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July 2, 2002—In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Industry Celebrates One Billion PCs
- EU Microsoft Ruling Due This Year
- EU Warns Microsoft About Palladium Correction
- The Enterprise-Management Solutions You've Been Searching For!
- Got a Messaging Problem You Can't Seem to Fix?
3. CONTACT US
- See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
Industry analyst firm Gartner announced this week that the PC industry has shipped more than 1 billion PCs in the roughly 25 years since the first PC, the Altair, debuted in 1974. As with most PCs built since then, an Intel microprocessor—an 8-bit 8080—powered the Altair, although the power and flexibility of processors and PCs have expanded dramatically over the years. A basic Altair with 256 bytes of RAM (yes, bytes) cost about $400 in 1974, but the customer had to assemble the device, an often perilous and unsuccessful venture. Input occurred through binary switches on the device's front panel, and output occurred through binary LEDs. Ah, the good old days.
Since then, of course, PCs have evolved from a hobbyist toy into mission-critical hardware devices found in businesses and homes worldwide. "The PC is so versatile and so good at so many things," says Gartner Vice President Martin Reynolds. "It's become something that almost everybody has to have."
As for the next billion PCs, Gartner says that the industry will reach that milestone much more quickly; the firm expects to celebrate the sale of 2 billion PCs in 2008. Gartner says emerging high-volume markets in China, Latin America, and Eastern Europe will drive sales growth. As for Intel, which arguably has had even more influence on the PC industry than Microsoft, the company plans to continue developing faster, more powerful processors for future PCs. "We want to make computers work with humans on their terms," said Pat Gelsinger, Intel vice president and chief technology officer (CTO). "That vision includes developing PCs that can recognize speech, gestures, and video, and it means achieving breakthroughs that will make the interaction between people and computers a truly immersive experience."
European Union (EU) officials said yesterday that the EU will issue a ruling in its Microsoft antitrust investigation by the end of the year but not until after Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly rules in the company's US antitrust case. Judge Kollar-Kotelly is expected to issue a ruling on both the US Department of Justice (DOJ)/Microsoft proposed remedy and a separate set of remedies proposed by the so-called nonsettling states, which don't believe that the DOJ settlement is adequate to curb the company's illegal behavior.
"We will be in close consultation with the US on the issues it has addressed and is addressing," said Philip Lowe, who will soon take over the EU's competition directorate-general position that Mario Monti currently holds. Lowe said that the European Commission (EC)—the EU's antitrust authority—will expedite antitrust rulings under his leadership; the agency has been investigating Microsoft since 1998.
The EC's investigation differs dramatically from Microsoft's US antitrust problems. Rather than attacking Microsoft for its desktop domination, the EU is pursuing complaints that the company designs its server products to work well only with Microsoft software. "We are addressing questions of interoperability, which are not quite the same as the initial judgment and appeal \[in the US\]," Lowe said.
Microsoft had little to say about the news. "\[The company\] will continue to work cooperatively with the EC in seeking resolution of this matter," a Microsoft spokesperson said yesterday.
Incoming European Union (EU) Competition Directorate-General Philip Lowe warned Microsoft yesterday that its upcoming security plan, Trustworthy Computing (code-named Palladium), shouldn't exclude the company's competitors. Speaking at a conference sponsored by the American Antitrust Institute, Lowe said that the EU will ensure that "\[Microsoft\] competitors have the capacity to offer the range of services they want to provide, including security. We have always emphasized ... interoperability."
Microsoft will initially include Palladium in a future Windows version, possibly Longhorn, which is due in 2004. To run, the software will require a special hardware platform, leading to concerns that Microsoft competitors—especially those in the Linux and Macintosh camps—will be excluded. However, Microsoft downplays these fears, noting that Palladium is still in the planning stages and will be designed to run on numerous platforms.
"We're building the development process to be a collaborative industry initiative," said John Manferdelli, general manager of the Microsoft "Palladium" Business Unit, which the company secretly created last fall. "We understand this kind of process can only work if every stakeholder trusts the process and has an opportunity to participate. Plus, the Palladium technology must be broadly adopted to be fully effective. It's not something that will belong to only one company; it's something that everyone across the landscape of computing needs to be invested in."
Yesterday, I wrote that the Google search engine is "ad-free." As many readers noted, that isn't the case. Google does use advertising, although it usually appears only when displaying relevant search results and is highlighted. Sorry for the confusion.
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