SAN MATEO (07/21/2000) - High-end Windows 2000 to appearMicrosoft Corp. this week moved closer to releasing its high-end version of Windows 2000. The company issued Release Candidate 1 of Windows 2000 Data Center to hardware makers and some customers. Officials at Microsoft said the final product will be released in about four months. Hoping to stake a claim in territory traditionally reserved for Unix and other non-Windows systems, Microsoft has designed Windows 2000 Data Center to handle multiprocessor servers, particularly those running e-commerce Web sites.

Revamped Palm unit readied

Palm Inc. will announce next month a $149 version of its popular Palm PDA (personal digital assistant), according to sources familiar with company plans.

Lighter and smaller than the Palm III, the new M100 device will be sized between the Palm III and the thinner Palm V and will be offered with a choice of optional snap-on plastic faces in five colors. The unit will come standard with a synchronization cable, but sources say there may also be an optional synchronization cradle. The M100 will be released along with a Palm VIIx, which will come standard with 8MB of RAM and a new grayish black plastic finish.

Novell unwraps Single Sign On 2

Novell Inc. next week will unveil Single Sign On (SSO) 2, the second version of the company's software that allows users to combine all of their system and Web log-ons into one password. With the addition of client-side single sign-on technology from PassLogix Inc.'s V-Go product, SSO 2 will be able to intelligently detect Windows 32 applications, browser log-ons, and host emulator log-ons. It will automatically serve up correct passwords without requiring the applications to be integrated. Users also can work in a disconnected mode and synchronize with the directory when they reattach to the network. Passwords and IDs are stored in the NDS Secret Store and can be centrally administered through the directory. SSO 2 will be available July 31 at a price of $49 per user.

Cisco upgrades videoconferencing system

Cisco Systems Inc. next week plans to roll out upgrades to its IP/VC 3500 IP-based videoconferencing system. Improvements will boost functionality in areas such as audio and video quality, officials said. Enhancements include the capability of viewing as many as four videoconferencing participants on a single screen; multiple channel bonding across port configurations, which dedicates more bandwidth per call and lowers the cost of calls; support for the G.722 audio encoding standard, which improves sound quality; and far-end camera control, for remote access to cameras connected through a gateway.

Lucent spins off microelectronics unit

Lucent Technologies Inc. this week announced its long-expected plans to spin off its microelectronics business, which includes the optoelectronics components and integrated circuits divisions, into a separate company. The company will be named at a later date. The microelectronics business makes silicon chips and optoelectronics parts, such as lasers, that are used to build wireless phones, modems, and optical networking gear, Lucent said. Officials said the spin-off came about in an effort to accelerate the growth of its microelectronics business and to alleviate strategic conflicts that have arisen because the business often sells parts to Lucent's competitors.

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