Having previously been at each other's throats, Oracle and Netscape will join hands in San Francisco this week for a "strategic" software announcement. No details were available as PC Week went to press, but it is believed Oracle will drop its troubled PowerBrowser Web browser and license Netscape Navigator instead. Such a deal would boost Netscape's arsenal in the browser wars against Microsoft.
Microsoft is planning to bring forward the next major release of Windows 95 by around six months. The release, codenamed Memphis, was originally planned for about the same time as the next release of Windows NT, code-named Cairo, late next year or even early 1998. According to US reports, Memphis is now expected to be released in the middle of next year. A key feature of the upgrade will be the integration of Microsoft's Internet Explorer 4.0, enabling users to transform their desktops into Web page views.
Railtrack is equipping its 9,000 PCs with desktop management software from ProMetrics to help improve end-user productivity in the wake of its recent privatisation. In the first phase of the project, 3,400 PCs have been fitted with ProMetrics' DeskWatch Expert. The software will be installed on the remaining 5,600 machines within the next six months. Philip Collings, head of systems at Railtrack, commented: "We had already decided that managing the desktop environment was a key area to be addressed in our shape up for privatisation. The management information provided by DeskWatch Expert enables us to address cost of ownership issues, but more importantly, help us focus on where and how we can improve IT performance at the desktop and end-user productivity."
Yet another executive has left Compaq. Ross Cooley, senior vice president of the company's north American division, has quit to join US start-up pcOrder.com. His resignation follows that of Doug Pushard, VP of Compaq's internetworking products group, and Mark Canepa, vice president of the newly-formed workstation division.
Olivetti is suing the former director who put the troubled company's financial situation under the spotlight. In September, Renzo Francesconi claimed the company was in deeper financial trouble than stated in its first half results. His remarks sparked an investigation by Italian stock market regulator, Consob. Now, Olivetti is claiming Francesconi violated company confidentiality codes and caused a sharp drop in its market value.
The company also dismissed Francesconi's comments as "groundless".
The UK may have the lowest piracy rate in Western Europe but it could still do better. According to the Business Software Alliance (BSA), software piracy cost Western Europe $3.6 billion (#2.3 billion) last year, despite most countries reporting modest improvements in their individual piracy rates. In the UK, 38% of business software was pirated in 1995, down from 42% the previous year. But Yvonne McLean, chair of the BSA, said: "38% is still far too high for such a mature market as the UK." The country with the biggest piracy problem is Slovenia, where 96% of business software is illegally copied.
New Vikendi map adds snow, snowmobiles and new aural and visual twists
Faults and bad weather ground SpaceX, Blue Origin, Arianespace and United Alliance
New regulation expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by about 17 million metric tonnes between 2020 and 2050
Molybdenum ditelluride is a two-dimensional material that can be easily stacked into multiple layers to create a memory cell