Network Computing Devices Inc is finding times decidedly tough in the X terminal market and is scaling back operations of its X terminal division, resulting in a one-time charge of $5.5m to $7.5m this quarter: the adjustment will involve a reduction of about 40% of the company’s facilities and over 20% of the company’s employees. […]
Network Computing Devices Inc is finding times decidedly tough in the X terminal market and is scaling back operations of its X terminal division, resulting in a one-time charge of $5.5m to $7.5m this quarter: the adjustment will involve a reduction of about 40% of the company’s facilities and over 20% of the company’s employees.
Rockwell International Corp’s Rockwell Telecommunications is doing so well with its chips that it has signed a definitive purchase agreement with United Technologies Microelectronics Center to acquire its wafer fabrication facility in Colorado Springs, Colorado; the current wafer manufacturing capacity of about 3,000 5 wafers per month is expected to provide $50m per year of incremental revenue for Rockwell’s telecommunications business; it will also continue to supply parts to United Technologies.
Compagnie des Machines Bull SA reports that its first half pre-tax loss, before exceptional items, fell to the equivalent of $25.5m from $177m; turnover fell 1.4% to $2,530m in the half, Bull added.
Top executives of the major US on-line services say they expect the US Justice Department to issue a decision soon on its investigation into Microsoft Corp’s plans for marketing the Microsoft Network: We are very hopeful that we’ll have a decision very soon, said Bob Massey president of CompuServe – It could be within the week.
France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom AG have until September 15 to come up with proposals to restructure their planned Atlas alliance so as to meet the objections from the European Commission, competition commissioner Karel Van Miert said.
Commenting on its figures (page seven), SGS-Thomson Microelectronics NV says sales gains were strong in all major geographical markets, with the Asia-Pacific region posting the largest gain in net revenues: the 42.6% year-on-year rise in second-quarter operating profit also reflected the absence of provisions for restructuring costs.
Cypress Semiconductor Corp formally opened its new 8 wafer fabrication plant in Bloomington, Minnesota: Fab IV is Cypress’s first 8 wafer line and offers production feature sizes down to 0.5 micron this year, and capability to go to 0.35 micron; Cypress plans to hire 200 people a t Fab IV by the end of 1996.
More did eventually arrive from IBM Corp chief financial officer Jerome York’s chat with analysts on Tuesday, and on the personal computer business, he said that it made substantial progress in the second quarter, but that manufacturing improvements still need to be made, so that the company is selling everything it can build and is constrained by manufacturing systems – it has made some improvements by installing band-aids, but we won’t get the real benefits of modern world-class systems for about a year from now, he said; the unit had double-digit growth in the quarter, shipping more than 1m units, its best showing ever, with the ThinkPad leading the growth.
On IBM Corp’s mainframe business, Jerome York brushed off the memo reported on Tuesday (CI No 2,709) about supply now meeting demand, and said that the backlog remains strong; IBM had said it expected overall mainframe revenue to fall in 1995, but York now says it could be flat; IBM expects shipments this year of mainframes to increase by 66% as measured in MIPS, but about half the mainframes sold will be the new CMOS models, which cost less than the big iron.
On Lotus Development Corp, Jerome York said Notes sold 305,000 units in the second quarter, compared with 145,000 in the first quarter, while IBM Corp’s OS/2 is doing quite well with its large corporate customers, and the company remains committed to the operating system, York said; sales of the AS/400 might see a bit of a pause in the third quarter, but we’ll see nice growth in the fourth, he said; he also reported strong growth of the RS/6000 as a server; looking ahead, York said that acquisitions will play a role in the future of the company, but he declined to specify when or what.
q Netscape Communications Corp, Mountain View, says its Secure Sockets Layer product can now hide customers’ credit-card numbers from merchants on the Internet as well as from hackers: the Layer, supported by both MasterCard International Inc and Visa International encrypts credit card data as it travels over the Internet between a customer and a merchant, and again between the merchant and the bank, but it allows merchants to see the credit-card number, but it is now being upgraded to protect shoppers from merchants that steal card numbers.
The European Commission yesterday invited industry and other interested parties to consultations on a system to prevent the global information highway being raided by copyright pirates: a report from the Commission seeks to determine the need for Community-level copyright measures and the form such measures should take to ensure investors have the legal guarantees necessary for them to invest in the services which will flow along the highway; among the questions interested parties will be asked to comment on by the autumn will be whether the act of digitalising a work needs the prior authorisation of the original rightholder, and where the border line should be set between communication to the public, requiring prior authorisation by the rightholder, and individual communication; the Commission also opened consultations on whether a European level intellectual property system is needed for lower level technical items such as mechanisms and tools.
The European Commission yesterday also issued draft rules to force Community governments to keep their pledge to liberalise telecommunications by 1998: the rules would also require governments to allow operators such as railway companies to compete with state phone monopolies to offer some phone services by the start of 1996; the Commission agreed the draft directive under Article 90 of the Community treaty.
Sun Microsystems Inc is to buy in up to 12m of its shares, or about 12% in open market purchases from time to time: the purchases will be funded from available working capital and the repurchased shares will be held in treasury or used for things like employee stock plans; Sun does not believe the current share price reflects its value.
Northfield, Minnesota-based Sheldahl Inc is to join forces with Texas Instruments Inc on the new generation, high-performance ball grid array semiconductor packages.
Correction: Jumping orders of magnitude, Batman! The 17,000-plus orders that QVC Inc took last weekend for Windows95 must add up to $1.53m of business (CI No 2,709).
Still, Computergram is not the sole repository for schoolboy howlers, and we particularly liked the one from Conner Peripherals Inc (which did send out a correction later) that said that its new plant in Singapore would make thin film 95mm (2.5-inch) and 65mm (3.5-inch) disks for storing computer data on hard disk drives – we know the metric system can be tricky for tyros, and that most metric measurements, particularly of length, are quite divorced from everyday experience, but it’s not that tricky.