Build Oracle apps for free and other major announcements in this week's tech news briefs

Short takes from this week's technology news

Short takes from this week's technology news

Users can build Oracle applications for free

Users will be able to build applications that embed Oracle's flagship 10g database for free with a cut-down version - Oracle Database 10g Express Edition. Launched this month, the starter version of the database will allow application developers, database administrators and students to develop and deploy their applications.

Cause of performance problems proves elusive

IT directors have admitted that isolating the source of performance problems is a major issue. According to a study of 202 senior IT decision-makers conducted by Forrester Consulting for Compuware, 94% of respondents said they involve more than one person in problem resolution, and 38% involve more than six people.

Handheld computer use is on the increase

Use of handheld computers is on the increase. £3.45m worth of PDAs were sold globally in the third quarter of 2005 - a 20.7% increase from the same period last year, according to analyst firm Gartner. Users are expected to have bought 15 million PDAs by the end of 2005, surpassing the record 13.2 million units in 2001.

Support for Exchange Server almost at an end

There are now less than two months until support ends for Exchange Server 5.5. After eight years of industry availability, 31 December 2005 is the last day for Microsoft Extended Lifecycle support for Exchange 5.5.

MessageLabs to buy IM provider Omnipod

MessageLabs is buying instant messaging service provider Omnipod, which could allow it to deliver a single managed communications service for corporate users. The acquisition will build on the company's existing e-mail security service. Ovum principal analyst Graham Titterington said he expected MessageLabs to eventually add secure voice over IP services and mobile messaging systems to its portfolio of security services.

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