Industry Watch

IRS stays with Beyond.com

The Internal Revenue Service has renewed a $15 million contract with

Beyond.com to provide electronic delivery and maintenance of Microsoft Corp.

software to 130,000 desktops this year. The service allows the IRS to distribute

office product software digitally, a faster and less expensive process than

individually loading software on many computers, said Steven Cooker, Beyond.com's

vice president of sales. Some agencies download the software directly from

Beyond.com, but for security reasons, the IRS "takes our technology in-house,

behind their firewall, and distributes it internally," he said.

Intel workers get free PCs

Intel Corp. last week announced it would give all its employees PCs,

Internet access and services at no charge. By year's end, more than 70,000

Intel employees will receive Pentium III processor-based machines, unlimited

Internet access and other computer products, including printers, monitors

and software packages. Intel also will periodically refresh employees' hardware

and software. The goal is to create more tech-savvy workers and encourage

families to take advantage of the Internet Age, an Intel spokesman said.

Postal Service streamlining

To streamline delivery services and increase efficiency, the U.S. Postal

Service will install scanning units at 21 bulk mail centers by 2003. Under

a $73.4 million contract with Lockheed Martin Federal Systems Inc., two

singulator scan induction units will be installed in each of the centers.

The SSIUs will eliminate the need to manually position packages in front

of bar-code scanners. About 97 percent of USPS packages have bar codes to

help identify deliveries. The SSIUs are expected to cut labor costs by more

than $24 million annually after they are fully implemented.

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