A Super Alliance in the Works?
Microsoft, Redmond, Wash., and Computer Associates, Islandia, N.Y., will announce a major partnership July 24, according to Joe Quigg, vice president of enterprise management at CA.
Quigg said only CEOs Bill Gates and Charles Wang know the details of what will be a landmark deal in the information technology world. "It's a far-reaching, deep alliance," Quigg said.
Reprieve for Internet Phone Companies
The Federal Communications Commission said it will not likely take the advice given in a petition from the America's Carriers' Telecommunications Association suggesting that the FCC restrict the sale of Internet phone software.
"I am... strongly inclined to believe that the right answer at this time is not to place restrictions on software providers or to subject Internet telephony to the same rules that apply to conventional circuit-switched voice carriers," said FCC Chairman Reed Hundt in a recent speech.
The FCC's stand on this issue comes as good news for Internet phone companies such as Israeli-based VocalTec and Dallas-based Camelot Corp., which makes DigiPhone. Internet phone companies have been fighting traditional telephone companies over the issue.
Digital Equipment Corp., Maynard, Mass., doesn't seem to have pulled itself out of the woods yet. The company has had six profitable quarters since undergoing a massive restructuring, but July 2 it announced that fourth quarter results will be well below expectations. The company's stock has fallen from $45.88 on July 2 to $38.50 on July 8.
Much of the company's poor performance can be attributed to its struggling PC division. While sales to resellers have been high, the resellers have not been able to move the machines along to consumers at rates originally anticipated. The company will take a charge of $475 million against fourth quarter earnings, which will cover the elimination of approximately 7,000 jobs worldwide and related facility consolidations.
Digital's federal division is "doing terrifically well and does not anticipate any negative impact" from the corporate restructuring, a company spokesman said. In May, Digital's federal arm was awarded the Army workstations contract, worth almost $600 million. Digital machines also were selected for the Air Force Workstations contract and Desktop V. Air Force Workstations is a dual award valued at $956 million.
In June, Digital announced an agreement with PRC Inc., McLean, Va., that made the company the exclusive supplier of Intel-based systems on PRC's $2.9 billion Super-Mini contract.
The Price You Pay
Secrecy in the U.S. government will cost at least $2.74 billion in 1996, according to an estimate prepared by the government's Information Security Oversight Office.
Government officials are completing an estimate of how many contract dollars are spent by industry to shield the government's secrets, such as the design features of a new missile or the launch date of a new spy satellite.
Capitol Hill-Westminster Link
Legislators from the United States and U.K. were slated to discuss child safety on the Internet during a video teleconference July 10 organized by London-based Childnet International.
Topics for discussion include the extent to which material harmful to children is currently available; possible protective measures including law enforcement, rating systems and blocking software; and the need for further international cooperation.
Participants from the U.S. Congress were expected to include Sen. Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Reps. Christopher Cox, R-Calif., Anna Eshoo, D-Calif., and Rick White, R-Wash. Each of these legislators has introduced some form of legislation associated with the Internet.
Those weighing in from the other side of the Atlantic were to include Baroness Dean, Lord Renwick, Don Foster MP, Stephen Timms MP and Ann Winterton MP, representing the three main political parties and both Houses of the U.K. parliament.
Nuala Holowicki, executive director of Childnet International in America, said she hoped the conference would heighten international awareness of the Internet and related issues.
Picture Tel Corp., Danvers, Mass., planned to install specialized equipment in the Houses of Parliament for the conference, she said. Similar equipment already in use on Capitol Hill was to complete the connection.
Childnet International is a non-profit organization that seeks to promote and protect children's interests in international communications.
'Til Death Do Us Part
What's next? Casket-based browsers? Continuing its commitment to supporting the funeral service industry, Batesville Casket Co., a manufacturer of protective metal and hardwood burial caskets, has launched the industry's first major site on the World Wide Web at http://www.batesville.com.
Designed by marketing communications firm Hensley Segal Rentchler, the Web site aims to educate consumers on funeral services and products. The site also defines and reinforces the vital role funeral directors play in the funeral planning process.
Site visitors can access in-depth information on funeral planning, products and services, and browse through a complete Grief Resource Center featuring a reference library of materials.