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April 15, 2003--In this issue:
1. NEWS AND VIEWS
- Intel Recalls New Pentium 4 Processor
- Judge: No Class Action in Microsoft Suit
- Microsoft TechEd 2003, June 1-6, 2003, Dallas, TX
- Sample Our Security Administrator Newsletter!
3. CONTACT US
See this section for a list of ways to contact us.
(contributed by Paul Thurrott, [email protected])
* INTEL RECALLS NEW PENTIUM 4 PROCESSOR
Yesterday, the same day that microprocessor maker Intel planned to introduce a new version of its 3GHz Pentium 4 chips, the company instead recalled the processors because of a small bug that seems to affect only a small portion of the manufactured chips. The 3GHz Pentium 4 chip supports systems with 800MHz buses and Double Data Rate (DDR) memory that runs at 400MHz. PC makers such as Dell and Gateway were primed and ready yesterday to deliver systems based on the new processor and chipset and had sent out press releases before news of the recall came. And although the public-relations flap from this problem is unlikely to be as serious as two of Intel's other infamous episodes--the Pentium 90 arithmetic error and the process ID flag problem--this week's recall is nonetheless embarrassing.
Because Intel discovered the problem at the last minute, the company decided to continue with yesterday's product launch. "We will still launch the product, but shipments will be delayed until we work out a few issues," said Georgine Lin, public relations manager at Intel Taiwan. The company said it will provide an update on the new shipping timetable in a week. "This is only a small problem," an Intel representative said yesterday.
When Intel makes the new Pentium 4 design available, people who buy systems based on the chip should experience better performance than the current top-of-the-line PCs--which use 3.06GHz Pentium 4 processors but slower system bus and RAM--provide. Intel says the new bus is as much as 50 percent faster than the previous version, although how this improvement will affect overall system performance is unclear. One problem with Intel's speediest chips is that the rest of the system hasn't caught up; on most PCs, the system bus, hard disk, and other components are often a bottleneck.
* JUDGE: NO CLASS ACTION IN MICROSOFT SUIT
US District Judge J. Frederick Motz ruled yesterday that more than 60 consumer lawsuits brought against Microsoft in the wake of the company's antitrust conviction can't be granted class-action status because determining what constitutes a typical group of buyers of Microsoft's software is impossible. The judge did, however, let a more limited lawsuit involving people who purchased Microsoft software directly from the company online continue. All these lawsuits allege that Microsoft overcharged consumers for Windows and Microsoft Office because of its monopoly position in the industry.
Predictably, Microsoft expressed its pleasure with the ruling. "This is a significant step in resolving a number of the legal issues facing the company," a Microsoft spokesperson said yesterday. The ruling will make it more difficult for consumers to extract huge cash rewards from Microsoft; the class-action status would have consolidated all the claims and potentially raised the eventual cash payout or settlement amount. However, Microsoft still faces serious legal challenges from Sun Microsystems and other competitors that the courts found were hurt by Microsoft's illegal behavior.
Attorneys for the consumers haven't decided yet whether they will appeal the decision. "We're considering our options," said Dan Small, a lawyer from Washington, DC, who represents one of the groups. The one group that Judge Motz did grant class-action status to involves just 26,000 plaintiffs who purchased Windows from shop.microsoft.com, an online shop Microsoft operates. This group is "significantly smaller" than the group represented by the other 60 or so lawsuits that weren't granted class-action status, Judge Motz noted in his ruling.
(brought to you by Windows & .NET Magazine and its partners)
* MICROSOFT TECHED 2003, JUNE 1-6, 2003, DALLAS, TX
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