Piracy, And Those Classic Formats

patcfA recent report from Microsoft’s Southern California office estimates statewide casualties of software piracy at 18,900 jobs and $2.5 billion in combined lost wages, tax revenues, and retail sales for 1997. The report distributed by Microsoft and Rioworks to demonstrate the financial impact of the state’s 21.8 percent piracy rate, is based on data from a 1997 international piracy published by the Business Software Alliance and the Software Publisher’s Association. The Microsoft report also includes additional information on and analysis of piracy in California, as well a listing of telltale signs of pirated products to help would-be purchasers discern between illegitimate copies of Microsoft software and the genuine article.

Non-U.S. Telecommunications Tally To Total $38.7 Billion By 2002

According to a new Business Communications Company, Inc. study, telecommunications is taking the second and third worlds by storm, as developing countries increasingly seek to upgrade their telecommunications infrastructure to draw more manufacturing interests to their national economies. The study, titled “RG-148BR Non-U.S. Worldwide Markets: Eastern Europe, Middle East, and Africa,” reports that the global market for telecommunications equipment totaled $253.1 billion in 1997. The report attributes 11 percent of the total–$27.7 billion–Eastern European, the Middle Eastern, and African markets, and predicts that figure will rise to $38.7 billion by 2002, increasing at an annual rate of 7 percent. The study cites expectations of particularly significant growth in Middle Eastern and African companies as well as Russia, Hungary, and Austria; a statistical anomaly in its region, however, is the Czech Republic, for which the study forecasts 0 percent growth over the next half decade.

Long Live the King?

CD-ROM is still king, but it won’t keep its crown for long according to a recent DISK/TREND report. Across the broad spectrum of optical disc drives, CD-ROM still leads the pack by a substantial margin, racking up 83 million shipping units in 1998. But DISK/TREND sees changes on the horizon, predicting that DVD-ROM will claim the largest share of the 144 million optical drives expected to ship in 2001. The research house forecasts DVD-ROM shipments totaling 79.7 million on 2001, passing shipments of CD-ROM drives in that year, which will number 46.1 million. DISK/TREND also reports a passing of the mantel in the writable CD realm; CD-RW drives combining both CD-R and CD-RW capability claimed over 90 percent of 1998’s 4.8 million shipping-unit writable CD market, with only 10 percent going to previously dominant write-once-only CD-R drives. With multiple contenders in the writable/rewritable DVD game still confusing the market, DISK/TREND predicts sales of those drives (no matter which format prevails) not showing rapid growth until 2000, when shipments will rise to level comparable to CD-RW drives. Paralleling the ascent of rewritable DVD drives will be the decline of MO drives, which DISK/TREND says will peak with 1.9 million units shipped in 2000 and decrease markedly thereafter as rewritable models of similar capacity that offer compatibility with the massive DVD-ROM installed base subsume the high-density rewritable storage market.

DVD Demographics Bridge Generation Gap

According to a recent survey of conducted by the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), when it comes to DVD, parents do understand: among various demographic groups consulted, Baby Boomers and their Generation X offspring are equally likely to consider buying DVD players. Survey results indicate that approximately 9 million house-holds are at least somewhat likely to purchase a DVD players between now and fourth quarter 1999: adjusting that figure for a best-guess intent-to-purchase/purchase ratio. CEMA estimates 2 million players will sell in the next year. However, the survey also reveals that–based on the 1,000 households surveyed–an estimated 59 million U.S. household remain unaware of DVD technology.

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