News briefs: Harvey Norman, Microsoft, Sun

News briefs: Harvey Norman, Microsoft, Sun

HN's PC sales dive

In its quarterly announcement to the stock exchange, Harvey Norman announced last week that computer sales for the quarter ending September 2001 had dropped 7 per cent on the same period last year. The retail giant reported total revenue across all divisions of $630 million, a 5.5 per cent increase compared to the same period last year. According to the company, the decrease in computer product orders was caused by the worldwide decline in computer hardware sales. The overall sales result was nevertheless pleasing, the company said, considering the difficult trading conditions in the marketplace.

MS extends deadline

Microsoft has extended for the second time the deadline for companies to enrol in a new program for licensing and upgrading software. IT executives now have until July 31, 2002 to decide if they want to enrol in Microsoft's new License 6.0, a volume licensing program, and its companion upgrade program, Software Assurance. Both plans, which are available to those with Open and Select software contracts, have been met with passionate resistance by IT executives who say their licensing costs will dramatically increase. A study by Guernsey Research revealed companies that stay on a two-year upgrade cycle save 19 per cent in licensing costs under Software Assurance. But companies on a three-year cycle will see a 40 per cent increase.

Partners bask in Sun

Frontline Systems, Fujitsu and newcomer Clarity emerged victorious at Sun Microsystems' 2001 Annual Reseller Awards last week. Frontline Systems won the major award for outstanding sales results, as well as for generating the highest number of bookings for support services. ASX-listed software developer Clarity was named Best New Reseller of the Year, while Fujitsu took out Sun Service Manager of the Year.

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