From EduCom: chips and stoll and mircosoft dips

Adam Rifkin (
Sun, 28 Apr 1996 15:07:42 -0700 (PDT)

While U.S. companies are pulling back on new chip factory construction,
three of Japan's largest semiconductor manufacturers are going forward with
big expansion plans. Hitachi will spend $1.12 billion on a next-generation,
64-megabit memory chip plant, scheduled to open in the first half of 1998.
Mitsubishi Electric is upgrading its factory in Saijo, Japan, to produce
64-megabit chips by October 1997, and NEC is pouring about $1.85 billion
over the next decade into a research facility to develop even more advanced
one-gigabit memory chips, starting in late 1997. "This is how they will
survive in this market," says an analyst with Morgan Stanley Japan Ltd.
"Without this type of more stable investment policy, I think they can't
survive as a first-tier group." (Wall Street Journal 26 Apr 96 A8)

Dan Klesken, an industry analyst with Robertson, Stephens & Co., is bullish
on the long-term chip market: "If you look at the U.S. over the next 20
years, we're going to generate about 25 million new jobs. But if you look
at Asia, including China, that region is going to generate about 250 million
new jobs. Those new wage earners will be buying PCs, digital TVs, digital
cellular phones, etc. The industry today will consume about 250 acres of
silicon. But, by my calculations, it's going to be up around 1, 600 acres
in about 10 years' time." (Investor's Business Daily 29 Apr 96 A6)

Farzad Dibachi, a former Oracle senior VP leading the push for the $500
network PC, has started his own company and thinks he has a better idea.
Dibachi's new firm, Diba, plans to develop technology that will allow
consumer electronics companies to manufacture a variety of inexpensive,
single-purpose appliances. "I think it's a brilliant idea," says the
president of a Silicon Valley venture capital firm. "They have started from
ground zero and built a new thing that isn't a computer, it's an information
appliance." Oracle Executive VP David Roux isn't so sanguine: "He's got
the right train on the wrong track." (Wall Street Journal 26 Apr 96 B3)

Microsoft plans to release major upgrades of both Windows 95 and Windows NT
in late 1997 or early 1998, with the code-named Memphis and Cairo software
versions being the first step toward a standardized Windows for corporate
users. The two programs will share the same basic, 32-bit kernel "around
1998." But some analysts are skeptical about Microsoft's ability to bring
products out on time, while others point out that by 1998, the company will
need to begin launching a 64-bit version of its NT Server to work with
planned 64-bit Unix systems planned for that timeframe. "The fact is there
will always be two versions of the kernel," says a Forrester Research
analyst. (Information Week 22 Apr 96 p22)

Rumors from sources within Apple say that the introduction of Copland,
Apple's next-generation operating system, will be delayed until mid-1997.
(Computer Industry Daily 29 Apr 96)

In a debate at a meeting of the American Association of Advertising
Agencies, technology pundit George Gilder (author of "Microcosm") remarked
that "the consumer will definitely pay for information on the Internet," but
was challenged by skeptic Clifford Stoll (author of "Silicon Snake Oil"),
who argued that "the dirty little secret of Internet is that it's a
neighborhood of cheapskates" for "as soon as you charge people pennies to
click onto icons, they stop." (New York Times 26 Apr 96 C17)