B>Windows 95 Office Suite Scheduled for Release Aug. 24
Microsoft Corp. announced in mid-July that it will ship Office Suite for Windows 95 on Aug. 24, the same day as its scheduled release of the upgraded operating system for personal computers, Windows 95. The introduction of the operating system into the channel should drive sales of application software, hardware and related services for distributors and resellers.
The introduction of Office for Windows 95 will give Microsoft at least a three-month advantage over its rivals Lotus and Novell, which will probably introduce their own suites by early 1996. Both Lotus and WordPerfect lost market share when they delayed in introducing Office Suites for Windows version 3.1 after that best-selling operating system hit the market.
Santa Cruz Operations Inc. Reports Low Third Quarter Results
Santa Cruz Operations Inc. announced that the results for its fiscal third quarter ending June 30 will fall well below analysts' expectations. The supplier of high-end computer programs reported that it will earn from four to six cents a share, compared with analysts' expectations of about 15 cents a share. For the year, the Santa Cruz, Calif.-based company earned 14 cents a share. Revenue for the latest quarter will be from $50 to $51 million, compared with $48.1 million a year earlier.
Grover Righter, vice president of marketing for the Americas, noted that tentative customer acceptance of a new networking program, slower government buying and worsening economies in Latin America have contributed to the slow third quarter results. Industry observers noted that Microsoft Windows NT and Novell UnixWare 2.0 have taken away market share from SCO. Windows NT is more portable than SCO Unix; it runs on more processors.
SCO indicated that it plans to cut expenses by restructuring segments of its business, which will result in a non-recurring charge in the fiscal fourth quarter ending Sept. 30, 1995
Compaq Signs $60 Million Contract
Under a three-year pact, valued at about $60 million, Compaq Computer Corp. on July 10 agreed to provide computer hardware and services to state and local agencies. The Houston-based computer manufacturer will provide computers and maintenance to about 83,000 state and local government offices.
Public Technology Inc., the nonprofit technology procurement arm of three municipal organizations, the National League of Cities, the National League of Counties, and the International City/County Management Association, negotiated the volume purchase agreement and said that it would reduce local agencies' computer costs.
Compaq's Peter Poulin, director of State and Local Government Markets, said that the agreement will help resellers gain access to a widely dispersed market that they usually may not serve, without having to invest in sales and marketing expenses. Moreover, the state and local agencies will save on procurement costs, said Poulin, because they can consider Compaq's pricing scheme with PTI as a competitive bid.
Digital Introduces New Workstations, Revamps Marketing Strategy
Digital Equipment Corp. introduced its new AlphaStation 600 line of workstations on July 14. The product is based on DEC's 64-bit Alpha chip, which the company claims can process more than one billion instructions per second. Phillippe Ribeyre, vice president of Digital's workstation business segment, said that the AlphaStation 600 puts DEC "at least a year ahead of the competition," which still uses 32-bit chips. Oracle is developing products based on the 64-bit technology, which is significant for acceptance of the product in the marketplace.
Meanwhile, Digital, a technology-driven company, seems to be improving its marketing efforts in the channel. Digital hopes to retain its third-place ranking in the workstation market in terms of units sold and to improve from fifth to third place in revenue.