Stories by IDG staff

Industry briefs

A $10 million below-budget performance on anticipated exchange rate variations against the US dollar has marred an otherwise excellent six-month performance for Cisco Systems' local operation. Gary Jackson, Cisco's managing director, Australia and New Zealand, said the exchange rate performance was "a worry" and, should the Australian dollar drop to US57 cents, could start to impact on the local lower-end switching market.

Industry briefs

Oracle's focus back from NCs to database
Oracle officials have confirmed that CEO Larry Ellison plans to tone down his network computer (NC) evangelising and pay more attention to the company's flagship database business. The move follows two straight quarters of single-digit growth in database sales for Oracle.

Software

In a significant about-face, a top Microsoft official has said the software giant will offer a direct migration path from existing Windows NT 3.51 servers to NT 5.0 when the new version of the operating system hits the streets late this year. Until now, Microsoft had said NT 3.51 users would first have to upgrade all of their servers to NT 4.0 before moving on to NT 5.0. That development angered the NT 3.51 user community, which at the beginning of 1997 comprised more than 70 per cent of the NT installed base.

Machinations over mobile phone towers

Public hearings called by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) in Melbourne last month attempted to thrash out some of the problems associated with mobile phone towers.

Partners sign onto Telstra's broadband plans

Thirteen Australian multimedia developers have been selected to participate in Teltra's Broadband Developers Partnership. This Partnership is intended to allow developers, and their corporate customers, to develop, test and demonstrate their broadband applications real-time and online. The partners include MultiNet Interactive Web Consulting, Mainstreet Internet Services, Rhythm Media, HotHouse Interactive Productions, New Toys, TechTalk, Radiant Productions, WSA Holdings, IG Synergy, Clemengers Interactive, Creative Access, AAV Business Communications, and SAI Media.

DEETYA's Job search receives US acclaim

The Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs (DEETYA) has won a prestigious Smithsonian Bronze Medal for its visionary use of technology.
The Smithsonian Institute's National Museum of American History in Washington DC, recognised DEETYA's achievements in delivering such services as the Australian Job Search system.

Networking & telecomms

Half of the Internet traffic originating in Australia will soon be routed via Bay Networks' routers, Bay officials claim. The Bay Backbone Concentrator Node routers are being purchased by Optus Communications to interface with its ATM network and route IP traffic for its commercial Internet services.

PCs and Servers

In a bid to fend off competition from increasingly powerful Windows NT-based desktop computers, Sun Microsystems unveiled two new lines of Unix workstations, with one system priced at $4900.
Sun's Darwin line, including the Ultra 5 and Ultra 10 computers, was designed to compete head-on with high-end PCs from Compaq Computer and others, the company said.