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%% Computer Product News %%
** Microsoft Profits Up 22% **
A 22 percent jump in profit for the second quarter has been reported
by Microsoft Corp. Microsoft earned $289 million, or 95 cents a share,
in the most recent quarter, up from $236 million, or 78 cents a share,
in the year-ago quarter. Revenues rose to $1.22 billion from $938
** HP Color Printer Sales Doubled in '93 **
Hewlett-Packard Co. reports that it more than doubled its color
printer sales last year. HP says it sold approximately 2 million color
inkjet DeskJet printers worldwide in 1993, a 122% increase over 1992 when
the company sold nearly 900,000 units. HP color printer sales in 1991
HP's says its sale of 2 million color DeskJet printers represents a
figure greater than all other makes of color printers combined, based on
statistics supplied by BIS Strategic Decisions, a market research firm
located in Norwell, Mass. HP notes that it has sold more than 10 million
monochrome and color inkjet printers since its first model was introduced
** Digital Reports 2nd Quarter Loss **
Digital Equipment Corp. today reported a second quarter loss of $72.1
million, compared with a loss of $73.9 million for the same period a year
ago. The computer maker continues to face a tough recovery with revenues
for the quarter down 12% to $3.25 billion, compared to $3.69 billion in
the fourth quarter of 1992.
** PC World to List Top Computers **
PC World this week introduced the PC World Top 20, a monthly listing
of the industry's leading PCs. Beginning with its February issue, the PC
World Top 20 will each month provide readers with a top-down ranking of
the PCs that were analyzed by the PC World Test Center.
"The PC World Top 20 ranks the first time a monthly computer
publication has responded to the ever-shortening PC product cycles --
which is roughly six months for R&D, three months to promote and sell,
and three months to 'unload' the product," says PC World's
Editor-in-Chief Phil Lemmons. "The PC market is moving so incredibly fast
that buyers need continuously updated information and recommendations."
The PC World Top 20 will be comprised of three PC categories -- the
Top 20 Power Desktops, the Top 20 Budget Desktops, and the Top 20 Mobile
PCs (10 power notebooks/subnotebooks and 10 budget notebooks and
subnotebooks). The top five products in each of these categories will be
honored as the monthly "Best Buy."
** Sega to Work With Microsoft on New Operating System for Games **
Microsoft Corp. has agreed to supply Japan's Sega Enterprises Ltd.
with a new operating system for Sega's 32-bit home video game player,
"Saturn," to be released in November.
A spokesman with Sega, Japan's largest maker of commercial-use
amusement equipment, said the two firms also are considering cooperating
in developing new game software.
Saturn is to have two 32-bit RISC (reduced instruction set computing)
chips in its central processing unit. Reports says Sega plans to sell it
for less than $450.
Sega's move follows an announcement last week by Japan's consumer
electronics giant Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. that it planned
for the launch on March 20 of a 32-bit home entertainment player jointly
developed with 3DO Co. of the United States, and six software titles.
** Tektronix Unveils Desktop Color Printers **
Tektronix Inc. this week announced the Phaser 220i and Phaser 220e
thermal transfer color printers. The 600 by 300 dots-per-inch units
output at two pages per minute, feature network connectivity options and
print on most laser papers.
The Phaser 220 printers include dual-tray configuration options, large
tray and ribbon capacities and automatic ink- level sensing to minimize
the need for printer maintenance or operator attendance.
The Phaser 220e and 220i are priced at $3,995.00 and $5,995.00,
respectively. Both printers are available now.
** America Online Subscriber Rate Jumps **
"As a result of strong word of mouth and a growing list of partners
who bundle America Online with their products, our subscriber growth has
continued to accelerate," said Steve Case, president and CEO. "These new
bundling agreements can help us attract new PC owners, further increasing
our market share."
Dell, a leading manufacturer of personal computers, will now include
America Online with all of its PCs sold through consumer channels. By
preinstalling the Windows version of America Online in these computers,
Dell purchasers will see an icon representing America Online on their
Windows desktop. This will provide quick and easy access to the America
US Robotics, a leading manufacturer of modems, will expand their
bundling agreement with America Online to include their entire line of
consumer modems. US Robotics' Macintosh line of modems began bundling
America Online last year.
"As 1994 unfolds, we plan to continue to expand bundling and content
partnerships because we believe they help us attract and retain
customers. We plan to continue to add compelling content in a number of
areas such as news, personal finance and shopping," Case added. "By
making it easier for consumers to try our services, and providing them
with compelling reasons to continue as customers, we believe we are
well-positioned to take advantage of the encouraging market trends for
consumer online services."
America Online, Inc., based in Vienna, is a leading provider of online
services to consumers. The company offers its more than 550,000
subscribers a wide variety of services, including electronic mail,
conferencing, software, computing support, interactive magazines and
newspapers, and online classes. Founded in 1985, the company has
established strategic alliances with dozens of companies including Time
Warner, CNN, The New York Times, Knight Ridder, Tribune Company, IBM and
Apple. Personal computer owners can obtain America Online software at
major retailers and bookstores, or by calling 800-827-6364.
** Government Sued Over Database **
Tax Analysts, a nonprofit publisher of legal information, has filed
suit in federal court asking for portions of the Department of Justice
(DOJ) JURIS database under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
The dispute concerns public records which West Publishing, a private
company, provided to the Department of Justice for use in its JURIS
online Computer Assisted Legal Research (CALR) database system.
The data are public records and, by federal law, not copyrightable.
West, however, claims that it owns the arrangement of the data, and the
Department of Justice is not free to release it.
JURIS was established initially for DOJ's use. The President, by
Executive Order 12146 (July 18, 1979), directed DOJ and its head, the
Attorney General, to expand JURIS for use throughout the government legal
community. All federal agency users share the cost of JURIS operation,
database management and improvements.
JURIS is organized into and contains federal case law material,
statutory law, digest material, tax documents, Federal regulations,
Federal manuals, work product material, legislative histories, federal
administrative law opinions and decisions, treaties, DOJ publications on
the FOIA and other such legal materials. The basis of the suit is that a
federal agency should not be making exclusive arrangements to give away
public data to a private company.
The lawsuit will be heard by U.S. District Court Judge Richey, the
same jurist who is presiding over an FOIA case involving public access to
electronic mail records.
** Autodesk Ships AutoSketch Release 2 **
Autodesk Inc. is now shipping AutoSketch Release 2 for Windows, a 2-D,
CAD-based drawing package.
Autodesk notes that the software "combines the power and precision of
computer-aided design with the freedom of an illustration program by
providing tools for creating sketches, technical drawings, diagrams and
information-based graphics and presentations."
The latest AutoSketch release features a new user interface, as well
as improved file import/export capabilities and additional drawing tools.
It also offers expanded CAD functionality and interoperability.
AutoSketch Release 2 software is now available through Autodesk
resellers and the retail channel at a suggested price of $299. Existing
AutoSketch customers can upgrade to Release 2 for $99 (certain
** OS/2, Valuepoint Machines Unite **
In a move intended to sharpen its appeal to business, government and
other commercial customers, IBM PC Co. this week begins bringing its PS/2
and ValuePoint products under one brand team.
While PS/2 and ValuePoint computers will maintain their different
labels for the time being, they will be sold by one team to be known as
the Commercial Desktop brand, with Stephen Cohen, who led PS-2 marketing,
directing the group. (The ValuePoint brand was designed to offer less
costly models that are updated more frequently than PS/2.)
He said IBM will continue to develop PS/2 and ValuePoint computers
separately, partly because they have different technical designs for how
information is moved inside them.
** James Buckley Appointed President of Apple USA **
Apple Computer Inc. this week appointed James J. Buckley, 43, as
president of Apple USA effective immediately. Reports say that Buckley
will be responsible for all of the division's sales, marketing, channel,
customer service and support activities.
A nine-year veteran of Apple Computer, Buckley was most recently vice
president and general manager for Apple USA's Higher Education division
and was responsible for directing all sales, marketing, customer support
and service operations to 3,500 colleges and universities in the United
Buckley held positions as Apple USA's vice president and general
manager for Northern Operations in Norwalk, Connecticut, vice president
and general manager for Apple's Central Operations Group located in
Chicago, area sales director of Apple's U.S. North Central Area, and
director of educational sales at the company's Cupertino headquarters.
** Apple Introduces Macintosh Performa Money Edition Computer **
Money Magazine and Apple Computer have teamed up to create the
Macintosh Performa 560 Money Edition, a multimedia computer designed
especially for those who want to take advantage of the latest technology
to manage their personal finances.
Reports say the system features popular personal finance and
organizational programs such as WealthBuilder by Money magazine, Quicken,
MacInTax, Willmaker and Personal Recordkeeper; the ClarisWorks integrated
database, word-processing and spreadsheet package; the Datebook
Pro/Touchbase Pro Bundle for calendar and address-book capabilities.
It also includes interactive educational programs such as the 21
volume New Grolier Multimedia Encyclopedia CD-ROM, the TIME Almanac
CD-ROM and the American Heritage Dictionary as well as entertainment
programs such as the World Tour Golf CD-ROM and Monopoly, and a special
Money version of the After Dark screen saver. In addition, the system
features MacLink Plus/Translators Pro, which enables users to exchange
information easily with MS-DOS and Windows files.
The Macintosh Performa 560 Money Edition computer features powerful
Macintosh multimedia hardware, including a Sony Trinitron color monitor,
160-megabyte hard disk, an internal double-speed CD-ROM drive, built-in
stereo speakers, digital sound and microphone, and a send/receive fax
Sold directly through Apple and at selected Circuit City stores in the
United States, the computer retails for $2,199.