With Dave Cutler and now the legendary Gordon Bell on the Microsoft Corp payroll, and the company now throwing over all its own operating systems (and this was a company that bred operating systems like puppies – remember RSTS, RSX-11, RT-11, P/OS [no-one remembers that one – it was the RSX-11-derived operating system on the […]
With Dave Cutler and now the legendary Gordon Bell on the Microsoft Corp payroll, and the company now throwing over all its own operating systems (and this was a company that bred operating systems like puppies – remember RSTS, RSX-11, RT-11, P/OS [no-one remembers that one – it was the RSX-11-derived operating system on the Professional 325 and 350]) in favour of Windows NT much longer, even Digital Equipment Corp insiders are wondering how long it will be before the Maynarder gives up on the Alpha, sells the rest of its fabs, shutters its remaining factories, sells its personal computer business to the highest bidder and makes a – costly – present of itself to Microsoft, as a vast repository of the sort of support people the company needs, and an integrator of NT in major corporate accounts on whatever hardware the customer chooses.
According to the PC Week gossip column, Novell Inc is seeking a buyer for NetWare for SAA, IBM Corp is rumoured to have bid $150m for the gateway, but Novell is asking $300m more than that; Wall Data Inc is also said to covet the product.
General Electric Co Inc chairman and chief executive Jack Welch is interested in acquiring Time Warner Inc, journalist Dan Dorfman said on Cable NBC – which is owned by GE: Dorfman quoted a senior GE official who told a friend Welch would buy Time Warner tomorrow if he could; Dorfman said the Stamford giant could make an initial investment in a Time Warner business as a prelude to a friendly arrangement; Dorfman added that Bertelsmann AG had looked at Time Warner but decided against making a hostile bid.
VLSI Technology Inc, San Jose has doubled its overall internal wafer fabrication capacity expansion target to 50% for fiscal 1996 from the 25% it announced in May to meet strong demand from key markets for products in set-top box, wireless speech and data, networking and per sonal computers: expansion will initially be concentrated at the company’s San Antonio, Texas facility, but it is eyeing other sites.
As part of its strategy to break itself into a federation of majority-owned companies, Acer Inc has got its Singapore subsidiary, Acer Computer International Pte Ltd, listed on the Singapore Stock Exchange: the share offering will be in US dollars, and is being made to raise funds for the Taiwan company’s expansion plans in the region.
Motorola Inc is recalling about 150,000 cellular telephones because of a software problem that causes phones to lock on a particular channel and restrict additional phone calls, although it said the problem was largely contained to Israel, where cellular phones are regularly left on for long periods: it says it takes less than a minute to reprogram the phones, and the recall, which began several months ago, should be done by year-end.
Intel Corp has confirmed there is a new bug in some of its motherboards, only months after one found in its Pentium microprocessor cost the company more than $475m (CI No 2,633): the bug in the RZ-1000 PCI controllor chip made by Intel supplier PC Tech Inc of Lake City, Minnesota, produces data errors, and affects multitasking operating systems, but not Windows 3.1 or Windows 95, and is curable with a software patch; new motherboards with the Triton chip set are also not affected, the company said.
Credit card processor and banking computer services company Total System Services Inc has merged its merchant processing operations with those of Visa USA to form an independent processing company to offer fully integrated merchant transaction and related electronic information services to financial institutions and their merchant customers.
On Demand Information Plc said it is co-operating with British Library Patents Express to develop an enhanced service, expected to start trials before the end of 1995, for people seeking patent information: the service will make the collection of more than 36m patent documents available to any British Library Patents Express customer with a desktop computer and an ISDN digital tel
ephone line, who will be able to create, download and display a personalised patent library.
Dreamworks SKG Inc seems to have really hit the ground running and with all the balls it has in the air bears very little resemblance to a tentative start-up: Hasbro Inc has now entered into a worldwide joint venture with the new studio to create, produce and market a new line of products to be called DreamWorks Toys: the partnership will create original toy lines and games as well as produce toys and games emanating out of DreamWorks’s motion picture, animation, television and interactive projects.
The Dutch are as technophiliac as the Belgians are technophobic, so it should come as little surprise that illegal copies of Microsoft Corp’s new Windows95 are widely available in the Netherlands ahead of the official August 24 launch date: NRC Handelsblad quoted a Dutch-based Microsoft official as saying that as many as 50,000 CD-ROM disks containing pirate Windows95 software might be circulating in Holland, and the company has filed a complaint with the Dutch police’s computer crime unit; the copies are said to contain an English-language version of Windows95 and are being sold for about $40; Microsoft plans to launch a Dutch version of Windows95 in the Netherlands, but likely at about $150.
Omaha, Nebraska-based MFS Communications Co Inc will form a joint venture with Megacable SA de CV to build a fibre optic Metropolitan Area Network in Mexico City: MFS will own the maximum allowable under Mexican law, 49% of the venture, MFS Communications of Mexico; it hopes to be up by mid-1996, making it one of the first competitors for Telefonos de Mexico SA.
Thomson-CSF SA sales to June fell 2.5% to the equivalent of $3,104m.
Microframe Inc has had the prompt response it was hoping for from Teltronics Inc to its bid to buy some of the assets of the telecommunications hardware and application software supplier (CI No 2,729): Teltronics said it had looked at Microframe’s offer for its remote maintenance business and rejected it because it would not be consistent with its marketing strategy – the company said it will continue to expand its maintenance business.
Correction: Microware Systems Corp’s David operating environment for television set-top boxes is of course an OS-9 derivative and has nowt to do with OS/2 (CI No 2,726)
MCI Communications Corp and News Corp Pty Ltd are looking for a cool name for their new on-line joint venture, and according to Reuter are offering a $5,000 prize to the person who comes up with the name, with the following note: Names in cyberspace instantly say that you’re cool… or not – deadline for the contest is midnight Friday – Eastern Standard Time presumably so UK insomniacs have an hour or to to think about it early Saturday morning while watching the ITV Chart Show; complete rules can be found on-line at newnameinternetMCI.com and newnamedelphi.com, and to get you started, we suggest that the name of News Corp chief Mr Murdoch is rather fashionable these days and he does come from Down Under, so Rupert, Roonet and Kanganet sound promising starting points.