Small Business News Briefs

By internetnews.com Staff | Posted February 20, 2003

ACCPAC Ships New Pro Series 7.1
ACCPAC, a subsidiary of Computer Associates, released version 7.1 of its ACCPAC Pro Series this week. The updated accounting system includes a series of functional enhancements presented in a new, modular design to make it more cost-effective for small and mid-size businesses (SMBs) to closely match their business management solution with their computing needs.

The ACCPAC Pro Series Small Business Edition has been upgraded to support Microsoft's and Visual FoxPro databases. Several functions within Pro Series have also been packaged as independent modules, including Message Master, Pro Alert and Direct Deposit for Payroll.

Formerly an all-in-one software bundle, the Pro Series Small Business Edition can now be selected as individual modules, enabling SMBs to more precisely tailor systems to their specific requirements. Options include System Manager, General Ledger, Accounts Receivable, Accounts Payable, Inventory Control, Order Entry, Purchase Orders and Payroll applications.

The ACCPAC Pro Series Small Business Edition individual modules start at $795 per module and comes with the option of adding user licenses to single units.

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SOHO 802.11 Adoption Drives Worldwide Market
According to a recent study from Dell'Oro Group, the 802.11-based wireless local area network (WLAN) market grew three percent in the fourth quarter of 2002 tallying up more than $419 million in sales.

While seasonal sales surges typically experienced in the fourth quarter failed to materialize for the enterprise market last year, the small office and home office (SOHO) market continued to exhibit a strong affinity for 802.11-based wireless systems. Fourth quarter 2002 enterprise-class sales fell six percent while SOHO sales grew 13 percent.

The growth in SOHO sales was driven by aggressive price decreases and seasonal promotions in conjunction with robust growth in broadband connectivity — there were a record 7 million digital dubscriber line (DSL) and cable modem subscribers added during the final three months of last year.

Linksys reported 30 percent growth over third quarter sales, making it the most popular brand among SOHO users. Buffalo Technologies reported 17 percent growth during the same time frame. Meanwhile, Cisco and D-Link reported only two percent growth while NETGEAR reported a six percent increase over third quarter sales.

The market for 802.11 wireless systems will remain a hotspot of activity through 2003 as more and more small offices opt for wireless solutions as a cost-effective means to extend their business networking needs.

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Apple Is Sweet on Newest Jaguar
After some slight delays, Apple Computer released its latest upgrade to its Mac OS X 10.2 platform, also known as "Jaguar."

The update has advanced versions of its Address Book, Finder, FireWire, Graphics, OpenGL, and Sherlock search tool. It includes AppleTalk Filing Protocol (AFP) and Windows file service improvements, as well as audio, disc recording, graphics, and printing improvements.

The newest Jaguar also offers improved classic compatibility, something developers and Old School Mac users have been debating ever since Apple decided to abandon its support of new Mac OS 9 programs.

The incremental upgrades are important to CEO Steve Job's promise of attracting between 9 and 10 million active users by the end of this year. Currently, Apple says boasts 5 million active users and upwards of 5,000 native Mac OS X applications.

The Cupertino, Calif.-based computer maker is actually making two versions of the release available:

  • Mac OS X 10.2.4 Update updates Mac OS X 10.2.3 to the new version.

  • Mac OS X 10.2.4 "Combo" updates Mac OS X 10.2, 10.2.1, 10.2.2, or 10.2.3 to version 10.2.4.

Some of the networking advancements allow for use of a hardware Ethernet address with the ifconfig command in Terminal. The upgrade also improves results when copying large files (4 GB or larger) to a Windows File Sharing server. The new Jaguar includes sendmail version 8.12.6.

Version 10.2.4 also addresses an issue in which the Web browser selection could unexpectedly change to a different browser after updating your browser of choice. And patches potential kernel panic situations when receiving a phone call on the same line that connects a DSL modem to the Internet.

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