FEDWIRE

House gives IRS Y2K increase

The House Appropriations Committee's Treasury Postal Service and General Government Subcommittee last week voted to give the Internal Revenue Service $105 million next year to make its systems Year 2000-compliant. That amount is $20 million more than the IRS asked for in its budget request but less than the $325 million that the Senate approved earlier this month. The House panel said it would give the IRS $326 million for its modernization program but only when the agency produces a schedule for the work.

GSA Advantage biz jumps 200 percent

Although still a minor part of the government's overall procurement system the General Services Administration's Advantage electronic commerce system has already handled about 200 percent more dollar transactions this fiscal year than it had throughout the entire previous fiscal year.

Bill Gormley assistant commissioner for acquisition at GSA's Federal Supply Service said last week transactions totaled about $17 million through mid-July this fiscal year compared with $5.6 million for fiscal 1996. He added that users now can choose from about 270 000 items listed on the system compared with just 80 000 items last year.

NIH buys anti-virus software

The National Institutes of Health has selected Computer Associates International Inc. to provide anti-virus software to more than 500 servers and 15 000 desktops supporting NIH biomedical research.

CA will provide its InocuLan anti-virus software to NIH's Campus Network Distribution center which allows users throughout the country to download the latest versions of commercial software.

Internet Explorer 4.0 available soon

Microsoft Corp. announced last week that its next-generation browser Internet Explorer 4.0 to support Windows NT and Windows 95 will be available for download by the end of the summer.

Versions supporting Windows 3.1 and Macintosh will be available 30 to 90 days after the end-of-summer release Microsoft officials said. A version of Internet Explorer 4.0 to support Sun Microsystems Inc.'s Solaris operating system will be released before the end of 1997. Officials said the company is moving away from the "browser of the day" philosophy and that it will be at least a year after the release of Explorer 4.0 before users can expect to see an Explorer 5.0.

Dell to introduce workstation

Dell Computer Corp. today is expected to announce the company's first workstation-class product. The announcement to be staged in New York will allow Dell to compete against Compaq Computer Corp.'s Professional Workstation which Compaq unveiled last year. Dell also has gone after Compaq's server market share introducing a series of server products during the past several months.

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