The Round-up

A weekly mix of recent, sometimes offbeat, IT news and research. This week, Java skills are still rising in demand. And one the strange side, an electric car beats out a Ferrari in the 0-60 test.

Java Still Has It

A recent survey from Stamford, Conn.-based Gartner Group, Inc. found that Java, along with Microsoft technologies, will represent 75% of new e-business application development initiatives by 2003. According to the survey of more than 400 IT professionals, 80% report that their organizations use Java technology today. Gartner insists that unlike the hue and cry of 1995 - which was "Learn HTML" - demand for Java is derived from massive business-to-business applications that will thrive long into the next decade.

Seventy-one percent of Gartner survey respondents named a lack of qualified resources and skills as the top problems in Java adoption. Sixty-six percent say that the skills issue will still be the main concern two years from now. Sixty-nine percent are hiring Java professionals directly into their companies, and only 22% are outsourcing the job to external service providers.

IT Execs Become Strategy Makers

Chief information officers are increasingly moving from developing systems to developing strategy, a new survey shows. When asked to describe the aspect of their job that has changed the most in the last five years, CIOs cited three key areas: increased interaction with other departments (28%), more involvement in strategic planning (27%), and a greater role in the organization's bottom-line results (25%). The national poll includes responses from more than 1,400 CIOs from a stratified random sample of U.S. companies with 100 or more employees.

Loyalty Among Wireless Consumers

A recent wireless survey by The Yankee Group, based in Boston, found that wireless carriers are currently satisfying their customers, but they're not blowing them away. Seventy-five percent of respondents reported that they were "generally satisfied" with their current provider's overall level of service - but only 41% indicated that they were "very satisfied." The decision-making process behind choosing a wireless provider, and factors that users cite as promoting loyalty, are largely related to the basics of wireless service: price, coverage, and quality. Sixty-two percent of respondents cited price, and 43% cited improved coverage as one of the three things wireless providers could offer to improve loyalty.

Electric Car Out-accelerates Ferrari

AC Propulsion's t-zero out-accelerated a Ferrari F355, a new Corvette, and a Porsche Carrera 4 in a series of impromptu 1/8-mile drag races held last weekend at Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., and at Calstart's northern facility at the former Alameda Naval Air Station.

The t-zero is an electric car. It has been in development for four years, and was built to show off the company's drivetrain, which its developers say is the most efficient and powerful on the market. The gas-electric hybrid vehicle gets 60 miles per gallon.

"It's got the efficiency of a Honda Insight with the acceleration of a Ferrari 550 Maranello," said company Vice President Alec Brooks.






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