Tech firms respond to deadly illness

Sun Microsystems and ATI Technologies are the latest tech companies to see their plans in Asia disrupted by fears of a deadly flulike disease.

Concerns about Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) led computer-maker Sun to cancel the Shanghai portion of a massive product launch it had scheduled for April 7, while chipmaker ATI postponed an Asian tour to show off its new line of products. These decisions come on top of steps taken by tech giants Motorola, Hewlett-Packard and Intel to shut facilities to prevent the spread of SARS.

In ATI's case, CEO K.Y. Ho and other company officials were scheduled to visit Taiwan and other Asian sites to introduce new graphics chips. But the company had already unveiled the products in Europe and North America, and health worries won out, said Paul Ayscough, ATI's head of corporate marketing. "The timing of this tour was not business critical," he said. "We decided to put the safety of the team first."

A Sun representative said that to avoid the illness, the company will put a San Francisco event at the center of its launch, which will involve new servers, software, storage systems and services.

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News source: c|net

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