1st February 1999 Archive
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Penalties will be severe in the extreme
A meeting of European justice ministers led by our own frightful home secretary, Jack Straw, agreed last week to consider allowing police to eavesdrop on Internet traffic. Unsurprisingly the ministers agreed that police should be given new powers, but they don't seem to have come up with any suggestions as to how the plod will …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 08:45
Cosmetics giant refuses to kiss and make-up
Estee Lauder, the cosmetics and fragrance giant, has filed a lawsuit against the search engine Excite and online cosmetics dealer The Fragrance Counter (TFC), alleging infringement of its trademarks over the purchase of certain keywords. A number of Estee Lauder subsidiaries have also filed similar suits in France and Germany …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 10:31
'Couple of thousand -- I guess'
Microsoft has two mastiffs: president Steve Ballmer and group VP Paul Maritz, who looks after platforms and applications. Mastiff Ballmer will not appear at the trial, mostly because he doesn't have any significant technical knowledge, but mastiff Maritz was the first Microsoft employee to face cross-examination in court. …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 10:47
"Number of Linux developers vastly exceeds the number of NT developers"
The cross examination of Microsoft group VP Paul Maritz showed Microsoft showing some real concern about Linux. Maritz probably didn't intend to announce under the DoJ spotlight that the number of applications that can run on Caldera's Linux was "probably several thousand". He was most reticent to produce a figure for Windows …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 11:03
Microsoft feared "patent terrorism" if Apple collapsed
Paul Maritz' testimony does give some useful information not previously disclosed about Microsoft's relationship with Apple, and in particular more details about litigation issues. It turns out that Microsoft's use of Apple code in Microsoft Video for Windows did indeed violate Apple's intellectual property rights, and that the …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 11:21
Did MS see Intel's NSP as a potential platform competitor?
David Boies for the DoJ roughed Microsoft VP Paul Maritz up about Intel's abortive multimedia system software, NSP, suggesting that Microsoft wanted it squashed because it was a potential platform competitor. Microsoft's Paul Osborne had said in an email dated 15 May 1995 that "Microsoft doesn't want Intel in the system software …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 11:34
"It has the potential to compete across the board with our product line"
Microsoft VP Paul Maritz gave a cracking endorsement of Lotus Notes, saying that it competed with several Microsoft products, including Windows as a platform, and Exchnage as an email and groupware system, and that many things can be done in Notes that require Microsoft Office. "It's one of those products that has the potential …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 11:44
BeOS competes with Windows in all circumstances
Microsoft VP Paul Maritz doesn't know much about BeOS -- for example, whether it could run without Windows. Judge Jackson was interested to find out from the Maritz that "you can dual boot any operating system alongside Windows". Hitachi was installing BeOS and Windows, although Maritz did not know if Windows was present or not …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 11:48
Yes, but didn't the bank and trading difficulties have something to do with it?
London Apple reseller CJ Graphics is blaming its chief supplier Apple for the “forced disposal” of the company to rival dealership Rapid Group. CJ Graphics owner Floral Street PLC sold the assets of the company for “up to £500,000” on Friday, January 29, after its bank suspended all the company’s financing facilities. AIM-listed …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 12:04
"We did conclude marketing arrangements whereby gave preference to our product over competing browsers"
Microsoft VP Paul Maritz' said in direst testimony: "I never said, in the presence of Intel personnel or otherwise, that Microsoft would 'cut off Netscape's air supply', or words to that effect." Maritz slagged off Intel VP Steven McGeady: "I believe that Mr McGeady's accusation in this regard [that Microsoft would 'kill HTML'] …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 12:08
Sony Music demands delay -- and gets it
Creation Records, one of the UK's largest independent records labels, has postponed plans to sell and distribute music via the Internet thanks to pressure from Sony Music. According to today's Financial Times, Sony, which owns 49 per cent of Creation, asked the indie label to delay the release of music tracks online until it had …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 12:41
Every little helps
Supermarket supremo Tesco has joined Dixons and Toys R Us to become the latest retailer to offer its customers free Internet access. Anyone with a Tesco's loyalty card will be able to access the service for free, although calls to the help line will cost 50 pence a minute. The move is designed to drive more people to Tesco's Web …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 12:45
Trebles PC assembly capacity
Datrontech is beefing up its PC assembly through a 45 per cent stake in Laser Computer Holdings. DTG is paying just NLG90,000 (£29,000) for its 45 per cent stake in Laser, a £32 million t/o Dutch computer assembler. The deal will look even sweeter, if Laser switches component sourcing to Datrontech. Datrontech is funnelling the …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 13:07
But its more to do with PR than inflated IPOs
Bill Gates this weekend claimed that Microsoft's share price is "surprisingly high" and investing in the company was a gamble. But while many observers chose to see Gates' comments as a response to recent concern voiced by the likes of Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan over the massively inflated value of Internet stocks, …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 13:56
Who says cheap ain't chic?
A French supermarket is selling Internet-ready PCs for the knockdown price of £200. Géant -- which has 120 stores throughout France –- told Le Register it has sold more than 3000 PCs in just five days as shoppers rush to take up the offer before it runs out next month. The deal is being run in conjunction with French Internet …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 15:19
Compaq forecasts end of Sun SPARC and MIPS
A press conference in central London today demonstrated the confusion Compaq is suffering after its takeover of Tandem and Digital. Richard George, Alpha Server product manager for Compaq in the UK, said: "There will be two chips in the next millennium. One will be made by Intel and other will be the Alpha chip." George said …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 15:21
It's all out war on the high street
Dixons has halved the cost of calls to Freeserve's technical support lines to mark the opening of the ISP's one-millionth account. The news comes -– coincidentally -- on the very day Tesco announced it was launching a rival subscription-free service for all ten million loyalty card holders. A spokeswoman for Tesco refused to …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 15:32
Is it Tru64, NT 64-bit, or what?
A press conference held at breakfast time this morning has demonstrated that the combined might of Compaq, DEC and Tandem is taking a while to settle down. The argument is still raging internally over what exactly a 64-bit operating system is, it has emerged. A team of 12 product marketing managers from Compaq debated a Gartner …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 15:33
It wants to be a utility, like gas, water or electricity
A giant PC company has spelt out its vision of the future for IT managers, in which they have to plug their servers, for storage, into a utility company called Compaq. Speaking at a press conference in central London this morning, Donal Madden, head of product marketing of storage at Compaq UK, outlined his company's vision of …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 15:50
MIPS gone, according to Eckhard, but where does that leave the rest?
There is no definitive answer as to where Compaq stands on whether Merced or the Alpha is a better chip platform. That emerged today during a heated debate in central London. Posed questions whether a 64-bit Intel platform, supposedly due next year, is better than a cheap Alpha 64-bit platform today, a jury of product marketing …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 16:17
It solves one problem but prompts another
A US legislator last week said that one answer to the January 1 problem next year was to call January 1st January 2nd. This, of course, ignores the soli-lunar calendars upon which much of our civilisation depends. However, the legislator did not try, at least, to go to the Gregorian calendar, which celebrates Christmas a full …
Business 1 Feb 1999, 16:51