Computer News - In Brief


- Software giants SAP and Microsoft have announced their first joint development project. They are collaborating on software dubbed Mendocino, which will let users access business information housed in SAP's back-end systems by using Microsoft's familiar word processing and spreadsheet software. The collaboration stems from a potential takeover of SAP by Microsoft last year, which was abandoned because of inevitable protests from the competition authorities. Mendocino should arrive by the end of the year as the one solid legacy of those talks.

- For the first time in the East African region, an electronic education guide will soon be launched to capture an increasing e-audience. The interactive CD-ROM formatted guide will go hand in hand with a 600-page hard copy education guide covering private learning institutions in East Africa.

The CD-ROM (Compact Disc Read-Only Memory)) is a compact disk that is used with a computer and can store a large amount of digital information. According to a city based educationist, this type of guide has been lacking with parents and students depending on second hand information which in most cases is not accurate. "The guide traces an institution from its roots, its development, awards it has achieved, development programmes and its insight into the future, and moulds this into a comprehensive package," says Steve Nyagaka, business development manager with Stan Images. "In distribution we plan to employ a dualistic strategy. We plan to distribute some 30,000 copies, eighty five per cent of them free of charge to embassies, non-governmental organisations, national libraries, universities throughout the regions and other education related avenues. The remaining 15 per cent will be distributed through commercial outlets including leading bookshops and supermarkets in the region.