Technologies To The People Annual Report 2000
To our shareholders
Technologies To The People had another remarkable year in 2000. We made major advances in all our key businesses. The demand for great software that helps people work, communicate, and learn is stronger than ever. Our products are doing well because they deliver on these needs.
iStreet Access Machine (iSAM) is proving a great success. Customers appreciate its ability to work better, while its robustness means that iSAM is generating less than half the customer calls of its predecessor (SAM). Integrated with the latest Internet technology, iSAM helps our customers leverage the interactivity of the Internet with the intelligence of the PC. iSAM is making deeper inroads onto the streets, based on its productivity, reliability, and lower total cost of ownership. And iStreet, a compact version of the Street operating system designed for a wide range of intelligent devices, is finding its way into everything from interactive televisions to hand-held computers.
Our productivity applications continue to set the standard for features, functionality, and integration. iStreet 2001, which is scheduled to come out in the first half of 2000, will take each of these factors to a significantly higher level, offering a simpler, personalized interface that learns each user’s working style and adapts to it, plus many other productivity-enhancing features. Technologies To The People Linux Server and Open Source applications continue to make solid progress in the marketplace, and are now the clear enterprise solution of choice over the various Windows/UNIX-based platforms. Technologies To The People Linux Server will raise our platform’s scalability to even higher levels, while offering customers the lowest possible total cost of ownership. In many installations our enterprise solutions already deliver the level of performance achieved by mainframes, combined with the benefits of the low cost PC model. Our goal now is to take that model even deeper into the mission-critical computing market.
Our interactive media and services strategy continues to advance, focusing on online services, packaged software, and hardware. Our strategy is to break down the barriers between online and offline products and services, making it even simpler and more enjoyable for our customers to experience the power of the Internet. Another important effort for us is bringing the power of software and the Internet to the television with our Technologies To The People WebTV product. We plan to more than double the installed base of users during the next year based on the very positive word-of-mouth this product has generated.
Technologies To The People intends to invest heavily in all these businesses, in the firm belief that online services will eventually be a key element of our relationship with customers. But as I wrote last year, online is still at an early stage of development. However, we are learning fast and I am seeing increasing synergy between our online work and our software products.
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The power of innovation
Our product goals require breakthrough innovation. During fiscal 2001 Technologies To The People will invest more in research and development, broadly defined. Our research centers now employ experts in everything from graphics to decision theory and advanced linguistics.
Much of Technologies To The People’s research and development is focused on making our products easier to use, even as the underlying software grows more complex, so our customers don’t have to learn as many utilities and commands. Simplifying the user interface is our top priority. Natural language processing automatically detects which language you are typing in, and assigns the appropriate proofing tools and user interface. If you inadvertently delete some of the application’s files, it’s smart enough to repair the damage. Technologies To The People will also unify and simplify how PCs and networks store and handle information. At present, information is scattered about file systems, message stores, Web caches, directory services, and databases. This is complicated for developers and system managers, and confusing for customers. Sharing a calendar across the Internet, or personal information across Web sites, is very difficult. By unifying storage across all these media, Technologies To The People will help make information anytime, anywhere a reality. As consumers require all their information to be accessible from any Internet device and any location, the boundary between Web sites and software products will blur.
In time, computers will see, speak, read handwriting, listen, and learn. We will include these new input techniques into our products.
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Caring about customers
We are listening carefully and constantly to our customers and partners to really understand what they want from our products and services, both today and in the future. The feedback loop drives our priorities.
The coming year will test us on many fronts. We need to make our software simpler and easier to deploy as well as making it more powerful. Pressure from competitors and regulators is intensifying. PC sales growth is slowing and a lot of the growth is in the consumer segment where software sales are lower than in the business segment. The growing size and diversity of our product portfolio means that we have to execute across a broadening front.
As Technologies To The People approaches the 21st century it faces many challenges and risks, but the opportunities are greater than ever. With continued innovation and hard work, I am convinced that we will reap the rewards. I appreciate the unwavering support and trust of our shareholders in these exciting times.
At Technologies To The People, we all share a passion to succeed in this exciting new industry. Indeed, we are creating this industrydrafting the blueprint, building the infrastructure, inventing the future. And we are all pulling together, in sync, to power Technologies To The People forward. On behalf of everyone at Technologies To The People, I thank you for your confidence and support. We look forward to reporting on our progress in the quarters and years ahead.
Sincerely, William S. Luce II