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Monday, September 24, 2001

Launch delayed

Microsoft Corp. plans to delay the launch of new version of its Flight Simulator II because of speculation that terrorists used the game before attacking the World Trade Center in New York, according to AP report published in major dailies. ‘Microsoft has delayed the rollout of the 2002 version of the game because it did not seem to be an appropriate time to launch such a product,’ a company statement said. The computer games allow players to fly airplanes over New York City and other places in the USA. There has been speculation, but no proof, that terrorists used the popular programs prior to hijacking.

Wipro sackings

The global slowdown is increasingly taking a toll on the domestic infotech industry, Hindustan Times reported. Under pressure to maintain its growth rate, Infotech giant Wipro has decided to retrench 500 employees. While 450 employees have already been informed about the decision, the rest would be told by the end of next month. The company has also decided to stop all fresh recruitment. A company spokes person however, preferred to call it performance-based separation. The company has already asked around 3,400 techies, already selected in campus interviews, to wait.


HP’s Unix server

A Reuters report from San Francisco said that printer and computer maker Hewlett- Packard Co introduced a mid-range server in a launch sandwiched between new offerings by competitors IBM and Sun Microsystems Inc. HP’s rp8400 that it calls the new workhorse of its line of network computers can take up to 16 microprocessors, double the capacity of the company’s current mid-range and lists for $ 1,24,000 in the minimum configuration with two microprocessors, the company said.

Mobile Delhi

The Economic Times reported that for the third time in a row, cellular industry has added record numbers. More than 2.5 lakh persons have gone mobile in August. The country’s cellular subscriber base also crossed 45 lakh up from 42.88 lakh in July, according to figures released by the Cellular Operators Association of India. Delhi maintained its lead over other metros, touching the figure of 7 lakh followed by 6.76 users in Mumbai. Category A circles of Maharashtra, Gujarat, Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and Tamil Nadu added 1.03 subscribers while Category B circles that include states of Kerela, Punjab, Haryana, UP, Rajasthan, Madhya Pradesh and West Bengal could add only 15,987 subscribers during the month.

Online travel

Online travel sites offered a grim picture of how much business they had lost following the World Trade Center attacks last week, Reuters new agency reported. Such losses are consistent with what airlines, hotels and casinos have seen but they come as an especially bitter blow to the online travel sector that had started to emerge as one of the most promising business models within the generally troubled Internet sector. Expedia Inc said that bookings were less than half of what it had been just a day before the attack. Priceline.com Inc said bookings had dropped 35 per cent of prior levels.

Nasscom hopeful

Indian software exports for the current year will be impacted by the business in the US but the prospects for the long term outsourcing business from India continue to be good, Phiroz Vandrevala, Chairman, Nasscom, told The Hindu. At the beginning of the year, Nasscom had predicted Rs 40,000 crore software export for the current year with 40 per cent growth. In worst case, the growth will be 30 to 35 per cent, Vandrevala said.