Australia is staging an energetic campaign comparable with that of Ireland to win major investment from high-tech companies – typically it will provide financial help if companies commit to a minimum level of investment and agree to do some research and development in Oz – preferably in partnership with a local university, company or body […]
Australia is staging an energetic campaign comparable with that of Ireland to win major investment from high-tech companies – typically it will provide financial help if companies commit to a minimum level of investment and agree to do some research and development in Oz – preferably in partnership with a local university, company or body – and the campaign has won two more companies to set up regional headquarters in Australia rather than somewhere nearer to the centre.
Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA is to set up a regional headquarters in Australia in a bid to boost sales to Asia, under a $14.2m deal signed with the Australian government: under the Australian government’s four-year Fixed Term Arrangement programme, Olivetti will also operate a global support centre and work with local companies to develop new products and services, Australian Industry, Science & Technology Minister Peter Cook said; the deal will see the creation of up to 50 jobs, Cook said; the regional headquarters will be the base for Olivetti Pacific to hunt new business in banking applications, advanced systems applications and multimedia applications in booming Asian markets, he added.
And Dell Computer Corp signed a $29.2m deal with the Australian government aimed at strengthening Australia’s information industry: under the same programme as Olivetti, Dell will work with local software companies, providing research and development support and marketing help, and creating 46 new jobs.
Systems integrator Cambridge Technology Partners Inc is setting up two major development centres in Dublin to support customers across Europe, creating an estimated 200 jobs over the next three years: the company will build an object-based software re-use centre which will develop a library of re-usable software objects for Cambridge projects worldwide, and a rapid implementation centre to design and produce systems, both funded by $1m from the company and a substantial grant approved by the Industrial Development Authority; Dublin will also house its European Centre of Technical Excellence, and a virtual development centre; staff recruitment has begun, for 25 initially, rising to 75 by the end of next year and 200 by the end of 1997.
Tape storage device manufacturer Exabyte Corp has opened new a facility in Boulder, Colorado to engineer, market and manufacture its new cartridge tape product line designed to the high-capacity Travan standard: the new division will concentrate on improving time to market and reducing costs for Travan-based products, and is also responsible for Exabyte’s existing 4mm and quarter-inch storage products.
NEC Corp expects its total personal computer shipments in the half-year to the end of September to rise 71% on last year to 1.3m units: the company said that 60% of the total would support Microsoft Corp’s Windows95 operating system, and that this figure would rise to 80% of personal computers shipped in the second quarter of the year alone.
Philips Singapore, part of Philips Electronics NV, said it will invest $25m to set up research and development centres in the island: it will spend $17.7m over five years on a radio frequency competence centre focusing on the design and development of personal communication transceivers for cordless phones and cellular systems, and $7m to develop and supply sound systems and technology for notebooks, monitors and add-on speakers; this will be its sole centre for all these products worldwide.
Hitachi Ltd has come up with a splendidly Japanese English name for its new Personal Digital Assistant (CI No 2,735), calling it the Multi-Communicator Possible! It contains a modem and can be used for wireless communication or be connected to a telephone line for data or facsimile communications; it has a 5.5 monochrome liquid crystal display putting up 480 by 320 pixels; interfaces include one for IrDA infra-red communication, an RS232C and a PC Card slot, and it starts at about $1,000; we still don’t know the processor, but an SH4 variant in the co
mpany’s own SH7000 RISC family is quite likely.
The Japan Research Institute says about 50 companies from a variety of industries including Nippon Telegraph & Telephone Corp, NEC Corp and Matsushita Electric Industrial Co are getting together to push Japan’s nascent electronic commerce business on computer networks: the group, the Smart Island Consortium, will explore business opportunities in electronic commerce and develop technologies; it includes three American firms, Eastman Kodak Co, Silicon Graphics Inc and Enterprise Integration Technology and will form partnerships with US organisations Smart Valley Inc and Enterprise Integration Technology’s Commercenet; the group says it plans to launch on-line shopping malls offering Internet sales facilities.
X Business Group parent company Zona Research Inc reckons that the X Window System terminal market reached $292m in the first half of 1995 – although shipments declined 5% and revenues shrank 10% over the same period last year; Zona attributes the fall to lower-volume shipments to key customers that accounted for high sales last year.
You’ve seen the films, bought the Tee-Shirts and read the books but would you pay to subscribe to the on-line service just to keep the kids quiet? Walt Disney Co reckons you will and plans to launch Disney Online from its Hollywood Disney film studio: a few home pages on the World Wide Web ready for the Yuletide season are planned with a full-blown on-line service due in the not too distant future; Disney will market the service, targeted at kids and their long suffering parents through its theme parks and films but would not say when a full on-line service would be launched.
AT&T Global Information Solutions is dumping off a load of returned computer inventory on Babystar Inc subsidiary DataTrend, which will try to re-sell it: the company could not give the exact value of the agreement, but estimated it should generate $1,5m to $2m a month in revenues beginning first quarter of 1996; the companies have been working on methodology for returned goods, and DataTrend already bought some $1.9m worth of returned personal computers, notebooks, monitors and servers from AT&T Global; Gartner Group Inc estimates millions of personal computers will be returned each year as technology changes accelerate.
Sequent Computer Systems Inc is boosting its presence in Hong Kong and China by re-vamping its China joint venture and forming a new company, Sequent China/Hong Kong Ltd, covering both territories, and has also formalised a teaming agreement with Unisys Corp in Hong Kong to boost the scale of joint activities: Sequent has shipped 30 systems worth more than $15m in 20 months, and is looking to expand particularly in the financial, transportation and telecommunications industries, the Beavertoner said.
AT&T Corp will start a cellular telephone network in Saudi Arabia early next year, after winning a $4,100m contract last year to install 1.5m lines over seven years and set up a 200,000 Groupe Speciale Mobile network by next year: the company said 150,000 lines of the network would be available in the first quarter of 1996, and it was was working out a new contract with the Saudi Posts, Telegraphs & Telephones Ministry to expand the network by 300,000 lines; the Saudi cabinet authorised the ministry in July to sign AT&T to expand the network at a cost of up to $800m.
Motorola Inc has signed a $20m contract with Kuwait’s Mobile Telecommunications Co to expand the existing digital cellular phone system in the country to 100,000 subscribers from 50,000: the first phase of the contract will be implemented by the end of 1995, and the second phase will be in place early next year, the company said.
Which is Ma Bell’s favourite ISDN adaptor? Chances are it’s the one from DigiBoard Inc which according to Infoworld columnist Robert Cringely actually make outbound calls until they get a connection when they are set to Listen Mode – while on the other end, if the board is set to Idle Mo
de, it connects and then hangs up immediately: let’s see, that’s eight times a minute that your machine is making an ISDN call, AT&T Corp levies a nominal connect charge of 22 cents each time, so that all adds up to – oh let’s call it $105.60 an hour…