file-sHARING

Recording Industry Files More Lawsuits

The Recording Industry Association of America filed lawsuits against 754 people for distributing copyrighted music on the Internet. The organization said it filed the cases in federal courts across the United States and that 40 of the targeted individuals used networks at academic institutions to illegally share music files.

EXECUTIVES

Hewlett-Packard Software Chief Resigns

Hewlett-Packard said the head of its software business is resigning after five years on the job. Nora Denzel will work through Dec. 9, Hewlett-Packard spokeswoman Stacey Hoskin said. Denzel is leaving for "personal reasons" and will be replaced on a temporary basis by Todd DeLaughter, Hoskin said.

Denzel's departure comes after at least three straight years of losses at the software unit. Software accounted for 1.2 percent of total sales last year.

COURTS

Judge Praises Microsoft's Pace

Microsoft is moving more quickly to develop tools competitors can use to create software that runs smoothly on the Windows operating system, said U.S. District Judge Colleen Kollar-Kotelly, who is overseeing the 2001 antitrust settlement. "I'm pleased at the renewed vigor" Microsoft has shown, she said. Microsoft was found liable for illegally protecting its near-monopoly on personal computer operating systems.

Microsoft said last month that the "Troika" project, designed to ensure that competitors' programs can run on Windows without glitches, won't be ready until October, nine months behind schedule. Now, the company says that by splitting the project into two parts, testing can start as early as February.

Samsung Pleads Guilty in Price-Fixing Case

Samsung Electronics, the world's largest maker of memory chips, pleaded guilty to a charge it participated in a price-fixing scheme that damaged competitors and increased computer prices. In accordance with an October plea deal with federal prosecutors, U.S. District Judge Phyllis J. Hamilton ordered the Korean company and its U.S. subsidiary, Samsung Semiconductor, to pay a $300 million fine.

The hearing was the culmination of a three-year investigation that has netted guilty pleas from three chipmakers.

HARDWARE

Dell Selling PCs at Costco

Dell, which became the world's biggest personal computer maker by selling direct to customers, is selling some PCs through Costco stores. The warehouse-club retailer received a one-time allotment of Dell desktop and notebook PCs about a month ago to sell on its Web sites and in its stores.

Compiled from staff and news service reports.