First came news that the SCSI version of IBM Corp’s Magstar tape drive is to be delayed until September 29 (CI No 2,717), now the admission that the Escon version, which should have been available during this half of the year, probably won’t see the light of day until the second half of next year […]
First came news that the SCSI version of IBM Corp’s Magstar tape drive is to be delayed until September 29 (CI No 2,717), now the admission that the Escon version, which should have been available during this half of the year, probably won’t see the light of day until the second half of next year because some of the engineers and programmers who had been working on the project have been moved off it, probably to work on the Son of Ramac products Seascape and Seastar: IBM would not be drawn on exactly where this group of staff has been moved, but apparently Seascape is slipping and after the problems IBM has had with Ramac, it must be keen to make sure its follow-on product makes it out as close to time and in peak condition; when exactly the Escon version of the humble tape drive will be available will be announced the same day the SCSI version ships.
Bertelsmann AG and French pay television group Canal Plus are close to finalising plans to set up a company that will launch video-on-demand services in Europe: the two, with German public television networks ARD and ZDF, have agreed a common standard for a pay television decoder that they plan to make available to other companies wanting to offer similar services; the set-top box being considered would be developed by a firm jointly owned by Bertelsmann and Canal Plus.
Like Peter Sellars as Dr Strangelove, whose artificial arm was constantly trying to deliver a Heil Hitler salute, Lou Gerstner can’t help badmouthing OS/2 and then having to rush out a withdrawal: IBM Corp is not abandoning its efforts to sell the OS/2 operating system on desktop computers, the chairman said; OS/2 is one of the cornerstones of the IBM software strategy, Gerstner wrote in a letter distributed on Tuesday to IBM marketing managers – We remain committed to its success; my statements were regarding the fact that OS/2 is the market leader in enterprise and commercial accounts and that IBM’s primary OS/2 focus is to maintain that leadership he wrote.
Shares in IBM Corp rose to a new five-year high on Wednesday, rising $1.625 to $111.25 on expectations of the partership with Stet SpA.
Intel Corp cut prices on its Pentium chips by an average of about 20% so that the 133MHz Pentium is now $694 for 1,000-up, 100MHz parts are $398 and the 75MHz Pentia now cost $184.
The market seems to think the idea of Digital Equipment Corp putting its companyhood into escrow and burying its identity in Microsoft Corp is a great idea, and DEC shares rose $2.625 to $43, after it reached an intra-session high of $45.50 in very active trading.
Shares in ON Technology Corp rose $3 to $18 when trading started after its initial public offering.
Ing C Olivetti & C SpA managing director Corrado Passera is to take charge of its loss-making personal computer business on a temporary basis: the unit, as reported, is being hived off into a separate division: the new divisions – the other is for office systems – will become legal entities in January.
Westborough, Massachusetts-based Data General Corp says it is confident it will return to profitablity after reporting fiscal third quarter losses (page seven): while the company said it remains cautious for the remainder of 1995, it said it is confident that its AViiON and CLARiiON businesses will generate revenue growth and help the company to accomplish its financial goals – although the AViiON business reported a sales decline in the third quarter the company said it was from sales force and product transitions, which are now complete.
UK cable television franchisee Nynex Cablecomms Group Plc says its residential telephone lines rose by over 35,000 in the second quarter while cable subscribers increased by over 16,000 during the same period – and the churn rate for cancellations declined for both; Nynex said its total residential phone lines stood at 152,215 by end-June 1995, up 156% from the same point last year, television subscriptions rose 83% to 146,575.
Co shares fell in active trading on Tuesday on concerns about pricing and competitive pressures in the printing business: the shares fell $2.50 at $75.375.
If they really want to keep the jobs there, they’d better keep buying the kit: Digital Equipment Corp says its two operations in Ireland have increased their number of employees but sales in Ireland, both north and south, fell 4.3% – Overall employment rose by almost 20% to over 900 people with over 150 jobs being created by the new support centres, the company said.
President Clinton is threatening to veto the pending telecommunications legislation in the US House of Representatives, because of concerns about excessive media concentration, cable rate deregulation and regional telephone companies’ entry into the long-distance business.
Loral Corp has won a US Air Force contract worth up to $400m to upgrade the command and control system of the Global Positioning System and replace its mainframes with open systems workstations: the five-year development and maintenance contract is at the Global Positioning Master Control Station at Falcon Air Force Base; it will automate 90% of operator workload, so allowing for staff reductions.
Mannesmann Mobilfunk GmbH says its D2 network had 1.07m subscribers at the end of June: new subscribers signed up at a rate of 40,000 per month, up from 30,000 in May, as a new rate structure with low basic costs introduced in May encouraged private individuals to sign up for the service; the company said group sales in 1994 rose 94% to $1,260m.
Commenting on its losses (see page seven) Magic Software Enterprises Ltd says the net loss of $887,000, or $0.21 per share, was within expectations, and said that he sees a return to profits soon: In the third quarter we begin shipping Magic Version 6 for Windows; based on the very strong market reception for this new product, I think we can anticipate a return to profitability later this year, it said.
Southborough, Massachusetts-based Chipcom Corp has adopted a poison pill shareholder rights plan to ensure that would be spoiler Cabletron Systems Inc cannot get in the way of its being sold to 3Com Corp.
Danvers, Massachusetts-based Ibis Technology Corp reports orders totaling $1.1m from the Honeywell Inc Solid State Electronics Centre and another chipmaker for commercial Simox wafers: the orders resulted in a commercial order backlog of about $1.7m, the largest in Ibis’s history, the company said; most of the orders will be deliverable in 1995 and will be produced on the company’s next-generation Ibis 1000 and other ion implanters, of which Ibis has four on line all told.
The Windows95 launch – if Justice doesn’t step in and spoil the party – is shaping up to be the ultimate silly season event: according to the Wall Street Journal, Windows95 – which apparently has 500,000 words of text in it, or nearly 10 weeks of Computergrams will in France be launched simultaneously with a new Citroen family van with a Windows95 computer fitted, billed as the ultimate travelling office.