HP TO ACQUIRE COMPAQ

Well, this ought to be all over the news in the morning. Hewlett Packard has agreed to buy Compaq Computers in a stock swap valued at $25 billion. That promises to shake up the computing world in a big way.

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GATEWAY WOES

Gateway is struggling more than you realize. Its business plan is a mess – there’s no money to be made from consumer PCs, but it’s had no luck figuring out what else to sell. It laid off 3,000 employees earlier this year, and it’s laying off another 15% of its US employees and 25% of its worldwide employees. […] continued

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KODAK AND MICROSOFT

Kodak got a bunch of publicity last month when it attacked Microsoft for not giving its photo finishing software fair treatment in Windows XP. (See my link and comments on July 7.) It was played up as another example of big bad Microsoft giving preferential treatment to its own services and squashing competition. […] continued

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DSL COLLAPSE CONTINUES

In the old days – a year ago or so – DSL was available from many Internet service providers. DSL wholesalers – Covad, Rhythms, and Northpoint – installed and maintained the lines, and the ISPs handled the customer services – billing, support, e-mail, web hosting, and the like. The wholesalers had to rely on Pacific Bell to do some of the exterior wiring, but Pacific Bell was also a competitor with a vested interest in cutting off the wholesalers at the knees. […] continued

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AMAZON FINANCIALS

The Los Angeles Times put together an interesting story about whether Amazon.com can survive. “On Monday, Amazon is expected to report its 17th consecutive unprofitable quarter, a money-losing streak with few precedents for a company its size in American business history.” As always, analysts look at Amazon’s numbers and draw different conclusions, but the tone is increasingly pessimistic and some are now predicting bankruptcy lies ahead. […] continued

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KODAK vs. MICROSOFT

Here’s an article about Kodak’s contention that Microsoft is using its monopoly power unfairly to “pry its way into new businesses” with Windows XP. A lot of companies are currently getting a sympathetic ear in the press with their complaints about Microsoft, and this looks like a perfectly good example of what the fuss is all about. […] continued

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COVAD AND THE DSL DEBACLE

DSL was supposed to be the future of the Internet – the technology that would bring broadband to the masses and fuel the technologies that depend on high-speed access. It didn’t happen that way. This article describes what happened to Covad and the entire industry, which was crushed by unfair competition and horrible service from the huge Baby Bells. […] continued

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AOL TIME WARNER LIVING DOWN TO EXPECTATIONS

When the AOL TIme Warner merger was being evaluated, one important issue concerned “open access” to the new company’s cable systems. If AOL Time Warner refused to let anyone else use its cable systems to deliver Internet access, then it would be in a position to monopolize local markets and put competitors out of business. […] continued

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MICROSOFT & SMALL BUSINESSES

Microsoft has revamped its bCentral web site, a collection of services and resources for small businesses. One interesting example is the offer to design and host a web site from scratch for $399. That’s the price for a custom design with a generic but relatively professional look, and five pages of content. […] continued

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BORDERS HANDS ONLINE OPERATIONS TO AMAZON

Did you see that Borders is handing its web site to Amazon? Borders will close its own site, and Amazon will open a new site that features both logos, with Amazon essentially taking all responsibility for inventory and order fulfillment. At one time it was thought that the bricks-and-mortar retailers could leverage their stores by tying them to their web sites. […] continued

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GATEWAY PULLING OUT OF OFFICEMAX

Tough year! Gateway is struggling with slumping sales and a fuzzy business plan. It’s closing a bunch of its own Gateway Country stores, and it just announced that it’s going to withdraw from 1000 OfficeMax stores.

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WORDPERFECT DEATH WATCH

Corel’s quarterly results showed a trivially small profit, but sales have completely collapsed for the WordPerfect suite. “Word processing and productivity sales plummeted from $22.1 million in Q1 2000 to $11.6 in Q1 2001.” I wasn’t able to track down the source info, but I recently read that less than 20% of the big law firms are still using WordPerfect – primarily due to the need to exchange documents with clients, all of whom use Word. […] continued

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ONSTREAM IN BANKRUPTCY

OnStream made tape backup systems. I loved them. Unparalleled reliability. A unique tape format, but I never had a problem with one of their cartridges. When I think of the hours I’ve lost wrestling with conventional Travan tape drives . . . well, OnStream was like a breath of fresh air. […] continued

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AFTER NAPSTER

Napster is gone. Its death may be more or less protracted, but it’s all over. There will now be a period of confusion – most of you will be well served by waiting until the dust settles. I’m a big fan of Media Jukebox, so I like their offer of $3 billion to the record industry to begin a new subscription-based source for legal online music. […] continued

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GATEWAY FINANCIAL WOES

While Dell continues to be a strong company and a great choice when you’re in the market for a new system, Gateway has been floundering. Although I was an early Gateway booster, I became more and more unhappy with Gateway’s erratic customer service and odd choices of hardware and software. Here’s an article that describes Gateway’s deep financial problems. […] continued

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