Microsoft is now on a tight schedule to finish the third beta of Windows NT 5.0 by Thanksgiving Day. It promised it would so only one month ago. At the Intel Developer Forum earlier this year, a senior executive at Microsoft US told over 250 developers for the chip giant that his company is on target to deliver the release in time for the annual US holiday, which happens this year on 26 November.
Only a week after ZIP drive manufacturer Iomega announced its third quarter financial results, it said it has found a new CEO to steer its ship to better times. The company poached Jodie Glore from Rockwell Automation to complete the process of board restructuring it has suffered during the course of the last six months. Glore was COO and president of Rockwell Automation. According to chairman David Dunn, Glore managed to turn Rockwell’s business from $2.1 billion to $4.5 billion in four years, profitably. “That makes him an ideal person to lead Iomega into the next millenium,” said Dunn. An interim president, James Sierk, will be replaced by Glore, but will still remain on Iomega’s board. The company, based in Roy, Utah, reported in its third quarter results a week earlier that it had succeeded in reducing stock, but still made a $7.6 million net loss. It had a number of special charges during the period, the company said. But, worryingly for the company, while it showed an increase in shipments of its lucrative Zip drives, compared to the same quarter last year, gross margin declined by 22 per cent from 35 per cent, and revenues were significantly down. That suggests there is some discounting of Zip drives by Iomega’s channel. ® Click for more stories
Motorola and semiconductor firm Aureal are to create a product which will integrate 56K soft modem technology with 3D audio. The companies said Friday they had entered into a strategic alliance which will also use A3D positional audio algorithms for the family of products. The reason, said an Aureal representative, was a natural result of PC architecture convergence. The first product off the lines will be an Aureal modem/audio combination card, using V90 voice, data and fax, combined with the Vortex 8820 digital PCI audio accelerator. The soft code will save the price and the real estate on separate products and will use Intel’s Audo Modem Riser format for desktops and the mobile daughter card for portables. The companies will sell the result of their strategic alliance to PC OEMs, they said, with the first products arriving in Q1 1999. ® Click for more stories
Whenever it seems Hyundai is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), his own President Kim, or the South Korean banks, Mr Chung Ju-yung comes up with the cow idea. Earlier this year, in advance of talks which outsider observers hoped would result in a re-shuffling of South Korean chaebol business, Mr Chung drove 500 cows across the parallel into North Korea. And, according to local English newspaper, The Korea Herald, a spin doctor from Hyundai says that will happen on Tuesday of this week, with an additional 501 heifers headed for the famine stricken north of the peninsula. Mr Chung will also take 20 spanking new “luxury” Hyundai cars, the paper reported. He is hoping to strike JVs with the leading leaders in North Korea. But, in the same week that Mr Chung, his 501 cows and 20 cars cross the parallel, a government regulator will attempt to ride roughshod over the chaebol’s resistance to tidying up debt guarantees between subsidiaries that form part of the same group, the paper reported. It is not only Hyundai which is showing resistance – the other top chaebols in the country are also fighting the clean up. And the IMF will wait until March 2000 for the entire Augean Stable to empty. ® Click for more stories
Ginger group FACE Intel has published what it claims is an internal memo from CEO Craig Barrett to his staff worldwide. According to the memo, Barrett warned his staff against overspending on expenses claims but thanked them for increasing turnover and profit. At the same time, Barrett gave Intel staff an update on the progress of staff reductions at the chip giant. The memo, it is alleged, quotes Barrett as saying staffing levels were 64,500 at the end of the third quarter, but Intel would continue with cutting another 3,000 people and will also make some redundancies at its Massachusetts and Puerto Rico plants. But the bad news for Intel, if the report is true, is that its traditional vendor of choice rating fell to 87 per cent in Q3. The figure stood at 93 per cent in the same quarter a year before. Customers criticised Intel for a lack of products, missed delivery schedules and line down situations because of Intel roadmap conversion strategies, the report said. According to the memo as quoted, the only way Intel employees will win an additional day’s pay under its cash bonus programme (CBP) is if it wins a VOC rating of 90 per cent or more during separate six month periods. Intel staff were also asked to use their email systems “wisely” and “professionally”. No-one from Intel was available to comment on the veracity or otherwise of the memo. ®