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Last week in review

A quick round up...

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Bridging the IT gap between rising business demands and ageing tools

For a full list of the 130+ stories we wrote last week, including all the Bootnotes & Gossip, go here Semiconductors dominated the The Register's coverage last week, in the build up to AMD's big Athlon K7 announcement tomorrow/Tuesday. At the start of the week, Intel showed itself slightly confused over the Celeron 100MHz Frontside Bus. Although there is a slide on its own site showing it will start to support the higher bus speed as early as Q3, representatives said it wouldn't. By the end of the week, Intel had still not clarified the position but as predicted here two weeks earlier, comprehensively slashed prices on its existing Celeron range as it intro'd a 500MHz flavour. AMD arranged for a raft of Euro PC journalists to go to its Fab 30 semiconductor plant in Dresden, Germany. Here, we were told that AMD had successfully produced the K6 in copper, given some details about how it will position the K7 at the high end, but not shown round the fab itself. Just the week before, AMD's CFO confirmed it was attempting to find a partner to help finance Fab 30. Speculation favoured Motorola rather than Intel. The German language version of AMD's Dresden house magazine showed CEO Jerry Sanders III putting two fingers up, prompting a discussion that the gesture was devised when English longbowmen trashed French knights at Agincourt. Via confirmed it was buying Cyrix last week, while sources told us that Rise had laid off staff in its Taiwanese office. Towards the end of the week, Via surprised everyone by announcing it would buy IDT, and we speculated on how that might work, given the chip cores were completely different. Late Friday, Via apparently resolved that conundrum by laying off Richardson and Arlington Cyrix staff... The wonderful world of the wibbly wobbly worldwide Web was also fast and furious last week. AOL tried to grab the headlines with a stream of initiatives including putting Net terminals into kinemas and shops, and striking deals with Fujitsu for so-called Free PCs. BOL gave away £100,000 worth of books on its site, generating so much demand that the whole site fell over. The UK government got repeated stick during the whole week for its e-commerce policy. In the middle of the week, it looked as though all the world and its dog was beginning to believe that Internet stocks and shares were overvalued. A stack of Net IPOs slumped on Wall Street, while later in the week, Microsoft put out its stall, mooting free net access for MSN. This received a lukewarm welcome from the world and its dogs. It was a relatively quiet week on the software side. Bill Gates and his philanthropic ways received some attention, while there was some discussion about the up-and-coming IPO of Linux distributor Red Hat. A report from IDC suggested that NT wasn't growing as fast as some people thought it might, challenged by -- you guessed it -- Linux. On Friday, IBM extended its support for Linux, yet again. ®

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