OS, UNIX, Windows NT and Windows 95 machines.

SyQuest Technology - Quest Information

QuickTime 3.0 Wows Macworld Audience
[Macworld] After seeing what Apple Computer has in store with the latest release of their multimedia architecture, QuickTime 3.0, it's amazingly clear why the software has seen perpetual delays since the originally planned release in late summer of last year. The software upgrade has made the transition from merely being a cross-platform feature alignment release to one that broadens the entire scope of QuickTime, encompassing almost every known facet of multimedia content development into one slick and amazingly impressive package. It also has picked up a new competitor along the way, with Apple now going head-to-head with RealNetworks in the streaming content field, using video and sound technology licensed from Sorenson Vision and QDesign Corporation. (Incidently, nothing done by Apple in recent memory exemplifies the changes in their belief in the "not invented here" syndrome more so than the new QuickTime, given that a significant portion of the innovation has been brought in from outside firms.)

The new streaming components of QuickTime 3.0 were demonstrated at yesterday's opening Macworld Expo keynote by Peter Hoddie , whose presentation left the crowd of 4,000 rabid fanatics blown away. While there's still a long way to go before streaming video reaches a truly watchable level, QuickTime 3.0 provided a noticeably better image than that found in RealNetworks' RealPlayer. (The higher bit rate videos demonstrated by Hoddie, however, were absolutely remarkable, showing little signs of the typical artifacting found in the industry's tried and true Cinepak codec.) And that's just the video side of things. The audio portion managed to provide acceptable quality levels on a 14.4 connection and truly brilliant and vibrant music over a 28.8 pipe, thanks to the compression technology from QDesign.

Meanwhile, in an effort to recoup the research and development dollars it has sank into the award-winning technology, Apple said yesterday that they will be offering a $29 "Pro" version of QuickTime 3.0. A basic set of editing tools will be provided with Pro, Apple said, making it exceptionally easy for even the novice to begin tapping into the new features. The company's basic playback, however, engine remains unfeathered, meaning it will continue to be available for free to all Macintosh and Windows users.

A new beta release featuring the new technology is now available from the QuickTime Web site, although with no official word from Apple, it remains to be seen when the final version will make its debut. Company representatives on the expo floor, however, were responding to release date inquiries with a "it's on track to launch late this month" answer.

Apple Computer - QuickTime Information



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