Chapter 16 Corporate Activities in the 1990's
The company entered the 1990' s under John
Sculley' s direction with increasing sales and profits.
However, in the following years the company would
encounter problems resolving its product strategy. Apple
could either limit the use of its proprietary technology
and maintain a high profit margin, or license the
technology and achieve a greater market share for it.
This problem was not helped by an executive group with
individual aspirations that lacked corporate
cohesiveness . Gilbert Amelio has described the Apple
organization as a "dysfunctional culture." This affected
the future performance and even the viability of the
Litigation by Xerox regarding the similarity of
Macintosh graphics systems to the systems developed at
PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) was thrown out in early
1990. In March 1991, the Windows /Macintosh graphics
litigation with Microsoft was found to be in favor of
Apple Computer, only to have most of it thrown out in
In early 1991, Apple began negotiations with IBM
regarding the possible use of IBM RISC microprocessor
technology for a more powerful Macintosh computer. This
resulted in an early announcement to form the PowerPC
Alliance with IBM and Motorola in July 1991, followed by
the final agreement in October (See Section 19.6) .
A significant decline of profits in 1993, resulted
in John Sculley being replaced by Michael H. Spindler as
the chief executive officer in June. Sculley became
chairman of the board. Then in October, Sculley resigned
from Apple Computer and joined Spectrum Information
Technologies as chairman and chief executive officer.
Gilbert F. Amelio, who was the CEO of National
Semiconductor Corporation, became a member of the Apple
Computer board in November 1994.
Due to a continuation of declining profits and
loss of market share, Gilbert Amelio replaced Spindler
16/2 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
as the chief executive officer in February 1996. The
company lost $816 million in 1996.
Apple acquired NeXT Software Inc., for $427
million in February 1997. The company was purchased to
obtain the NeXT operating system. Steven Jobs who had
founded NeXT, became a consultant to the chairman of the
In the spring of 1997, Apple Computer announced a
corporate restructuring and laid off 2,700 employees.
Then in May, Apple formed an independent subsidiary to
produce and market the money losing Newton hand-held
Although Amelio had implemented many improvements
at Apple, the board wanted a new chief executive officer
who would increase sales. This resulted in the
resignation of Amelio in July. The company lost $1,045
million in 1997. Steven Jobs announced in August, that
Microsoft was investing $150 million in the company.
Apple agreed to drop its legal dispute about Microsoft
Windows versus the Apple Macintosh graphic interfaces.
Apple also agreed to promote the use of Microsoft
Internet Explorer software on the Macintosh and
Microsoft agreed to update and release its popular
Office suite of applications for the Macintosh.
Significant changes were made to the Apple board of
directors with resignations that included vice-chairman
Mike Markkula and the appointments of Lawrence Ellison
from Oracle Corporation and William Campbell from
The company introduced the iMac computer and
discontinued its Newton MessagePad and eMate product
lines in 1998. Sales of the discontinued products had
been significantly below expectations. The company also
stated that they wanted to focus their efforts on those
products critical to the future success of the company.
Apple reported in 1998, that its share of the personal
computer market had declined to 4.6% in the USA and to
3 . 6% worldwide .
The iBook portable computer was introduced in July
1999. At the end of Apple Computer's 1999 fiscal year in
September, net sales were $6,134 million and the company
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/3
had 6,960 regular employees. Steven Jobs was interim
chief executive officer and a director of the board.
Apple Computer is a unique company that has
created an inspired and devoted following. Its easy-to-
use technology, starting with the Apple II and then the
Macintosh computer are acclaimed. The company has become
an icon, an American success story. Conceived by
entrepreneurs in a garage who became multimillionaires.
Unfortunately it has lost significant market share in a
largely IBM compatible market. A lack of consistent
leadership has been a handicap. Management have allowed
what was the dominant supplier of personal computers, to
become a relatively minor participant in the current
market. If Apple had made the Macintosh operating system
more open, it may have gained a significantly greater
share of the market. Its pioneering proprietary
technology has lost its initial advantage. The future
for the company is somewhat uncertain.
In a management reorganization in January 1991,
Eckhard Pfeiffer who had previously led Compaq
operations in Germany, was appointed chief operating
officer. Then in October, the company announced a major
restructuring of its operations and a reorganization
into distinct product divisions. Pfeiffer was elected
president and chief executive officer, replacing co-
founder Rod Canion. The company had experienced
unsatisfactory financial results that also resulted in a
reduction of the number of employees by approximately 14
Compaq became the world' s largest producer of
personal computers in 1994 and the world' s fifth largest
computer company in 1995.
In June 1997, Compaq acquired Tandem Computer Inc.
for the equivalent of about $4.1 billion in stock.
Tandem is a manufacturer of fail-safe minicomputers and
servers for processing online transactions. Also in
1997, Compaq started to make a transition from "build-
to-inventory" to a "build-to-order" manufacturing
16/4 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
Compaq announced an agreement to purchase the
Digital Equipment Corporation (DEC) for $9.1 billion in
January 1998 . Compaq Computer stated that the merger
would create the "second largest computing company" in
the world. The merger was completed in June.
During 1998, Compaq expanded its direct-sell
process based on customer build-to-order choice.
In April 1999, Eckhard Pfeiffer left the company.
It was reported that Benjamin Rosen and the company's
board were not satisfied with the profitability of
company. Michael D. Capellas was appointed the new
president and chief executive officer in July.
At the end of Compaq's 1999 fiscal year in
December, sales were $38.5 billion. Benjamin M. Rosen
was chairman of the board and Michael Capellas president
and chief executive officer.
Dell Computer Corporation has become a dominant
direct sale provider of build-to-order personal
computers. However, Dell had financial difficulties in
1993 due to problems with a new laptop computer and an
overaggressive company expansion. Michael Dell
reorganized his company and brought in new experienced
executives from other companies such as Morton L. Topfer
who left Motorola and joined Dell in June 1994.
In 1999, the company stated that it was the "the
second-largest manufacturer and marketer of personal
computers in the United States and were No. 2
worldwide." At the end of Dell's fiscal year in
February 1999, sales were $18.2 billion and the company
had more than 24,400 employees. Kevin B. Rollins and
Topfer are vice chairmen and Michael Dell is chairman
and chief executive officer.
IBM sold its Lexington, Kentucky keyboard, printer
and typewriter division as an independent company that
became Lexmark International Group, Inc. in March 1991.
Clayton, Dubilier & Rice, an investment firm arranged
the financing. Marvin L. Mann, a former IBM manager
became the chairman, president and chief executive
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/5
officer. IBM retained a ten percent share of the new
The Lexington division sale helped to minimize a
loss of $2.8 billion for IBM in 1991. This was the
beginning of profitability problems for the company
under the direction of John Akers and Jack Kuehler. In
late 1991 IBM announced a major reorganization of the
company from a single centralized company into a group
of more independent business units .
In October 1991, IBM participated in the formation
of the PowerPC Alliance with Apple Computer and Motorola
to develop a new RISC microprocessor for personal
computers, software for an advance operating system and
development of multimedia applications (See Section
An intense price war in personal computers, by
firms such as Dell Computer, Compag Computer and the
various clone manufacturers, forced IBM to implement an
extensive cost reduction program in 1992 . This resulted
in James Cannavino obtaining special reductions for
corporate overhead from the Corporate Management
Committee (CMC) . Cannavino then appointed Robert J.
Corrigan to head the hardware part of the personal
In June, IBM formed a separate company known as
the Individual Computer Products International (ICPI) .
This company was formed to market a series of low cost
personal computers in Britain, Canada and France using
the Ambra brand name. Then in September, James Cannavino
announced the creation of the IBM Personal Computer
Company (IBM PC Company) with worldwide responsibility
for all aspects of the personal computer business.
Robert Corrigan was appointed president of the new
company. A new series of low cost computers developed in
the late summer was introduced in October using the
ValuePoint brand name.
In 1992, IBM had a second year of financial
losses, $5 billion, a new corporate record.
Reorganizations and staff reductions had not returned
the company to profitability. IBM also sold Rolm Systems
in May, a telecommunications subsidiary it had purchased
for $1.3 billion in 1984.
16/6 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
In January 1993, the IBM board announced the
resignation of John Akers as chairman and Jack Kuehler
as president. Kuehler' s resignation was effective in
February and Akers in March. The announcement also
stated that the company' s dividend to shareholders would
be reduced for the first time, by 55 percent. In April,
Louis V. Gerstner replaced John Akers as chairman of the
board and chief executive officer. The position of
president was left vacant. Gerstner was from RJR Nabisco
and the first CEO who had not progressed to the top
through the company. Gerstner started implementing many
changes and large write-offs to "right-size" the company
that resulted in a net loss of $8 billion in 1993.
During 1993, James Cannavino became a senior vice
president for strategy and development, and Robert
Corrigan became president of the IBM Personal Computer
Personal computer revenue had been growing, but at
a slower rate than some of the other competitors. This
resulted in G. Richard Thoman, a senior vice-president
and group executive being appointed head of the Personal
Computer Group in January 198 4. Changes implemented by
Gerstner, resulted in a financial turnaround for IBM in
1994, a profit of $3 billion. However, the number of
employees had gone from a peak of 407,000 in 1986 down
to 219,800 in 1994. IBM was a significantly different
IBM acguired Lotus Development Corporation for
$3.2 billion ($2.9 billion in cash) in July 1995. Jim
Manzi the former chief executive officer of Lotus became
a vice-president of IBM. Then in October 1995 Manzi
resigned. During 1995, G. R. Thoman became the chief
financial officer of IBM, Robert M. Stephenson senior
vice president and group executive of the Personal
Systems Group and William E. McCracken general manager,
sales and service of the IBM PC Company.
Taligent Inc., was dissolved in December 1995 and
became an IBM subsidiary.
At the end of IBM's 1999 fiscal year in December,
revenue for the year was $87.5 billion and the number of
employees was 307,401. Louis V. Gerstner was chairman of
the board and chief executive officer.
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/7
Robert Noyce, co-developer of the integrated
circuit and co-founder of Fairchild Semiconductor and
Intel, died at the relatively young age of 62, in June
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) litigation to obtain
a license as a second source for the Intel 80386
microprocessor and allegations of antitrust violations
continued in the courts during the early 1990' s. In
February 1992, the court arbitrator awarded license
rights for the 80386 to AMD. However, Intel appealed the
court ruling to the State Supreme Court, but lost the
appeal in 1994. A compromise settlement on all pending
litigation between AMD an Intel was reached in January
Intel began an end-user marketing campaign in May
1991, that used an "intei inside" logo. This cooperative
advertising campaign with eguipment manufacturers, was
started to emphasize the Intel brand name to personal
computer consumers . It was also targeted at companies
like AMD who had developed a clone of the 80386
microprocessor. This also led to the discontinuation of
the x8 6 designation for new microprocessors with the
introduction of the Pentium in 1993.
The Peripheral Component Interface (PCI) that had
been developed by Intel, was announced in 1993. This
technology permitted faster graphics and enhanced
computer performance. Intel offered royalty-free
licenses on the PCI patents to other companies to
promote the new standard.
With the release of the Pentium in 1993, Intel
also became a manufacturer of motherboards . This enabled
Intel to implement new microprocessor releases and
related chips to small companies at a faster rate
comparable to the larger personal computer
Intel and Hewlett-Packard announced a joint
venture to develop a new microprocessor in June 1994.
The company acguired the outstanding shares of
Chips and Technologies, Inc., for approximately $430
million in January 1998 . Intel also purchased the
16/8 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
semiconductor operations of Digital Equipment
Corporation for $585 million in May 1998.
Intel was estimated to have 8 6.7% share of the
microprocessor market in mid 1998. In June the Federal
Trade Commission (FTC) file an antitrust complaint
against Intel. The FTC alleged that Intel used its
dominant position to withhold technical data and
threatened to restrict supply of chips to other
manufacturers who had intellectual disputes with the
At the end of Intel's 1999 fiscal year in
December, the company had revenue of $29.4 billion and
the number of employees was 70,2 00. Gordon Moore was
chairman emeritus of the board, Andrew Grove chairman of
the board and Craig R. Barrett was president and chief
In April 1990, the company appointed Michael R.
Hallman as president and chief operating officer, to
replace Jon Shirley who had decided to retire. Hallman
had been at IBM for 20 years and then as president of
Boeing Computer Services . Shirley remained on the Board
and Hallman assumed operational responsibilities in
June. Brad A. Silverberg also joined the company in 1990
to head the Windows and MS-DOS group and became a vice
president of Microsoft. Nathan Myhrvold became a vice
president responsible for advanced technology and
business development in 1990.
In March 1991 arguments on items in the
Windows /Macintosh graphics litigation were determined in
favor of Apple. Also in March, it became public that the
Federal Trade Commission (FTC) was investigating
Microsoft for possible antitrust violations. The FTC
actually began the inquiry in June 1990. The Commission
of the European Communities also launched a similar
investigation of Microsoft practices, after receiving
complaints from Novell, Inc.
Microsoft had another stock split in 1991, a three
for two issue. By the end of 1991 Bill Gates owned about
57 million shares or 33 percent of Microsoft. In October
1992, Forbes magazine reported Gates to be the richest
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/9
person in North America with an estimated worth of about
James Allchin joined Microsoft in 1991 and
subsequently became a vice president. He is head of the
business systems division with responsibilities that
include Windows NT and the advanced Cairo project.
After less than two years as the president Michael
Hallman left the company. This resulted in a major
reorganization of the company into three major groups in
March 1992. The three groups reporting through a new
Office of the President, were Products, Sales and
Support, and Operations. Executive vice president Mike
Maples had the Products Group, Steve Ballmer as an
executive vice president, the Sales and Support Group
and Frank Gaudette was Chief Financial Officer with
responsibilities for the Operations Group. Craig Mundie
joined the company in 1992 and became head of the
advanced consumer division and was appointed a vice
president of Microsoft.
In April 1992, the judge favored Microsoft and
dismissed a significant part of the Apple Computer
charges that Windows software infringed the "look and
feel" of the Macintosh graphics system. In August the
court made additional judgments in favor of Microsoft.
Then in August 1993 the court dismissed all of Apple
Computer's remaining infringement claims.
Then in June 1992, Microsoft announced a major
agreement with IBM that confirmed their joint
development separation. IBM relinquished rights to
Windows NT, but was however allowed to use Windows
software until September 1993. Microsoft would receive a
royalty for each copy of OS/2 sold, but paid IBM a one-
time payment for use of certain IBM patents.
In 1993 the Federal Trade Commission litigation
started in 1990, was moved to the Department of Justice
by the Clinton administration. Richard (Rick) Rashid
joined the company in 1993 and became head of research
and a vice president of Microsoft. Rashid was an expert
in operating systems and chief architect in the
development of Mach, a UNIX-based operating system.
Bill Gates married Melinda French, a Microsoft
product manager on January 1, 1994 on the Hawaiian
16/10 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
island Lanai . In March 1994, Microsoft reached an
agreement with Tele-Communications, Inc., to develop an
interactive cable-TV system for personal computers. This
is a new entry into the information highway market by
Microsoft lost a patent infringement law suit by
Stac Electronics in February 1994. The infringement
pertained to the DoubleSpace disk compression utility
included in MS-DOS Versions 6.0 and 6.2. Microsoft
deleted DoubleSpace in Version 6.21 and added DriveSpace
in Version 6.22 released in June 1994. Also in June,
Microsoft acguired Softimage, Inc., a leading developer
of high performance 2-D and 3-D computer animation and
Microsoft signed a consent agreement with the
Department of Justice in August 1994, regarding
potential antitrust violations. A similar agreement was
reached with the European Union. However in February
1995, a Federal judge decided not to ratify the
agreement. This was successfully appealed by Microsoft
and the Department of Justice later in 1995.
Microsoft signed an agreement in October 1994 to
purchase a company called Intuit, Inc. Intuit had a very
popular personal finance program called Quicken. However
after the intervention of the Department of Justice to
block the merger, Microsoft withdrew its offer to
purchase the company in May 1995.
In July 1995, Gates made another major
reorganization following the retirement of Mike Maples.
Five senior executives now directed four operating
groups. Steve Ballmer the Sales and Support Group,
Robert J. Herbold the Operations Group, and Frank M.
(Pete) Higgins and Nathan P. Myhrvold directed the
Applications & Content Group and Paul A. Maritz the
Microsoft released Windows 95 that previously had
the code name of Chicago in August 1995. Microsoft also
provided capability within Windows 95 to access a new
Microsoft Network (MSN) . In December, Bill Gates
announced the company' s commitment to supporting and
enhancing the Internet by integrating its software with
the public network. Also in December, the company
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/11
entered into a 50/50 partnership with the NBC television
network to create a news /information channel and an
interactive online news service for the Microsoft
Network (MSN) .
In January 1996, Microsoft acquired Vermeer
Technologies Inc., and the FrontPage application
software. FrontPage is a tool for creating and managing
Web documents without programming. In February, the
Interactive Media Division was created with
responsibilities for applications for children and
games, the Microsoft Network on line service and
products of the now-dissolved Consumer Products
Division. Jeffrey Raikes was promoted to group vice
president for sales and marketing in July and in
December the Office of the President was replaced by an
In June 1997, Microsoft invested $1 billion in
Comcast Corporation, the fourth-largest cable television
operator in the USA.
WebTV Networks, Inc., was acquired by Microsoft
for $425 million in August 1997. WebTV Networks was an
online service that enabled consumers to access the
Internet through their television via set-top terminals
using proprietary technologies.
Microsoft invested $150 million in non voting
shares of Apple Computer stock in August 1997. Bill
Gates and Steve Jobs described a broad product and
technology development agreement between the two
companies. Microsoft also agreed to develop future
versions of the popular Office suit of programs for the
In October 1997, the Department of Justice
announced a new investigation of Microsoft. The
department stated that the company was violating anti-
competitive licensing practices for personal computer
manufacturers by tying the use of its Windows 95
operating system to the use of its Internet Explorer
software. This investigation, resulted in the launching
of an antitrust suit by the Department of Justice and 20
States against Microsoft in May 1998. The antitrust
trial opened in October, and the number of States was
reduced to 19 when South Carolina withdrew in December.
16/12 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
Microsoft released Windows 98 in June. In July,
Gates appointed Steve Ballmer as president of the
At the end of Microsoft's 1999 fiscal year in
June, net revenue was $19.7 billion. Microsoft is now
the world's largest software company.
In September 1999, Microsoft announced it will buy
the Visio Corporation for $1.3 billion in stock. Visio's
main software is a graphics package for drawing such
things as flowcharts, block diagrams and networks. The
November 29, 1999 issue of Forbes magazine reported Bill
Gates net worth to be $93 billion, Paul Allen $26
billion and Steve Ballmer $22 billion. Gates was number
1, Allen number 2 and Ballmer number 3 on the list of
the world' s top technological billionaires .
In 1992, Novell acguired Digital Research, Inc.
from Gary Kildall who died in July 1994.
Novell acguired the WordPerfect Corporation for
$1.4 billion in March 1994 and bought the Quattro Pro
spreadsheet from Borland International for $110 million
in June. Novell also purchased a license to market the
Borland Paradox database for $35 million. Novell made
the acguisitions to gain a greater penetration in the
business applications market. However, the Novell board
became unhappy with the acguisitions and forced Raymond
Noorda to leave. He was replaced by Bob Frankenberg who
had been at Hewlett-Packard for twenty-five years.
The company released a suit of applications called
PerfectOffice in early 1995.
By October 1995 the WordPerfect contribution to
Novell sales had declined and was affecting the
company' s profitability. This resulted in the sale of
WordPerfect and related suite software to Canadian Corel
Corporation for $10.75 million and shares of Corel stock
in February 1996. Corel Corporation was now one of the
dominant suppliers of software for personal computers.
The board once again became unhappy with its CEO
and in late 1996 Frankenberg resigned. He was replaced
by Eric Schmidt who had been the chief technology
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/13
officer of Sun Microsystems. Significant reorganization
and layoffs were made in 1997 to improve profitability.
In early 1990, Sun decided to consolidate its
computer designs on the SPARC microprocessor technology.
Its workstations would not use the Motorola
microprocessor and the 3861 personal computer with the
Intel microprocessor was discontinued. The SuperSPARC
microprocessor was released in 1991 to mixed reviews and
incorporated into Sun's workstations in 1993. The
Solaris operating system was also introduced in 1993.
By 1995, Sun was doing very well. The combination
of computers with a new UltraSPARC microprocessor
released in 1995 with the Solaris operating system made
a significant improvement in revenues and more
importantly profits. Sun had also become a major source
for powerful servers that powered the Internet. Another
important event in 1995 with implications for the
Internet, was the introduction of the Java programming
In 1996, Sun acguired a high-end server product
line from Silicon Graphics . The server had been designed
by Cray Research using the Sun SPARC microprocessor and
the Solaris operating system. Sun also considered
acguiring the Apple Computer company in 1996. However,
after further consideration it decided not to.
In late 1997, Sun announced that it would develop
a version of Solaris operating system for the new Intel
Merced microprocessor. This would reduce Intel's
dependence on Microsoft and provide a UNIX operating
An entry-level line of workstations called Darwin
was introduced in January 1988. These low-cost
workstations sold for under $3000 without a monitor.
Ed Zander who is the chief operating officer was
given the additional title of president in April 1999.
Scott McNealy who relinguished the position of president
remains the chairman and chief executive officer.
In August 1999, Sun acguired Star Division, a
software developer of the StarOffice suit of
productivity programs. Sun subseguently announced the
16/14 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
development of a version of the suit called StarPortal
for the World Wide Web. This is intended to provide a
new method of competing with the highly successful
Microsoft Office suit of programs.
Sun, and in particular Scott McNealy has
contributed to and supported the Department of Justice
anti-monopolistic litigation against the Microsoft
Corporation. Sun has become not just a major supplier of
workstations and computer servers, but also a
significant innovator in software and a potential threat
to Microsoft in certain segments of the market.
Jean-Louise Gassee with financial backing from
AT&T and Seymour Cray founded Be Inc., in 1990. Erich
Ringewald who had also been at Apple Computer, was the
director of engineering. The company demonstrated a new
personal computer called the BeBox in October 1995. The
computer system price ranged from $1,600 to $3,000.
In the early 1990' s, the Symantec Corporation
acquired a number of companies such as the Peter Norton
Computing company in 1990 and the rival Central Point
software company. Symantec now focuses its product line
on communications, networks and is a leading supplier of
Borland International acquired Ashton-Tate and the
dBASE database application program software for $440
million in 1991.
Starting in 1991, the Digital Equipment
Corporation (DEC) encountered financial losses. This
resulted in significant staff reductions and company
reorganization in 1992. However the losses continued and
resulted in the retirement of co-founder Kenneth Olsen
in October. He was replaced by Robert B. Palmer who had
joined DEC in 1985.
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/15
MIPS Computer Systems started having problems
around 1990 and was purchased by Silicon Graphics in
1992. Also in 1992, the Corel Systems Corporation, the
Canadian developer of CorelDRAW graphics software,
changed its name to Corel Corporation.
At WordPerfect Corporation, the two principal
owners Alan Ashton and Bruce Bastian decided to
implement a management reorganization in March 1992.
This resulted in Pete Peterson, the executive vice
president who made significant contributions to the
development of the corporation, leaving the company
Intuit released QuickBooks, an easy-to-use
accounting program in 1992. The company went public in
Carol Bartz who had been a vice president of
marketing at Sun Microsystems, was recruited by the
board of Autodesk in 1992 to replace founder John
Walker. Bartz is now the chief executive officer and
chairman of Autodesk. Walker left the company in 1994.
In February 1993, Steven Jobs sold the computer
hardware operations of the NeXT Computer company to
Canon Inc. Also in 1993, the Tandy/Radio Shack personal
computer manufacturing operations were merged with AST
In early 1994, WordStar International (formerly
MicroPro International Corporation) had financial
difficulties and merged with Softkey Software Products
and Spinnaker Software Corporation to become Softkey
Commodore International was liguidated in April
1994. Adobe Systems acguired Aldus Corporation in
August 1994 whose main product was the desktop
publishing program called PageMaker.
Hayes Microcomputer Products encountered financial
problems in November 1994 that resulted in them filing
for protection from creditors. The company then
16/16 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology
reorganized and emerged from Chapter 11 protection in
Advanced Micro Devices (AMD) and Intel, reached a
compromising settlement in their joint litigation
regarding AMD's use of Intel technology in January.
The Zeos personal computer company was purchased
by Micron Technology in 1995. Joseph and Ward Parkinson
and Doug Pitman had founded Micron Technology, Inc. in
1978 as a semiconductor design consulting company. In
1982, the company started manufacturing semiconductor
memory chips. The purchase of Zeos resulted in the
formation of Micron Electronics, Inc. that is now a
major direct marketer of personal computers.
In December 1995 the joint venture between Apple
Computer and IBM to develop an advance operating system
by Taligent was dissolved. Taligent became an IBM
silicon Graphics acguired Cray Research, Inc., a
manufacturer of supercomputers, in February 1996 for
$161 million. However, it was not a successful
acguisition and Silicon Graphics announced it was
selling the remains of Cray Research in March 2000.
In July 1996, The Atari Corporation was
terminated. AMD acguired the NexGen company in 1996,
that had developed advanced microprocessor designs.
In early 1996, Packard Bell Electronics purchased
Zenith Data Systems and its personal computer products.
Then in July, a merger was formed to integrate Packard
Bell Electronics and the NEC corporation' s worldwide
personal computer operations outside Japan. The merged
company became Packard Bell NEC, Inc. Beny Alagem serves
as chairman, chief executive officer and president of
the new company. The company is reported to be the
second largest supplier of personal computers in the USA
Since the termination of its computer, the NeXT
Computer company has concentrated its efforts on
software development. In early 1996 the company changed
Corporate Activities in the 1990's 16/17
its name to NeXT Software, Inc. Then in December, Steven
Jobs sold the company to Apple Computer.
Acer Inc., acquired the notebook computer
operations of Texas Instruments in February 1997. The
3Com Corporation acquired the U.S. Robotics Corporation
in June 1997 in an $8.5 billion stock swap.
The Hayes Corporation filed for protection from
creditors in October 1998, and subsequently announced it
was closinq down the company in January 1999.
Borland International changed the company name to
Inprise Corporation in April 1998.
Lew Piatt, chairman of the board, president and
chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard, announced
that the company was being slit into two separate
companies in 1999. The medical and instrument business
became Agilent Technologies Inc. The computer, printer,
software and service business retained the Hewlett-
Packard company name. Carleton S. Fiorina became
president and chief executive officer of the HP computer
company in July.
America Online completed its acquisition of
Netscape Corporation for $4.3 billion in March. The
acquisition was assisted by a partnership between AOL
and Sun Microsystems. Sun agreed to buy Netscape
software and AOL agreed to buy Sun products and support
the Java programming language.
In November, Packard Bell NEC announced it was
closing its USA operations by the end of the year.
Cheaper competitive products had resulted in financial
losses and quality problems contributed to the closure.
16/18 Part IV 1990's - Current Technology