Lacey's Paper Round

The whiff of big money is once again dominating IT press coverage this week. The whiff of money in selling IT infrastructure for big business in particular, with the Unix Vs NT struggle coming to the surface again.

The whiff of big money is once again dominating IT press coverage this week. The whiff of money in selling IT infrastructure for big business in particular, with the Unix Vs NT struggle coming to the surface again. Microsoft, now officially the world's most valuable company, looks like becoming even richer as it has been a good week for the company's server OS. Meanwhile, media giant Disney makes a bid to grab a large share of the mega bucks expected to be made on the Web--throwing down a challenge for its recently acquired search engine outfit--Infoseek. Infoseek's CEO aims to make Disney "as big online as Yahoo!" according to a report in Fortune.

Microsoft now the world's most valuable company--Financial Times

Commenting on Microsoft emerging as the "world's most valuable company" last week, the FT's Lex Column observed: "Since Microsoft generates only 15 per cent of General Electric's (the second most valuable company) revenues and 60 per cent of its profits, this is an apt reflection of the ascendancy intellectual property and brainpower has gained over manufacturing brawn in today's economy." Financial Times, Lex Column, September 17, 1998.

Windows NT moving towards acceptance in corporate world--Financial Times

The FT quoted two announcements last week which indicate that Windows NT may be gaining ground in the corporate world, traditionally dominated by Unix. "International Business Machines unveiled a range of significantly upgraded NT-based Netfinity servers. This marks the completion of a turnround in IBM's approach to NT. Also yesterday, Hewlett-Packard, which uses Unix on its most powerful computers, announced a move towards NT. The company said it had used its experience in building reliable Unix servers to develop an NT server with 99.9 per cent uptime." Financial Times, September 16, 1998.

Potter reduces share holding in Psion--Wall Street Journal

The Wall Street Journal reported that Doctor David Potter had sold 4 million shares in the palmtop computer company he founded--reducing his stake to 19.6% from 24.7%. A Psion spokesperson was quoted as saying that Potter "intends to retain the remainder of his holdings for the foreseeable future and remains committed to Psion as well as to remaining the company's largest shareholder". Wall Street Journal, September 18--19, 1998.

Fears that Clinton video will bring down Net--Financial Times

On the morning that the Clinton tapes were due to be screened the FT reported on fears that millions of people attempting to view the tapes on the Web could bring down the Net. The tapes "threaten to bring the global computer network to a halt today, delaying electronic mail and erecting a temporary roadblock in the path of electronic commerce". Financial Times, September 21, 1998.

The computer users 'Bill of Rights'--Business Week

Business Week reported on the suggestion from computer industry researcher, Claire-Marie Karat, that the industry should endorse a "10-point User's Bill of Rights" Point 1 states: "The user is always right. If there is a problem with the use of the system, the system is the problem, not the user." Business Week's Stephen H. Wildstrom wrote: "The important thing is for the computer industry to bein a dialogue that would lead to formal adoption of something very much like this User's Bill of Rights." Business Week, September 28, 1998.

Disney wants to be as big online as Yahoo!--Fortune

Fortune magazine reported on the increased attention being given to Internet companies by the big media players. "They're chasing the same thing: a dominant presence on the World Wide Web, where 50% of all travelers visit Yahoo! at least once a month, according to the Web ratings company Relevant Knowledge." This is a quote from Lisa Simpson, president of Sony Online Entertainment. Fortune also quoted Disney boss Michael Eisner on the Infoseek deal: "We are a content company... But without distribution in the early stages of this business, we are going to find ourselves in second postion." Infoseek's aim is to "make Disney as big online as Yahoo!" Fortune, September 28, 1998.