News Briefs

Microsoft, Intel debut products at CES

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas last week, Microsoft unveiled the Pocket PC, which is the latest installment of its handheld platform Windows CE. The upcoming platform will include the Windows Media Player, ClearType technology, and the new Microsoft Reader software for e-books. The new devices, due to appear in the first half of this year, will run on a revamped version of Windows CE. Meanwhile, Intel at CES unveiled its Web appliance strategy, which includes a first ever Linux-based OS on Intel-branded appliances. Available about mid-2000, the Intel Web appliances will be deployed by ISPs that will charge users for Internet access.

White House countercyberterrorism plan

President Bill Clinton last week released the National Plan for Information Systems Protection, the first step in the government's effort to assess the vulnerability of the nation's information infrastructure to so-called cyber attacks. The plan outlines the threat of cyber attacks and details steps being taken to prevent them. The plan is to be periodically updated and eventually will lead to a set of safeguards to protect critical information sectors -- the economy, national security, public health, and safety. Those safeguards are to be in effect by December 2000 and fully operational by May 2003.

Cisco expands Ethernet line-card recall

Cisco Systems late last month expanded its recall of 10Base-T switched Ethernet line cards that go in the company's Catalyst 5000 switches. Only WS-X5012 modules within the serial number ranges specified by Cisco are susceptible to the failure. The problem, according to a field notice on Cisco's Web site, is due to an internal shorting of the printed circuit board assembly fabrication, which can occur after several months of operation. Cisco said less than 15 percent of the line cards have the potential to short, and actual failures occurred in only 14 of 75,000 units. The first recall was initiated Dec. 8.

Cisco expanded it to include more modules Dec. 23.

As Apple CEO, Jobs details Mac OS X

At MacWorld last week, Steve Jobs provided details about Apple's Mac OS X and announced that the company will be partnering with ISP EarthLink Network. The Mac OS X will have a new user interface dubbed Aqua and will be rolled out over the year. The operating system will be in beta testing throughout the second quarter and released in the third quarter. Apple machines will be preloaded with the new OS in 12 months. As part of its Internet strategy, Apple will invest $200 million in EarthLink. Apple machines will be configured with EarthLink as the default ISP. Jobs also touted a strong first quarter and said that he was dropping the "interim" from his CEO title. The Apple founder has held the position for more than two years.

Sun-Netscape Alliance ports iPlanet to AIXThe Sun-Netscape Alliance plans to port its entire iPlanet networking-software line to IBM's AIX Unix platform by mid-2000, both companies announced last week. The iPlanet Web Server, Messaging Server, and Directory Server are now available on AIX, which runs on IBM RS/6000 servers. The agreement expands that lineup to include AIX versions of the iPlanet Application Server, Calendar Server, and Certificate Server, as well as electronic-commerce applications.

Currently, only the Sun Solaris platform carries the full iPlanet line, although pieces of it run on Windows NT, Hewlett-Packard HP/UX, and Linux.

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