Welcome back from our Christmas break. Happy New Year, everyone!
Did you survive the Y2K crisis? The Tips section of this newsletter lists one obscure Y2K problem related to IGES files, which Visio can read and write. In any case, you've got to take a look at www.y2kmistakes.com/biglist.htm, which has archived screen grabs of Web sites with Y2K-related date goof-ups. These sites displayed dates like 32/Dec/99, 1/1/1900, 01 Jan 100, and Stardate Unknown.
The price tag ended up being US$1.5 billion, Microsoft's largest acquisition to date. The price was based on each Visio share being worth 0.45 Microsoft share. Each Microsoft share was valued at US$107.41, which represented the average closing price of MSFT common shares for the 20-day trading period from 3 Dec to 31 Dec, 1999. Visio shareholders can ask questions at email@example.com or check out www.microsoft.com/msft/stock/visiofaq99.htm .
Visio shares stopped trading at the close of the stock market last Friday at US$49-7/8 -- a high value, but not the all-time high of just over $51 two days earlier -- VSIO shares had jumped on the news that the US government had allowed the acquisition to go ahead.
For now, it is business as usual. When I checked Microsoft's home page on Tuesday morning, it was silent on the company's largest acquisition ever. That may have been due to www.microsoft.com's home page not being updated since Thursday 6 Jan at 11:27 a.m. -- five days of nothing new at Microsoft!
The Visio Web site continues to be located at www.visio.com, although a Visio employee tells me that their email addresses will soon change to @microsoft.com. The Visio Web site includes a graphic: Microsoft Acquisition Complete, Get the Details. Click the graphic to get some info on the acquisition. [Note to Visio webmaster: it's time to update the copyright to include 2000.]
In a letter to customers, Visio's Jeremy Jaech emphasizes that "life after the acquisition will be business as usual." Still, he does give some hint that Visio software will be integrated with Microsoft Office:
"For years we have positioned Visio products as the 'third leg of the
Microsoft Office stool' - words, numbers, and drawings - and in that respect
nothing has changed. The Visio brand will live on, and we will take our
place among the Microsoft Office family of products.
"Visio technology will not disappear within Microsoft Office. It will instead become an important complementary product to Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Just as you use Word for word-processing ... you will be able to continue using Visio products for all things visual...".
Microsoft's acquisition of Visio means that "we will be able to accelerate development of Visio products and expand our sales and marketing reach.
Left unsaid was the real reason for the acquisition: boosting the share price. The acquisition improved the value of Visio shares from roughly $30 to roughly $50 -- a 67% boost in just one quarter.
The Information Exchange division of Inso announced Outside In Server v2.5, a Web server plug-in that automatically creates Web pages from more than 200 file formats. The beta version is now available; the commercial release is expected to ship Feb 15. Outside In Server v2.5 introduces Cascading Style Sheet (CSS) support specifically for working with Microsoft Word documents. In addition to already supporting more than 200 file formats, v2.5 converts content from several new file formats, including Visio (preview). Version 2.5 adds support for two additional Web servers: Microsoft IIS 5.0 and Apache Server for Windows NT v1.3.6. and v1.3.9.
Morgan Stanley Dean Witter's Technology Group released its 1999 transaction highlights at its annual Software, Networking and Internet Conference in Scottsdale. Throughout the past year, MSDW announced andr completed more than 134 transactions totaling over US$122.6 billion in value. One of these was the US$1.5 billion sale of Visio to Microsoft.
Standard & Poor's replaced Visio (NASDAQ:VSIO) in the S&P SmallCap 600 Index with Actel Corp. (NASDAQ:ACTL) after the close of trading on Jan 7, since Microsoft has acquired Visio. Actel Corp. designs, develops, and markets field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and associated development system software and programming hardware.
Visio announced 15 Dec that its Visio Registered Developer Network (VRDN) reached the 10,000-member mark. VDN provides: live interactive Web broadcasts; access to tips and tricks; tools and samples; online training; discounts; and case studies. The Visio Developer Network Web site is said to receive more than 600,000 hits a month, with more than 25,000 individual user sessions.
Online Learning Network has closed its US$1.25 million initial round of financing from several investors, including Staenberg Private Capital. Staenberg's investing partners include executives from Visio, Microsoft, and others. To date, the fund has invested over US$30 million.
License Online will feature ImageX.com's Small Business Printing Center on its Web site. ImageX.com is a printing resource for U.S. businesses, such as Visio and 800 other companies.
The Business Software Alliance (BSA) commends the U.S. Attorney's Office of the District of Columbia for obtaining a conviction of a Virginia resident for unlawful distribution of software on the Internet under the No Electronic Theft (NET) Act. BSA worldwide members include Microsoft and Visio.
CSA Distribution Pte Ltd is one of the largest distribution houses in Singapore and carries products like Microsoft and Visio. CSA was started in 1992 and has offices in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.
iTango Software introduced a new generation of employee self-service Internet applications. Seattle-based companies, Visio Corporation is among the first to use iTango for this service. iTango WebDesk allows companies to automate the updating of employee profile information, enrolling in benefit plans and reviewing job performance, by helping end-users access, organize and personalize human resources (HR) information over a company's intranet.
"Speaking at the Consumer Electronics Show here, Gates outlined a new
version of Windows CE [now called Pocket PC], the company's beleaguered
operating system for handhelds, in a keynote address long on gee-whiz predictions
about the home of the future, and short on details of how Microsoft hopes
to participate in a connected world. In addition, Gates said that the next
release of the consumer-oriented Windows 98 -- code-named Millennium --
will contain Microsoft Movie Maker for video editing. Like Apple's digital
video editing software included on the higher-end iMac computers, Movie
Maker will be designed to allow users to store 23 hours of video per GB
of hard drive room."
Hewlett-Packard announced its latest line of Pavilion will be available in cobalt blue, krypton green, and xenon purple.
"The U.S. Supreme Court rejected Microsoft's appeal of a ruling that thousands of temporary and contract workers were eligible to buy discounted stock in the software giant. The justices let stand a federal appeals court ruling that greatly expanded the number of past and present workers who can participate in a class-action lawsuit against Microsoft over its lucrative employee stock purchase plan." - CNET
Microsoft this week paid an estimated US$150 million to settle Caldera's suit. Caldera had alleged that Microsoft deliberately prevented Windows v3.x from working claimed that Microsoft had tied Windows to MS-DOS to lock out DOS competitors.
AOL's takeover of Time Warner solidifies Microsoft's position as a software company, and may help cap its attempts to be a content company, according to analysts. Microsoft spokesman Tom Pilla put on a brave face: "We think this can be seen as a net positive for Microsoft because it clarifies that Microsoft is a great software and platform services company that will work with any media company that wants to put its content on the Web."
A: Sorry, I cannot help you because DLL errors are due to a fundamental
flaw in Windows. DLLs (dynamic Link libraries) were meant to make the life
of programmers easier, by allowing the use of shared code. For example,
one DLL determines the elements of the user interface. Change the DLL,
and the user interface for all Windows programs changes.
While this is convenient for programmers, it is inconvenient for the user. The fundamental drawback to DLLs is 'version control.' Here is an example: Microsoft writes a DLL, which inevitably contains bugs; application programmers figure out workarounds. Microsoft issues a new version of the DLL, which fixes the bugs (but usually introduces new bugs). The programmers' workarounds clash with the new DLL -- and crash the software or sometimes the computer.
It has been said that the #1 reason for Window crashing is due to the clash of DLL versions. The problem has become so bad that even components of Microsoft Office (Word, PowerPoint, etc) use different versions of the same DLLs!
Puzzled about Visio? Got an idea on how to make Visio work better? Send your questions and tips to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Development with Visio 2000 by David Edson
Published by Macmillan/Sams Publishing.
List price US$49.95; 700 pages, incl. CD-ROM.
For more info, or to purchase for US$39.95, click here.
The editor replies: "To sign up with VDN (Visio Developer Network),
go to webwiz.visio.com/VRDN/vrdn_app.asp.
Hopefully you will receive some attention!"
"Congratulations on your new endeavor! I considered doing hatch patterns
for Visio IntelliCAD 98 about a year ago, but never followed through with
it. I wonder if there is any market value there now with Visio 2000. I
have never used the program, and was not aware that there are three million
copies in use."
- Watson Kilbourne
The editor replies: "It is possible to create custom hatch patterns
"Thanks, Ralph, for sending this to me :-) "
- Kristina O'Connor, Marketing Specialist, Actrix
"Although I am only evaluating Visio Technical at this time, I consider
Visio to be a pacesetter and wish be informed of their progress."
- Eric Satterlee