Japan-US Business Report Logo

No. 350, November 1998

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American Companies in Japan


SOFTWARE AND INFORMATION SYSTEMS

NETWORK SOLUTIONS, INC., the Reston, Virginia-based registrar of American World Wide Web addresses, has entered the Japanese market for domain name registration services. NSI and software developer ASCII CORP. have inked a two-year pact to jointly operate WorldNIC-JP, which will register for $80 a year or reserve for $119 WWW addresses with .com, .net, .org and .edu endings. In effect, ASCII will localize NSI's RegistrationPlus system as well as provide advertising, marketing and customer support services. No doubt prompting Network Solutions to move into the Japanese market is the fact that it soon will lose its monopoly on Web address registrations in the United States.

Even though NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS CORP. soon will merge with AMERICA ONLINE, INC., the Internet software pioneer continues to roll out new products and services in Japan. For example, it has debuted a Japanese version of its updated NetCenter Internet portal, which targets a full range of services to both corporate and individual users.

The battle for market share among Internet search services providers continues with the start of a new service by LYCOS, INC. The service offers an index to 15 million Japanese home pages. It also sports a natural-language search engine called FreeWord and provides a free e-mail service called FreeMail. The new service will exist in tandem with Waltham, Massachusetts-based Lycos' first localized Internet portal, which was developed in cooperation with SUMITOMO CORP. and INTERNET INITIATIVE JAPAN INC. They are partners with Lycos in a joint venture (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 344, May 1998, p. 18).

To keep up with emerging Internet technologies, POINTCAST INC. has released a new, localized version of its free Internet news distribution software. PointCast Network 2.6J replaces the screen saver on PCs connected to the Internet with a user- customizable selection of the latest news and information available on the Net. The Sunnyvale, California firm is highlighting the broadcast network's ease of use as well as its efficiency. Rather than spending time searching the Internet, PointCast Network will search and gather information automatically based on users' preferences.

One of the leading providers of electronic software distribution infrastructure technologies, PREVIEW SYSTEMS, INC., has chosen SONY MARKETING (JAPAN) INC. as its exclusive local development partner. In a multimillion-dollar, multiyear deal, the two first will bring the Cupertino, California company's ESD system to Japan. Then, they will develop other solutions for electronically distributing digital goods. Sony Marketing is offering Preview's ZipLock ESD System 3.1 through its sales channels at prices from $49,600. It also plans to build a full-time team dedicated to creating new electronic business solutions based on ZipLock. The pact with Sony Marketing is a key step in Preview's plan to build a global ESD business.

Banking on its claim to be the world's number-one on-line music retailer, New York City's N2K INC. has been chosen by YAHOO! JAPAN CORP. as its exclusive partner in this hot market. Thanks to the implementation of an earlier agreement between N2K and SHINSEIDO INC., Japan's leading music chain store (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 341, February 1998, p. 19), music lovers can browse, sample and buy more than 470,000 titles listed in N2K's Music Boulevard on-line catalog.

To maintain its share of the Web browser market, pioneer NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS CORP. is distributing free copies of a localized version of the latest release of its Web software suite. Communicator 4.5 sports many ease-of-use improvements as well as support for new emerging Internet standards.

NETWORK COMPUTER, INC. wants to bring the Internet revolution to the world of handheld computing devices with its eNavigator suite of embedded software. That capability appealed to FUJITSU, LTD. It is the first hardware manufacturer to embed the Redwood Shores, California company's software in a consumer electronics device — the InterTop palmtop computer, which uses an eNavigator-customized version of WIND RIVER SYSTEMS, INC.'s VxWorks operating system. NCI's platform delivers to InterTop such Internet-based applications and services as e-mail, Web browsing, personalized push information delivery and automatic software updates.

HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is mounting a drive aimed at obtaining more of the business of Internet service providers and large corporate networks. Web QoS, a hardware/software bundle priced from $16,500, gives ISPs and network managers new capabilities to ensure that their most important users get premium services. HP Japan's quality of service package also includes its own and third-party software that enables ISPs to provide additional value-added services as well as assistance with marketing, technical services and even financial risk-sharing.

Upping its competitive challenge in the Internet/intranet streaming video market, MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary has released a new version of its video-on-demand server software. NetShow Theater 3.0 comes complete with management, administration and content-development tools that allow ISPs or network managers to provide multimedia services on a flexible and scalable basis. The base price of the package is under $4,200.

Adding to the appeal of its core product line, LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s local operation has rolled out a version of NETOBJECTS, INC.'s Fusion Web site construction program tailored to work with the Notes/Domino family of groupware. Via a piece of software called DF Connector, Domino servers can import Web sites created by NetObjects Fusion 3.0 with full support for dynamic HTML, external HTML pages, layered objects and new, rich media types. Conversely, Web site developers now can incorporate the full range of Domino and Notes services into their sites via DF Connector. Lotus NetObjects Fusion R3 costs roughly $345.

A new package from INTERWORLD CORP. is the latest entry in the crowded market for electronic commerce solutions. The Japanese version of Commerce Exchange 2.01 is being distributed and supported by the New York City firm's recently formed, wholly owned Tokyo subsidiary and marketing partner JAPAN INFORMATION PROCESSING SERVICE CO., LTD. Commerce Exchange is aimed at high-end e-commerce applications based on its reliability features and Business Adapters for exchanging data with a wide range of other corporate computing data resources.

Targeting midsized to small firms looking for an affordable e-commerce package, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is offering HP Quick Merchant Server v3.0 for $31,400. The turnkey solution has many prebuilt modules, allowing users to build a Web store quickly while fully addressing security, back-end and support needs. Given the combination of capabilities and price, HP Japan is projecting sales of 1,000 copies of HP Quick Merchant Server v3.0 in the first year of availability.

Although it can be used to secure any Internet/intranet activity, CYBERGUARD CORP. is touting its TradeVPI software as an e-commerce security solution. TradeVPI's integrated family of modules and services uses public key/certificate management technology to secure Web browsers, Web servers and access to Internet-based resources. The Ft. Lauderdale, Florida corporation has signed an exclusive distribution agreement with NIPPON SYSTEM DEVELOPMENT CO., LTD. to localize, sell and support its TradeVPI products. The pact will generate a minimum of $1 million for CyberGuard over three years. The company's FireWall security software is distributed by NISSHIN ELECTRIC CO., LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 346, July 1998, p. 23).

MICROSOFT CORP. has turned to MITSUI BUSSAN DIGITAL CORP. to market its Windows family of operating systems in nonoffice automation equipment areas. Through a 20-member team, the MITSUI & CO., LTD. subsidiary will promote Windows CE to consumer electronics makers and Windows NT to makers of vending machines and other industrial equipment.

Maintaining a steady stream of new hardware and software launches, APPLE COMPUTER INC. has released the localized version of its latest Mac operating system. Listing for about $115, Mac OS 8.5 boasts much faster performance on PowerPC-based machines as well as greatly enhanced Internet search features. The new Sherlock search utility has gained notice because it simultaneously uses several search engines without forcing a user to start up a Web browser. Sherlock also uses preindexed sites to speed information retrieval.

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At the forefront of what observers predict will be a major trend, operating system software for mobile communications devices from GEOWORKS CORP. has allowed NTT MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS NETWORK, INC. to develop a personal digital cellular phone that incorporates Internet functions. Dialo takes advantage of the new Personal Digital Cellular network to offer not only digital telephone service but e-mail, Web browsing, personal information management and remote PC-link functions as well. At the end of 1996, NTT DoCoMo, as it is known in Japan, licensed the Alameda, California firm's mobile communications OS to power its GENIO PCV Pocket Communicator, a PHS (personal handyphone system) phone, making it no surprise that it chose GeoWork's technology for its new Dialo smart phone.

ORACLE CORP.'s local arm tied up with HITACHI, LTD. to open a systems engineering integration and services center. The Hitachi*Oracle Solution Center, which is located within the Japanese company, will focus on developing and implementing software packages for corporate customers using Hitachi's version of the Unix operating system.

Promoting the rebellion against the rising hardware and support costs associated with constant upgrades of the Windows operating system, IBM JAPAN LTD. has begun a service aimed at helping firms maintain the useful lives of their Windows 95 machines. For a fee, IBM Japan's Downgrade Service will adapt applications that run under Windows 98 to work with the earlier version of the operating system.

The Java programming language continues to show signs of becoming a mature business product. LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP., for example, has released a completely new version of its 100%-Pure Java eSuite DevPack applications development environment and its eSuite WorkPlace PC desktop manager. eSuite DevPack Release 1.5 offers enhanced programmability, performance and tool integration as well as tighter integration with Lotus Notes and Domino. The local Lotus operation expects to sell 2,000 copies of eSuite DevPack at about $2,100 each.

In another example of Java's growing importance, ORACLE CORP.'s subsidiary has put out a new version of JDeveloper Suite. Release 1.1 of the visual Java development environment can build, debug and deploy component-based data base applications for the Internet. Centered around the Redwood Shores, California firm's new Oracle Application Server 4.0 (formerly Web Application Server), it incorporates such standards as CORBA (common object request broker architecture) 2.0, Internet Inter-ORB (object request broker) Protocol and Enterprise JavaBeans.

Java also is making an impact at the other end of the computing scale: the embedded consumer device market. ObjectStore PSE Pro from Burlington, Massachusetts-based OBJECT DESIGN, INC.'s subsidiary is the first 100%-Pure Java data base management system that works with SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.'s PersonalJava application environment for small consumer devices, such as home entertainment system remote controllers. The Java tool is available through Object Design's Web site at $250 for a developer license and $95 for an end-user license.

Strengthening a relationship forged in 1995, INPRISE INC. and HITACHI, LTD. have signed a 10-year licensing and cooperation pact on CORBA technology. Hitachi has used the Scotts Valley, California firm's VisiBroker CORBA-compliant object request broker for the last three years in its middleware products, such as TPBroker and Network ObjectPlaza. The new agreement extends the VisiBroker license and gives Hitachi access to Inprise's Java ORB development technology.

With its subsidiary through the shakedown phase (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 339, December 1997, p. 19), CITRIX SYSTEMS, INC. has begun selling localized versions of its middleware products. First to be brought out in Japanese is the Ft. Lauderdale, Florida firm's MetaFrame for Windows NT Server 4.0, Terminal Server Edition.

NOVELL, INC. continues to regain momentum in the network operating system market as MICROSOFT CORP. experiences further delays in its competing products. Novell is touting the latest version of its NOS, NetWare 5, as offering many features only promised by Microsoft as well as its availability now rather than at some vague future date. Novell also has enticed corporate customers to start upgrading to NetWare 5 because it costs about the same as its predecessor despite new and improved features. Reflecting its first-out-of-the-gate status, Novell's subsidiary is projecting the installation of 5,000 copies of the fully localized NetWare 5 within six months.

A stumbling MICROSOFT CORP. is getting some help from HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. The computer supplier has opened a technical center at one of its Tokyo facilities to help customers set up groupware and messaging systems based on Microsoft's Exchange Server (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 23). The HP Messaging Supercenter also will train 100 systems engineers for Microsoft certification within the next three years. HP Japan expects the new center to generate revenues of $41.3 million in its first year of operation. By continuing to work closely with Microsoft's subsidiary, the company believes that it can build Exchange Server-related hardware, software and services into a $165.3-million business by FY 2001.

Staying neutral in the network operating system battle, NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. released a Japanese-language version of its GroupShield antivirus utility for Lotus Notes/Domino shops. The subsidiary of the Santa Clara, California firm previously put on the market a version of the utility for Exchange Server (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 341, February 1998, p. 20). A single-user GroupShield for Lotus Notes & Domino license costs $30.

For corporations with Unix-based IS cores, TotalNET Advanced Server 5.3 from SYNTAX, INC. claims to handle any client-to-server connection right out of the box. With modules to support Windows, DOS, OS/2, NetWare and Macintosh clients, the Syntax NOS promises ease of installation since all its functions are server-based; therefore, nothing has to be added to client computers. Unix-based reliability and scalability and lower cost of ownership for network services are other selling points. Federal Way, Washington-based Syntax tapped NISSHO ELECTRONICS CORP. as its exclusive distributor. A five-client TAS license costs $1,500.

Network server software from HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is aimed squarely at applications where near-perfect reliability is a top priority. Mission-Critical Server Suites for Windows NT machines promise to minimize downtime while also providing efficient network services. The price of the fine-tuned system has not yet been set.

Also fine-tuned — but for a different customer base — is network server software from MOBILEWARE CORP. As its name implies, the Plano, Texas-based company specializes in software for linking mobile users with corporate networks. After two years of work with Japanese strategic partners, including exclusive distributor ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP., MobileWare feels that its MobileWare XMP and Follow- Me technology are ready for prime time. To be available as a software development kit in the first quarter of 1999, MobileWare XMP lets users rapidly develop and deploy services for all types of remote clients, automating many tasks and ensuring correct and timely information transfers.

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HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has released a flock of products as adjuncts or parts of its parent's OpenView network management suite. They include: two network management modules, the $43,800 Service Manager and Service Report, which lists for $21,600; three tools for Windows NT environments — ManageX ($4,000-plus), PerfView/Measureware Agent ($7,400) and OmniBack II ($2,000 or so); and the Access Manager and the Node Sentry network security products, which cost $1,500 and $825, respectively.

Leveraging its strong position in Internet/intranet switches and routers, CISCO SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary launched a family of Web-based network management tools under the CiscoWorks2000 name. Resource Manager Essentials, which goes for $8,900, and the $12,600 CWSI (Cisco Works for Switched Internetworks) Campus more tightly integrate Cisco products with more than 30 third-party enterprise management applications. RME provides network inventory, device availability, systems log and software deployment services, while CWSI Campus offers extensive network discovery and display, configuration, traffic monitoring and analysis, user tracking and performance capabilities.

As Windows NT continues to evolve, so do SEAGATE SOFTWARE, INC.'s support tools. Seagate Replication Exec v1.5 delivers flexible and intelligent data replication services for Windows NT environments. At prices starting around $2,500, the software protects and distributes information automatically by replicating it to any number of locations, with user-definable scheduling (real time or periodic) and network bandwidth utilization. The company's subsidiary is forecasting sales of 300 copies of Seagate Replication Exec v1.5 a month in the first year of marketing.

SECURITY DYNAMICS TECHNOLOGIES, INC.'s local operation continues to broaden its marketing channels, signing up NETSERVE INC. to distribute its full line of network and enterprise security software. Along with existing distributors of the Bedford, Massachusetts firm's products, Netserve will handle SecurID, ACE/Server, Kane Security Analyst and RSA SecurPC (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, pp. 21 and 23, and No. 349, October 1998, p. 25). At the same time, SDT's subsidiary released a new version of ACE/Server, which provides integrated firewall/security services. A 25-user license for Release 3.3 costs $5,900.

In pursuit of the same customer base, AXENT TECHNOLOGIES, INC. opened a wholly owned subsidiary. The Rockville, Maryland firm offers perimeter, Internet/extranet, infrastructure and administration security products. The new AXENT operation will work closely with NISSIN ELECTRIC CO., LTD., which has been distributing OmniGuard/Enterprise Security Manager, NetRecon and Intruder Alert for four years (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 341, February 1998, p. 20).

NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC.'s subsidiary has on the market the English-language version of its CyberCop Scanner 2.5 network security assessment tool. This $50 product allows network administrators to identify security weaknesses by launching simulated hacker attacks on their own networks. Solutions based on other Network Associates products then can be tailored to their needs.

Underscoring its commitment to Web-based computing, ORACLE CORP. has renamed and beefed up its Web Application Server, turning it into Oracle Application Server 4.0. OAS 4.0 is the heart of the Redwood Shores, California firm's business application platform, linking together heterogeneous clients, servers and legacy computing resources. With prices in Japan ranging from $6,600 to $20,700, OAS 4.0 includes not only tools to link clients and servers, handle diverse transactions and publish data bases on the Web but also ways to balance network loads and meet enterprise quality of service requirements.

PERVASIVE SOFTWARE INC. has melded the performance of a transactional data base engine with the robustness of a relational data base to create the Pervasive.SQL data base management solution. Intended as a back-end data base to a wide range of corporate end-user applications, Pervasive.SQL handles all access and file security functions without administrator intervention while providing fast data queries using natural language interaction. The Austin, Texas company's subsidiary has fully localized the data base system. Pricing starts at $1,500.

Geographic information system software from MAPINFO CORP. of Troy, New York lies at the core of a marketing software package available from an affiliate of MITSUI ENGINEERING & SHIPBUILDING CO., LTD. Map Marketing Do combines regional census data collected as part of the 1995 census with geographic data about the region to help sales teams develop strategies and track their progress. The MES company has priced the package at $2,900 per region represented. It also offers one year of technical support for about $575.

Another specialized data base product — this one for pharmaceutical manufacturers — now is available locally from COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. PharmaWorks/RDM is a Windows NT document management system that handles the paperwork for new drug approval applications, drug trials and other critical drug company operations. Compaq's subsidiary has tagged the hardware/software package at $168,000, including a 50-user license.

"Bridging the gap between ERP and decision support" products is the aim of a new data warehouse package from SAS INSTITUTE INC. The Cary, North Carolina firm's Enterprise Resource Planning Decision Support initiative makes data generated by ERP and other systems available to decision-support programs via a specialized data warehouse — an area of SAS expertise. Focusing on the leading AG/R3 ERP package from SAP AG, SAS's ACCESS to R3 makes the ERP data available to all sections of a company's operations, allowing them to incorporate that information in their decisionmaking processes. SAS's subsidiary priced the package $81,200.

To broaden its attack on Japan's ERP market, ORACLE CORP.'s local unit signed up ITOCHU TECHNO-SCIENCE CORP. as another marketer of its offering in this segment, Oracle Applications 11.5. Localization of the latest version of the enterprise- operations management suite was completed recently (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 349, October 1998, p. 24). .....Working toward the same goal, ORACLE CORP.'s subsidiary opened an Application Solution Center in Tokyo to support users of Oracle Applications 11.5. Not only will the facility assist partners with the design and integration of Applications-based systems, but it will provide maintenance and other after-sales support as well.

IBM JAPAN LTD. has introduced an improved version of the MQSeries work-flow management package. Version 3.0, which costs $47,500, handles a broader range of subtasks and work teams and integrates more tightly with third-party software, such as ERP packages and EDI (electronic data interchange) systems.

Rockville, Maryland-based MANUGISTICS, INC. continues to make headway in the market for supply chain management software with its namesake product. OJI PAPER CO., LTD. is the latest buyer of Manugistics 5.4J. It will use the package's flexible product system (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 342, February 1998, p. 23) to better predict demand for inputs and how this ripples through its network of suppliers. .....MANUGISTICS, INC.'s subsidiary also plans to release a SCM package designed to meet the specific needs of high-technology manufacturers. Purchased recently from a Canadian software firm, Supply/C will be introduced in February 1999 at $8,300 and up. The company also hopes to expand dramatically revenues from after-sale support in Japan of its SCM wares.

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A software package that blends ERP and product data management features from PROCESS DYNAMICS, INC. is the foundation for a new PDM service offered by TOKYO ELECTRON LTD. TEL's Knowledge Center is powered by the Bedford, Massachusetts firm's Work Object System. Its product data management functions are divided into three areas: collecting and storing product information; making that data accessible to users; and processing users' requests for product specifics. TEL expects Knowledge Center, which starts at $40,600, to generate revenues of $8.3 million the first year and $41.3 million over three.

The Rockwell Electronic Commerce business unit of ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL CORP., the originator of automatic call distributor systems, has set up a Tokyo office to sell and support its call center products. Rockwell plans to build market share by forming partnerships with local companies to deliver complete call center solutions based on its Spectrum open-architec-ture ACD platform. Besides offering a full set of tools for information collection, resource allocation, reporting and management, and developing agent desktops, Rockwell hopes that Spectrum's ability to integrate easily with existing enterprise computing systems and customer relationship management software will help it win contracts. Spectrum costs $206,600. Wood Dale, Illinois-based Rockwell Electronic Commerce is projecting its Japan business at $24.8 million in three years.

Once a call center infrastructure is in place, firms in Japan have two new options for CRM solutions. CallFlow from MULTICALL COMPUTER TELEPHONY SYSTEMS of Santa Clara, California is designed and priced for small to midsized businesses. Running on top of Windows NT, the software incorporates voice processing, intelligent call routing, abandoned call callbacks and outbound calling campaign support on a single applications server in addition to call center management functions. MultiCall picked Tokyo's MI-TSUBISHI OFFICE MACHINERY CORP. as its sales representative. .....Boston-headquartered EXCHANGE APPLICATIONS, INC. and marketing partner TE-LEPHONY INC. of Tokyo are touting the virtues of their competing, localized offering, VALEX. The integrated suite of telephone marketing modules is focused more on outbound campaigns. It incorporates tools that allow companies to identify their most profitable customer segments, optimize those customer relationships, plan, build and execute highly targeted marketing drives, measure the results and plan future campaigns.

Understanding that the insurance market is built on customer relationships, ELECTRONIC DATA SYSTEMS CORP.'s subsidiary has introduced an integrated solution for life insurers' operations, INGENIUM. The package, which was developed by an EDS-owned company, combines a client-based approach to handling customer relations with enterprise management tools tailored for the special needs of insurers. INGENIUM is available in Japanese and other languages, making it ideal for firms with a multinational presence.

A new software package for the automobile insurance market has been developed by SAS INSTITUTE INC. and FINANCIAL ENGINEERING GROUP, INC. Marketed by Tokyo-based FEG for $14,900, IDViewer/IJ collects information about accidents and vehicle damage and then helps agents and customers develop repair and compensation estimates.

Already popular among U.S. credit-card issuers, HNC SOFTWARE INC.'s Falcon credit-card antifraud system is making inroads in Japan. DAIEI OMC INC. and DC CARD CO., LTD. will adopt Falcon in early 1999. Falcon uses artificial intelligence to detect unusual card use. It can automatically invalidate a card if the atypical pattern exceeds user-set parameters. ORIENT CORP. already is using Falcon (see Japan- U.S. Business Report No. 341, February 1998, p. 21), and San Diego, California HNC reportedly is negotiating with two more local card issuers.

Taking the first step to unify several experiments in electronic cash, HEWLETT- PACKARD JAPAN LTD. and three partners — NTT SOFTWARE CORP., INES CORP. and MEMOREX TELEX JAPAN LTD. — have opened a joint settlement center capable of handling several different e-cash protocols. The center accepts Visa Cash transactions (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, p. 15). It will accept future transactions using debit cards issued by nationwide commercial banks and e-cash sponsored by NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP. The unified settlement facility means that merchants need only one type of terminal equipment to accept several different forms of e-cash — a key to making electronic payment more widespread and convenient.

Testifying to the ever-growing power of PCs are two applications that put these machines to uses formerly reserved for bigger systems. COGNEX CORP.'s subsidiary has released a localized version of the Inspect machine-vision hardware/software package. Incorporating the Natick, Massachusetts firm's PatMax object location software, Inspect allows a PC to visually inspect many different electronic components for defects. The $3,700 package also can be used for sorting and assembly. .....EASTMAN KODAK CO.'s local unit has released the Kodak Digital Science cardiac viewer. The Windows-based package enables cardiologists and referring physicians to review images in the DICOM 3.0 format. These images, generated by specialized equipment in cardiac catheterization labs, previously were viewable only on the machines that produced them. Allowing the images to viewed outside the cardiac cath lab improves doctor/patient communication and can lower costs.

THINKSTREAM INC. of Greenwood Village, Colorado has selected CANON SALES CO., INC. as its exclusive distributor. Canon Sales is marketing a fully localized version of thinkstream's Visual X 1.2 compre-hensive image editing and management package for $105. The software can capture image data from scanners, digital cameras, faxes, the Internet, Windows applications and many graphic file formats and then edits them with more than 50 tools. The resulting images can be stored in any industry-standard file format, including Internet-friendly ones, or dropped directly into any Windows application that is OLE-compliant. Finally, the package can classify and manage image files, annotate them and share them over a network. Canon Sales has forecast sales of 5,000 copies of Visual X 1.2.

CORBIS DIGITAL STOCK, the royalty-free unit of Bill Gates' wholly owned Corbis visual content and service company, has made its collection of digital images available through Tokyo-based IMAGE LIFE CO., LTD. The 133 CD-ROM titles in the Master, Professional and Objects collections of royalty-free images are priced from $149 to $299 each and contain at least 100 JPEG images. In addition, Image Life's photography staff will contribute content to Corbis Digital Stock's local catalog.

A new bundle of "must-have" PC utilities from NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. is now available in a fully localized format. Nuts & Bolts Deluxe Japanese edition costs $80. It includes VirusScan, WebScanX, an antivirus software for Java applets and Active X controls, the PGP encryption/decryption utility, Hurricane, a software and systems diagnostics and acceleration product, and Year 2000 Fix.

QUARTERDECK CORP.'s subsidiary released a new version of its PC hard disk utility through distributor WINNINGRUN SOFTWARE, INC. Crash Defender Deluxe prevents computer crashes from corrupting active data files, provides comprehensive reports on the sources and the causes of a crash, and can stabilize a crashing application. The utility for Windows 95/98/NT costs less than $50. .....Separately, QUARTERDECK CORP.'s local operation has produced a memory management utility for Windows 98. The $80 MagnaRAM 98 Super maximizes the use of PC RAM resources, enhancing the performance and the stability of Windows 98 applications. The memory manager also is available through WINNINGRUN SOFTWARE, INC.

A multiyear strategic development and distribution agreement has cemented ties between MACNEAL-SCHWENDLER CORP., a leading supplier of mechanical computer-aided engineering software, and KUBOTA SOLID TECHNOLOGY CORP., a wholly owned KUBOTA CORP. company. The two partners will develop a new family of p-element analysis tools under the MSC/Ultima name targeted at engineers and others who are not specialists in the technique. Thus, ease of use and compatibility with other CAD/CAE products will be a priority. Los Angeles-headquartered MSC and its Tokyo partner hope to have the first MSC/Ultima module ready for sale in the second quarter of 1999.

An upgraded version of PARAMETRIC TECHNOLOGY CORP.'s flagship CAD/CAE product is now available from its subsidiary. The Waltham, Massachusetts-based firm reworked the user interface of Pro/ENGINEER Solutions for Release 20. It also added a new sketching environment, integrated a 3D Notes communication tool and improved the software's speed.

CAD/CAE competitor AUTODESK, INC. also has introduced an update of its core product, AutoCAD LT 98, in Japan. Compared with the 97 version, the new package adds many Internet-friendly features, especially in the areas of data importing/exporting and sharing. An upgrade from AutoCAD LT 97 is $330, while a full version costs around $1,100. .....Separately, AUTODESK, INC.'s local unit put on the market an updated CAE package for architects. AutoCAD R14 VIZ+ integrates AutoCAD Release 14 and 3D Studio VIZ, a CAD visualization program written by the San Rafael, California firm's Kinetix division. When an architect alters his or her engineering drawing in AutoCAD, the changes are automatically reflected in the 3D representation generated by 3D Studio VIZ. Autodesk's subsidiary hopes to sell 3,000 of the $6,300-plus combos a year.

Claiming the ability to verify system-on-a-chip designs with up to 4 million gates, AXIS SYSTEMS, INC. of Sunnyvale, California has released its Xcite-1000 to Japanese semiconductor manufacturers through exclusive distributor MARUBENI SOLUTIONS CORP. The $132,200 electronic design automation tool combines software simulation and an RCC hardware engine drawing on a deep library of high-density PLDs. The hardware/software combination, Axis claims, operates 100 to 1,000 times faster than pure software verification systems.

To better serve the requirements of Japan's expanding ultra-deep submicron IC design market, SIMPLEX SOLUTIONS, INC. — a pioneer in the field of deep submicron (0.25 micron and below) full-chip interconnection verification — opened a branch in Yokohama. The Sunnyvale, California company's distributor for the last two years, SC HIGHTECH CORP., will continue to sell and support its full suite of interconnect verification products and services. These include Fire & Ice 3D extraction and Thunder & Lightning analysis tools. They are designed to find IC performance, power and reliability failures before wafers are manufactured. SUMITOMO CORP., SC Hightech's parent, is one of the investors in Simplex Solutions.

An exchange rate of ¥121=$1.00 was used in this report.
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