International Briefs

Survey: Europeans Choose Explorer Over Navigator

A survey conducted by INTECO Corporation indicates that Microsoft’s Internet Explorer may have overtaken Netscape’s Navigator as the browser of choice in Europe.

The research shows that in France, Germany, and Britain more people are using Internet Explorer than Navigator. Sixty percent of users in France and 54 percent in Germany use Explorer, as opposed to 46 percent and 51 percent back in April of 1997.

Tom Bachman, President of INTECO, an interactive technology market researcher, attributed the change to the increasing penetration of Windows NT and 95, and improvements made to the Explorer browser.

(BoardWatch Magazine; April 1998)

Australian Company Develops 128-Bit Encryption for Netscape Browser

An Australian software development group has banded together to produce the
first version of a Netscape Web browser outside the U.S. with
commercial-strength security for Internet e-commerce.

The Mozilla Crypto Group (MCG) consists of nine Australian developers, including Open Software Associates (OSA) in Melbourne, Distributed Systems Technology Centre at the University of Queensland, and three developers from Britain.

“Given that 128-bit encryption is freely available in the U.S., our perception is that an increase from 40-bit encryption to 128-bit can only be to the advantage of e-commerce in Australia,” said Robert Kirby, general manager of electronic financial services products at Telstra.

(Australian Financial Review; April 7, 1998)

Online Shopping Available on Numerous European Web Sites

In Europe, smaller single-product sites–such as Fromages, which sells French cheese, or
Spr ngli, which specializes in Swiss
chocolate–are competing with retailers and online catalogue stores like
Britain-based Shoppers Universe
and Germany’s MyWorld.

Swiss store Le Shop is the first
nationwide online store of its kind to open in Europe. It guarantees
overnight home delivery anywhere in the country, thanks to the fact that the logistics for the entire distribution are handled by the Swiss Post Office, which is a partner in the venture.

(New York Times; April 7, 1998)

Web Site to Promote Business Deals Between Asia and Europe

An online information resource designed to help enterprises in Asia and Europe develop business prospects was recently launched at the 3rd
Asia-Europe Business Forum in London.

A Singapore initiative, AsemConnect links national online business directories and other Internet-based business information services, and is billed as “a meeting place on the Internet for businesses in Asia and Europe.”

Ng Kee Choe, DBS Bank chairman and leader of the Singapore delegation to the business forum, said the first two Asia-Europe Business Forums had raised the issue that small- and medium-sized enterprises often lack easily accessible and reliable information about business opportunities and partners. AsemConnect links national business directories such as Singapore’s SingaporeConnect.

(Singapore Business Times; April 4, 1998)

Singapore Targets Broadband Internet Services for the U.S. Market

The contents of Singapore ONE, the national multimedia network, will reach the U.S. market through cable ISP @Home Network.

About a dozen Singapore ONE services, ranging from an Asian cooking class to educational courses, will go online in the U.S. in June, reaching some 55,000 @Home subscribers–a bigger audience than the domestic Singapore market of 10,000 users.

(Singapore Business Times; April 3, 1998)

British Food Retailer TESCO Harnesses GE Extranet Services

Tesco, one of Britain’s leading food retailers with 588 branches and an estimated 15 percent market share, has been working with General Electric Information Services (GEIS) to develop an Extranet initiative.

The project is designed to test the ability of both the retailer and its suppliers to provide more effective in-store promotions to customers.

The system is operated from GE’s Supercentre based in Amstelveen in Holland.

(Financial Times, Britain; April 2, 1998)

India’s Department of Electronics Draws Up Plans to Popularise Internet

India’s Department of Electronics (DoE) has drawn up ambitious plans to popularise the Internet via Internet backbones and local language Web sites.

The Indian-language Web sites will largely be business, education and entertainment oriented. A high-speed backbone will be developed, along with various hubs for servers.

The project, to be implemented by ERNET (Education and Research Network), will draw funds from the budget of the Science and Technology ministry. ERNET will also team up with Web site developers, entertainment agencies, ISPs, and hardware providers.

(Business Standard; April 2, 1998)

Internet Challenges Definition, Enforcement of Copyright

“The Internet has always had a culture of free use and it is hard to change that and make people respect copyright,” said Liam McNeive, proprietor of a British law firm that specialises in information technology.

The World Intellectual Property Organisation reached agreement in December 1996 that copyright should extend to electronic networks.

Powerful content providers–especially those in the U.S. music industry–think that ISPs should have to take such protection responsibilities.

Britain’s law on copyright has twice been amended to cope with computerised information, and most other European countries have also come in line with the requirements of the European Commission directive on the subject.

(Financial Times, Britain; April 1, 1998)

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