The Halifax Building Society has awarded Compaq a #16.5 million contract to supply 12,000 PCs and 220 Servers. Won against competition from IBM and Olivetti, the deal is part of a corporate IT infrastructure overhaul at the Halifax which will be rolled out, as the building society adopts plc status, and replaces legacy hardware. The building society has ordered 12,000 Deskpro 2000 PCs, and 220 servers comprising ProLiant 4500s and ProLiant 1500s. Both servers and desktops will run Windows NT and use Pentium 166MHz and 133MHz processors. Pilot implementations are already in place, with full roll-out due to be completed by next June.
The end of 1996 means the end of the line for more than 70 software thieves, according to Microsoft. During the second half of this year, Microsoft said it issued 78 Cease and Desist letters, 21 writs, and participated with enforcement agencies on six software theft raids. The BSA (Business Software Alliance), of which Microsoft is a member, offers rewards of up to #2,500 for the successful completion of cases generated by leads from its telephone hotline on 0800 510510.
The world's four biggest trading powers last week agreed to eliminate tariffs on most IT products by the year 2000, potentially lowering the retail price of hardware and software. The US, European Union, Japan and Canada (which together generate more than half the world's IT trade) are now urging other countries to back their draft accord by 15 March next year. According to the four so far involved, countries representing around 90% of total IT trade must agree to abolish the tariffs in order for the deal to go ahead. Under the planned agreement, tariffs on IT trade valued at #305 billion a year would be eliminated.
Uunet Pipex has teamed up with The Penguin Group and Rough Guides to sell an Internet solution through high-street bookshops such as Dillons, Heffers, Waterstones and WH Smith. Pipex Rough Guide to the Internet is priced at #9.99 and includes Pipex Dial software, 2Mb of Web space, 10 days free Internet access and a copy of Rough Guide to the Internet.
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Siemens is planning to cut a further 6,000 jobs in its German operations over the next year in order to improve profits. The job cuts, matching those of the last financial year, will mostly fall in the medical technology, plant technology and computer divisions. Over the past three years, Siemens has cut its German workforce by 30,000 to 203,000.
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