Following an investigation by the European Commission, Microsoft has agreed to change its relationships with cable partners Telewest, NTL (both UK), UPC (Netherlands) and TV Cabo (Portugal).
The Commission was concerned that the investments in UPC and NTL were accompanied by the creation of joint technology boards which imposed binding decisions on which technologies the cable companies could choose to support.
Microsoft has agreed to scrap one board and make the other an open forum for competing suppliers of set-top boxes. Last year, the software giant agreed to reduce its controlling interest in Telewest to a minority holding.
Sony and Ericsson may link on mobiles
Sony has confirmed a Japanese TV report that it is talking to Ericcson about a possible joint venture.
However, the company did not confirm speculation that the talks are about jointly manufacturing and marketing third-generation phones for the UK market.
Analysts said that, were the deal to materialise, the mix of Sony's consumer brand recognition and Ericsson's industry know-how would make sense for both firms, but could result in a possible culture clash which would require one company to ultimately take a majority stake in the projected partnership.
ASPs will help drive CRM software market, says report
The customer relationship management (CRM) software market will grow from $2.2bn in 2000 to $7.6bn in 2005, according to a new report from Datamonitor.
Revenues generated through CRM software rental will total $390m, the report also predicts. Application service providers (ASPs) earned just $3m from renting CRM applications last year.
Datamonitor said that smaller firms make up the majority of ASP client revenues for CRM software.
However, the idea that small to medium sized enterprises would flock to rent software, although much touted by a number of industry analysts, has steadfastly failed to be realised.
Nintendo delays Gamecube launch
Nintendo's Japanese and North American Gamecube launches have been pushed back to July and September respectively, removing its first mover advantage over Microsoft's X-box. Europe will not receive the machine until 2002.
The company also said it was considering using some of its $6.5bn in cash reserves to buy back up to 10 per cent of its outstanding shares.
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