Top Ten IT News Stories of the Week: Impact of Alcatel, Lucent Merger May Take Time

1. "Impact of Alcatel, Lucent Merger May Take Time,"Network World, 4/3. As the week began, telecommunications equipment manufacturers Alcatel and Lucent announced a plan to merge. It’s going to take between six and 12 months for the deal to clear and then a couple of years to integrate the two players in what’s likely to be a very complex undertaking, according to analysts. The merger, which would create a networking company with an annual revenue of US$25 million, has been expected for several weeks. The pair have been down the merger path before, five years ago, only for discussions to fall apart at the last minute.

2. "CIOs Say Storage Vendors Are Gouging,"

Computerworld, 4/5. Chief information officers and other IT managers are unhappy about what they see as inflated storage costs and bad storage management software pricing models. In some cases, users are discovering it’s less expensive to adopt a new storage environment than to pay for maintaining its existing equipment. They resent having to pay separately for storage management software, which they’d prefer to come bundled on storage hardware. Additionally, storage vendors aren’t doing enough to come up with interoperable products designed to work in heterogenous environments, users said.

3. "Microsoft Launches Linux Website,"CIO.com, 4/6. Gates Inc. has unveiled a new website to provide users with information about Microsoft’s interoperability efforts with Linux and other open-source software. What Microsoft’s waking up to is that customers are running different technologies and hence require interoperability between the vendor’s Windows operating system and its applications, and its equivalents in the open-source world. In the same vein, Microsoft is now offering its Virtual Server 2005 R2 virtualization environment for Windows free of charge. The software also supports the client and server versions of Linux distributions from Red Hat and Novell.

4. "SAP to Expand On-Demand Offerings,"InfoWorld, 4/6. Enterprise applications vendor SAP doesn’t plan to limit its hosted software efforts to CRM software, according to the company’s CEO, Henning Kagermann. SAP is likely to offer on-demand versions of its other applications, but the company doesn’t intend to "cannibalize" its existing enterprise software business to support the software-as-a-service business model, he said.

5. "Users Told to Avoid Ad Hoc Outsourcing Moves,"Computerworld, 4/4. Analysts at Gartner are recommending that IT managers adopt a disciplined approach to outsourcing. Otherwise, they may risk facing large-scale business disruption in a few years. Outsourcing is becoming more complex for users to manage as they deal with increasing numbers of service providers, Gartner said.

6. "IBM Execs, Customers Talk SOA,"Network World, 4/3. Big Blue announced a host of new products and upgrades to existing offerings to help its customers move their systems over to service-oriented architecture (SOA), a way to create and manage IT systems through reusable software and services. IBM is investing more than US$1 billion a year on SOA activities including development, training and support, according to executives.

7. "Yahoo May Face Penalty over Jailed Chinese Journalist,"CIO.com, 4/3. The U.S. portal company’s Hong Kong arm could face a fine, a civil lawsuit or both if the firm is found to have illegally divulged personal data that resulted in Chinese journalist Shi Tao being jailed for 10 years. Tao was convicted last year of divulging state secrets in part due to an e-mail Yahoo handed over to Chinese authorities. A Hong Kong legislator has filed a complaint with the government requesting that Hong Kong’s privacy commissioner investigate the case.

8. "Apple Puts Windows XP On Macs,"CIO.com, 4/5. Apple has released free trial beta software that enables users of its Intel-based Macintosh computers to run Microsoft’s Windows XP operating system. Dubbed Boot Camp, the software is due to be included as a feature in the next major release of Apple’s Mac OS X software. Apple debuted its first computers running on Intel x86 chips a few months ago. Apple made the move in response to its users, and it shouldn’t be seen as an endorsement of Windows, Apple executives were quick to point out.

9. "New York Attorney General Sues Vendor For Spyware,"

Computerworld, 4/4. Eliot Spitzer has sued software distributor Direct Revenue, alleging the company surreptitiously installed millions of pop-up ad programs on consumers’ computers. The New York attorney general’s lawsuit seeks a court order to stop Direct Revenue from secretly installing spyware or sending ads through already-installed spyware. The suit also asks the court to force the company to provide an accounting of its revenue and to impose monetary penalties. Direct Revenue maintains the lawsuit pertains to its past practices, not to its current behavior.

10. "Berners-Lee’s Next Trick: Creating a More Useful Web,"

Network World, 4/5. One of the creators of the World Wide Web, Tim Berners-Lee, hopes the next take on the Web will start impacting online behavior within the next few years. Known as the Semantic Web, the project he and others are working on aims to improve data sharing, including non-online information stored in spreadsheets and databases. In the future, users will be able to use the Semantic Web to help them better mine all their data and use it in conjunction with trusted partners.

-China Martens, IDG News Service

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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