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IT Channel News Briefs, Sept. 23

Today's headlines: Unisys CEO resigns; Microsoft has bad timing; funding for green technology startups climbs.

Information technology (IT) channel news in brief for Tuesday, Sept. 23, 2008.

Unisys Corp. CEO steps down amid financial troubles

Unisys Corp. announced Tuesday morning that president and CEO Joseph W. McGrath will resign at the end of the year, in a move that the company is hoping will work toward addressing existing financial woes. The company said that the board of directors and McGrath agreed that a change of leadership would best enable Unisys to "move forward on accelerating execution of the company's strategy." Unisys posted losses in the first and second quarters. Monday morning, Unisys shares were trading at $3.21, not far above the 52-week low of $2.85. The 52-week high was $7.90. McGrath will continue to lead operations of the company until a successor is found.

Great timing: Microsoft launches HPC on Wall Street

Microsoft can't catch a break lately. Its new ad campaign(s) underwhelmed. And the company on Monday announced the near-availability of Windows HPC (high-performance computing) Server 2008 on Wall Street during the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. The real news was that the software successor to Windows Compute Cluster 2003 was released to manufacturing.

Microsoft said in a release that the software "allows Wall Street firms to deploy quickly, leverage existing resources and scale from workstation to cluster -- all in a familiar Windows environment."

According to Bill Laing, corporate VP of the Windows Server and solutions division, in a statement, "Companies have to be more efficient than ever with IT resources, but need to maintain their position in a competitive marketplace." No kidding.

This software, which adds integration with Visual Studio 2008, is downloadable now as a test version. It will list for $475 per node, Microsoft said. (However Microsoft also said in the documentation that full pricing information will be posted Nov. 1.)

Funding for green tech grows despite economy

Never mind the investment bubble. Two-thirds of venture capitalists polled by KPMG said funding for startups producing green technology will increase in 2009, The New York Times reported Tuesday. About half of those polled said funding could increase 20% or more over 2008. One venture firm, Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers, raised $500 million for its Green Growth Fund. Thin-film solar companies alone raised more than $800 million this summer. The survey found that only 10% of respondents expected that solar technology would receive the most funding over the next two years. More thought that energy storage technologies, like fuel cells and batteries, or clean coal and wind startups would attract the most cash.

SecureLogix upgrades VoIP security tools

SecureLogix unveiled a suite of Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) security assessment tools that are available for download on the company's website. The tools can be used to assess a wide variety of threats, including Denial of Service (DoS), eavesdropping, audio insertion or deletion and disrupted calls. Earlier versions of some of these tools were released along with the publication of the book Hacking Exposed: VoIP. SecureLogix said the new tools are both advanced and simpler to use.

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