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September 17, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- AOL Has a Case for Dismissal
- Charles Simonyi Exits Microsoft
- Intel Hits 2.2GHz with New Mobile Chips
- Real-World Tips and Solutions Here for You
- New! News, Tips, and More to Keep Your Network Humming
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
According to a report today in "The New York Times," several AOL Time Warner directors are seeking the ouster of Chairman Steve Case, who headed online giant AOL when it was a separate company. The enigmatic Case is resisting the challenge, the report says, and he might have enough support on AOL Time Warner's board to remain in power: Three quarters of the board would have to vote for his ouster for the change to occur. "There is no basis for any rumors that Steve Case is leaving," said AOL Time Warner spokesperson Edward Adler, responding to "The New York Times" article.
AOL Time Warner shares have fallen more than 70 percent since the two companies combined in an historic corporate merger earlier this year. Adding to the company's financial woes are high-profile investigations by the Securities and Exchanges Commission (SEC) and US Department of Justice (DOJ), both of which believe AOL misled Time Warner shareholders by illegally inflating AOL's value.
The people who seek Case's ouster apparently believe that he's responsible, in part, for the company's financial problems and is now detracting from the new company's credibility. But the problems go beyond mere financial concerns. Many people are beginning to believe that AOL, seen at the time as a powerful new-economy company, duped Time Warner, one of the great old-economy companies, into a lopsided merger. And Case was the architect of that deal. Among the many conditions he added to the agreement, in fact, was the three-quarter rule required to oust him. For this reason, a management shakeup could take months, people close to the firm say.
No matter how people feel about Case, one fact remains clear: If AOL Time Warner continues its long slide into irrelevancy, in the months ahead, Case—and many of other upper-level executives—will likely face further challenges to keeping their jobs.
Microsoft programming legend Charles Simonyi is leaving the company after a 21-year stint, Microsoft announced today. Simonyi joined the company in 1981, when it had only 40 employees (it has approximately 50,000 today), and guided Microsoft's efforts to move beyond development tools to early software applications such as Multiplan, Microsoft Word, and Microsoft Excel.
Simonyi is joining former Xerox researcher Gregor Kiczales to form a new company called Intentional Software, which will work on low-level software-development tools designed to translate software designs into source code. These tools might use graphic images as well as the more typical text-based source code to represent underlying software programs.
Simonyi is a highly sophisticated and technical man who, although a billionaire, never had any interest in the business side of Microsoft. A Hungarian native, he's most famous for creating the so-called "Hungarian" naming convention that developers worldwide still use to create self-documenting software source code that's easier to read and maintain. Simonyi says that the name of this convention was just a joke, a take on the phrase "it's all Greek to me."
"Naming conventions are supposed to make the code more readable," he said in a 1986 interview. "The joke is that the program looks so unreadable \[when using my naming convention\], it might as well have been written in Hungarian. But it's a set of conventions that controls the naming of all quantities in the program. 'Hungarian' is a complete jumble to the uninitiated, and that's the joke."
After starting Microsoft's Application Software Group, Simonyi went on to become the company's chief software architect, a title he held until 1999. More recently, Microsoft recognized Simonyi as a Microsoft Distinguished Engineer for his pioneering technical work.
Yesterday, Intel announced the immediate availability of 11 new mobile microprocessors, including a market-leading 2.2GHz Pentium 4-M chip. The chips are designed for every type of mobile computer, including full-sized, midsized, and subnotebooks. Some of the chips include low-voltage and ultra-low-voltage Pentium III-M designs that will also power first-generation Tablet PC devices. On the low end, the company introduced new Mobile Celeron-M chips for value-priced notebooks.
"Intel continues to deliver industry-leading processors to all mobile market segments, from the ultra-portable business productivity device to a thin-and-light digital-media-entertainment PC," said Don MacDonald, director of marketing at Intel's Mobile Platforms Group. "Every day, Intel-based mobile PCs improve the lives of business users and consumers—from an employee taking digital notes on a Tablet PC during a multihour meeting to parents sharing digital photos of their first-born child over a long dinner. High-performance, low-power systems bring a new world of computing to your fingertips."
Intel's new mobile processors include the 2.2GHz Pentium 4-M, with a 400MHz bus; 1.33GHz and 1.26GHz Pentium III chips; a 1GHz Low-Voltage III-M chip; 866MHz and 850MHz Ultra-Low-Voltage Pentium III-M chips; and various Celeron-M designs running at 1.8GHz, 1.7GHz, 1.6GHz, 733MHz, and 700MHz. Systems based on the new designs are available today from major PC makers such as Dell, Gateway, and Hewlett-Packard (HP).
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