Fast Breaks Newsfront: May 28, 2001
Computer services firm Electronic Data Systems made its third large acquisition in as many months last week, agreeing to buy Structural Dynamics Research for $950 million in cash. The purchase gives EDS software that allows manufacturers to collaborate on a variety of projects, from drafting plans for car engines to designing airplane wings.
Microsoft plans to release Microsoft Office XP this week, the latest incarnation of its popular business applications suite. The company reached a tentative deal with America Online to bundle the AOL 6.0 client into Windows XP, according to reports late last week.
EchoStar Communications CEO Charlie Ergen is building a war chest to buy satellite rival DirecTV in a complex deal involving the spin-off of DirecTVs parent Hughes Electronics from its owner, General Motors. Ergens talks with GM, acknowledged in a regulatory filing last week, could leave News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch empty-handed after weeks of negotiations to take over DirecTV.
The General Accounting Office released a scathing report on the National Infrastructure Protection Center, the Federal Bureau of Investigations chief cybercrime-fighting unit. The NIPC was found to be falling far short in information sharing with key constituencies, and has failed so far to provide adequate warning and analysis capabilities.
TiVo, the company that pioneered the personal video recorder, won a major victory when it was awarded a patent for technology that lets viewers pause and record live television broadcasts. TiVo sought the patent in 1998. The technology is considered key to the developing field of interactive TV.