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Tech Industry

The week ahead: Palm courts approval

The handheld giant will make a case for its future to software developers attending its PalmSource conference in San Jose, Calif. Plus: Cisco, Comcast and WorldCom report earnings.

Following are some of the notable tech-related events scheduled for the week of Feb. 4 through Feb. 8.

Handheld giant Palm will state the case for its future to developers this week.

The maker of devices and software will kick off its PalmSource conference in San Jose, Calif. Most people expect the company to distribute a beta, or test, version of its new operating system. The company faces competitive pressure from Microsoft on the software side and Hewlett-Packard, Sony, Compaq Computer and Handspring in the hardware market.

Earnings season continues this week with reports from telecom gear maker Cisco Systems and cable TV giant Comcast on Wednesday. Long-distance phone providers Sprint and WorldCom will announce earnings Monday and Thursday, respectively, and e-commerce Web site Priceline.com will report earnings Monday.

Wall Street will also get some economic data to chew on. Fourth-quarter productivity numbers from the Labor Department will come out Wednesday, giving analysts a read on the efficiency of the dragging U.S. economy.

The information was gathered from First Call, Hoover's Online, CCBN's StreetEvents and CNET Investor.

Other events scheduled this week:

Tech Events
Monday, Feb. 4
  • The International Solid-State Circuits Conference takes place at the Marriott Hotel in San Francisco, Feb. 4-6. The event is for engineers and focuses on developments in semiconductor technology.

  • Milia takes place at the Palais des Festivals in Cannes, France, Feb. 4-8 and will address issues surrounding the creation and delivery of interactive content over TV, broadband and wireless media. Representatives from RealNetworks, NTT DoCoMo and Intel will make keynote presentations.

  • The Digital Media Summit takes place at the Wyndham Bel Age Hotel in Los Angles, Feb. 4-5. The event will discuss changes in the delivery of media content. Keynote speakers will include Napster CEO Konrad Hilbers, RealNetworks President Larry Jacobson and Robin Richards, CEO of Vivendi Universal Net USA.

Tuesday, Feb. 5
  • PalmSource kicks off at the San Jose Convention Center in San Jose, Calif., Feb. 5-8. The event is targeted at people developing software for Palm handheld computer devices. Keynote speakers will include David Nagel, CEO of Palm's OS subsidiary, and Tom Siebel, CEO of Siebel Systems.

  • The Black Hat Windows Security Briefings and Training conference gathers at the Radisson Hotel in New Orleans, Feb. 5-8. Topics discussed at this computer and network security conference will include how to safeguard Microsoft Windows software from hackers and how to prevent security breaches on new technology like voice over IP.

  • OSS World convenes at the San Diego Convention Center, Feb. 5-7. The conference is for telecom industry professionals and will cover trends in operational support systems, the software that helps run telecom networks.

  • ITEX gets going at the Tropicana Convention Center in Las Vegas, Feb. 5-7. The event will highlight the latest in office information systems, such as copying, printing, networks, connectivity, professional services and print management.

Wednesday, Feb. 6
  • Internet software and server maker Sun Microsystems will hold an analyst conference in San Francisco, Feb. 6-8.

  • Editor & Publisher will host a conference on online media in San Jose, Calif., Feb. 6-9. Executives from Knight Ridder, the San Francisco Chronicle, CNN and NYTimes.com will speak.

  • Venturewire will hold a conference for private companies seeking more funding at the Westin Hotel in Santa Clara, Calif. Representatives from investment bank Robertson Stephens, law firm Wilson, Sonsini, Goodrich & Rosati, J.P. Morgan Partners and other venture capital firms will speak.

Earnings

Monday, Feb. 4

  • Priceline.com is a name-your-price e-commerce Web site for consumers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: zero cents.

  • Sprint provides long-distance phone service to businesses and consumers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 30 cents.

  • Sprint PCS provides wireless phone service. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 31 cents.

  • Williams Communications provides communications services to businesses and other carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 57 cents.

Tuesday, Feb. 5
  • Benchmark Electronics is an outsource manufacturer of electronic components. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 12 cents.

  • Enterasys makes switches, routers and networking equipment for telecom carriers and businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 5 cents.

  • Time Warner Telecom offers data and phone services to businesses and other carriers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 30 cents.

  • United Microelectronics is an outsource manufacturer on chips. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 2 cents.

Wednesday, Feb. 6
  • Cisco Systems makes telecom gear and networking equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the second fiscal quarter: profit of 5 cents.

  • Comcast provides cable TV and Internet service to 8.4 million subscribers. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 30 cents.

  • Electronic Data Systems is a technology consulting firm. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 79 cents.

  • Sonicblue makes consumer electronics like DVD players. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 9 cents.

Thursday, Feb. 7
  • Corvis makes optical telecom equipment. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 11 cents.

  • Genuity is an Internet and data telecom carrier. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 31 cents.

  • MCI Group, a tracking stock of WorldCom, offers long-distance phone service to consumers and small businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 16 cents.

  • ONI Systems makes optical telecom gear for urban areas. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 18 cents.

  • Vishay Intertechnology makes passive electronic components like resistors, capacitors and inductors. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: loss of 4 cents.

  • WorldCom provides Internet and long-distance phone service to large businesses. Per-share consensus estimate for the fourth quarter: profit of 14 cents.

Economic Reports

Monday, Feb. 4

  • Auto and truck sales detail the number of new cars and trucks sold in the United States as compiled by the U.S. Commerce Department. Economists estimate that January car sales will rise to 6 million from 5.2 million in the previous month, while truck sales will rise to 6.8 million from 7.8 million during the same time period.

Wednesday, Feb. 6
  • Quarterly Productivity figures from the Labor Department track the quantity of goods and services produced relative to the amount of labor and capital used in the process, and basically provide a picture of the economy's efficiency. The market expects preliminary productivity for the fourth quarter to climb to 1.9 percent from 1.1 percent in the third quarter.

Thursday, Feb. 7
  • Initial Claims refers to the number of people who filed for unemployment benefits each week as reported by the Department of Labor. Claims will be reported for the week ended Feb. 2.

  • The Consumer Credit report by the Federal Reserve shows the monthly debt assumed by consumers for purposes other than home mortgages. December debt is expected to fall to $7.7 billion from $19.9 billion in November.

Friday, Feb. 8
  • Wholesale Inventories represents the percentage change in the amount of goods in wholesale inventories in the United States. No estimates were available for December, but inventories fell 1.1 percent in November from October.