News Briefs: Windows, HP, Wang, Oracle, Netcomm

News Briefs: Windows, HP, Wang, Oracle, Netcomm

Windows 95 turns one year old, sells 40 million unitsSYDNEY - In its first year of existence Windows 95 has sold more than 40 million units worldwide, with 1.1 million copies sold in Australia, according to Microsoft Australia's managing director Chris Kelliher. IDC projects that Windows will have sold 70 million units by the end of 1996 and sees 132 million units being sold in 1997. Worldwide, more than 25 per cent of all desktops are running Windows 95, according to IDC.

Although there's little question consumer uptake of Windows 95 has been strong, some industry watchers say corporate acceptance has been underwhelming.

"I don't think that's true," Kelliher said. "Any new technology gets taken on board in stages. Windows 95 in the corporate sector is unfolding over the course of a year or so and the numbers look great."

HP creates reseller program, cuts pricesSYDNEY - Hewlett-Packard Australiahas created a partnership program for resellers of HP DesignJet printers and plotters. According to HP, its DesignJet Business Partner Program "provides incentives such as market development training, preferential allocation of demonstration units, forms of price and stock protection, as well as rebates for meeting sales targets".

"In creating this program, HP wanted to provide customers with resellers across Australia who have the knowledge and support infrastructure to not only market HP products, but to also demonstrate and provide a high level of after-sales support," said Rob Harnett, HP market development manager.

Harnett says the program will operate on an annual basis with reviews every six months. A maximum of 20 resellers will be accepted in to the program. For more information on the program, call toll free 13 1347. In other news, HP has cut the prices of its ScanJet 4s personal scanner from RRP $599 to RRP $399.

Joint year 2000 venture may lead to IT jobsCANBERRA - The ACT Government and Unisys expect to create as many as 1,000 new jobs in the ACT as companies grapple with the Year 2000 conversion problem. Under an agreement signed recently, the two parties will create a joint venture called Unisys People to train computer literate personnel in conversion methodologies and then offer conversion consultancy services. The deal will give fresh hope to Canberra-based IT professionals made redundant by Federal Government cutbacks.

"Experts predict that fixing the Year 2000 problem will cost Australia up to $10 billion and create thousands of skilled jobs over the next few years," said ACT Chief Minister Kate Carnal. "This agreement is aimed at ensuring that a high proportion of these new jobs are based in Canberra."

Wang, DEC in imaging deal

SYDNEY - Digital has signed an alliance agreement with Wang, focusing on bringing Wang's workflow and imaging technology to Digital's Alpha servers.

According to Digital and Wang, under the partnership both companies will work to port Wang's Open/workflow and Open/image software to Digital's Alpha platform running Windows NT. The imaging systems are scheduled for availability in the first quarter of 1997.

Wang will provide training and sales support to Digital's systems integration organisation, according to the company. Bob Weiler, president of Wang's software division, said: "Wang and Digital are two companies that have taken a leading position in providing scalable, enterprise solutions that leverage the Microsoft Windows NT environment."

Oracle rolls out Master plan

SYDNEY - Oracle is introducing a training program it hopes will create an industry standard for certification for all consultants and technicians working in Oracle environments.

The Oracle Education Masters Program will first be trialled in South Australia, and is expected to be launched nationally in January 1997. The Masters program, initially developed in the US, consists of three basic streams - database, developer, and designer - and within these streams, different levels of competency are covered, focusing on areas such as database administration, application development, systems analysis, system upgrades and project management. Oracle says the plan is a "proactive move by the company to ensure that customers are receiving a standard level of expertise and proficiency from consultants and developers".

Oracle Tel: (02) 9900 1000.

Netcomm's cable modem seeks a good home

SYDNEY - Working models of NetComm's cable modem are sitting on ice, as the search continues for a buyer.

According to NetComm, despite the lack of customers, the cable modem will revolutionise Internet usage for the home market, by dramatically improving available bandwidth for users.

With a number of prototypes of its Net Rocket cable modem at the ready, company officials would not comment on where negotiations currently sat with Optus or Telstra. Chris Howells, CEO of NetComm, however, admitted the company is actively seeking an alliance with Telcos here and overseas.

"We want to prove that the Cable Modem product is alive and well. From here on in we've got some heavy selling to do inside and outside of Australia," he said.

A number of product configurations are under development to be rolled out over the next year, offering variations in bandwidth.

Federal budget kind to own IS

SYDNEY - Despite its rhetoric during the election campaign, the Liberal/National party government has abandoned plans to cut IT spending by $1 billion over the next three years. This follows advice thought to come from the Office of Government Information Technology to the Department of Finance that such cuts would be virtually impossible to achieve without a devastating impact on service delivery.

In contrast, IT spending by the government is set to increase by about $2 million. However, Government IT staffers still face the prospect of being retrenched following the completion in six months of an outsourcing review.

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