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It's Millennia Lite Time<@VM>General Dynamics Wraps Deal<@VM>Gates Gives Okla. $2.5 Million<@VM>Muse Makes Government Leap<@VM>Hardball Secures Funding<@VM>A 3-D, Virtual Tour<@VM>Net Savvy Plates

The General Services Administration will release the request for proposals for its $20 billion Millennia Lite contract Sept. 27. Bids will be due 30 days later.

The contract will have five functional areas, but no awards will be made at this time in the fifth area, which is for new technologies. That functional area will be used to add new contractors to the 10-year contract as needed.

GSA said it expects between six and 12 companies to win awards in each functional area.

The other functional areas are: information technology planning, studies and assessment; high-end information technology services; mission support services; legacy systems migration; and new enterprise systems development.
General Dynamics Corp. finalized its deal to buy three of the four GTE Corp. government information technology units. Meanwhile, the remaining GTE unit, with about $250 million in revenue, is still on the block.

GTE is reviewing offers from several bidders but has not narrowed the list to finalists, according to sources.

With the $1 billion acquisition, General Dynamics more than doubles its revenue from information technology from about $1 billion to $2.2 billion.

General Dynamics had overall revenue of $5 billion in 1998.

Oklahoma is receiving $2.5 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in grants and services for computers, Internet access and technical training for its public libraries in low-income communities.

"Not since Andrew Carnegie has such a tremendous gift been given to Oklahomans in the form of assistance to libraries," said Gov. Frank Keating (R) in a Sept. 7 statement announcing the aid.

In addition, Microsoft Corp. of Redmond, Wash., which Bill Gates heads, is donating $1.5 million in software to be used with new computer workstations.

Oklahoma is the 13th state to announce funding through the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation's Library Initiative.
Muse Technologies Inc. of Albuquerque, N.M., a maker of visualization and network collaboration software, has formed a government subsidiary to chase more work with agencies such as NASA and the Department of Defense.

Dean Dowling has been named president of Muse Federal Systems Group Inc., which will be based in Albuquerque. There are plans to open a demonstration center in Arlington, Va., within two months.

Muse had total revenue of $6.2 million in 1998, with about 20 percent coming from the federal government. Company officials said they expect the unit to make less than $10 million in its first year.
Hardball Software Inc., Chantilly, Va., obtained $4.5 million in a second round of venture funding Sept. 1.

The proceeds will be used to expand sales and marketing efforts in pursuit of government business beyond its current customer, the Internal Revenue Service.

The investors were Lazard Technology Partners, a new venture capital fund affiliated with Lazard Freres & Co., of New York; JMI Equity Fund LP, a private equity investment partnership with offices in Baltimore and San Diego; and 21st Century Venture Ltd., an investment partnership headquartered in Fort Worth, Texas. Lazard invested $2 million in first round funding in March 1998.

Hardball Software develops and markets data delivery software that automatically creates tailored databases for Internet, data mart and other database applications.
Tourists on the Web this week can explore the ruins of an imaginary ancient palace, interact with kinetic sculptures or chat with other visitors to a 3-D world at a site (chautauqua.bu.edu/chautauqua/) created by the Boston University-based consortium High Performance Computing in the Arts.

The virtual tour is among the highlights of a four-day conference at Boston University Sept. 13-16 that will preview how a new computer backbone, the Alliance Grid, built by National Computational Science Alliance, will change how business, education and research are conducted in the 21st century.

The grid integrates multiple sites and computer capabilities, including streaming audio, video, PowerPoint presentations, shared whiteboards and chat rooms.

The technology supports activities such as distributed meetings, remote visualization and distance education. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge (R) announced last week that his state is the first government in the world to feature a Web site address on its license plates.

Ridge, who has his eye on higher political office, said the Web address showcases Pennsylvania's new high-tech leadership while pointing people to the many services available through its Web site.

The commonwealth's Web address (www.state.pa.us) appears in navy blue against the yellow band at the bottom of the new plates.

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