FRAMINGHAM (03/31/2000) - MCI WorldCom Inc. today is expected to unveil a new managed e-mail service for enterprises in conjunction with Critical Path, a key provider of messaging platforms to service providers. Options will include fully hosted Microsoft Exchange e-mail and collaboration applications, and integration of internally managed mail servers. The managed service will allow network administrators to retain control of moves, adds and changes while turning over all or part of e-mail management - including virus scanning, content filtering and other functions - to the carrier.

An AT&T Corp.-led consortium last week took a 39 percent stake in Net2Phone, one of the top consumer-oriented voice-over-IP telephony providers. As part of the transaction, the consortium will purchase shares from IDT Corp., Net2Phone's controlling shareholder. Net2Phone - lauded by AT&T CEO C. Michael Armstrong as "the Internet's very own phone company" - features voice mail services available on popular Web portals and makes its network available to other carriers looking for IP transport. AT&T and Net2Phone will develop new Internet voice applications for AT&T's cable telephony business.

The Securities and Exchange Commission says it wants to automate surveillance of the online world to quickly nab scam artists running illegal get-rich-quick schemes. But the proposal has drawn a volley of criticism from several quarters, including privacy-advocacy groups and the consultancy PricewaterhouseCoopers, which contend individual privacy rights could be eroded under such a plan. SEC authorities respond that the online monitoring process - which would probably rely on keyword searches for expressions such as "Make Money NOW!" - would simply automate the kinds of manual surveillance SEC agents have to routinely perform today to conduct investigations to protect the public against stock fraud.

A beta version of AOL's eagerly awaited Netscape 6 Web browser will be unveiled Tuesday at Internet World in Los Angeles. The new version is based on a software core called Gecko - itself the fruit of public contributions from Mozilla, a community of programmers who oversee the Netscape open source software initiative. The Gecko browser promises to be faster, better and smaller than archrival Microsoft Internet Explorer: 5.5M bytes compared with a swollen 29M bytes. The key to the browser's future may lie in how, and whether, AOL can package the browser seamlessly with content and applications on its Web portals.

At Internet World in Los Angeles on Tuesday, Network World will sponsor "The Internet Client of the Future" panel. Are we really in the "post PC" world? Are we ready to close the door on Windows? Is wireless the way to go. And just what is up with Linux? Executives from Sun, Wireless Knowledge (a joint venture of Microsoft and Qualcomm), Palm and VA Linux will debate these and other issues, including your questions about the nature of the Internet client and how it will affect enterprise computing.

Cabletron's Enterasys enterprise network business this week will attempt to counter last week's bad news - a 40 percent drop in Cabletron's market value - by announcing a new, high-density wiring closet switch. The Matrix E7 is a Layer 2 Fast Ethernet and Gigabit Ethernet switch for wiring closets. It also features Layer 3 services such as packet filtering, security and quality of service, as well as an optional centralized routing module. Expected to ship later this month, the Matrix E7 will support up to 80 Gigabit Ethernet and 330 to 500 10/100M bit/sec Ethernet ports, sources say.

The U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust case against Microsoft is inching closer to another milestone . . . one way or the other. If the two sides cannot reach a settlement before this Friday, Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson is expected to issue his opinion on whether Microsoft violated antitrust laws. The New York Times reported last week that Jackson-appointed mediator Judge Richard Posner says he will discontinue his efforts this week, which would likely trigger Jackson's ruling.

Banyan Worldwide, which last year transformed itself from a software developer into a services company, is changing its name to ePresence, Inc. on April 10.

In May, the firm, which once staked its business on its StreetTalk directory and VINES operating system, will announce a host of new services to go along with its portal, infrastructure and directory services. Banyan earlier this year spun off Switchboard, it's online phone books.

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