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/// CPU Status Report Late Breaking Industry-Wide News
COMMODORE OUTSOURCES US SUPPORT OPERATION TO THE SERVICE MANAGEMENT GROUP
(West Chester, PA - July 1 , 1 993) Commodore Business Machines, Inc. and
The Service Management Group, Inc. today announced an outsourcing
agreement in which the SMG will provide all post sale support to
Commodore resellers, OEMs, VARs and end users. Under the terms of this
agreement, the SMG will administer the U.S. warranty program for
Commodore. Commodore products are currently covered by a one year, parts
and labor warranty provided through Authorized Commodore resellers and
service centers. Beginning today Commodore resellers and service centers
will work with the SMG for all warranty-related activities.
The Service Management Group will also act as the U.S. distributor for
Commodore parts. The agreement is expected to eventually include the
repair and refurbishment of all defective products, repair component
management and end-of-life logistics and materials management.
Commodore also announced that it is unbundling end user product support
offerings effective today. After an extensive study of the current
customer service programs and consultation with Commodore resellers,
service centers and end users, CBM decided to restructure both the
Commodore ExpressTM and Gold Service Programs. These nationally
recognized programs will now be unbundled, permitting Commodore customers
to select the service level that best meets their individual needs. The
Gold Service Programs will be available through the Service Management
Group. Under Gold Service, Commodore end users can select a variety of
coverage options for their Commodore Amiga% systems and the most
popular third-party items purchased for these systems. These coverages
include dealer, depot or on-site support in the United States.
"Commodore end users are a very diverse and demanding group" commented
James Dionne" President and General Manager of Commodore Business
Machines" Inc. "Their support requirements range from self maintenance to
total turnkey support. Commodore is committed to meeting each of these
support requirements with the highest quality service at the lowest cost
to the customer . Outsourcing our support program to the SMG permits us
to not only meet these requirements" but to keep Commodore support among
the best in the industry." The SMG provides customer support through a
network of Authorized Commodore resellers and service centers" as well as
a nationwide service provider.
The SMG will also provide support for both Commodore Authorized resellers
and service centers. These programs are slated to include a technical
help desk" staffed by engineering personnel and specifically trained to
assist dealers and service centers" as well as technical publications and
on-line bulletin boards.
"We are very proud of the work we have done with Commodore over the past
three years" noted Paul Bielski" President of the SMG. "With programs
such as CommodoreExpress Gold Service and the SMG Extended Warranty"
Commodore has been able to meet the needs of the most demanding
customers" while improving quality and reducing cost. We are proud to
have had the opportunity to design" implement and manage these efforts
The SMG announced that it will be expanding its headquarters operation in
Columbia" Maryland and will add new facilities and personnel in the West
Chester" Pennsylvania and Memphis" Tennessee areas.
Commodore Business Machines" Inc." based in West Chester" PA is a
subsidiary of Commodore International Limited. The company manufactures
and markets a complete line of Amiga computers and peripherals for the
business" consumer" education and government markets.
The Service Management Group" Inc." located in Columbia" MD" is a
professional services and management consulting firm" specializing in
customer service and product support. Chartered as a Service Integrator"
the SMG provides innovative solutions to complex operational and support
problems for manufacturers" distributors" VARs and large end users.
Commodore is a trademark of Commodore Electronics Limited. Amiga is a
trademark of Commodore-Amiga" Inc. CommodoreExpress tm is a trademark of
Commodore Business Machines" Inc.
COMMODORE EXTENDS AMIGA 2000 POWER UP PROMOTION AND OFFERS THE PROGRAM
SAVINGS TO AMIGA 3000 OWNERS
(West Chester, PA - July 1, 1993) Commodore Business Machines, Inc.
today announced it is extending the Amiga 2000 Power Up program, offering
special savings for Amiga 2000 owners on the purchase of an Amiga 4000
series computer, through July 31, 1993. The company is also expanding the
Power Up program to include owners of Amiga 3000 series computers.
Promotional pricing is $2349* for the A4000-040/1 20 and $1 599* for
the A4000-030/1 20, representing substantial savings of $1 350 and $800
respectively, based on Manufacturer.s Suggested Retail Prices.
"The success of the Amiga 2000 Power Up program and feedback from our
established Amiga 3000 customer base encouraged us to expand the program
to include A3000 owners," commented James Dionne, president and general
manager of Commodore Business Machines, Inc. "Extending the promotion
through the end of July will allow A3000 owners to take advantage of the
substantial Power Up savings and enable us to meet the growing demand for
Amiga 4000 products."
The Power Up program is designed to position the Amiga 4000 computer as
the new base platform for development of future Amiga products. The
promotion provides current Amiga 2000 and 3000 computer owners the
opportunity to purchase an Amiga 4000 at a substantial cost savings. By
not requiring current users to trade-in their A2000 and 3000 systems the
program also protects their investment in software and add-on hardware.
To receive the promotional pricing purchasers must provide the front
cover of their Amiga 2000 or 3000 owners manual and the system serial
number. Power Up program pricing is available at the time of purchase
through participating Commodore Authorized Resellers in the United
The high performance A4000-040/1 20 and A4000-030/1 20 both feature
Commodore's Advanced Graphics Architecture tm (AGA) chip set, enabling
users to display and animate graphics in multiple resolutions at up to
256,000 colors from a palette of 1 6,8 million. Both systems include
AmigaDOS tm Release 3, Commodore's multitasking operating system that
takes advantage of AGA features while maintaining backward compatibility
with most software developed for earlier versions of AmigaDOS. Backward
compatibility is also maintained for most peripheral products originally
designed for the Amiga 2000 or 3000 computers.
Commodore Business Machines, Inc., based in West Chester, PA, is the U.S.
subsidiary of Commodore International Limited, The company manufactures
and markets a complete line of Amiga computers and peripherals for the
business, consumer, education and government markets. The company's
worldwide installed user base of Amiga computers is presently almost
Amiga, AmigaDOS and Advanced Graphics Architecture are trademarks of
* A2000 and 3000 Power Up promotional pricing is subject to reseller
Reseller pricing may vary. See reseller for further details.
APPLE CANADA TO LAY OFF 21
MARKHAM, ONTARIO, CANADA -- In the wake of its parent company's
announcement that it lost US$188.3 million in its third quarter and
will lay off about 2,500 employees over the next 12 months, Apple
Canada Inc., said it has given 21 employees their pink slips.
The 21 employees, who received their notice July 15, are
scattered throughout the company and not concentrated in any one
functional area, said Franca Miraglia, a spokeswoman for Apple
Canada. They represent roughly 10 percent of the Canadian
subsidiary's work force; the layoff leaves Apple Canada with 199
employees, Miraglia said.
The parent company said it took an accounting charge of US$320.9
million, or US$198.9 million after tax, for a previously
announced restructuring and other cost-cutting measures now under
way. This turned what would have been a quarterly profit into a
In the third quarter, which ended June 25, Apple had revenues of
US$1.862 billion, up seven percent over the same period last
Miraglia said Apple Canada made every effort to cut costs without
cutting jobs, but was unable to avoid layoffs.
"The goal was to significantly and permanently reduce our expense
structure," she said. The cuts do not change the nature of the
work Apple Canada is doing, she added.
JAPAN - GAME FIRMS LINK WITH US MOVIE FIRMS
TOKYO, JAPAN -- A number of major Japanese game machine makers have
begun to tie-up with movie firms in the US, and are preparing to
create movies. The tie-ups are possible because of the popularity of
game characters among children.
Sega Enterprises is making a movie called "Surf Ninja," which
will be released around the end of this month. The firm has
linked with Newline Cinema of New York. Upon the release,
Sega will release the game software which is related to the
Another rival arcade game machine maker, Capcon, will also
release a movie based on one of the company's game character.
Capcon has tied up with Hollywood's Edward Pressman Film. The
firms will create a movie based on Capcon's best-selling game
software "Street Fighter II." A reported three billion yen ($27
million) will be spent on the movie, which will be released next
Meanwhile, Nintendo has already released a movie based on the
firm's Super Mario character. Nintendo linked with Hollywood's
Light Motive on the film.
The companies hope that the tie-ups with movie firms will
stimulate sales of their game products.
CONNER POSTS SECOND QUARTER LOSSES
SAN JOSE, CALIFORNIA -- Conner Peripherals continues on its
financially troubled way, and has now posted a $58.8 million loss
for its second quarter ended June 30, 1993.
Sales were $490.6 million, a decrease of 11 percent from the second
quarter of 1992. The company's loss of $58.8 million translated into
$1.19 per share in the quarter, compared to net income of $46 million
or $0.63 per share on a fully diluted basis in the like period last year.
Included in the second quarter loss was a $12 million charge against
earnings to write down inventories of certain older disk drive
products, said the company.
Without Compaq Computer, sales would have been even less. Conner
said that sales to Compaq were 16 percent of total revenue during
the quarter, compared to 11 percent in the like period a year ago.
Finis Conner, chairman and chief executive officer, blamed a number
of factors, saying: "As previously announced, this quarter's results
were negatively impacted by a variety of factors, including soft
demand of certain products due to industry over capacity,
unparalleled price deterioration and a major transition from older,
less profitable products. Although we see this difficulty continuing
to a lesser degree through the third quarter, we also believe we
have taken the actions necessary to emerge as a stronger competitor
in the future."
The company is planning new products. Said Conner, "These actions
include a broad lineup of new storage products covering disk, tape,
software and storage systems, which we will continue to announce
through the end of the year." said Conner.
As reported by Newsbytes, Conner has been restructuring its
organization for some time.
In February Newsbytes reported that the company made a "series of
changes in its operations in response to a decline in market demand
for disk drives with capacities of 120 megabyte (MB) or less due to
newer computer system requirements for higher capacity and
performance." As a result, the company said it was going to increase
production of some of its new products.
In March, Newsbytes reported that the company had reorganized
around four market groups: the OEM (original equipment manufacturer)
Products Group; the Distribution Products Group; the Software
Products Group; and the Storage Systems Group.
Then in April Newsbytes reported that the company, in announcing
expected lower earnings for its first quarter, 1993, was considering
various restructuring options. At that time Kevin Burr, spokesman
for the company, told Newsbytes that, "We don't know if we will
take a restructuring at this point. We are still investigating the best
way to downsize our company, and to reduce our costs."
IBM JAPAN DEVELOPS HIGH CAPACITY 2.5-INCH DISK DRIVE
TOKYO, JAPAN -- IBM Japan has developed a 2.5-inch hard disk drive
with a large capacity, called the H2344.
According to the company, it supports 344 megabytes (MB) of
data on two disks, which are in the disk drive. It can store 172
MB per disk. This is claimed to be the largest data storage for a
2.5-inch hard disk drive.
According to the company, 322 megabit of data can be stored and
read per square inch. This is twice as much as that of current disk
drives of IBM Japan.
The drive is 17 millimeters thick, which is the same as those of
IBM Japan's current disk drives. The company also plans to ship
this disk drive to other computer makers on an OEM (original
equipment manufacturer) basis. The sample price of the disk is
53,000 yen ($480).
Other computer makers such as Toshiba have also been selling 2.5-
inch hard disks. Toshiba's hard disk, for example, has a 340MB
storage capacity, but it is on three disks compared with the two
disks of IBM Japan.
The 2.5-inch hard disk is not regarded as a standard. However,
due to the increasing popularity of notebook PCs and pen-input
computers, 2.5-inch disk drives are expected to be used more in
The preceding stories are © 1993 NewsBytes.
Reprinted with permission.
KODAK OFFERS $50 IN FREE PHOTO CD TRANSFERS
At the February Photo Marketing Association trade show, Eastman Kodak
introduced a coupon book promotion that gives picture-takers $50 in
free Photo CD transfers. The coupon book will be available at no extra
charge to consumers who purchase Kodak Photo CD players from par-
icipating retailers between March 15, 1993, and September 30, 1993.
Each coupon book contains one $20 and three $10 coupons that can be used
toward single or multiple transfer orders when the coupons are presented
to participating photofinishers that offer Photo CD transfer services.
The coupons can be redeemed between March 15, 1993, and September 30,
1994. To receive a Photo CD coupon book, consumers simply fill out a
form, available at local Kodak Photo CD retailers and photofinishers,
and mail it with their Photo CD player proof-of-purchase. Participating
retailers and photofinishers will have countertop displays with the forms
and complete promotion details. Consumers can call the Kodak Customer
Assistance Center at 800-242-2424, extension 36, for the location of
the nearest retailers that stock Photo CD players, or photofinishers
that offer Photo CD transfer services.
NEW STANDARDS ANNOUNCED BY SONY
Sony announced the development of standards for MD DATA, a new
compact data storage medium offering high data storage capacity for
personal computer applications. The MD DATA standard has been
developed to meet the computer industry's growing need for storage
media capable of handling large amounts of data. The standard is based
on specifications recently established for the MiniDisc personal audio
system, which Sony introduced in Nov. 1992. Sony will offer the new MD
DATA standard to computer and other manufacturers to generate industry
support. Once MD DATA system software is installed onto the computer,
information written onto MD DATA discs can be retrieved and modified
regardless of differences in the CPU and/or OS of the computers being
used. For more information contact Sony at (201) 930-6443.
JPEG STANDARD ACCEPTED
Twenty leading multimedia software and hardware vendors have agreed to
standardize on a common Joint Photographic Expert Group (JPEG) file
format for bit-mapped images and compressed video data under the
Microsoft Windows operating system. JPEG still-image files will be
supported under Microsoft Windows as device independent bitmaps (DIB)
files, and JPEG video files will be supported under Video for Windows
as audio/video interleaved (AVI) files. Vendors who have agreed to
endorse the standard JPEG format include AMDRIX Software; C-Cube
Microsystems; Cirrus Logic; Creative Labs; Dolch Computer Systems;
Fluent Inc.; Intel; LSI Logic; Microsoft; Motorola; New Media
Graphics; Optibase; SuperMac; Telephoto; Texas Instruments;
Truevision; U-Lead Systems; Videologic; Xing Technology Inc.; and
Zoran. The JPEG file format can be obtained by calling Microsoft
PhoneFAX server at (206) 635-2222 or on the CompuServe WINEXT forum.
ORGANIZATION FORMED FOR SOFTWARE INDUSTRY
The Software Industry Coalition, has been created to provide a strong
voice for the software industry. Coalition members include corporations,
non-profit and educational groups and individual members. Although it
intends to work closely with other organizations that include software
companies in their membership, it will focus on issues not being
adequately addressed by groups too diverse to develop a consensus on
software issues. It intends to focus on specific projects, ensuring
efficient use of members' dues rather than retain a large staff and
administrative overhead. The Software Industry Coalition is a national
organization, formed to provide a regulatory platform, educational
impact and eventual database resources specific to the needs of the
software industry. The coalition is located at 2369 Gianera Street,
Santa Clara, CA 95054. (408) 980-8294.
RAIDS SEIZES $9 MILLION
U.S. marshals and Microsoft investigators have seized over $9
million worth of counterfeit software over the past four months in a
nationwide sweep. Several defendants named in three separate federal
lawsuits filed in conjunction with the seizures were former or present
Microsoft distributors. They included Unitron Computer of the City of
Industry, Calif., CMOS Technologies of Piscataway, NJ, and Micro
Innovation of Houston.
NEW ATT COMMUNICATOR AVAILABLE
The AT&T EO 440 Personal Communicator is available now in
52 select AT&T Phone Centers across the country. AT&T and EO are
making the device available through Phone Centers as part of an
agreement announced earlier this month. The agreement will allow EO to
use the AT&T brand on its personal communicators; give EO access to
AT&T's communications technology and services, and to its sales
channels; and make AT&T the majority stockholder in the Silicon Valley
company. Customers can call 800-222-3111 to get the location of the
nearest Phone Center carrying the product. The company expects to
introduce the 440 into its over 300 other Phone Centers gradually
throughout the rest of the year. Prices for the EO 440 start at
$1,999. Standard features in all versions include a high-speed serial
port and cable, allowing exchange of data with any IBM-compatible
personal computer; a parallel port for connection to a printer or an
optional 1.44 MB floppy drive; a communications port for optional
cellular or wireless modules; and a PCMCIA slot for future expansion.
Additional information is available from EO's toll-free number:
USERS GROUP FOR COLOR CENTRAL
An international Color Central users group is in the process of
being formed. The objective of the group is to share information among
members on configuring and optimizing their OPI system/network, as
well as lobby Compumation for product improvements and enhancements.
Primary communications within the group will be conducted via
electronic mail, preferably on CompuServe. To stay tuned with current
happenings, monitor Section 10 in the DTPVENDOR Forum - Vendor User
Groups. A membership roster containing e-mail addresses will be sent
to members periodically. Dues are $25.00 per year, in U.S. funds, made
payable to: Color Central Users Group. To apply for membership, please
forward your dues and the following information: Company Name:,
Individual Name:, Mailing address:, City:, State:, Zip Code:,
Country:, Voice Phone:, Fax Phone:, Compuserve Address:, Applelink
Address:, Nature of Business: Color Central Version in live
production:, Computer model used as server:, Total on-line storage
dedicated to server:, Number of Workstations accessing the server:,
And, one thing about Color Central that you want to know more about,
or see improved, or see fixed or see added to your system. Send to:
Color Central Users Group, Attn: Rick Pietrykowski, Four Lakes
Colographics, 4230 Argosy Ct., Madison, WI 53714. CIS: 70703,1555,
Bitstream will no longer be supporting Fontware (any version), FaceLift
1.0 for WordPerfect, or FaceLift 1.x for Windows. We released FaceLift 2.0
for Windows in April of 1992 which replaced versions 1.0 and 1.2. If you
would like information on FaceLift 2.0 for Windows please call
Bitstream Sales at one of the numbers listed below. We released a new
version of FaceLift for WordPerfect in March of 1993 which replaced
older versions. If you would like information on FaceLift 2.0 for
WordPerfect please call Sales at one of the numbers listed below.
Refer to the Fontware User Guide for assistance on making fonts. If
you are having trouble using the fonts in your application, please
contact your application vendor for assistance. For upgrade
information and information on other Bitstream products please contact
Bitstream Sales at one of these numbers : End User Sales (within US)
800-522-3668, Dealer Sales/Canadian End User 800-223-3176, Outside US
and Canada 617- 497-6222 x801.
SPEECH COMPRESSION UNDER DEVELOPMENT
DSP Group announced this week that it is working with Microsoft and
Compaq Computer to develop speech compression technology that will run
on Microsoft Windows operating system-based computers. This joint
development effort, using DSP Group's Truespeech software technology,
will make PC applications with voice easier to use. With the addition of
a low cost, efficient voice compression standard, a variety of
applications in the business environment will be enhanced. These include
voice annotated business documents, voice annotated electronic mail,
voice supported presentations, voice annotated databases, and a variety
of other documents which use the full complement of multimedia tools
including both video and audio.
SOFTBANK - CDROM MARKETING ANNOUNCED
Four leaders in software technology distributing and direct marketing
have announced the creation of a new company Softbank - and a new
software marketing and sales program called "Softbank On-Hand" that
exploits the low cost and high capacity of CD-ROM technology. The
company will begin shipping its first Softbank On-Hand Software Library
CD-ROM disc set bundled with computers and multimedia upgrade products
this fall. The On-Hand Library will include interactive product
advertisements, demos, and hundreds of actual, purchasable software
titles organized in an entertaining and easy-to-use interactive
multimedia interface. The Softbank On-Hand Software Library will
initially run under Windows 3.1 on 386 or 486 computers with multimedia-
ompatible CD-ROM drives and sound capabilities.
FLEXTRONICS ANNOUNCES NEW INVESTORS
Flextronics, a privately held electronics contract manufacturer, has
announced an equity investment by a consortium of new investors and an
existing investor. The equity investment provides the company with an
additional $4 million of working capital. The investment consortium, CLG
Partners, is composed of: Sequoia Capital; Kleiner, Perkins, Caufield &
Byers; Chemicals and Materials Enterprise Associates; Point Venture
Partners; and several individuals. Sequoia Capital is a $500 million
series of venture capital partnerships. Since being formed in 1973,
Sequoia has invested in more than 250 young companies. Among the companies
Sequoia has helped start and finance are: Apple Cypress Semiconductor,
Cisco Systems, LSI Logic, Convex, Oracle, 3COM, Atari, Tandem, Electronic
Arts, Altos, Acuson and Chemtrak.
APPLE POSTS $188 MILLION LOSS
Apple reported financial results for its third fiscal quarter
which ended June 25,1993. Net revenues for the third quarter of 1993
were $1.862 billion, a 7 percent increase over the third quarter of
the prior year. Apple also announced that it has taken a charge of
$320.9 million, or $198.9 million after tax, for the previously
announced restructuring and other cost reduction activities that are
now underway at the company. As a result of these charges, the company
reported a net loss for the quarter of $188.3 million or $1.63 per
share. Shipment of Apple's first product based on Newton technology--a
handheld communication assistant--is on track for later this summer.
And, in addition to the Apple Workgroup Server 95 that shipped last
month, two new server products, the Apple Workgroup Server 60 and
Apple Workgroup Server 80 will ship in volume, starting this month.