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Monday, June 3, 2002
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War clouds engulf IT

WAR clouds on the subcontinent are casting a shadow on India Inc, particularly companies in the software and business process outsourcing (BPO) space, Times of India reports. To counter apprehensions, industry-body CII has decided to issue advertisements in the New York Times and Washington Post. A number of business delegations from industry bodies are also expected to travel across US and European countries to explain business preparedness for any eventuality. Industry representatives said panicky IT clients in the USA and Europe were considering various strategies, including moving new businesses to safer destinations like the Philippines and Ireland. Industry watchers feel crisis is expected to have a direct impact on call centre businesses, medical transcription outfits and software companies, forming a large part of the software and services exports from India. As a part of the business continuity plans, many Indian software and services firm have already developed or created mirror sites.

Microsoft loses to Steffi

Steffi Graf has won a court battle with Microsoft Germany over fake nude photos of her that were posted on a Website run by the company, Ananova, a news portal, reports. The state appeals court in Cologne upheld a ruling by a lower court that ruled that Microsoft Germany was responsible for the content of the site, and must ensure that such pictures don't appear there. The company would have to pay a fine if similar photos emerge on the site in future, court spokesman Christian Grueneberg said. The photos - computer manipulations that put Graf's head on a nude body - appeared last year on the site operated by Microsoft Germany where users could post pictures and texts to share with others. The photos were taken down at Graf's request, but the company declined to sign a formal agreement that they wouldn't appear again so Graf sued.


Beckham favourite

England captain David Beckham has been voted Manchester United's player of the season for the second year in a row by the club's fans, Reuters quoting an Internet survey says. The England skipper received 50.4 per cent of the votes in the 2001-02 global poll conducted on the English premier league club's Website for two weeks from May 13. Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy also proved to be a hit in his first season at Old Trafford, finishing second in the poll with 27.2 per cent. Captain Roy Keane, who was sent home from the World Cup in disgrace last week, came third with less than nine per cent votes.

Only Compaqs from HP

Hewlett-Packard (HP) will now sell only Compaq PCs in India and is gradually phasing out all of its own PC brands, following the merger of two companies, Economic Times reports. In contrast, the new global portfolio will include HP's Pavilion range of PCs. HP has also decided to retain the manufacturing facility in India, unlike some others in Asia, which might have to shut down. India will also be the one of the five hubs planned for telesales and support by the company.

Barrier broken

Kaz Saruwatari, CEO of Planetworks Inc., last week announced the launch of a service that will eliminate the language barrier facing international travellers visiting Japan. JapanAid, www.japanaid.com, provides travel information and interpretation services in real-time through the use of CTI (Computer Telephony Integration) technology. As per the company release, all that the traveller has to do is to visit www.japanaid.com and enter a personal profile and the dates when they would be in Japan.