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Bits & Bytes
WHAT OFFICE DESKTOP USERS REALLY WANT
ARE CORPORATIONS TRULY INTERESTED IN LOW-COST COMPUTERS? Is network computing eating into sales of PCs? Are Windows NT adoption rates for real or just marketing hype? Yes, no, and yes, say 300 purchasing execs surveyed by researcher International Data Corp.
The survey showed network computing isn't taking over the desktop and sending traditional PCs to an early retirement, says IDC. Instead, respondents favored the industrial-strength Windows NT on servers and PCs rather than slimmed-down network computers. Half of all respondents also said desktops under $1,000 were appealing.
Among other findings: Digital videodisk adoption shows little growth because of software limitations. And only 10% of those surveyed expect to purchase desktops with videoconferencing. "Corporate users want reasonably--but not excessively--powerful processors, a pretty heavy memory load, and a fair amount of disk space," says Roger Kay, IDC senior analyst for personal systems.EDITED BY HEATHER GREENReturn to top
Corporate Tech Buying Plans
(over the next 12 months)
88% expect to add disk drives of 2GB or higher
32% say their new PCs will have Windows NT installed
10% plan to buy PCs with videoconferencing capabilities
10% are evaluating network computers
DATA: INTERNATIONAL DATA CORP. BASED ON A SURVEY OF 300 PURCHASING EXECUTIVESReturn to top
KNOW ANY TEENS WITH THAT MIDAS TOUCH?
COULD THE STOCK MARKET BE THE NEXT ONLINE GAME ATTRACTION? That's what MainXchange Inc., an Englewood (N.J.) startup, is betting with the June launch of an Internet-based stock-trading simulation game for teenagers.
The cyber market works like this: Teens download the game for free from the MainXchange site and are granted 100,000 virtual dollars to invest in publicly traded companies. Players use data, such as stock quotes and news from the site's partners, including CNN Interactive and Quote.com, to make stock picks.
If that's not alluring enough, the MainXchange site also is riddled with prizes such as plane tickets, clothes, and computers. This lets site sponsors, including Hasbro Inc. and Continental Airlines Inc., advertise their products while keeping teens tuned in. Another plus: Even if the players bomb with their stock picks, they walk away with goodies.EDITED BY HEATHER GREENReturn to top
SPEEDING DRUG-TRIAL DATA TO THE FDA
DELAYS CAN BE COSTLY IN THE WORLD OF PHARMACEUTICAL PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT. Indeed, every day of delay in getting Food & Drug Administration approval can mean $1 million or more in lost revenues for a drugmaker. The biggest bottleneck? The manual entry of thousands of pages of data from clinical trials, a chore that can take three months or more and hold up the presentation of evidence to the FDA.
Enter Phase Forward Inc. of Newton, Mass. The company has a service, launched in June, that uses the Internet to give drug companies more timely access to clinical-trial data. Phase Forward's InForm service connects the doctors' offices and hospitals that serve as clinical trial sites, the clinical research organizations conducting the trials, and the sponsoring drug companies. That can give pharmaceutical companies a head start in analyzing the data.
The approach also is more efficient because it cuts down on some of the processing errors inherent in collecting results on paper and then keypunching them into computer systems at a later date, says Kenneth I. Kaitin, associate director of the Center for the Study of Drug Development at Tufts University. The FDA wants to have a paperless clinical-trial process in place by 2002.EDITED BY HEATHER GREENReturn to top