News Briefs

First Windows 2000 virus detected

Anti-virus software vendor F-Secure last week said it has anonymously received a sample of the first virus written specifically to operate under Microsoft's forthcoming Windows 2000 operating system. Known as Win2K.Inta, or Win2000.

Install, F-Secure does not consider the virus a big threat because it has received no reports that the virus has been discovered "in the wild." The virus only operates under Windows 2000 and does not function under older versions of Windows. Microsoft is scheduled to start shipments of the new OS by mid-February. From now on, most new viruses are likely to include compatibility with Windows 2000, F-Secure officials said.

Network Associates to break up

At the RSA Conference 2000 in San Jose, Calif., this week, Network Associates Inc. (NAI) will announce plans to splinter some of its security divisions into separate business units with their own presidents. The goal is to make the company more flexible and less centralized, as well as to improve customer relations, according to a company source. As part of the plan, the following products -- McAfee Virus Defense, Sniffer Technologies, PGP Security, and Magic Solutions -- will still be owned by NAI, according to company officials. NAI will also announce later this month that will make these products available via the Web.

Oracle unveils Oracle8i Release 2

Oracle this week will begin shipping Release 2 of its Oracle8i database, with an eye on increased security. The release builds upon the Virtual Private Database feature of 8i to ensure that competitors in the same trading community cannot access each other's confidential information. Oracle also added encryption technology to its database and support for the Secure Sockets Layer protocol standard, and encryption of Java Database Connectivity for thick and thin Java clients. Oracle8i Release 2 also includes expanded analytic functionality for data warehousing, native Java2 support, remote debugging of Java programs, and improvements to the database's enterprise management features. Oracle8i Release 2 is currently available for several Unix flavors, including Sun Solaris and HP/UX, with a Windows NT version expected to ship in mid-February.

Sage Group scoops up Best Software

The Sage Group acquired Best Software last week for approximately $445 million, making the middle market for enterprise resource planning (ERP) a two-way race between the unified Best/Sage and Great Plains Software. Best will become wholly owned by Sage Software, a subsidiary of the United Kingdom-based Sage Group. The price for the merger, to be completed this quarter, was a cash purchase set at $35 per share of Best. The VARs who have been working with Sage and Best are likely to welcome the consolidation as well as the combined ERP and accounting product suite to follow, officials said.

Kanisa unpacks e-commerce self-service

A relative newcomer to electronic commerce, Kanisa is debuting a self-service package this week, dubbed ESP, that, through links to a knowledge base, builds on past experience to anticipate customer questions and problems. The Kanisa offering puts it slightly ahead technologically of its competitors. However, the edge may not last long, according to analysts who said competitors are likely to join the knowledge-base support game soon.

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