Hoping to keep its sales momentum going in Japan, APPLE COMPUTER, INC. opened an on-line store that carries all of its hardware and software products. Local customers now can browse and order iMac, Power Macintosh G3, PowerBook G3 and Macintosh Server G3 computers, matching monitors and award-winning software 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The new Japanese cyber presence is Apple's eleventh virtual store targeted at a specific national audience.
OPEN MARKET, INC. has teamed with NTT SOFTWARE CORP. to develop secure on-line solutions for selling digital content over the Internet. Their initial effort involves the integration of the Burlington, Massachusetts firm's Transact 4.1 package, which takes and processes on- line orders and handles customer service duties, with NTT Software's InfoPack encryption and digital signature system. The two will target venders of books, magazines, news, still images and video that want to take the e-commerce plunge, with Open Market handling U.S. and third- market sales and NTT Software managing the campaign in Japan.
Targeting business-to-business e-commerce, NETSCAPE COMMUNICATIONS CORP. and Tokyo-based INTEC INC. have agreed to develop a system to sell and buy parts, components and finished products via the Internet. Building on its experience with local electronic data interchange standards, Intec will modify Netscape's ECXpert Internet commerce exchange package. The partners have an August release date for the system. The two hope to generate first-year sales of $6.8 million and $29.9 million in the following three years. Netscape will handle marketing, although Intec will offer the new product as the core of its larger systems.
HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. (51 percent), MARUBENI CORP. (34 percent) and HITACHI SOFTWARE ENGINEERING CO., LTD. (15 percent) have formed a company aimed at providing comprehensive e-commerce systems to enterprise customers in Japan. Rather than companies buying separate front-end (customer-oriented) software and business-to-business packages and then trying to integrate them, HEWLETT-PACKARD SOLUTIONS DELIVERY, LTD. will provide soup-to-nuts solutions for customers, including HP computers, network gear, off-the-shelf software from various vendors and custom software. HP Solutions Delivery, which will work closely with HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD., has an initial staff of 50 people. It is looking for revenues of $85.5 million in the first year and 10 times that figure in five years.
Separately, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. has introduced e-commerce encryption and security modules that meet the Secure Electronic Transactions standard. Developed by Santa Clara, California-based VERIFONE, INC., a HEWLETT-PACKARD CO. subsidiary, the vPOS (virtual point of sale) merchant-payment module and the vGate (virtual payment gateway) link with financial institutions combine with HP's vWallet end- user digital certificate to secure e-commerce activities from end to end.
VERISIGN, INC.'s subsidiary has begun issuing two new server security certificates designed to reassure customers that the companies they deal with on-line are up to par. The VeriSign Global Server ID not only assures people that they have logged onto a server that really belongs to the company that it says it does, but also indicates that the server meets data security standards. VeriSign's Y2K Secure Server ID, which is available free of charge, tells Web site visitors that the server will continue to operate smoothly after December 31, 1999.
To promote and support sales of its complete line of Internet software and services for consumer devices, PLANETWEB, INC. has opened a Tokyo office. The Mountain View, California company offers a full-featured Web browser, an e-mailer, an Internet chat product and a Web content filter, plus an Internet portal platform. All are designed with the minimal hardware and easy user interface requirements of consumer devices in mind, including videophones, game consoles and set-top boxes. The new office brings localized services and support to Planetweb customers in Japan and elsewhere in Asia.
SOFTWARE.COM, INC. has tossed its hat into the ring for large-scale Internet e-mail software. Its subsidiary rolled out the InterMail package, with marketing support from HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. Already used by major American Internet service providers, the Santa Barbara, California firm expects the software's ability to handle e-mail from millions of users to appeal to Japanese ISPs.
Also aimed at ISPs is a new security services package from CHECK POINT SOFTWARE TECHNOLOGIES LTD.'s local operation. Provider-1 gives ISPs a unified approach to tailoring and managing secure access for business clients and their end-users, assigning each a unique policy for access control, authentication and virtual private networks. The software is tied to the Redwood City, California company's FireWall-1 security system. It is said to offer ISPs lower cost-per-customer benefits.
Operators of large networks or ISPs may be interested in server load- balancing offerings from F5 NETWORKS, INC. The Seattle company has entered into a strategic alliance with NTT INTERNATIONAL CORP. to market and support its high-availability and load-balancing software, including BIG/ip, 3DNS and see/IT. NTT International has identified businesses running mission-critical Internet, intranet and e-commerce sites as natural sales targets.
At the head of the Linux open-source operating system phenomenon, RED HAT SOFTWARE, INC. has updated its implementation of the Unix-based OS to include the new Linux 2.x kernel. The Japanese version of Red Hat Linux 5.2 includes the software on a CD-ROM, manuals, a CD-ROM full of tools and utilities and 90 days of technical installation support. The Durham, North Carolina firm has high expectations for the Japanese market since firms there are looking for both stability and economy for critical server software.
Through its subsidiary, SANTA CRUZ OPERATION, INC. has released version 7.1 of its UnixWare operating system in both English and Japanese. Addressing Unix's traditional cost disadvantage compared with the Windows NT operating system, SCO is touting UnixWare 7.1's sharply lower price and ease-of-use features, which are aimed directly at small businesses. To its Tarantella Web-enabling software, SCO added the Webtop user interface. It replaces the traditional Unix log-ins, emulators and remote client software with a Web-browser portal and "follows" a user from where ever they seek to access a UnixWare 7 server.
Seeking to prevent the balkanization of middleware for home and consumer electronics devices, SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC., SONY CORP. and PHILIPS ELECTRONICS NV have agreed to connect Sun's Jini (Java infrastructure initiative), which is aimed at information devices, with the HAVi (home audio-video interoperability) standard for audio-visual equipment. The latter was developed by Philips, Sony, MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., HITACHI, LTD. and four other Japanese firms. If the project succeeds, it would be possible, for example, to control and send content to a HAVi device from a PC via an Ethernet LAN, the Internet or an IEEE 1394 connection (APPLE COMPUTER, INC.'s FireWire or Sony's iLINK). Because both Jini and HAVi are evolving specifications, products embodying the connection technology are not likely to appear until the second half of 1999 at the earliest.
Stitching together broadly heterogeneous corporate information infrastructures into a seamless whole is the point of the newest releases of the MQSeries middleware family from INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. Available through IBM JAPAN LTD., version 5.1 of MQSeries for Windows NT, v2.1 for OS/390 and v3.1 WorkFlow for OS/390 provide greater load-balancing, performance and interoperability of hardware and software running under various client, server, mainframe and network operating systems.
In preparation for the release of INTEL CORP.'s IA-64 processor, known as Merced, PHOENIX TECHNOLOGIES LTD. has licensed its Ready64 foundation and connectivity firmware solution to HITACHI, LTD. and NEC CORP. Both will use the San Jose, California firm's source code, developer tools and training and consulting services to develop high-end servers and other systems based on the Merced architecture.
The market for Web application development and server software continues to heat up. APPLE COMPUTER, INC.'s subsidiary has released a localized version of its award-winning WebObjects 4 package. Specially priced for academic organizations at $170, WebObjects 4's robust, object- oriented development tools allow users to create cross-platform applications without writing code and to deploy them with its application server.
HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. and MITSUBISHI CORP. are firing back with a hardware/software bundle marketed by the trader. HP Japan will preinstall ALLAIRE CORP.'s ColdFusion 3.0J Web application development and server software on its NetServer line of PC servers. Mitsubishi, which is the distributor of the Cambridge, Massachusetts company's ColdFusion program, has priced the package from $5,400 to $6,800. The software allows users to create Web applications in a language similar to HTML (hypertext markup language) while reportedly cutting development time in half.
Not to be outdone, San Jose, California-based UNIFY CORP. is trumpeting the concrete results obtained by SUMITOMO METAL INDUSTRIES, LTD. using its VISION AppServer and AppBuilder Web application development and server software tools. The big steelmaker quickly created a Web-based program that inventories and tracks its global computer assets, including more than 6,000 workstations, servers, network equipment, peripherals and software licenses.
Hoping to catch a ride on the Linux express, INFORMIX CORP.'s local arm has released a version of its Dynamic Server Suite Web application development system for the open-source operating system. The $1,700 Linux Edition works with the very widely used Apache Web server. It also comes ready to handle the double-byte requirements of the Japanese language.
IBM JAPAN LTD. has created Mobile Computer Agent, a virtual assistant for employees away from their desktop PCs. A user invokes MCAgent by entering a request for data on his or her mobile computer. The request then is transmitted to the user's desktop machine via a wired or a wireless channel. In turn, the desktop system queries the host server for the desired information and notifies the remote user when the information is ready. The virtual assistant handles all necessary transmission, interface, query formatting and user tracking tasks, making the process fully transparent to the user. Besides mobile computers, MCAgent is being prepared for integration into a wide range of mobile "smart" devices, such as car navigation systems.
A new client package from LOTUS DEVELOPMENT CORP.'s subsidiary extends the reach of its popular Notes/Domino groupware to pocket pagers. Pager Gateway 2.03, which is priced around $3,100, connects the Notes desktop and Web browsers to one-way and two-way pagers, allowing messages of up to 50 characters to be sent and received. The software, which installs on the Notes/Domino server, also can manage pager costs, centralize the administration of multiple types of pagers and let users decide how, when and where they receive messages.
Network administrators in Japan are enjoying a boom in software that helps them do their job. NOVELL, INC.'s local unit, for example, has added two administration tools to its popular Network Directory Services suite. Z.E.N.works 1.1 centralizes management and maintenance of desktop computers connected via NDS, while NDS for Solaris 2.0 runs on SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC.'s Solaris operating system and simplifies administration of Solaris clients by handling all OS version-specific tasks transparently.
Santa Clara, California-based NETIQ CORP. has licensed its AppManager systems management software to HITACHI, LTD. for use in a new version of the latter's SMS suite, JP1/AppManager. The current version of the Hitachi package, JP1 v5, already is in use at more than 2,500 companies, and Hitachi expects JP1/AppManager will be just as popular. The integrated SMS will offer improved performance and reliability for Windows NT systems, including back-office, groupware and other applications. JP1/AppManager starts at $8,400 for installation on a host server and at $1,200-plus per machine for networked desktops.
To keep pace, HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD. is developing new sales channels for its OpenView SMS. Its goal is to boost sales of the software by as much as 40 percent in 1999. HP Japan will establish three distributor teams separate from existing hardware-related channels. Ten Gold Resellers, including MITSUI & CO., LTD. and TOSHIBA CORP., will focus on large corporate accounts; CSK CORP., NTT DATA CORP. and three other Gold Integrators will offer major firms both software and systems integration services; and 30 resellers will concentrate on sales to small and midsized businesses.
A new network management program from SUN MICROSYSTEMS, INC. brings resource allocation tools to server pools that previously were available only on mainframes as well as allows administrators to wring the maximum performance from their servers. Priced at $4,700, Solaris Resource Manager 1.0 lets administrators ration CPU time, memory space and peripheral processes to applications, groups and individual users. Not only does this guarantee that critical tasks always have access to the requisite resources, but it also gives administrators the tools to make sure that server capacity is utilized fully at all times.
HP OpenView Service Simulator for Networks, on the market through HEWLETT-PACKARD JAPAN LTD., is a simulation and design application that accurately predicts the impact of network and application changes in a dynamic environment. The $27,400-and-up software allows IT managers to deploy network-centric applications with confidence, choose and implement new network technologies, prepare networks for more users, create attainable network service level goals and reduce the risk of network service disruptions. HP Japan aims to sell 300 units in the initial year of marketing.
The marketing unit of MERCURY INTERACTIVE CORP. has released a localized version of its Sunnyvale, California parent's new network load- testing software. LoadRunner 5, which is priced between $42,700 and $51,300, predicts system behavior and performance by emulating the demands of thousands of users. Mercury Interactive expects demand to grow for LoadRunner as firms in Japan integrate customized programs, enterprise resource planning, e-business and legacy software and hardware into unified corporate information infrastructures.
A very Japan-active NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. has selected NETSERVE INC. of Tokyo to handle distribution and sales of its Sniffer Total Network Visibility package. Sniffer TNV 3.0 offers advanced network monitoring and troubleshooting tools that can help administrators ensure the availability and the performance of critical applications and e-commerce servers. .....Separately, NETWORK ASSOCIATES, INC. has joined the bandwagon behind Linux. The Santa Clara, California company's subsidiary has released a version of its popular Cyber Cop Scanner for Linux, bringing top-flight security monitoring and vulnerability testing to the open- source OS. The network security utility is priced at $1,900 for a 26-node license.
Rival SECURE COMPUTING CORP. of San Jose, California has opened a second distribution channel for its network security products. VERTEX LINK CORP. joins MITSUI & CO., LTD. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, p. 22) in marketing and supporting FireWall for NT, which costs $2,600 for a 25-user license, and SecureWire, a Web-page content-filtering software.
In tandem with the release of a new version of OS/2, SYMANTEC CORP.'s operation rolled out Norton AntiVirus for the updated operating system. The new utility takes advantage of the OS's enhancements. It also is Web- savvy while costing just $40 per license for 25 to 99 licenses.
To meet the demands of safeguarding corporate data growing at exponential rates, VERITAS SOFTWARE CORP. developed Global Data Manager for its popular NetBackup data-protection and recovery suite. GDM, which is priced from $8,000, allows administrators to manage globally distributed data resources, called storage domains, from a single console. Each storage domain consists of a NetBackup master server and one or more media servers.
In front-office software, BROOKTROUT SOFTWARE INC. and NISSHO IWAI INFOCOM SYSTEMS CO., LTD. have expanded their tie-up for developing computer telephony integration solutions. The Southborough, Massachusetts firm will contribute its rapid development platforms for CTI, while its partner brings to the table its marketing expertise and systems integration skills. Nissho Iwai Infocom already has deployed several customer call center solutions based on Brooktrout's Show N Tel and ActiveCall platforms. The two plan to develop integrated voice response, call direction, unified messaging and other data-integrated telecommunications solutions.
In May, the marketing unit of ROCKWELL INTERNATIONAL CORP., one of the originators of automatic call distribution software, will release a Japanese version of its Transcend customer call management application. Based on the Costa Mesa, California firm's Spectrum ACD, Transcend melds ORACLE CORP.'s Universal Data Server with an open customer call management system that works with DIALOGIC CORP.'s CT Media middleware. Running on Windows NT, Transcend brings call management technology used by Fortune 500 firms within the reach of smaller companies and workgroups. Rockwell has priced the localized version of Transcend from $59,800. It expects to sell 300 copies in 2000.
LHS GROUP INC. and two Japanese partners have a contract to deliver a customer care and billing package to SATELLITE PHONE JAPAN LTD., a Tokyo-based mobile satellite communications consortium. Based on LHS's BSCS engine, the custom installation is a product of the Atlanta firm's Hong Kong outfit, NTT DATA CORP. and BUSSAN SYSTEMS INTEGRATION CO., LTD., a MITSUI & CO., LTD. subsidiary. The software will be used to manage local subscribers to the satellite-based services of ICO GLOBAL COMMUNICATIONS. These services, to be launched in 2000, will support a new generation of pocket-size mobile phones that allow users to make and receive calls any time, anywhere in the world. Satellite Phone Japan is the fourth-biggest shareholder in ICO Global Communications.
Back-office software choices are multiplying at a fast clip. SEAGATE SOFTWARE, INC.'s subsidiary, for example, released a new version of its near-industry-standard on-line analytical processing and report generation package. Seagate Crystal Reports 7 allows people to use ad hoc queries of corporate information resources to generate reports, interactive graphs and maps, and convert legacy reports all via the Web.
The list of firms porting their products to the Linux open-source operating system continues to grow. INTERBASE SOFTWARE CORP., now part of Scotts Valley, California-headquartered INPRISE CORP., has updated its namesake embedded data base program for the latest release of RED HAT SOFTWARE, INC.'s Linux. The $425 InterBase for Linux 5.11 offers rich data types, event alerts, Java-compatibility and an inherently distributed architecture as well as the stability and the speed associated with Linux. .....In a related move, INTERBASE SOFTWARE CORP. issued an updated version of its relational data base for the Windows family of operating systems. InterBase 5.5 for Windows 95/NT is aimed at small businesses and workgroups based on its peer-to-peer server architecture. INPRISE CORP.'s subsidiary priced the package at $425.
NCR CORP.'s operation has released a version of its Teradata relational data base management software for the Windows NT operating system. The port brings both decision-support capabilities and data warehousing tools to the popular OS. NCR hopes that the extension will push sales of Teradata well beyond its original Unix customer base, even though the software's pricing start at $34,200.
The subsidiary of Cary, North Carolina-based SAS INSTITUTE INC. is touting the ability of its Data Warehousing Solution to build corporate data marts. Base SAS, SAS/ACCESS, SAS Scalable Performance Data Server, Multidimensional Database Server and SAS Tables data repository can be woven together to create a state-of-the-art data mart for prices beginning at $32,500.
ORACLE CORP.'s subsidiary is marketing new versions of its RDBMS and related client software designed specifically to service remote, mobile users. The Oracle Lite 3.5 data base for PDAs and other handheld computers, which costs $330 for a single license, and the Mobile Agent 3.0 data replication and synchronization program combine to deliver the full power of a corporation's IT infrastructure to employees in the field. The software is integrated tightly with the Oracle8i Internet information management platform.
Sunnyvale, California-based HYPERION SOLUTIONS CORP. chose CSK CORP. to handle distribution, sales and support of its financial accounting and management package. Hyperion Enterprise accepts transaction information gathered from global operations, creates general ledgers in near real time and allows executives to analyze business trends. CSK officials expect the software's ability to integrate with enterprise resource planning programs to lead to sales to 250 companies worth $4.2 million in the first year.
Under a nonexclusive agreement, PEREGRINE SYSTEMS, INC. has handed the task of developing sales, support and service channels for its systems infrastructure management applications to MITSUBISHI CORP. The San Diego, California company's software includes ServiceCenter, a service desk suite, AssetCenter, an investment portfolio management module, and SPAN FM, a system for managing real estate and facility assets. Mitsubishi already has prepared a localized version of ServiceCenter 2.1 and plans rollouts of Japanese versions of other Peregrine modules in the near future.
By reducing the cost of enterprise resource planning solutions to $341,900 from an average of $854,700, the subsidiaries of COMPAQ COMPUTER CORP. and J.D. EDWARDS & CO. hope to land as many as 20 new customers a year among midsized firms. For the price, Compaq will load Edwards' ERP software, an accounting package from an affiliate of ARTHUR ANDERSEN LLP and various forms and data base templates on a Windows NT server. Also included in the price is installation, which could take as little as four months rather than the typical six months to a year, and support.
IBM JAPAN LTD. and NTT DATA CORP. have decided to link their fortunes in the ERP market. They will integrate IBM Japan's SCORPIO/PRM supply chain management solution with NTT Data's SCAW-CIM v3.2 manufacturing control package, creating an ERP solution with features that appeal to producers of a wide range of goods. The two promise that their integrated package will help reduce input costs, lower waste and speed product delivery.
JON GOLDMAN ASSOCIATES, INC. and semiconductor production equipment manufacturer TOKYO ELECTRON LTD. have joined forces to develop diffusion furnace control software. By integrating the Orange, California firm's TrendViewer 2000/SPC Administrator software with TEL's WAVES and Advanced Group Controller furnace programs, the partners will produce state-of-the-art diffusion furnace software that can gather and analyze production data trends in real time while still being easy to use. JGA's package reveals subtle process changes, equipment variations and equipment degradation by viewing their behavior over multiple runs. At the same time, it gives users great flexibility in setting the criteria to be monitored from run to run and tool to tool.
Under a multimillion-dollar contract, HONEYWELL INC.'s Honeywell Hi-Spec Solutions unit will provide manufacturing control software for two KOA OIL CO., LTD. refinerie, including one in Osaka. Honeywell Hi-Spec's second-generation Profit Controller software with Robust Multivariate Predictive Control Technology will form the core of the project, but it will be custom-fit to Koa Oil's needs by the Phoenix, Arizona operation with the help of longtime Honeywell partner YAMATAKE CORP.
With the assistance of distributor INFORMATION SERVICES INTERNATIONAL-DENTSU, LTD., product data management software heavyweight STRUCTURAL DYNAMICS RESEARCH CORP. has landed two major customers for its Metaphase Enterprise software. TOYOTA MOTOR CORP. signed a multiyear contract expected to be worth more than $15 million to deploy Metaphase Enterprise as part of the electronic document interchange system it uses to deal with its suppliers around the world. The software will be deployed over several years. For its part, OKI ELECTRIC INDUSTRY CO., LTD. is using SDRC's Metaphase Enterprise package to speed the development and boost the quality of its full line of communications products.
J.D. EDWARDS & CO.'s subsidiary will introduce a product engineering automation solution for build-to-order manufacturers developed by Chicago-based PREMISYS CORP., which the big ERP vendor recently purchased. Premisys' CustomWorks 3.0 allows sales representatives and customers to interact with a parts/components data base, assembling the desired final product on-screen and automatically generating the necessary engineering diagrams and parts lists. Moreover, CustomWorks can be integrated with ERP and other software as well as serve as a stand-alone product.
Reflecting the financial troubles of its Rockville, Maryland parent, the Japanese arm of supply chain management software developer MANUGISTICS, INC. has reduced its staff by 20 percent to 40 people. It also will concentrate its sales efforts on makers of consumer goods. .....Far from abandoning the local market, MANUGISTICS, INC.'s subsidiary has partnered with IBM JAPAN LTD. to sell and support its Manugistics5.0 SCM solution to manufacturers. IBM Japan will bundle the software with its RS/6000 and Netfinity server lines, while Manugistics will provide technical and support consulting services. IBM Japan has a similar deal with I2 TECHNOLOGIES, INC., another top SCM software firm.
Separately, Irving, Texas-based I2 TECHNOLOGIES, INC. has licensed its Rhythm SCM solution to MITSUI & CO., LTD. for use in developing a collaborative supply and demand planning system for Japan's retail sector. Set to go live this September, the system initially will link MYCAL CORP.'s supermarket chain with distributor PALTAK CO., LTD. and supplier PROCTER & GAMBLE CO.'s local unit. The trader leads a consortium that is developing the software under contract from the Ministry of International Trade and Industry. Besides Mitsui, Mycal, Paltak and P&G, consortium members include NIPPON TELEGRAPH AND TELEPHONE CORP., FUJITSU, LTD. and the local office of PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS LLP. i2 Technologies is the sole supplier of planning solutions to the group. Its Rhythm e-business process optimization solutions cover master planning, distribution planning, inventory planning and demand planning, all based on global decision support architecture.
In a product aimed at commercial television broadcasters, AVID TECHNOLOGY, INC.'s subsidiary has released Symphony. This uncompressed nonlinear post-production program boasts state-of-the-art tools and special effects. Although priced between $282,100 and $363,300, Symphony can replace thousands of linear tape-based, postproduction units. This means that the software not only can save money but can provide all the benefits of digital editing as well.
APPLE COMPUTER, INC.'s innovative iMac Internet computer and its Power Macintosh G3 business systems not only have helped spur computer hardware sales in general but, in addition, have excited software developers. Since the May 1998 worldwide introduction of the iMac, Apple claims that more than 1,500 new software titles have been released for the Mac OS, including 901 localized for Japan. Besides sparking new packages in its traditional areas of strength graphics, multimedia, desktop publishing and education the hot-selling iMac and G3 family have generated a bumper crop of new games, programming tools and business suites.
Big financial software developer INTUIT INC. has released an accounting package aimed squarely at the needs of small Japanese businesses. Available only in Japan and in Japanese, Yayoi (Spring) Accounting for Windows 95/98/NT is named for the season when the fiscal year ends and business results must be calculated. The turnkey system contains all the necessary tax and accounting information to take care of this onerous annual task. The package also can help entrepreneurs better manage their business and plan for the future. The Mountain View, California company's subsidiary priced Yayoi at $640.
Perennial desktop publishing powerhouse QUARK INC. can claim one victory in its battle for market share. The information and publications department of one of Japan's top printers, TOPPAN PRINTING CO., LTD., has decided to stick with the Denver firm by upgrading to QuarkXPress 4.0 from an earlier version. The win came only after Toppan rigorously tested the desktop publishing program since it will be used to support the deadline-sensitive needs of more than 1,000 customers. QuarkXPress 4.0 is fully localized, boasts the same feature set as the English edition and is available for both the Mac OS and the Windows operating system.
At the end of April, ADOBE SYSTEMS, INC.'s subsidiary will release a Japanese-language version of its After Effects 4.0 multimedia postproduction package. At $2,500 for a full version and $1,200 for an upgrade, After Effects 4.0 gives users complete control over integrating a wide range of source materials to create motion and visual effects for film, video, multimedia or the Web.
Fremont, California-based INTERVIDEO INC. has selected NICHIMEN ELECTRONIC COMPONENTS CORP. to distribute its WinDVD player program. WinDVD decodes DVDs for playback on PCs without expensive expansion boards. Nichimen Electronic has targeted sales to PC and peripheral makers on an OEM basis. It is aiming for sales of 1 million packages a year.
With the special needs of educational institutions in mind, SYMANTEC CORP. is offering a bundled edition of its antivirus and maintenance utilities. Norton Education Suite includes tools not only to detect and eliminate harmful computer viruses but also to fine-tune the performance of both servers and client computers. The Cupertino, California firm's subsidiary has set a first-year sales goal of $3.4 million for this special edition, which starts at $850 for a 24-seat client-server license, plus support services, which begin at $270 for a one-year contract.
In a major win, SOLIDWORKS CORP. will replace all of MAKINO MILLING MACHINE CO., LTD.'s computer-aided design software with its own self- named CAD program. Working with the Concord, Massachusetts-based company's reseller and integrator, KUBOTA SOLID TECHNOLOGY CORP. Makino Milling will modernize its 150-seat design department by installing not only SolidWorks 3D CAD but also STRUCTURAL RESEARCH & ANALYSIS CORP.'s Cosmos/Works finite-element analysis program and MECHANICAL DYNAMICS, INC.'s Dynamic Designer/Motion motion simulator package. Together, the three CAD programs will allow the maker of milling machines and other machine tools to perform simulation-based design and virtual prototyping.
MACNEAL-SCHWENDLER CORP. has added three modules to its CAD suite that integrate design element analysis into basic engineering systems. The addition of MSC/Working Model, for example, helps reduce overall design times by allowing engineers to work with a virtual model that automatically reflects any changes in the CAD design. The Los Angeles company's subsidiary will handle marketing and support. It has set a sales goal of $3 million for the first year.
A component-based, 3D modeling kernel from SPATIAL TECHNOLOGY INC. is at the core of a new machining package developed by Niigata prefecture- based KURAKI CO., LTD. The Boulder, Colorado firm's ACIS 4.2 adds high- fidelity blending, shelling and free-form surfaces to Kuraki's MYPAC CAD/CAM application, which complements its line of boring and machining centers. Kuraki software engineers now are working to integrate ACIS 5.0 into the next iteration of MYPAC, which will add IGES input and tolerant modeling among other functions.
AVANT! CORP.'s Apollo suite of IC design tools has been selected as the standard electronic design automation platform by Japan's national universities, including Tokyo University, Kyoto University and Osaka University. The Fremont, California firm touted Apollo's ease of use, rapid performance and advanced features as critical to the program's use in courses covering the design and manufacture of submicron ICs.
VIEWLOGIC SYSTEMS, INC. has ported its high-speed EDA tools to the Windows NT platform, giving customers a lower-cost option than using Unix workstations. The Windows NT suite includes the XTK signal- integrity analysis module, the BLAST static-timing tool, the QUIET electromagnetic interference simulator and analyzer, the AC/Grade distributed power switching tool and the ISIS PreVUE graphical design space and interconnect planning tool. The Marlborough, Massachusetts company's subsidiary is handling distribution.
IBM JAPAN LTD. is offering some of its parent's most advanced EDA design tools through HAKUTO CO., LTD. They include the IBM BooleDozer logic synthesis tool, the IBM BoolesEye formal verification module, the IBM ClockPro clock-timing planner and the IBM PowerCalc gate-level power estimator. Hakuto has priced the tools form $256,400.
A new software package from Mountain View, California-based SYNOPSIS, INC. helps chipmakers design system chips with 50,000 or more gates, clock speeds of 100 MHz and up and line geometries measuring 0.25 micron or smaller. Developed in cooperation with MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD. and TOSHIBA CORP., Chip Architect employs a top- down approach, allowing engineers to spot system problems early in the design process.
Lithography control software developed by MICROUNITY SYSTEMS ENGINEERING, INC. is available through BEST TECHNOLOGY, INC. One of the Sunnyvale, California firm's programs calculates proximity compensation factors vital for generating correct optical lithographic masks, while another produces masks for electron-beam chipmaking gear. Pricing starts at $444,400. Tokyo-based Best Technology hopes to sell five to 10 packages a year.
Under a two-year contract valued at $10.3 million, TRW INC. will supply its event-simulation know-how to NEC CORP. It will be the core of a planning support function system that NEC is developing for the government. The electronics giant will use TRW's software tools to draw up and evaluate plans for responding to natural disasters, delivering humanitarian assistance and developing crisis contingency plans. The NEC contract is a follow-up to a 1997 bid that TRW won to develop a planning support system and a training simulation system. Both maximize the use of common software components and data inputs.
Deregulation of Japan's telecommunications market has opened the door wider for TRILLIUM DIGITAL SYSTEMS, INC. The Los Angeles company has created two variants of its Signaling System 7 for the local market, anticipating a boom in demand for telephony switches, wireless infrastructure, intelligent network and Internet telephony. By tweaking SS7 to meet the two leading technical communications standards, Trillium hopes to help customers more rapidly adapt and introduce their existing telecom products.
Start-up PIXO, INC. sees a bright future in Japan for its innovative software environment for high-volume wireless phones. Optimized for limited hardware resources, Pixo's Feature Phone Man-Machine Interface allows OEMs to develop intuitive user interfaces, avoiding the need for end-users to memorize complicated keypad sequences. Cupertino, California-based Pixo has opened an office in Tokyo to pitch its software to MATSUSHITA ELECTRIC INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., SONY CORP. and other local phone manufacturers.
An agreement between backers of two competing digital "watermark" standards for protecting digital video content from unauthorized copying has eliminated the last major obstacle to the introduction of digital recording systems. The consensus covers one standard supported by INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORP. and NEC CORP. (see Japan-U.S. Business Report No. 347, August 1998, p. 26) and another pushed by HITACHI, LTD., PIONEER ELECTRONIC CORP. and SONY CORP. Digital watermarks, or binary code embedded in every frame of a digital recording, are invisible to the consumer but easily recognized by DVD players, expected to be the first application.
MACROVISION CORP. has introduced its SAFEDISC copy-protection scheme to publishers of CD-ROMs. The Sunnyvale, California firm's solution to preventing pirated CD-ROMs does not require any changes to existing CD- ROM players. Instead, a digital signature is embedded in a disc and a multilayer software "wrapper" secures the CD-ROM's content. Current CD- ROM recorders cannot copy and duplicate the embedded digital signature, while the software wrapper prevents hackers from circumventing the protection.
To better focus its efforts on marketing and selling software, MICROSOFT CORP.'s subsidiary will spin off its research and development functions and its software distribution and support services into two wholly owned companies. MICROSOFT PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT, LTD. will take over R&D programs not only for Japan but for other Asian countries as well. It will have about 230 employees and will work closely with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. MICROSOFT ASIA, LTD. will handle distribution chores. Microsoft is concentrating Asian production of software in Singapore and will route all software exports to Japan through Microsoft Asia.
WATERGATE SOFTWARE, INC., the developer of the popular PC-Doctor line of hardware diagnostic and software information tools, has opened a sales and support office in Tokyo. Rather than directly renting office space and hiring staff, the Emeryville, California firm has chosen to use the services of UPSIZING K.K. This Tokyo company specializes in establishing, maintaining and expanding business presences in Japan and Asia.
An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report.aaaaaa