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Business Week has an article about Roger Schank's Institute for the Learning Sciences (ILS). Or about Schank's bluntness and arrogance. "Roger has a way of telling people they're full of it at the same time he's asking them to write a $1M check." He is also said to be weak on details, and to turn his attention elsewhere once a project is under way. ILS has 150 staff and students to fill in the details, though, and the corporate training software they've produced is considered effective. Andersen Consulting, which spends $220M/year on staff training, is extending its support for another five years. One 36-hour interactive PC program replaces an 80-hour business- practices course, saving $10M/year. Schank notes that it's easier to do education research for corporations than for school boards. [James E. Ellis, BW, 7/18/94, p. 74.] (Schank is dead set against traditional schooling and educational software, and very persuasive.)

Forbes has an article about Maxis, creators of SimCity. William Wright was developing cities for arcade-game bombing runs and thought it might make a good game. Broderbund disagreed, and signed over the rights to Wright and Jeffrey Braun. It took several years to develop the game, but they sold 20,000 copies for $2.9M in their first year -- all for the Amiga. Last year they took in $18.5M, with SimCity Classic still selling 10,000 copies per month (for over a million sales total). SimAnt has done moderately well, but SimLife, SimEarth, and SimFarm have not. SimCity 2000 cost over $1M to develop, but has earned that back. Now much of the profit is in pre-built cities and related extensions. [Damon Darlin, 7/18/94., p. 298.] (CD ROM opens up new possibilities for full-screen graphics. Maxis now lets you meet some of your city residents, for instance. Oregon Trail from MECC (Minneapolis) is another educational simulation that has added CD-ROM sounds and visual reference material to their original game.)

Quarterly US software sales to Japan are up 91% over a year ago. [Atlanta Journal-Constitution, 7/7/94, E2. EDUPAGE.]

Good client-server tools are finally arriving -- a $2B market and rising. Applications designed for client-server environments are also appearing. Tool companies that are likely to do well are Gupta Corp., Powersoft Corp., Uniface Holding, Visigenic Software, Dynasty Technologies, and Forte Software. Also ParcPlace Systems and Digitalk, as Smalltalk-based tools are "booming." [Richard A. Shaffer, Forbes, 7/18/94, p. 304.]