This Y2 K Bug Is Already Loose

Fear alone is leading companies to cut back on orders

The millennium is eight months away, but the dreaded Year 2000 computer bug is already biting--in an unexpected way. From telecom-equipment giant Lucent Technologies to software makers PeopleSoft and Network Associates, technology companies are seeing the first signs of a Y2K slowdown: Customers who are trying to bugproof their networks in time for Jan. 1, 2000, are scaling back orders for new equipment. Of 1,145 North American companies surveyed by International Data Corp. in March, 38% said they have already slowed tech spending, "and we don't know by how much," says IDC Research Director Tom Oleson.

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