Wednesday 13 October: VNU Newswire's roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Microsoft president Steve Ballmer has predicted that the boom in ecommerce has barely begun. Ballmer, speaking at the summit of Internet leaders, Planet 99, said businesses would soon see improvements to their internal supply chains and would reduce transaction costs by billions of dollars. Savings could be made by avoiding administration and distribution costs.
The New York Times reports that the chief operating officer of Ingram Micro, Jeffrey Rodek, resigned yesterday. Rodek, who was also president of the company, has left to head software company Hyperion Solutions. An Ingram Micro spokeswoman said Rodek's resignation was not related to the resignation of chief executive Jerre Stead. Ingram warned last month that its quarterly profits would fall short of expectations.
Sony's chairman Nobuyuki Idei has admitted that most Japanese companies are five to ten years behind America in terms of the Internet, writes Newsweek. Idei claimed that Sony, however, was not that far behind. The chairman said that the Internet is still very expensive in Japan because of high communication costs, but added that in Japan games users are also future Internet users.
Open, the interactive television service that launched yesterday, is considering a stock market flotation, reports The Financial Times. James Ackerman, the company's chief executive, said it had held talks with several investment banks about a possible flotation but had not yet appointed an advisor. Open has been trialled since June, but a full service was launched yesterday.
The number of Internet shoppers is expected to triple in the fourth quarter, writes the Washington Post. Consumers are expected to spend $12.2 billion, according to the Gartner Group at a forum in Orlando. The group expects $31.2 billion worth of online shopping for all of 1999, and $380 billion by 2003. A Gartner survey found that 64 per cent of Internet users intended to buy online at some point, with books, CDs and computer sales proving the most popular.
Patrick Naughton, the former top executive with Walt Disney's Go Network, has pleaded not guilty to sex charges brought against him, reports the San Jose Mercury. Naughton is accused of intent to have sex with a minor, and possession of child pornography. If found guilty on all counts, Naughton could face a maximum jail term of 35 years in prison.
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