For USi, Buzz About Acquisition Hums

By Spencer F. Katt  |  Posted 2001-10-22

Despite USinternetworkings recent announcement of $100 million in funding from Bain Capital, a tipster in the know claims the company, one of the original pure-play application service providers (and one of the few original ones still in business), may be for sale. Besides noting the companys recent layoffs, the tattler also presented a clue about a prospective buyer. Last November, Microsoft invested $50 million in the Annapolis, Md., company and then followed up its USi lovefest this summer by giving it the ASP Solution of the Year award. The Katt crony pointed out that USi does decent business hosting Exchange. Redmond may want to use that expertise, claimed the tipster, citing Microsofts recent poor luck with the Office Online program, which has been removed from its Web site. Spencer has also heard telecom companies such as Sprint and SBC Communications bandied about as potential USi suitors.

A friend of the Furball claims yet another highflying Web boutique may go belly up sooner rather than later. Razorfish, the Katt crony said, may be on its way to joining many of the other Net solution companies that have ridden off into the cyber-sunset. When the Kitty called the company regarding the rumor, a spokeswoman for Razorfish said, "We do not comment on rumors and speculation." This caused the Puss to ponder what kind of message the companys third-quarter earnings announcement, due Oct. 30, might hold.

The Furball heard that when it comes to disputing a hosting providers SLA (service-level agreement), the burden of proof may be on the customer. When a Katt crony investigated one hosting providers SLA recently, she was referred to the hosting companys Web site. The site offers what seems to be a standard agreement. What amused the tattler about this SLA was that it also stated that the customer alone is responsible for monitoring the hosts performance against the agreement and must initiate a request itself for a refund if the host violates the SLA. The customer is also required to provide ample proof of the violation. "I didnt realize the Taliban ran a Web hosting service," mused the Mouser.

El Gato is curious about the announcement of a new music player from Apple. The Cupertino-based computer maker has kept details of its "digital lifestyle" appliance fairly secret but did acknowledge plans to unveil it this week. The buzz seems to be that the product will be a digital hub music device and not a Mac OS-based item. The Kitty can only wonder if Apple is hoping to draw attention to itself before the media barrage of Microsofts upcoming Windows XP launch.

Since the word "anthrax" seems to be the No. 1 topic of major news outlets, El Gato thought hed check out the Web site for the heavy-metal band thats gone by the name for more than 20 years. In a press release on, the band, whose album titles include "Spreading the Disease," lament, "Before the tragedy of September 11th the only thing scary about Anthrax was our bad hair in the 80s and the Fistful of Metal album cover. Suddenly our name is not so cool."

"They could always change the bands moniker to a friendlier name," laughed the Lynx, "like, Cipro."

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