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After a year of taking actions to restore the company’s financial strength and improve performance, Xerox Corp. recently reported a return to operational profitability. The company announced 2001 fourth-quarter earnings of US15 cents per share.

Xerox’s year-end employment was 78,900, down 13,600 from the end of 2000. For the year, Xerox reported a 2001 net loss of US43 cents per share or US$293 million. Revenues in 2001 were US$16.5 billion, compared with US$18.7 billion in 2000.

Microsoft Canada’s new community program

Frank Clegg, president of Microsoft Canada recently announced “I Can” – a corporate giving program designed to help empower Canadian children, youth and their families through technology, learning and community. This initiative expands upon and consolidates previous charitable programs at Microsoft Canada, creating one strategic, comprehensive community giving program.

A key component to the community program involves partnering with national charities that share Microsoft Canada’s commitment to enhancing the lives of young Canadians and their families. These include the Boys and Girls Clubs of Canada, the Canadian National Institute for the Blind and Ability Online.

Study says Canada and Toronto tops for business

According to a GTMA and City of Toronto-sponsored study released by KPMG, Canada remains the most attractive industrialized country in which to do business and the Toronto area ranks tops among its international competition.

The survey looked at nine industrialized nations in which to do business. The 10-month study looked at 12 business operations, such as high-tech and manufacturing. Canada finished first in seven of the 12 categories. When the Toronto area was compared to 86 cities internationally, it finished in the top third. But compared to cities in the U.S. north east, such as Philadelphia, Boston and New York, Toronto finished at the top.

CIOs Report on fastest-growing IT jobs

Internet/intranet development tops the list of skills most in demand by Canada’s CIOs. In the semi-annual RHI Consulting Hot Jobs Report, 20 per cent of IT executives said Web development is the fastest-growing job speciality within their departments. Networking was identified as the second most sought-after area of expertise, receiving 15 per cent of the response. Help desk/end-user support ranked third with 14 per cent.

The Hot Jobs Report tracks job growth in information technology through a survey of more than 270 CIOs across the country. The study polled CIOs from a stratified random sample of Canadian companies with 100 or more employees.

Adobe to Acquire Accelio

Adobe Systems Inc. recently announced it has agreed to acquire publicly-held Accelio Corp. of Ottawa. Accelio is a provider of Web-enabled solutions which help customers manage business processes driven by electronic forms. The acquisition of Accelio enhances Adobe’s ability to quickly broaden its e-Paper solution business by combining Accelio’s electronic forms solutions with Adobe Acrobat and Adobe PDF technologies.

Under the terms of the agreement, Adobe common stock valued at US$72 million will be exchanged for all Accelio equity securities. This translates into approximately US$4.50 per Accelio share. The transaction is expected to close in late March 2002.

Security holes found in Oracle software

Despite the vendor’s claims, Oracle Corp.’s Oracle9 i database is breakable, a U.K. security firm reported recently. Several security flaws were discovered in the company’s software, including one that could allow a hacker to gain access to Oracle’s database server without a user ID or password. It affects Oracle9 i and Oracle8 i database servers running on all operating systems, according to the security advisory.

The flaws were discovered by a security expert from Next Generation Security Software Ltd., based in Sutton, U.K. Oracle said that it was first informed about the flaws in December and has already made available patches and workarounds. “No Oracle customers have reported issues stemming from these bugs,” the company said in a statement.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada

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