17th > December > 1998 Archive

The Register breaking news

We taught the Linux boys everything they know – SCO exec

Ray Anderson, senior VP of marketing at SCO, wrote to us claiming to have choked on his Ribena after reading our Sun/Linux news items Sun set to bring Linux to UltraSparc and Sun plan to run Linux apps on Solaris. Poor fellow, we thought. We'd hate to have caused him such distress, so we invited Ray to put his case. His opinions are entirely his own. Unix is Back Next year will see a big resurgence in Unix, despite continued growth in the Windows NT server market. There are three factors driving this 'Unix is Back' phenomenon. First, NT is failing to deliver in the Enterprise. NT is unreliable, does not scale and is hard to move to from reliable RISC-based Unix systems that already dominate in mid to high-end systems. The big hardware vendors such as IBM, HP, Compaq and Sun are either making good money and growth in Unix, or are increasing their investment in Unix again, because they have discovered by talking to customers and market analysts that an NT-only strategy into the enterprise is a failure strategy. Second, the shift to server-centric Network Computing, championed by Sun, Oracle, SCO, IBM, Amazon.com, AOL, and the whole e-business movement is driving Unix with a vengeance. Almost all the big e-business sites are based on Unix. Unix is reliable enough to run round the clock for doing live business. Even homebrewed Linux/Apache systems are more popular than NT because they run for more than a few days without a reboot. Unix is client independent -- remember the Bank of Scotland disaster where they tried to follow Microsoft's advice to "lock in to Windows95" with ActiveX -- so e-business people don't have to drive people into Windows upgrades. Finally, and as important, the whole Linux phenomenon is a Unix phenomenon. Linux was created by hackers for advanced users. Most of those users are developers who are now innovating on the Linux/Unix platform. Windows programmers moved to Java in droves, and many of those people then moved to Linux as a new "religion" when they were disillusioned. Developing for Linux is developing for Unix. SCO has positioned itself to exploit the growth of Unix at the same time as Unix moves from RISC to Intel -- a change which is starting to happen. SCO has aligned with the right players: Compaq, IBM and Intel. UnixWare7 is Intel's "Primary Unix". Compaq and IBM now actively market UnixWare7 and are working with SCO to add new technology (NonStop Clustering and AIX Middleware, for example) and routes to market (Telecom and Retail for example). We have focussed on Servers for the last three years, accepting the decline of our Unix client business but gaining momentum in servers by being the most "Windows Friendly" Unix, and adding Webtops and other technology to support diverse clients. According to IDC, UnixWare was the fastest growing server last year. We took over from OS/2 (behind NetWare and NT) as number three most popular server platform. We have been pushing the Linux/Open Unix movement for two years now -- making Unix free for non-commercial use, promoting "Open Source" through our 'Skunkware' and 'Freeware' programmes, and by joining Linux International as a corporate sponsor. Linux is a great platform for developers. Linux OS vendors have been around for years, and do take some of our low-end server business, but we have found that is more than made up for in the growing demand for reliable, tested, user and VAR-oriented platforms to run Unix applications for businesses. SCO's background has been in small and medium-sized business and replicated sites. That 'traditional' business has been very profitable for us and our partners, allowing us to make heavy investments in consolidating Unix (by buying the Unix IPR from Novell), building an Enterprise class Unix for Intel (UnixWare7) and preparing for the arrival of IA-64 products. As NT has to move on from marketing hype to battle in the Enterprise and in the small and medium business servers where Unix is strong, and with the resurgence of Unix, things are looking very different than they did a year ago. Paradigm shifts happen when several major trends line up. Here we have five: Intel commodity hardware, network computing, Linux/Unix resurgence, the shift to indirect/integrator models, and Bill Gates in the mud. As they say in Silicon Valley: "Shift Happens". ®
Ray Anderson, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Court watches videos as MS exits disrupts schedule

The DoJ scheduled its remaining two witnesses for after the Christmas break, so when Professor Felten's cross-examination turned out to be less than a day (he was assessed as being a day-and-a-half man) the court was left in the embarrassing position of not being prepared. The witnesses were not on standby, and their written testimony had not been unsealed the previous day. Nor were videotaped depositions that it was intended to show designated by the DoJ (i.e. extracts marked and passed to Microsoft), nor of course had Microsoft counter designated (marked extracts it wanted to be included). Judge Jackson decided it was not necessary to vary his existing Order, as the DoJ had requested, as to how far in advance each side should get the written testimony (it is five calendar days). The immediate timetable is that the court will recess today until 4 January. The remaining DoJ witnesses will probably take a week or so, so that Microsoft could begin its defence around 12 or 13 January. It is not yet known whether the DoJ will take as long as Microsoft in cross-examining witnesses, but it is unlikely. DoJ counsel have been concise in their redirect examinations, and David Boies told Judge Jackson this week that he expects things to move faster. On the other hand, Microsoft's redirect examinations of its witnesses are likely to take much longer than was the case with the DoJ witnesses, as the Microsoft legal team would be seeking to patch over the damage caused during the DoJ's cross-examination. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

MS attorney retreated in face of impenetrable defence

Edward Felten's evidence has proved to be technically the most important, so far as a core issue of the case is concerned, providing technical detail that was lacking in previous testimony. The DoJ has not been wise in its failure to provide at least a brief overview of the subject areas to be covered by its witnesses, with the consequence that what was disappointingly absent from Professor Farber's evidence (that he had not looked at the Windows 98 source code) was subsequently covered by Felten. The transcript shows that early reports of Felten's cross-examination do not truly reflect the important events in the court room. It is clear that many reports are adopting a tabloid approach of looking for drama rather than significance. This is well-seen in media reports of comments by Judge Jackson, where he admonished Dave Heiner of Microsoft for playing word games with Felten and trying to make him "make a slip of the lip" by repeatedly asking the same questions. But more significant was Felten's control of Heiner, so that Heiner's questions not only failed to gain points, they also tended to land Microsoft deeper in the mire when Felten elaborated. It is a disaster for a cross-examiner constantly to be surprised by the answer to factual questions. Heiner was badly briefed by Microsoft, and may be finding it difficult to get enough time from Microsoft specialists to gain a sufficient understanding of the issues. Just possibly, he is being fed a story line by Microsoft staff that is far from the truth. Alternatively, he may find the subject matter too technical. It may well be that Neukom (or Gates, who is rumouredly pulling the strings behind the scene) decided that Heiner was not doing well and should be curtailed. The significance of Felten's evidence was that he called Microsoft's technical bluff, and won. He drew attention to Microsoft's efforts to sabotage his now-famous prototype removal program, which could be seen as a sign of Microsoft's concern that the program might suddenly find its way onto the Web and be used by dissidents. It was also a crude attempt to discourage other efforts to emulate Felten's approach. It is amusing, but hardly surprising, that Microsoft does not have sufficient confidence about IE to believe that its enslaved Widows 98 users would prefer to stay with IE. At no time did Felten lose his cool, and he gave no ground at all. When asked which software in Windows 98 allows the user to browse the Web, Felten replied: "Are you really asking me to go to through the 14 or 18 million lines of code one by one and tell you which is this and which is that?" Heiner failed to find a toehold on the vertical rock face that he attempted to climb, and fell. What was lacking in Felten's evidence, and was not drawn out in Philip Malone's redirect examination, was a generalised account of the packaging tricks that Microsoft used to weld together Windows and IE. The DoJ has a hard job making a legally sound case that Microsoft should not be allowed to merge Windows and IE. The merger becomes an illegality if it can be shown that the way in which it was deliberately anticompetitive. The files at issue are particularly shdocv.dll, mshtml.dll, urlmon.dll and wininet.dll. Few can doubt, particularly after Felten's evidence, that Microsoft has indulged in some very devious ways of combining different functionality in files, so that relatively few can be identified as being specifically IE files. The DoJ may not have done enough yet to prove that Microsoft combined files in the way it did to make the removal of IE as difficult as possible. The raw material for a better summary of packaging tricks is mostly in Felten's testimony, but it requires a clearer presentation of the principles involved. The particularly childish aspect of Microsoft's approach to Felten's removal program was the mock seriousness with which Microsoft treated it. Microsoft continually turned its deaf ear when Felten said that Microsoft had better resources than him to construct an IE removal program (and of course to produce a version of Windows 98 without it). Instead, Heiner treated Felten's prototype removal program as something that it was not intended to be. Microsoft had evidently examined it very closely since September when Microsoft was first given a copy of the program. Some very silly questions resulted. For example, Heiner claimed that html page rendering was two to 300 per cent slower. Felten called his bluff, and said that he had been using Windows 98 with IE removed and Navigator installed instead every day for many months, and that his experience was inconsistent with Heiner's claim. Heiner also tried to make a big issue about how small the removed parts of Windows 98 were, ignoring many clear statements by Felten that his objective was to demonstrate a point: that IE functionality could be removed from Windows 98; that another browser (including IE) could then be installed; and that Windows functionality was unchanged. Felten said clearly many times that there was no technological reason for Microsoft to package IE with Windows 98, and that Microsoft failed to provide user choice about browsers. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

IE uninstaller – was it broken deliberately?

The transcript of Professor Felten's testimony as to what Microsoft did to the prototype removal program makes interesting reading, so we are including the full text of that part of the transcript so that readers may draw their own conclusions. David Heiner, a Microsoft lawyer, is asking the questions. Heiner: Dr. Felten, isn't it true that the Windows update feature is almost entirely nonfunctional after the prototype removal program is run? Felten: No, I don't believe that's the case. I should say--hang on. We are getting into an issue here that was one of the things that's changed since I filed my testimony, so let me talk about that for a minute. Heiner: Sir, the question is: isn't it true that the Windows update feature is almost entirely nonfunctional after the prototype removal program is run? It's a yes-or-no kind of question. Felten: Let me explain what the situation is with regard to that. In September, in early September, we provided Microsoft with the source code for the prototype removal program. And on the 4th of December, ten days ago, Microsoft modified some of the software that they distribute as part of the Windows update feature in a way that made it incompatible with the prototype removal program. (Expert's code gets 'broken') Specifically, it was modified in two ways. The first--the first way was that the software was made to download a file in an attempt to put that file into the same directory, into the Internet Explorer directory. Since that directory is no longer present, the attempt to download that file doesn't work. This is a very easy thing for Microsoft to fix. Simply put the file anywhere else. And we have verified that that fix works. there is another change that Microsoft made at this time, which is simply a bug in that the Microsoft code, at one point, fails to initialise a part of the Microsoft API called "com." This is a simple bug. So, Microsoft introduced those two changes after seeing our prototype removal program, and those two changes had the effect of making Windows update incompatible with the prototype removal program. We have verified that Microsoft could easily fix both of those changes, and we verified that by making modifications to the software so that it works again. but it's true that as Microsoft--if you look at the software that Microsoft is offering today, it doesn't work because of these incompatibilities that Microsoft introduced. The Court: Let's see if I understand that testimony. You are telling me that in the course of discovery in this case you provided the source code for your protocol, removal protocol? The Witness: Yes. That happened over the Labour Day weekend. The Court: Therefore, there appears to have been product changes by Microsoft? The Witness: The change was to--technically to an ActiveX control, which is a program that Microsoft provides for download. And as part of this Windows update feature, this program gets automatically downloaded to the user's PC. And there were changes to this file, and the changes had the effect of making the file incompatible with the prototype removal program. Heiner: Dr. Felten, isn't it true that the Windows update feature was entirely dysfunctional after the prototype removal program is run back in September 1998, the day you gave us the code, sir? Felten: No, that's not the case. After giving Microsoft the code--since giving Microsoft the code, I have run Windows update on my primary desktop PC, which is running a version--on which the prototype removal program has been run, so that is not the case. Heiner: Dr. Felten, isn't it the case that the Windows Update Web site was dysfunctional after the prototype removal program was run every day in September, October, and November 1998? Felten: No, I do not believe that to be the case. Heiner: Isn't it true that the search bar across the top of the Windows update site, which is essential functionality to that site, is totally dysfunctional after the prototype removal program is run? Felten: No, I know of no reason to believe that. I have used Windows update successfully myself several times since then without seeing any problem. ® Complete Register trial coverage
Graham Lea, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Netscape unveils $30m Netcenter ad campaign

Netscape is to spend a whopping $30 million next year to promote its Netcenter Web portal. The company said it will advertise on US TV, Radio, the Web, billboards and in print. Netscape's plan marks a new phase in the portal wars. Netcenter, Yahoo! Infoseek, Excite and co. have so far been keen to increase their user bases by buying smaller Web sites and paying each other to link into their sites in the hope that current users will shift their loyalty from one portal to another. Big league advertising has not, until now, figured in portals' promotional plans. Of course, AOL, Netscape's would-be buyer, is no stranger to mass advertising, so it's not hard to imagine where the inspiration for the Netcenter campaign has come from. The motivation, on the other hand, is almost certainly an attempt to respond to the launch of the new Disney/Infoseek portal, the Go Network, which will undoubtedly become the focus of a major, Disney-funded promotional campaign. Go's launch has raised the stakes, and Netcenter is bidding accordingly. ®
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Survey: PC market bouncing back

A report from consulting company Deloitte has predicted an upturn in the PC market. According to Deloitte, its PC-Cite report, which covers Q3 of 1998, shows that optimism is at a five-year high. That optimism is fuelled by a shift to different channel strategies, particularly in the e-commerce arena, Apple's success with the iMac and a feeling that the Asian recession will not affect the PC market. A gross margin index which Deloitte constructs, increased by over 13 per cent in the period, close to a five year high, according to the report. Charles Goldenberg, a partner in Deloitte Consulting, said: "This up trend is the result of the PC industry making significant changes very quickly, including taking advantage of the e-commerce explosion, streamlining inventory and bringing exciting new products to market. These shifts in the way PC makers do business have helped it rebound from the doom and gloom of earlier this year." He said that the combined inventory index showed a substantial decrease of close to 18 per cent in the quarter, with PC makers showing substantial increases in sales." "This decline is good news for the PC manufacturers and shows that the supply chain is healthy," he said. ®
A staffer, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Linux marketshare up 212 per cent

Linux's share of the server market expanded by 212 per cent this year, well ahead of Windows NT, NetWare and all other varieties of Unix, IDC reported yesterday. Still, that growth left Linux with just 17.2 per cent of the market, up from 6.8 per cent in 1997. Windows NT leads the market with a 36 per cent share, the same figure it achieved last year. NetWare dropped slightly, from 26.4 per cent in 1997 to 24.1 per cent in 1998. IDC only tracks copies of Linux sold through distributors like RedHat -- the figures don't include copies of the OS downloaded from the Internet simply because it's impossible to tell how many are used as servers. Even allowing for only a small percentage of downloads used in that role -- and it's not unreasonable to assume that many are, albeit not necessarily by IT professionals -- it's probably enough for Linux's real marketshare to eclipse that of all the other variants of Unix, which IDC reckons together command 17.4 per cent of the server market. IDC analyst Dan Kusnetzky put the growth in the use of Linux down to its low pricing, good performance and ant-Microsoft feeling among the hardcore IT community. That's likely to continue. With Windows 2000 (aka NT 5.0) due to ship sometime next year, it's not hard to foresee sales of the current release slipping in the meantime. And the explosive growth of Linux, which in turn is persuading server vendors like Dell and IBM to offer it as an alternative to NT, which in turn may drive Linux further and stem NT's growth. Indeed, while IDC has previously recorded NT growth rates of 75-80 per cent per year, it now reckons that will slide to between 20 and 30 per cent. ®
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Katmai NI a dead pigeon

In a burst of pre-launch publicity, chip giant Intel has renamed its Katmai New Instructions set to the far sexier "Streaming SIMD Extensions". But the company is at pains to point out that the new name is not a trademark, will not be abbreviated to SSE and will not be used in advertising material. According to Intel, Katmai was an internal codename for both SSE (oops) and for the desktop CPU which will be introduced late February. The official name for the chip will be announced early January and the slot two chip which includes SSE (oops, again), codenamed Tanner, along with the 0.18 micron die shrink of Katmai and Tanner, that is Coppermine and Cascades, will all share the same branding. Clear on that? ®
Mike Magee, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Adobe Q4 profits up on Illustrator 8.0

Graphics software specialist Adobe yesterday reported Q4 profits up seven per cent to $50.3 million from $46.8 million a year ago. Revenue for the period rose 8.6 per cent to $246.7 million from $227.1 million in Q4 1997. The company's figures were well ahead of Wall Street expectations, but like so many of Adobe's profit boost were driven by the launch of a new version of a single application, in this case Illustrator 8.0. Adobe's business comes from two key segments: applications like Illustrator and Photoshop, and licensing fees from the PostScript interpreters built into many laser printers. While the former has been hit hard by the shrinking Mac market, the latter has suffered from the Asian financial crisis. Licensing fees fell $7.4 million for the quarter year-on-year from $46.4 million, and as that figure drops, application sales have to grow even faster to maintain the company's overall growth. Fortunately, the resurgence in the Mac market is beginning to show, and this should push Adobe onwards through the coming quarters. That said, Adobe has been pumping R&D dollars into developing a new desktop publishing application, codenamed K2. The company is going to have its work cut out for it fighting the very, very heavily entrenched QuarkXPress. While users will generally welcome the arrival of a solid alternative to XPress -- it's hard to find any DTP operators who claim to really enjoy using it -- whether publishing companies will be willing to take the cost of the switch, in terms of software and training, is another matter. ®
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Cellular outfits plan 3G compromise statement

Asian and European cellular companies are to issue a joint statement regarding third generation (3G) wireless technology, according to Japanese reports. The content of the statement is not as yet known, but the companies involved suggest that it will be a further attempt to isolate/tame Qualcomm. Qualcomm, Ericsson and the ITU last week got involved in strange manoeuvring over the convergence of rival standards for high speed wireless (see Ericsson plots Qualcomm's demise). The ITU has issued an edict threatening to remove squabbling parties from consideration for the global IMT-2000 standard, while Ericsson has made what it claims is an offer of a compromise. The CDG (CDMA Development Group) has rejected this out of hand, saying the offer is deliberately incompatible with its own preferred option. Qualcomm has meanwhile been fingered by the ITU for being less than generous with its intellectual property, and Ericsson is trying not to get into trouble (and therefore, possibly, out of consideration) for similar sins. The companies making today's announcement will likely include most of those involved in the compromise over the European UMTS standard last year. This grouping included Ericsson, Alcatel, Nokia and Siemens, while NTT is also involved, as its technology is a key part of UMTS. Nokia made neutral noises when Ericsson made its compromise offer last week, so although it might seem that the UMTS grouping is getting ready to squash Qualcomm, it's by no means certain that they'll support Ericsson entirely. Qualcomm, however, has few friends, so it's still likely that whatever deal they come up with will put further pressure on the US company. ®
John Lettice, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Netscape planned to sever ties with Mozilla

Netscape was last month on the verge of cutting all its ties with Mozilla.org, the body charged with overseeing the Open Source development of Communicator 5.0, it has emerged. Netscape apparently became concerned that it was open to legal action if the work on Communicator 5.0 took in patented software -- Netscape would be left to pick up the tab if the owner of that patented code successfully sued Mozilla. The browser Satan's worries emerged earlier this week at a meeting of the San Francisco Bay Area Linux User's Group meeting in which Mozilla operative Jamie Zawinski. One option for Netscape was to spin off Mozilla, said Zawinski. "If someone sues a non-profit Mozilla.org, that's fine because we have no money," he added. Zawinski claimed Netscape's fears had faded somewhat -- the deal with AOL would rather overshadow lesser matters -- he added that they could yet re-emerge and force Netscape to sever its ties with Mozilla. Of course, Mozilla isn't exactly an innocent party here. As Zawinski himself said, Netscape and Mozilla are separate in spirit and have very different agendas -- and that probably goes double for AOL. Mozilla's agenda is to preserve the Open Source (or, rather, Netscape's modified version of it) nature of Communicator. While AOL CEO Steve Case recently said his company would continue to support the Open Communicator 5.0 initiative, he failed to guarantee that would apply to other versions. Spinning off Mozilla would be a good way of both insuring its independence and bringing the organisation even closer to the pure Open Source philosophy. Talking up Netscape's 'accidentally using patented software' fears is a good way of promoting that goal, whether Netscape ever really considered hiving it off or not. Certainly the chances of copyright code sneaking into core software doesn't seem to have overly worried other Open Source leaning companies, such as Sun. ® See also AOL Netscape deal questions Open Source commitment AOL speaks out on Mozilla support
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

AMD, Intel squabble over Katmai

A table released by AMD claimed that 3DNow beats KNI (Katmai New Instructions) by supporting functions in existing operating systems, DirectX 6.0 and current titles. But those claims are disputed by Intel. A representative said: "KNI will run with Windows 98 straight out of the box." He said, however, that Windows 95 will never support the instructions. He said that Microsoft has already released a Windows NT patch to allow it to support Katmai CPUs and that DirectX 6.1, which is currently in gold code, also supports the instructions. Further, he claimed the Katmai family will have broad support. "We have shipped 500 systems to ISVs, with 350 of those being in Europe," he said. Meanwhile, further details of a K7 shrink have emerged. In the second half of next year, AMD will shrink it to a 0.18 micron process. ®
Mike Magee, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Infobank shareholders lack confidence

Infobank's shareholders yesterday rejected the majority of a loan stock offer worth £8,942,317. Only £3,117,014 of the open offer was applied for -- around 35 per cent of the nominal value offered. The board said the 65 per cent (£5,825,303) of unwanted stock was then conditionally placed with institutional and other investors. An Extraordinary General Meeting of Infobank will be held tomorrow (18 December), at which a special resolution will be proposed to approve the Placing and Open Offer. If the resolution is passed, dealings in the Loan Stock are expected to commence on 22 December. ®
Team Register, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Apple takes cut of Amazon.com profits

Apple is so desperate for any source of revenue, it seems, it is even taking Amazon.com's shilling. So too is Adobe and a number of other vendors. According to a report on MacWeek.com, the version of Sherlock, Apple's unified file, disk and Web search tool, in MacOS 8.5.1 triggers a payment to the Mac maker every time a user accesses Amazon's Web site via Sherlock. Amazon has long made it a point of policy that it pays 'associates' for funnelling potential buyers into its own site, whether through banner ads or other links. The discovery was made when MacWeek took a closer look at the HTML code used to program the plug-in files Sherlock uses to access specific Web sites. The Barnes & Noble plug-in contains similar code. Apple refused to comment on its arrangement with Amazon -- the company's business relationships are confidential, said a spokeswoman. However, an Amazon spokesman said individual associates can receive up to 15 per cent of the profits from a sale if that transaction began as a link contained in a specific book recommendation on their site. A less specific link to Amazon's site as a whole garners just five per cent of the profits of a sale. The spokesman pointed out the Book Picks section of Adobe's Web site as an associate that gets paid the top rate. That said, he also said the deal with Apple, while non-exclusive did fall outside the usual associate agreement. ® PS. Please, please, please go and buy some books 'n' stuff from those nice Amazon people...
Tony Smith, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Women warm to Web

The pizza-faced bespectacled geek is dead Long live the middle class prosperous geekettes Middle-aged women are joining the Net far faster than any other social group and are more likely to admit that they are hooked, according to a study carried out by the University of Hertfordshire. The rise of the blue rinsers echoes another trend that Net addicts are more likely to be middle-class, working women in their early thirties. This "respectable" picture is in sharp contrast to the now defunct idea that the Net is populated by spotty youths with as much personality as the ex-FA boss Graham Kelly. And regardless of whether they're online or not, it appears that women prefer to spend their time gossiping either through e-mail or in chat rooms. Before any serial misogynists start nodding their heads in agreement, they should be aware that men, typically, prefer to spend their time playing games, downloading software or reading messages posted on newsgroups. This more insular activity clearly demonstrates a difference between the sexes in their online habits and that women have a far more sociable approach to the Net. Unfortunately, the research also confirms earlier studies that suggest there is a link between Net usage and depression, which is just as likely to affect men as women. ®
Chick Surfer, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

Insight into German market

Insight Enterprises, the giant of the US direct sales market, took another step into Europe today with the acquisition of German-based Computerprofis Computersysteme. Insight agreed to snap up the German reseller for about $6 million in cash and $2.4 million in Insight stock, with additional consideration contingent on profitability over the next five years. Computerprofis, headquartered in Griesheim, near Frankfurt, is one of Germany’s top five largest resellers and last year recorded sales in excess of $50 million. The move was Insight’s second European acquisition this year, following its buyout of ailing British reseller Choice in April. Tim Crown, Insight president, said: "Computerprofis has proven itself as a significant company in the German marketplace and we consider it an important addition to our pan-European growth plan for the Insight brand." He added: "We believe that the market is primed for the introduction of Insight’s successful model – outbound telephone sales to businesses, along with use of electronic commerce." Crown also said he was pleased with the acquisition of Nottingham-based Choice and its expansion into Canada late last year. ®
Linda Harrison, 17 Dec 1998
The Register breaking news

S3, Intel cuddle up

Chip giant Intel is to buy a stake in graphics chip company S3, according to American reports. But the move, if the reports are true, are likely to enrage the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), a division of the US government. Wire Techweb today reported that Intel and S3 have entered into a 10-year cross licensing agreement. It will cover all aspects of S3's technology, the wire revealed. But S3 bought up many patents earlier this year, after a putative Apple start up fell flat on its face. Intel refused to confirm or deny the reports, although it is an obvious move for it. Third party graphics chips suppliers form a significant part of the USA versus Intel show slated to start February, latest. ®