XO ON THE BRINK

It’s almost over for XO Communications. According to this article, XO is weighing a takeover bid by Carl Icahn, and it may file for bankruptcy soon. More telling to me is that XO filed its annual report with the SEC; in it, the accounting firm said it has “substantial doubt about (XO’s) ability to continue as a going concern.” […] continued

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TIME WARNER HATES AOL SOFTWARE

I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that America Online has continued to use Microsoft Internet Explorer as its browser engine, even though it acquired Netscape last year – pretty ironic, eh?

Well, an even better commentary on Netscape’s software skills comes today from the offices of Time Warner. After the merger with AOL, Time Warner issued an edict to all of its divisions requiring them to use AOL’s email services – software developed by Netscape, running on AOL’s public servers. […] continued

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XO COMMUNICATIONS TO FILE FOR BANKRUPTCY

It was reported yesterday that XO Communications (the successor to Concentric Networks) expects to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy within two weeks.

No information is available yet on whether this will affect XO’s customers for dialup access, DSL, or web site hosting.

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GATEWAY SALES PLUMMET

Gateway continues to fall apart. Steep drop in fourth-quarter sales, another 15% cut in work force, more store closures. The future looks very dim.

Interestingly, EMachines is hanging in there. I thought they’d be bankrupt by this time. It’s no longer a public company – taken private by a board member last year. […] continued

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EXCITE@HOME TO SHUT DOWN

The game of chicken poker is over and the loser is: everybody. AT&T drove Excite@Home into bankruptcy, hoping to pick up its assets for $300 million. The bondholders objected and said the assets were worth $1 billion. The bankruptcy court gave Excite permission to play hardball, and Excite turned off Internet access to AT&T’s subscribers last weekend. […] continued

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EXCITE@HOME CONSPIRACY THEORY

The December 10 issue of Forbes magazine presents an interesting theory to explain how Excite@Home wound up in its current embarrassing predicament. “A new conspiracy theory alleges that AT&T, despite controlling 23% of @Home’s common shares and 74% of the voting shares, drove the firm to the brink of bankruptcy–so it could then acquire the rest of it on the cheap. […] continued

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EXCITE@HOME MIGHT SHUT OFF CABLE INTERNET SERVICE

Early this year Northpoint shut off DSL service to 100,000 customers with only a few days notice. It caused such a flap that I thought nothing like it would ever happen again. Guess what? Excite@Home says service might be shut off on Friday to 4.1 million cable Internet customers.

Now, mind you, I don’t think it will really happen. […] continued

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XO COMMUNICATIONS IN TROUBLE

XO Communications is struggling to survive. Layoffs, salary freeze, reduced advertising – all the signs of yet another telecommunications company on the ropes. Here’s an article with more details.

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AMAZON OPENS TRAVEL STORE

Amazon has added a travel store, appearing as a new tab on Amazon’s home page. It links services from Expedia and Hotwire (a discount agency), presented in an Amazon design and with Amazon handling the transactions. Amazon has cut several of these deals where it provides the storefront (and customer base), and another retailer handles inventory and order fulfillment. […] continued

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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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