The Buzz: April 21, 2003

The owner of enterprise applications developer Baan is looking to sell the company.

Baan to Be Sold

The owner of enterprise applications developer Baan is looking to sell the company. Conglomerate Invensys announced a major restructuring last week that includes plans to sell Baan, which has some 6,000 customer sites around the world.

Earlier this year, Invensys said it would have to write off a large part of the $714 million it paid for Baan in 2000.

Privacy Czar to Be Installed at DHS

Secretary of Homeland Security Tom Ridge last week tapped Nuala OConnor Kelly to fill the job of privacy czar at his agency. OConnor Kelly will be responsible for leading the development of a privacy policy for the federal government and enforcing it across all departments.
Tom Ridge and Nuala OConnor Kelly

OConnor Kelly comes from the Commerce Department, where she was the top lawyer working on technology issues. Prior to that she was the privacy officer for online advertising company DoubleClick. She joined DoubleClick after the Federal Trade Commission began an investigation of DoubleClick over privacy rights violations.

AOL Takes E-Mail Spammers to Court

AOL Time Warner went on the warpath against junk e-mail last week and filed five lawsuits in federal courts against more than a dozen companies and individuals accused of being spam distributors.

Officials said America Onlines 35 million customers are sent 1 billion spam messages a day.

Meanwhile, two shareholder groups said they will file lawsuits against AOL Time Warner charging the company with defrauding investors since the AOL and Time Warner merger in January 2001.

Microsoft Settles Florida Monopoly Suit

Microsoft last week said it will grant vouchers valued at up to $202 million to settle a class action lawsuit on behalf of Florida businesses and consumers. The suit alleges that the developer abused its monopoly with regard to its Windows operating system and Office desktop applications.

The vouchers can be used to buy any software makers products, not just Microsofts. The company in January settled a similar suit in California for about $1 billion.

The Florida settlement came the same week U.S. District Judge J. Frederick Motz in Maryland rejected class action status for more than 60 consumer lawsuits against Microsoft.

EMC Picks Up Srm Developer Astrum

EMC last week acquired startup Astrum Software for an undisclosed amount of cash. Astrums storage resource management software will be integrated with EMCs own Automated Resource Manager and other software, officials said.

Astrums software is optimized for automated file management, file-level reporting and capacity utilization in small and medium-size networked storage environments.

Gartner Dataquest last week reported that sales of storage resource management software last year were $4.7 million, a 6 percent decrease from 2001. The market research company tapped EMC as the SRM market leader with a 25.6 percent market share.