|Unlike the PC world where value is often measured solely in terms of speeds and feeds, workstations today are evaluated on a variety of qualities, including reliability, security, compatibility, flexibility, and performance. Moreover, because professional users buy workstations for specific tasks, they pay close attention to certification from software vendors and often buy systems and software together.
Reflecting this demand and improving economic conditions, workstation revenues should be significantly improved during the next three years, as shown in the accompanying chart. As IT budgets loosen, we expect a relatively high replacement cycle, while users—after having their expenditures cut or postponed—play catch up with technology advancements such as 64-bit computing. —By Kathleen Maher, senior analyst, Jon Peddie Research
Comcast (Philadelphia) and Exent Technologies (Bethesda, MD) have launched the first games-on-demand service. Available on Comcast.net and powered by Exent's digital delivery service, the service provides subscribers unlimited access to more than 60 games across a wide range of genres. Comcast provides parental controls and plans to add new titles each month. Vicon Motion Systems (Oxford, UK) has announced its acquisition of House of Moves, a motion-capture studio based in Los Angeles. House of Moves also is expanding to a new production facility. The 12,000 square-foot studio will house a full-body performance stage equipped with a 30-camera Vicon system, a 24-camera rehearsal insert stage, and a facial capture stage. Accel-KKR (Menlo Park, CA) has completed its acquisition of Alias (Toronto, Canada) from Silicon Graphics Inc. (SGI; Mountain View, CA) for $57.5 million. The University of Central Florida (Orlando, FL), with the help of Electronic Arts (Redwood City, CA), anticipates opening The Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy in the fall of 2005 as part of its School of Film and Digital Media. Bobby "Boom" Beck, Shawn Kelly, and Carlos Baena, animators working for major studios in the feature-film industry, will launch AnimationMentor.com, a new online animation school, this fall.