Stories by Rob Guth

  • Nintendo order spurs NEC chip investment

    NEC, the world's second largest maker of semiconductors, last week announced plans to build a new chip fabrication line in preparation for a large order from Nintendo.

  • Asian Y2K preparation advances

    By Rob Guth | 29 September, 1999 12:56

    The year 2000 remediation efforts of nine regional countries have progressed over the past six months while several key areas, including medical facilities and private companies, are the least prepared for the changing of the millennium, according to a report issued last week by the Japan External Trade Organisation (JETRO).

  • Symantec pushes its own brand

    By Rob Guth | 15 September, 1999 12:56

    Symantec is reworking its approach to branding as part of a larger strategy to grow the software vendor's sales to corporate customers, according to John Thompson, the former IBM executive recruited in April to head the antivirus and software utilities company.

  • Toshiba reports deep loss despite PC gains

    Toshiba, despite a recovery in its PC business, recorded a consolidated net loss of 13.9 billion yen ($US115 million), for the year ended March 31, 1999. It was the company's first group loss since 1975.

  • Matsushita gets into bed with Nintendo

    Matsushita Electric and Nintendo have announced they will be collaborating on a broad range of consumer electronics products including a next-generation game machine designed to challenge Sony's PlayStation. Nintendo said it will use a 400MHz version of a chip based on IBM's PowerPC architecture in game machines code-named "Dolphin".

  • Sony uses Microsoft for Net music sales

    Sony Music Entertainment, the US music unit of electronics giant Sony, will tap technology from Microsoft to sell music over the Internet, according to a joint announcement last week. Under the deal, Sony will use Microsoft's Windows Audio 4.0 technology to sell singles over the Internet when Microsoft ships its technology, expected in the third quarter, according to officials. The announcement confirms earlier reports from sources close to the deal.

  • A tale of two business models

    A post mortem of Eckhard Pfeiffer's surprise resignation last week as CEO of Compaq might reveal a company torn between two business models. Though Compaq released few details concerning the resignation of Pfeiffer and Compaq's chief financial officer Earl Mason, analysts and observers say the company is caught in the middle of divergent strategies, one represented by computer services professional IBM and the other by fleet-footed direct PC seller Dell Computer.

  • TFT LCD makers to boost production

    Several makers of TFT LCDs (thin-film transistor liquid crystal displays) will boost their production over the next six months, but a shortage in the flat-panel screens should continue into next year, people familiar with the companies plans said here last week. Representatives at Matsushita Electric Industrial and Hitachi said they are each earmarking new money to increase production of TFT LCDs, which are used in notebook PCs and increasingly as displays for desktop PCs.

  • Sony to Show PlayStation's sequel

    After selling up a storm with its lower priced PlayStation consoles in recent months, Sony Computer Entertainment (SCE) showed off the latest version of its popular PlayStation game machine last week , according a report in a leading Japanese daily newspaper.

  • IBM to simplify software channel strategy

    IBM is simplifying its software sales and marketing programs, part of a larger move that should make it easier for the company's partners and customers to order and integrate software from IBM and its subsidiaries, the head of IBM's software sales and marketing group said today in an interview.

  • IDC: Services rise slightly in Asia-Pacific

    The market for IT services in Asia-Pacific, excluding Japan, last year grew a slight 2 per cent year on year in value terms, according to a report released today by International Data Corp (IDC).

  • Macworld: Jobs Unveils New Mac, Software

    During his keynote at Macworld Expo here today interim Apple Computer Inc. leader Steve Jobs spun through the company's latest product advances including a G3 400MHz desktop and a new server version of the Mac OS.

  • DRAM prices hit low point, NEC official says

    The price of memory chips has hit a low point and will stabilise next year as select makers of the chips begin to roll out next-generation versions of DRAMs, the head of NEC's semiconductor business said last week in a briefing.

  • Compaq confirms DirectPlus will reach Australia

    Compaq last week confirmed that its DirectPlus online ordering system will be implemented worldwide, despite a lukewarm reaction to the strategy from embattled Compaq Australia officials (ARN October 28, page 1). Ben Reeves, Compaq Australia's channel and segment marketing manager, told ARN recently that the Australian channel differs from its US counterpart and therefore may not be suitable to such a program.

  • Toshiba, NEC push for high-cap DRAMs

    Two of Japan's top chip makers are increasing their mix of advanced DRAMs in bids to eke profits out of that lacklustre memory market, officials at the companies said recently. Toshiba and NEC are shifting production to 128Mb DRAMs (dynamic random access memories) while levelling off their 64Mb production, the officials said.