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November 30, 1995

MINIGRAMS EXTRA

By CBR Staff Writer

Microsoft Corp, Redmond, Washington has released Internet Explorer 2.0, an upgraded version of the company’s World Wide Web browser for Windows95: it is also expanding its logo programme to the Internet, offering third-party vendors the right to license the Windows logo for use on World Wide Web sites that are fully compatible with the browser; like its predecessor, Internet Explorer 2.0 can be downloaded at no charge from the Internet for licensed Windows95 users.

And Microsoft Corp has launched a traditional Chinese language version of its Windows95 operating system mainly for the Taiwan market, although it expects to sell fewer than 100,000 units of the Windows upgrade annually in Taiwan: the retail price is not yet available; the Chinese version will also be sold in Hong Kong, but the company said the market there is smaller as 80% of users prefer the English language version; Microsoft also says it is on track for a simplified Chinese language version for mainland China by the year-end.

Minneapolis, Minnesota-based Digi International Inc has signed an OEM agreement with Novell Inc, under which Digi will offer the Novell NetWare Connect 2.0 and MultiProtocol Router 3.0 integrated with its family of remote access wide-area network communications products.

PC Quote Inc, Chicago, plans to introduce several Internet-based securities and market quotation services and will extend to December 31 beta testing of MarketSmart, an Internet-based market information site for non-professional investors; since testing began on November 3, more than 4,000 users have signed up, it said; the Internet-based services, targetted at markets from the consumer to professional investor, offer real-time and delayed stock and market data and will use World Wide Web browsers and dynamic applications; PC Quote expects the services to be launched in January 1996, it said.

Newbridge Networks Corp, Toronto, says British Gas Plc will use its network management products in the expansion of its private telecommunications network: Telecoms Services, a division of British Gas TransCo chose the Newbridge 36120 MainStreet multi-service platform and the 46020 MainStreet Network Manager to control traffic within a redesigned core infrastructure, Newbridge said; terms of the deal were not disclosed; British Gas transmits data, voice, video, private mobile radio, imaging and telemetry over the network via a combination of Frame Relay and circuit switched fabrics, Newbridge said.

Hector, Minnesota-based Communications Systems Inc is to acquire Automatic Tool & Connector Co Inc for $3.1m in cash and stock: Automatic Tool is a Union, New Jersey maker of high performance fibre optic connectors, interconnect devices and coaxial cable assemblies for the telecommunications, medical electronics, computer and other markets and had sales of $3.2m in fiscal 1995 ended April 30; the deal should close in early January.

Sprint Corp has added 10 Internet centres, in Hong Kong, Tokyo, Sydney, London, Paris, Stockholm, Moscow, St Petersburg, Amman and Johannesburg, giving corporate customers, governments and international carriers in Asia and Europe benefits of local access, diverse routing and minimised congestion for their Internet traffic; the 10 centres are the international Internet service hubs supporting the 28 countries outside the US where Sprint currently offers high-speed local access to the Internet and are interconnected with major national and regional gateways, known as peering points, such as the Hong Kong Internet Exchange in Asia and the London Internet Exchange in Europe; in the past, Internet traffic originating outside the US but destined for non-US Internet hosts often had to travel across crowded America before being handed-off to international host destinations.

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Systems integrator Tessera Enterprise Systems Inc, Wakefield, Massachusetts, is now offering to design data warehouse environments using Oracle, Informix, DB2 or Red Brick, for Digital Equipment Corp AlphaServers: Tessera, which was founded last April by former American Express Co employees, designs three-tiered custom data warehouses using its Early Harvest package.

Camarillo, California-based ACT Networks Inc is to buy privately-held Montreal-based Presticom Inc for $8.7m in cash and shares and sees a one-time charge of $5m to $6m against this quarter’s figures for write-offs; Presticom, a developer of multiple protocol Frame Relay access devices had sales of $2.2m for the year to September 30.

Sun Microsystems Inc’s SunService goes South of the Border, opening a Solutions Center in Mexico City.

AirTouch Communications Inc is opening a new European headquarters in the Netherlands next month, in the Hague: it will serve as the base for European business development and operations activities.

EMC Corp, Hopkinton, Massachusetts, has opened sales and service offices in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and Finland, and will manage them out of EMC Nordic AB in Stockholm: Bo Loverfelt from Hitachi Data Systems joined as manager of EMC Nordic.

Not often that items like this escape from the business pages, but BellSouth Corp and investors both have a healthy confidence in their own and BellSouth’s longevity: the company has issued $500m in 7% debentures that are due to be repaid on December 1 2095 – and will not be redeemed before that date, and the issue was raised from $350m because so many people wanted a slice of the action; it is at least fairly certain that everyone involved in the deal will be long dead by the time the bonds mature.

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