News and New Product Briefs (12/2/98)

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The JFTC started the probe in November 1997 after consulting with the US Department of Justice about complaints that Microsoft was engaging in anti-competitive practices in Japan, including allegations that it was discouraging computer manufacturers from installing Netscape's browser, that it was bundling Word and Excel, and that it was offering restrictive licenses to ISPs.

The JFTC determined that Microsoft's practices "cannot be immediately found to have tended to impede fair competition in Japan's distribution market for Web browsers."

A Microsoft spokesperson said the ISP contracts have been changed, and that the company will follow a JFTC recommendation that it make Excel available on a standalone basis for pre-installation by PC manufacturers in Japan.

DevTech SiteSurfer in preview edition

DevTech announced a free preview edition of SiteSurfer, a Java-based information navigation and search tool.

With SiteSurfer, users can easily navigate complex single Web sites or through a jumble of different sites to locate information. SiteSurfer can also be used by providers to deliver these abilities to visitors on their sites. SiteSurfer can work on a Web site, information stored on a network, CD-ROMs, or documents on a hard disk.

The client-side product comes with an intelligent users guide, highly compressed search indexes, customizable indexing fields, and interactive site map and table of contents, and a customizable applet interface.

The free preview edition of SiteSurfer is supposed to have expired December 1, 1998, but maybe if you ask nicely, the company will extend the preview.

Activerse releases its DingBot SDK

Activerse announced the DingBot SDK, the DingBot presence-management software's developer's kit.

Software developers can create customized DingBots with the SDK. DingBots are applets designed for specific purposes and that can easily integrate with the Ding! online presence system. Customized DingBots can be built to perform routine functions such as managing online meetings, searching specific information, or monitoring online devices.

The DingBot SDK can be used to wrap existing communications software, such as third-party Internet messaging, audio/video tools, and telephony gateways. The SDK also supports such third-party applications as Microsoft NetMeeting or Netscape Conference.

Users can interact with the protocol-independent DingBots like they do with other Ding! users.

DingBot SDK 1.0 costs ,295 for a developer's license (but is free for non-commercial use).

GTS Java products used to broadcast Oracle conference sessions

The general sessions of the recent Oracle OpenWorld conference were Webcasted using Graham Technology Solutions (GTS) GTS' Internet Broadcast Service and the Java-based GTS Server suite.

According to GTS CEO and president Jerry Bugajski, "Oracle chose the GTS products and services for two major reasons. The first is that the GTS Server suite is fully compliant with the Oracle's network computing architecture model. The second reason is that the GTS Server suite provides a scalable solution that can deliver thousands of simultaneous audio and video streams to browsers on the Internet and on corporate intranets."

GTS specializes in Java-based products for video monitoring and remote device control, data-center surveillance, intranet-event broadcasting, distance learning, and collaboration.

Gefion InstantOnline Java servlet get new features

Gefion Software announced InstantOnline Technology Preview 1.0, a preview of new components and enhancements to the InstantOnline Java servlets suite.

InstantOnline is a set of Java servlets that are embedded in HTML files using HTML-like tags. The servlets are executed on the server and the dynamic HTML they generate is merged with the static HTML in the page where they are embedded.

The InstantOnline technology preview adds extended variable handling, debug features, and enhanced error handling to the existing components. It also contains a set of new servlets that handle file upload and server-side file manipulation, dynamic Web forms, and sending email.

Kane Scarlett comes to JavaWorld from such magazines as Advanced Systems, Digital Video, NC World, Population Today, and National Geographic. He's not a platform fanatic -- he just likes systems that work (i.e., don't issue a beta as a final version) and systems you don't have to upgrade every six months (upgrades should be new features, not bug fixes).
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