A Big Week For Big News

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What a week for news! Take a look at our breaking news digest page, which brings together CRN, VARBusiness and ChannelWeb articles, and you'll find coverage of significant product, program and business developments at a vast array of major technology companies. Some highlights:

Hewlett Packard rolled out their partnerOne channel program, combining up to 40 current programs into one program, and one partner contract. They also set the big day: March 19, for the HP/Compaq merger vote.

Sun Microsystems joined the flock and announced plans to release a Linux distribution and Linux-based computer systems. Sun also announced new storage hardware, and its iForce storage partner program. With all that going on, maybe it's not a surprise that Sun was notably absent from the announcement of the Web Services Interoperability Organization. The group, which includes IBM, Oracle, HP, Microsoft and Intel, was created to improve interoperability among Web service platforms.

Speaking of IBM, it made its own moves this week, unifying its Windows, Linux and Unix workstations under the "Intellistation" name, and certifying all its workstations for Linux. On the program side, Big Blue plans to launch WOW, its Web Services on WebSphere program, at this month's PartnerWorld.

Cisco's earnings came out twice this week. The company rushed out some information Wednesday morning to cover for an internal leak that it would exceed revenue estimates. It brought out it's full numbers at its afternoon conference call. CEO John Chambers declared himself "cautiously optimistic" about business for the rest of the year, which did little to energize a stock market shaken by a week of Enron news.

Some people might have preferred if they weren't in the news. Dick Brown, CEO of EDS, found himself having to reassure analysts that the company's accounting and finances were "rock solid." Oracle found itself scrambling to patch a potential crack in its 9i database, famously described as "unbreakable" by CEO Larry Ellison. And Network Associates found itself on the wrong end of a lawsuit filed by New York State Attorney General Elliot Spitzer, alleging that the company's licensing practices prohibit customers and media from voicing their opinions on the company's products. Which Constitutional amendment might that violate? Oh yeah, the first.

Oops, He Did It Again

Another trade show, another Rob Wright column. Shuttling among home and office in Boston, Lotusphere in Orlando, and LinuxWorld in New York, Wright surmounts more dangerous obstacles than Keifer Sutherland in an episode of "24," and comes away with a wealth of observations about software, business and aviation. I wish you could experience these observations the way I did, standing outside the keynote auditorium at the Jacob Javits Center, with Rob relating them in extensive, breathless detail, but read his column and you'll get the idea.

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