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  1. Technology
November 2, 1995

MINIGRAMS

By CBR Staff Writer

The first PowerPC boxes from Motorola Inc’s 60%-owned Nanjing Power Computer Ltd in China will be sold with Microsoft Corp’s Windows NT.

Microsoft Corp said it would invest more in its Middle East operations now that copyright laws had been introduced in most of the countries in the region, Reuters reported.

The people that Barrons styles Big Money managers rate IBM Corp second only to Intel Corp as the share they regard as most attractive, saying that it is cheap on current and forecast earnings – all of which seems to emphasise how remote investors are to reality: never in its history has IBM been unable to ship so many major product lines at the same time as now – every time prices of used 3390 disk drives start to fall, they pick up and stabilise again as IBM rushes into the market to buy up what is available to offer as Ramac placeholders – but the real weaknesses have yet to show up: many users have still not realised that far from being the answer to a single image power user’s prayer, Parallel Sysplex CMOS machines are nothing more than IBM’s implementation of the old VAXcluster – and when they do wake up, most of them are going to be screaming out for the ECL machines that IBM will by then no longer make, while they get Hewlett-Packard Co on the phone to discuss what its biggest Unix servers can do.

IBM Corp’s client and server browsers are so good that the company has now rushed to license Netscape Communications Corp clients, servers and other products to those already offered on the the IBM Global Network and on IBM hardware: it is taking Netscape Navigator, server software and Netscape Internet Applications, which does not say much about the stuff IBM has developed.

And despite having its own browser, Prodigy Services Co says it will license Netscape Communications Corp’s client products and plans to offer them to its subscribers at no extra charge, as an optional alternative way to access the Internet.

Turns out the UK is paying Siemens AG to take the National Engineering Laboratory away: no terms were disclosed when the government said in August that Siemens Assessment Services Ltd was the preferred bidder to take the Scottish lab, which employs over 200 people, but according to Reuter, in a Parliamentary written reply, science and technology minister Ian Taylor said the consideration will be a negative ú1.95m, to be adjusted subsequently in the light of the level of net current assets at completion – that’s a highly satisfactory outcome for government and for NEL.

Naperville, Illinois Web browser specialist Spyglass Inc says it plans to double its worldwide sales force during the current quarter.

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Fujitsu Ltd is to invest about $7.5m in a trial of an interactive cable television and computer network service with cable television company City TV Nakano in the Tokyo area next month: it will offer multimedia services such as on-line shopping, video on demand and Internet access with Fujitsu setting up the infrastructure such as optical fibre networks; 300 households will participate in the one-year trial, paying $105 membership fee.

Richard Guarino, acting chairman and chief executive at Taligent Inc in the wake of Joe Guglielmi’s defection to Motorola Inc, died of a massive coronary attack while jogging over the weekend: according to PC Week, vice-president of product development Doug Brent has had to step in as acting acting chief executive; Richard Guarino had been general manager of IBM’s software development and personal systems business segment’s Power Systems Division when he was asked to take the helm at Taligent pending a permanent appointment being made.

Tele Danmark A/S will neither confirm nor deny that it interested in Belgacom NV: Brussels is likely to pick a buyer for a 49.9% stake in Belgacom next month, and Tele Denmark is tipped to join in and rescue the Bell Atlantic Corp bid – replacing British Telecommunications Plc which cried off last month.

Nothing like the Internet to let the whole world know you’re mad as hell and you’re not going to take it any more: employees at Ing C Olivetti & Co SpA launched their own Web page with a trenchant the present plan to eliminate 5,000 workers throughout the world is a blow to the commercial organisation and risks the definitive compromise of the company on the world market – Olivetti was once an important industrial presence… but it now risks becoming no more than a small company trying to sell telephone calls in Italy, the staffers said.

Scotts Valley, Califoria-based Borland International Inc announced the Paradox 7 release of its database to run under Microsoft Corp’s Windows95 and Windows NT operating systems, for delivery in December at an estimated street price of $300, with upgrades from previous versions at $90 after manufacturer’s rebate: Paradox 7 is described as a 32-bit application designed to take full advantage of advanced features of Windows95 and NT; the company says that it introduces a number of new expert features to help users to automate the most commonly used database tasks.

The US Justice Department and the Securities & Exchange Commission have made an informal request to IBM Corp for information on the payments allegedly tied to a $250m contract to modernise the computer system of Argentina’s state-owned Banco de la Nacion Argentina (CI No 2,754): the payments, which could amount to $21m, are at the centre of a bribery probe by Argentine investigators which has already seen the firing of IBM Argentina’s three top executives although no charges have been filed and IBM says its own investigation hasn’t turned up any illegal activity; the Justice Department and SEC, which administer the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act US law that makes it illegal for American companies to make illicit payments abroad, won’t comment on correspondence with IBM but a spokesman said it only infrequently makes such requests, and that IBM is co-operating fully.

Dallas, Texas-based Voice Control Systems Inc has signed a development agreement to supply its speech recognition technology to Siemens AG’s public communications network group, based in Munich: the technology will be added to the Siemens EWSD public switching system, and will enable voice dialling with no training to a user’s voice; the financial details were not given.

NEC Corp has agreed to transfer its Digital Radio Multiple Access Subscriber System, or DRMASS radio technology to telecommunications manufacturer Plessey South Africa Ltd and to train its engineers and workers for a transfer fee of between $200,000 and $395,000: the technology is expected to boost the telecommunications infrastructure in rural areas of the country and Plessey is expected to begin producing the radio systems next February, with first shipments expected in March, under NEC’s brand name; DRMASS is a digital point-to-multipoint radio system that can be used for data transmission as well as telephone service; NEC expects to earn up to $200m in South Africa during the next five years and said it is looking at possible future plans for central switching systems, fibre optic transmission systems or microwave transmission.

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