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Monday, June 10, 2002
Latest in IT world

Ted Turner sells shares

Ted Turner, AOL Time Warner Inc.'s vice-chairman and largest individual shareholder, sold nearly $5 million worth of the company's shares last week on top of the 10 million shares he sold late last month, according to a company spokeswoman in New York, reports Reuters. The sales come after a drop in AOL's stock of about 40 per cent since the beginning of the year as the Internet and media giant struggles to revive growth at its online unit. Shares of AOL Time Warner closed down 3.5 percent, or 60 cents, at $16.50 on Thursday, hitting a new three-year low. Turner's most recent sale of 253,908 AOL share sales were part of his programme to sell $5 million worth of AOL stock each month to fulfill his philanthropic obligations and to ensure environmental maintenance of his 2 million acres of land.

Office XP licenses

Microsoft Corporation India has announced that out of a total of 60 million licenses worldwide, more than 12 million Microsoft Office XP licenses have been purchased in the Asia Pacific Region since the product was launched in May 2001. This figure represents a threefold increase in Office XP licenses compared with the Office 2000 licenses sold in the region during a comparable time frame. In India, there has been a significant gain in the enterprise and the government sectors. Some of the companies that have purchased Office XP include Tata Consultancy Services, the Government of Gujarat, American Express, National Informatics Center, HCL Infosystems and the Indian Army, says a company press note.


"Walkman" not Sony's alone

Austria's Supreme Court has dismissed electronics giant Sony Corp's claim that it has exclusive rights to the "Walkman" name for portable stereos, reports Reuters. Sony said in Tokyo last Wednesday that the court had ruled that a wholesaler could refer to rivals' portable players as "Walkmans," dealing a blow to its jealously guarded trademarks. Sony filed a suit in Austria in 1994 to bar a wholesaler from using Walkman as a term for other manufacturers' goods. But the court ruled that Walkman had become a common noun for portable stereos, citing among its reasons a definition of "Walkman" in a German dictionary that did not mention Sony.

NASSCOM optimistic

NASSCOM has assessed the geo-political risk and the possible impact on the Indian software and service industry due to the recent tensions between India and Pakistan. It believes the problem has not led to any loss of business. However, if the standoff continues for long, it could begin to affect business. Nasscom is proactively in close communication with customers to allay their fears, according its press note. It argues the software industry in the past has withstood uncertainties such as the September 11 attacks in the USA or the December 13 attack on the Indian Parliament. It has built adequate processes in terms of disaster management and business continuity planning to cope with such situations. The business impact if any, of the present tension might last only for a short-term since India enjoys strong global brand equity as a cost-effective and quality outsourcing destination. Also, the industry's fundamentals are robust with many global corporations already having established significant presence in India and Indian vendors, too, bagging large multi-year fixed price long-term contracts.