|Volume 1: No. 25|
Calton Pu (email@example.com) sent in a NY Times article (9/5) on the new Microsoft research lab. Rick Rashid (rfr @wayback.mach.cs.cmu.edu.cs) will leave CMU to serve as Director of Research under Nathan Myhrvold. Rick is one of the developers of the Mach operating system. (Could that be a future direction for Microsoft?) The lab's advisory board now includes Gordon Bell, John Hennessey, Ed Lazowska, Doug Lenat, and Raj Reddy. Rick tells me that he is in full recruiting mode, looking to bring in 50-60 CS researchers in the next two to three years.
HP's Dr. Joel S. Birnbaum has returned to the $1.37B post of VP of R&D and Director of HP Labs, after three years in RISC-based Information Architecture manufacturing. (Before 1980, he was director of computer research at IBM's T.J. Watson laboratory.) Birnbaum succeeds Frank P. Carrubba, who has joined Philips Electronics N.V. in the Netherlands. [Ron Wolf, SJ Mercury, 9/7.]
GE Aerospace will cut 2,000 more jobs, for an announced total of 7,200 since April 1990. The defense industry is in an era of shrinking markets (e.g., in missiles, satellites, and radar systems) and emphasis on lower costs. [SJ Mercury, 9/7.] (Increased R&D would be a reasonable response, but an unlikely one.)
Tim Finin (firstname.lastname@example.org) pointed me to articles about Sun's extension of its operating system to Intel 80386 and 80486 CPUs, by the middle of next year. This will allow Sun to sell its "Solaris" suite of UNIX software on high-end PCs, for a cost of around $1,000. Like most UNIX-based operating systems, this one will likely require plenty of RAM and hard disk. [SJ Mercury, 9/5/91.] (Why not just buy a workstation?)
Digital Research Inc. is improving it's DR DOS operating system, soon to be available for about $70. Now that Novell is buying DRI (if the shareholders agree), DR DOS may become the operating system of choice for networked PCs. It currently has a 5% market share, far behind MS DOS. [SJ Mercury, 9/7.] This merger has the business community very excited, and some are predicting the fall of Microsoft. "Someone needs to be independent of the hardware. ... Novell is in a good position to provide that for DOS, UNIX, and all the other operating systems." [Darrell Miller, Novell EVP, PC Week, 7/22. Soft.Letter, 8/25.]
HP's New Wave program is doing well in Japan because it runs on more machines than does Windows 3.0. Canon is now introducing a Japanese version. [Japan Marketing Group, MicroTimes, 9/2.]
The Defense Department intends to stick with Ada. (An Air Force study consisting of five sub-studies showed that Ada beats C++ in capability, reusability, readability, large-scale software engineering, reliability, maintainability, lifecycle cost, reducing project risk, and availability of qualified programmers -- for DoD-type projects. C++ was superior in efficiency, compilation speed, object-oriented support, ease of use, integration with off-the-shelf software, popularity, and acceptance.) Ada is currently mandated for all DoD projects unless it is not cost-effective. There are 387 Ada projects, with then number tripling every year. The Navy has 161 projects; the Air Force 140; the Army 51; the Marine Corps 28; and other DoD agencies have 7. DoD is also tracking 168 academic, commercial, civilian government, and international projects. [John Keller, Military & Aerospace Electronics, 8/91.]