It is quite clear that Louis Gerstner is not overly impressed either with IBMers or with computer industry specialists, and to replace James Cannavino as IBM Corp’s chief strategist, he has chosen a consumer marketing man who is currently the president of a fast food restaurant chain: Bruce Harreld, president of Boston Chicken Inc has […]
It is quite clear that Louis Gerstner is not overly impressed either with IBMers or with computer industry specialists, and to replace James Cannavino as IBM Corp’s chief strategist, he has chosen a consumer marketing man who is currently the president of a fast food restaurant chain: Bruce Harreld, president of Boston Chicken Inc has been appointed to map IBM’s future strategy and find the hot new products that will fill the yawning hole to be left by the demise of the mainframe; his main qualifications for the job are that he had a frustrating time trying to harmonise the computer systems of Kraft Inc and General Foods Inc, and the fact that Boston Chicken is a major Notes user so he will be able to explain to bemused IBMers what is so good or otherwise about Notes.
Reed Hundt, chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission blasted the European Community for foot-dragging on negotiations to create an open market for telecommunications and warned that he could not approve France Telecom and Deutsche Telekom AG taking a 20% stake in Sprint Corp until they had created an independent regulatory authority, given permission for qualified companies to build separate telephone networks, and set reasonable rates for rivals to have access to the national carriers’ phone lines; he said his Commission could grant conditional approval, meaning the companies couldn’t complete the deal until the European deregulation plans met his requirements, or allow the deal and force it to unwind if the Europeans don’t deregulate adequately.
Learmonth & Burchett Management Systems Plc plans to offer at least 5m ordinary shares on the US Nasdaq National Market at a price of 340p a share, to raise at least ú17m; Learmonth said it currently had no need for the extra cash the offer would generate, but added that, in common with other US technology companies, it was seeking to maintain a high cash balance compared with that of UK technology firms.
Intel Corp is expected to get the contract to manufacture personal computers for AT&T Corp’s Global Information Solutions unit, further upsetting iAPX-86 customers that fear Intel, already making 30% of Pentium motherboards, will sooner or later enter the personal computer market as a direct competitor: beneficiaries will be Cyrix Corp, Nexgen Inc, Advanced Micro Devices Inc and Texas Instruments Inc.
Stirring up more controversy over fears that Microsoft Corp’s medium term aim is world domination via software, Netscape Communications Corp chairman James Clark says that Microsoft had sought to acquire a 20% stake in Internet browser developer, and that Netscape rejected the offer, which he criticised as an example of Microsoft’s attempts to try and control other software companies – It is not in Microsoft’s bones to co-operate with other companies, Clark asserted; Microsoft sought the stake and a seat on Netscape’s board in return for access to the Windows95 user interface programming interface.
Having agreed to invest $2,000m in Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp Pty Ltd, MCI Communications Corp, Washington intends to exploit Mr Murdoch’s skills to recreate British Sky Broadcasting Plc in the US: the company plans to bid for a federal licence to offer direct-broadcast satellite services to homes and businesses by the end of 1996, and if it wins the licence, plans to launch two satellites to give it coverage across the United States – and make the system interactive by using its long-distance lines as the return feed from subscribers.
Ignoring the unsolicited interruption from a rival bidder, Amdahl Corp has begun formal tender offers to the holders of record of DMR Group Inc class A and B shares.
Commenting on its figures NBI Inc, Longmont, Colorado says its improved performance in the latest fourth quarter and year resulted primarily from a substantial net unrealised gain on investments, compared with a significant net unrealised loss on investments in the year-ago periods; the company pulled out of systems integration when it bought so
me assets of the Alpha Net Division of Krug International Corp; it says that as a result of recent acquisitions, it is finally repositioned to generate improved operating results.
Apple Computer Inc has expanded and consolidated all its Internet and on-line content and services development into one division, and changed the name of its on-line services division to Apple Internet Services: it will be responsible for the launching, in 1996, of a series of new, Apple-branded, World Wide Web sites and management of its eWorld on-line service, making it more of an Internet-based service.
Dutch company ASM Lithography NV, floated off from Philips Electronics NV in March, is deep in talks with Ultratech Stepper Inc about a strategic alliance in photolithography equipment for chipmakers to address capacity problems: the alliance is intended to use ASM’s high-productivity steppers and Ultratech’s wide-field, high-productivity steppers for the non-critical levels, the two companies said.
As you were: the head of Samsung Electronics Ltd’s Asia unit appears to have been misinformed (CI No 2,757) and the company has not decided on Hillsboro, Oregon as the site for its vast new memory chip plant, and in a press release, it says that the plant will be in Austin, Texas, which had been desperate to win it after two high-profile losses; Samsung says any formal announcement would be premature until all the requirements necessary for the project have been finalised; the plant is expected to cost $1,300m and to open for production in 1997, with jobs for up to 1,600.
The US Supreme Court has agreed to review a lower court ruling favouring Borland International Inc in its spreadsheet copyright fight with Lotus Development Corp: the Federal appeals court in Boston held that the US Copyright Act did not protect a central element of 1-2-3 from imitation by competitors like Borland, causing some intellectual-property lawyers to say that the Boston court’s analysis, if broadly accepted, could exclude most computer programs from copyright protection; the judge in Boston concluded that in its Quattro spreadsheet program, Borland had copied 1-2-3 but the appeals court ruled that the 1-2-3 system of menus and commands constituted a method of operation akin to the buttons on a videocassette recorder and were as such specifically excluded from protection of the Copyright Act; Lotus appealed to the Supreme Court, arguing that the decision poses a serious problem for an important American industry.
What is it with information that we blindly accept that we need ever more of it? Internet iconoclast Clifford Stoll tells the Financial Times I have not met anyone standing on a street corner saying I need more information, which recalls one of the many unsuccessful advertising campaigns for The Times of two decades ago (it must have been unsuccessful, otherwise the paper would not have suffered the fate worse than decent closure of being sold to Rupert Murdoch), which used the tag have you ever wished you were better informed? and which had to be aimed at inadequates, because anybody else would respond no – if I had, I’d have done something about it.