close this bookVolume 6: No. 82
View the documentIndustry and Comdex news
View the documentMicrosoft news
View the documentSafe computing
View the documentResearch software (in our CRS 6.42 digest this week)
View the documentEntrepreneurialism

HPC no longer means just High Performance Computing. Microsoft is using the acronym for hand-held PCs, formerly known as PDAs. HPCs run Windows CE, a Windows 95 lookalike. More than 60 (90?) companies will soon offer such devices, software, and add-ons. HPCs typically have 2MB RAM, 4MB ROM, infrared connectivity, and ports for peripherals. They also turn on and off instantly. Prices start at $500, plus peripherals and other options. [SJM, 11/18/96.]

Companies doing real-time data acquisition, monitoring, and computer control are finding it difficult to port their software from DOS, Windows 3.1, or Windows 95 to stable, secure, networkable, multiprocessor, multithreaded, preemptive multiprocessing, GUI-equipped operating systems such as Unix, Windows NT, the NeXT OS, and the Be OS. Customers want the increased stability, since rebooting Windows several times a day can be a real pain in the acq, but that stability comes from keeping user processes out of the OS address space. Real-time software can slow down by a factor of 100 if it's forced to go through the OS. Developers are needed who can write tight code for the more complex environments. [Personal Engineering & Instrumentation News, 11/96, p. 33. Bill Park.]

Interval Research (Palo Alto), financed by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is spinning off three companies to market girl-oriented software (Purple Moon), children's real-time video editing (Ogopogo Studies), and publisher's e-commerce software (Carnelian Inc.). Interval's other projects are still under wraps. [WSJ, 11/13/96, A3. EDUPAGE.]

Bill Gates says that a significant portion of Microsoft's $2B/year research budget is aimed at getting your computer to recognize you, respond to your voice and gestures, and talk back in whatever voice signature you choose. [Reuters, 11/5/96. Lily Laws.]

Microsoft's new Office 97 suite is "the first time technology from our research group is in a shipping product," according to Gates. [Infoworld. Richard Fritzson, 11/20/96.]

MSOFT is the "Everything Microsoft" list, for both business news and technical or software announcements. Send a "SUBSCRIBE MSOFT" subject line to Patrick Grote . [NEW-LIST, 10/28/96.]