Tendencies of the week

While Amazon.com is getting ready to launch an apparel site that features dozens of brands through partnerships with retailers including Gap, Eddie Bauer, Foot Locker and Nordstrom, originally U.S. District Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson had ordered that Microsoft be carved into two companies. But after Microsoft appealed, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit upbraided Jackson for being intolerably biased and removed him from the case, as reported CNN.

For Microsoft this week brought heavy decision. Under a federal law called the Tunney Act, Kollar-Kotelly had to determine whether the antitrust settlement "is in the public interest." She's required to consider whether the deal will thwart any alleged wrongdoing, how it will affect competitors and how long it will remain in force. At the same time nine of the 18 states that filed the lawsuit in 1998 had signed the proposed settlement. Another nine--California, Connecticut, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Utah and West Virginia--continued to pursue the case.

The IBM said Thursday it would slash the price on the new version of its database for mid-size companies and simplify pricing on its updated high-end database. The new software is expected to be available Nov. 21, a company spokeswoman said, according to CNN report. The new price for Big Blue's entry-level DB2 Workgroup Server Unlimited Edition database will be $7,500 per processor, 46 percent lower than the $14,000 per processor price on the current version.

Meanwhile this week's Web hosting industry news was abundant and varied both in its forms, which included research reports, news reports and product and partnership announcements, and its subjects, which covered hacking and other attacks, mergers, acquisitions, partnerships and a range of new value-added services being offered to Web hosting companies. A report released on Monday by research organization the ebi Group indicated that Web hosting companies focused on the small and medium-sized business market saw dramatic changes to the industry during the 2001-2002 year, which saw 83 percent more mergers and acquisitions than in previous years. Along with the research and statistical information this week, came news from several companies regarding sales and acquisitions in businesses closely related to Web hosting.

It was reported on Monday that Linux developer Red Hat had acquired server monitoring software company NOCpulse, in a move that would allow Red Hat to offer advanced network administration functions, including the ability to monitor networked computers as a group.