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  1. Technology
November 17, 1995


By CBR Staff Writer

These things are all about perception, and Goldman Sachs & Co analyst Rick Sherlund downgraded Microsoft Corp to moderate outperformer from recommended because of expectations that investors will become more aware and concerned about the implications of the Internet on it.

Cadbury Schweppes Plc has let its ITnet information technology facilities management unit to a management-led consortium for ú32.5m cash, but it will take a 12.5% stake in the new company formed to make the acquisition: 3i Group Plc will hold a 37.4% stake in the company, management will hold 25.1% and an employee benefit trust, which will distribute shares to employees over the next three years, will also take 25%; ITnet was set up in 1987 and employs around 1,000 people; it had turnover of ú50.5m and operating profit of ú3.5m in 1994, Cadbury asserted.

Amdahl Corp’s stake in DMR Group Inc has now risen above 90% and it expects to complete the acquisition by month’s end: it has had to pay more than it expected because of the IBM Canada Ltd intervention.

Fairfax, Virginia-based UUNet Technologies Inc reports that its tender offer for Unipalm Group Plc has gone wholly unconditional after holders of 90.54% of the Unipalm shares out had accepted the offer; it will pay 0.1543 of a share, currently worth $11 or 700 pence; when the bid was launched it was worth only about 415 pence a share.

It’s utter speculation and there is no basis to that speculation, Christine Hughes, Novell Inc’s senior vice-president for corporate marketing, said in an interview with Reuters at the Comdex of the gossip that the whole company is being shopped to IBM Corp or AT&T Corp – or anyone else: she dismissed talk that Novell was for sale as patently false and that sale of the business applications is the final step in the company’s strategy to focus on its core networking software; I don’t eat breakfast – I’m too busy wiring the world and slopping up rumours about our company being up for sale, chief executive Ron Frankenberg echoed.

Capita Group Plc has won two contracts worth a total ú29m: ú14m over 10 years to provide an extensive revenues service to the London Borough of Bexley, and ú15m over four and a half years to provide computer services to the UK Society of Motor Manufacturers & Traders.

Computer 2000 AG says its pre-tax profit grew at a double digit rate in the fiscal year to September: it declined to offer a solid profit forecast, but said that currency market swings had forced the company to revise its previous profit forecast of 30% to 50% growth; it says sales for the year rose 28.7% to the equivalent of $3,540m and continuing price declines in the personal computer business were more than offset by an increase in business volume, chairman Walter von Szczytnicki told journalists.

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The Czech economics ministry has released a list of firms which have declared an initial interest in a government tender for a 49% stake in a licence to operate a Czech Groupe Speciale Mobile telephone network, several of whom are expected to combine to file a joint bid: the companies include several from the Czech Republic, as well as many international companies including the following; AirTouch International Inc, RWE Teliance AG, Daewoo Corp, DeTeMobil Deutsche Telekom, France Telecom Mobiles, Korea Telecom, Mitsui & Co Ltd, Portugal Telecom, Shinawatra International, Southwestern Bell Inc, Stet International, Tele Danmark, Telecom Finland Oy and Vebacom Duesseldorf.

Marlborough, Massachusetts-based CrossComm Corp will restructure its sales, marketing and engineering organizations, resulting in some job losses: the company said it expects to record a charge against fourth quarter earnings of $4m to $6m to cover restructuring costs.

It’s all very well, but until designers learn how to make flat panels that fold in the middle, large screen portable computers are going to be unattractively bulky: NEC Electronics Inc is boasting that Zenith Data Systems is the first taker for its new 12.1 colour liquid crystal diode display panel; the Z-Note GT uses a 90MHz Pentium; the machine, with 1.3Gb disk, 8Mb memory and CD-ROM drive is $6,000 – and if you wince at that, well samples of the screen alone, which is expected next month, cost $2,000; volume pricing is expected to be $1,000, but you must take 10,000 a month for that, and there are not too many manufacturers shifting 10,000 portables at $6,000 each.

Pope John Paul II is ready to take to cyberspace: the Vatican says that it expects to open a site on the World Wide Web in a few months.

The New York Public Library, housed in the grandest building on Fifth Avenue, is now on the Internet – and as well as being able to find books and documents and scan databases for articles – the library has over 50m items, anyone that wanders in off the Manhattan streets can use the system to get onto the Internet; the $9.5m LEO Library Entrance On-line system, which also salutes the stone lions on either side of the steps up to the building, is also accessible from anywhere in the world at

Most of the population of England has had a choice of three cellular providers for over a year, much of the population has had a choice of four for a couple of years, and the US is playing catch-up in a big way – area around Washington DC this week became the first in the nation to offer a third cellular carrier, an alliance of Sprint Corp with American Personal Communications Inc.

America offline: America Online Inc suffered a two-hour shutdown on Tuesday when a planned closure to install new software lasted longer than expected because the new program didn’t work properly.

None of the shares in Lexmark International Group Inc’s initial public offering were new, so the firm raised no new cash (CI No 2,794).

Buffalo Grove, Illinois-based Telular Corp won a $100m three-year purchase commitment with Motorola Inc’s Cellular Infrastructure Group; there is also an engineering and product development commitment and a cross OEM manufacturer supply relationship that will cover current and future cellular products.

Good thing that Windows95 handles long file names (sort of) – if you want to take look at Mosaic 2.0, is the site that you will need to access.

Edina, Minnesota-based Technical Publishing Solutions Inc said on successful completion of its previously announced proposed merger with MacGregor Sports & Fitness Inc, due to be completed in January 1996, the newly combined company will change its name to IntraNet Solutions Inc: it said the new name describes its business strategy, which is to provide integrated solutions for the management and distribution of business information using Internet technologies.

Cybernauts disparagingly call it snail mail, so how come that according to Inteco Inc, the only on-line shopping purveyor to generate significant revenue in the Florida multimedia trials turned out to be the US Postal Service – selling humble US postage stamps?

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