Panasonic Corporation known as Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd. is a Japanese multinational electronics corporation headquartered in Kadoma, Japan. The company was founded in 1918 as a producer of lightbulb sockets and has grown to become one of the largest Japanese electronics producers alongside Sony, Toshiba and Canon Inc. In addition to electronics, it offers non-electronic products and services such as home renovation services. Panasonic is the world's fourth-largest television manufacturer by 2012 market share. Panasonic has a primary listing on the Tokyo Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the Nikkei 225 and TOPIX indices, it has a secondary listing on the Nagoya Stock Exchange. From 1935 to October 1, 2008, the company name was "Matsushita Electric Industrial Co. Ltd." On January 10, 2008, the company announced that it would change its name to "Panasonic Corporation", in effect on October 1, 2008, to conform with its global brand name "Panasonic". The name change was approved at a shareholders' meeting on June 26, 2008 after consultation with the Matsushita family.
Panasonic was founded in 1918 by Kōnosuke Matsushita as a vendor of duplex lamp sockets. In the 1920's Matsushita began launching products. In 1927, he produced a line of bicycle lamps that were the first to be marketed with the "National" brand name. During World War II the company operated factories in Japan and other parts of Asia which produced electrical components and appliances such as light fixtures, electric irons, wireless equipment and its first vacuum tubes. After the war, Panasonic regrouped as a Keiretsu and began to supply the post-war boom in Japan with radios and appliances, as well as bicycles. Matsushita's brother-in-law, Toshio Iue, founded Sanyo as a subcontractor for components after World War II. Sanyo grew to become a competitor to Panasonic, but was acquired by Panasonic in December 2009. In 1961, Matsushita met American dealers; the company began producing television sets for the U. S. market under the Panasonic brand name, expanded the use of the brand to Europe in 1979.
The company used the National brand outside North America from the 1950s to the 1970s. The inability to use the National brand name led to the creation of the Panasonic brand in the United States. Over the next several decades Panasonic released additional products, including black and white TV's, electrical blenders, rice cookers, color TV's and microwave ovens; the company debuted a hi-fidelity audio speaker in Japan in 1965 with the brand Technics. This line of high quality stereo components became worldwide favorites, the most famous products being its turntables, such as the SL-1200 record player, known for its high performance and durability. Throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, Panasonic continued to produce high-quality specialized electronics for niche markets such as shortwave radios, developed its successful line of stereo receivers, CD players and other components. In 1973, Matsushita established "Anam National", joint venture with Anam Group in South Korea. In 1983, Matsushita launched the Panasonic Senior Partner, the first IBM PC compatible Japanese-made computer.
In November 1990, Matsushita agreed to acquire the American media company MCA Inc. for US$6.59 billion. Matsushita subsequently sold 80% of MCA to Seagram Company for US$7 billion in April 1995. In 1998, Matsushita sold Anam National to Anam Electronics. On May 2, 2002, Panasonic Canada marked its 35th anniversary in that country by giving $5 million to help build a "music city" on Toronto's waterfront. On January 19, 2006, Panasonic announced that it would stop producing analog televisions from the next month, in order to concentrate on digital televisions. In 2008, all models of electric shavers from the Panasonic factory were called Panasonic shavers, they dropped Matsushita and National from their name, regardless of worldwide or Japanese markets. On November 3, 2008, Panasonic and Sanyo announced that they were holding merger talks, which resulted in the acquisition of Sanyo by Panasonic; the merger was completed in December 2009, resulted in a corporation with revenues of over ¥11.2 trillion.
With the announcement that Pioneer would exit the production of its Kuro plasma HDTV displays, Panasonic purchased many of the patents and incorporated these technologies into its own plasma displays. In April 2011, it was announced that Panasonic would cut its work force by 40,000 by the end of fiscal 2012 in a bid to streamline overlapping operations; the curtailment is about 10 percent of its group work force. In October 2011, Panasonic announced that it would trim its money-losing TV business by ceasing production of Plasma TVs at its plant in Amagasaki, Hyogo Prefecture by March 2012, cutting 1,000 jobs in the process. In January 2012, Panasonic announced that it had struck a deal with Myspace on its new venture, Myspace TV. Myspace TV will allow users to watch live television while chatting with other users on a laptop, tablet or the television itself. With the partnership, Myspace TV will be integrated into Panasonic Viera televisions. On May 11, 2012, Panasonic announced plans to acquire a 76.2% stake in FirePro Systems, an India-based company in infrastructure protection and security solutions such as fire alarm, fire suppression, video surveillance and building management.
In line with company prediction of a net loss of 765 billion yen, on November 5, 2012, the shares fell to the lowest level since February 1975 to 388 yen. In 2012, the sh
Microsoft Corporation is an American multinational technology company with headquarters in Redmond, Washington. It develops, licenses and sells computer software, consumer electronics, personal computers, related services, its best known software products are the Microsoft Windows line of operating systems, the Microsoft Office suite, the Internet Explorer and Edge web browsers. Its flagship hardware products are the Xbox video game consoles and the Microsoft Surface lineup of touchscreen personal computers; as of 2016, it is the world's largest software maker by revenue, one of the world's most valuable companies. The word "Microsoft" is a portmanteau of "microcomputer" and "software". Microsoft is ranked No. 30 in the 2018 Fortune 500 rankings of the largest United States corporations by total revenue. Microsoft was founded by Bill Gates and Paul Allen on April 4, 1975, to develop and sell BASIC interpreters for the Altair 8800, it rose to dominate the personal computer operating system market with MS-DOS in the mid-1980s, followed by Microsoft Windows.
The company's 1986 initial public offering, subsequent rise in its share price, created three billionaires and an estimated 12,000 millionaires among Microsoft employees. Since the 1990s, it has diversified from the operating system market and has made a number of corporate acquisitions, their largest being the acquisition of LinkedIn for $26.2 billion in December 2016, followed by their acquisition of Skype Technologies for $8.5 billion in May 2011. As of 2015, Microsoft is market-dominant in the IBM PC-compatible operating system market and the office software suite market, although it has lost the majority of the overall operating system market to Android; the company produces a wide range of other consumer and enterprise software for desktops and servers, including Internet search, the digital services market, mixed reality, cloud computing and software development. Steve Ballmer replaced Gates as CEO in 2000, envisioned a "devices and services" strategy; this began with the acquisition of Danger Inc. in 2008, entering the personal computer production market for the first time in June 2012 with the launch of the Microsoft Surface line of tablet computers.
Since Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, the company has scaled back on hardware and has instead focused on cloud computing, a move that helped the company's shares reach its highest value since December 1999. In 2018, Microsoft surpassed Apple as the most valuable publicly traded company in the world after being dethroned by the tech giant in 2010. Childhood friends Bill Gates and Paul Allen sought to make a business utilizing their shared skills in computer programming. In 1972 they founded their first company, named Traf-O-Data, which sold a rudimentary computer to track and analyze automobile traffic data. While Gates enrolled at Harvard, Allen pursued a degree in computer science at Washington State University, though he dropped out of school to work at Honeywell; the January 1975 issue of Popular Electronics featured Micro Instrumentation and Telemetry Systems's Altair 8800 microcomputer, which inspired Allen to suggest that they could program a BASIC interpreter for the device. After a call from Gates claiming to have a working interpreter, MITS requested a demonstration.
Since they didn't yet have one, Allen worked on a simulator for the Altair while Gates developed the interpreter. Although they developed the interpreter on a simulator and not the actual device, it worked flawlessly when they demonstrated the interpreter to MITS in Albuquerque, New Mexico. MITS agreed to distribute it, marketing it as Altair BASIC. Gates and Allen established Microsoft on April 4, 1975, with Gates as the CEO; the original name of "Micro-Soft" was suggested by Allen. In August 1977 the company formed an agreement with ASCII Magazine in Japan, resulting in its first international office, "ASCII Microsoft". Microsoft moved to a new home in Bellevue, Washington in January 1979. Microsoft entered the operating system business in 1980 with its own version of Unix, called Xenix. However, it was MS-DOS. After negotiations with Digital Research failed, IBM awarded a contract to Microsoft in November 1980 to provide a version of the CP/M OS, set to be used in the upcoming IBM Personal Computer.
For this deal, Microsoft purchased a CP/M clone called 86-DOS from Seattle Computer Products, which it branded as MS-DOS, though IBM rebranded it to PC DOS. Following the release of the IBM PC in August 1981, Microsoft retained ownership of MS-DOS. Since IBM had copyrighted the IBM PC BIOS, other companies had to reverse engineer it in order for non-IBM hardware to run as IBM PC compatibles, but no such restriction applied to the operating systems. Due to various factors, such as MS-DOS's available software selection, Microsoft became the leading PC operating systems vendor; the company expanded into new markets with the release of the Microsoft Mouse in 1983, as well as with a publishing division named Microsoft Press. Paul Allen resigned from Microsoft in 1983 after developing Hodgkin's disease. Allen claimed that Gates wanted to dilute his share in the company when he was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease because he didn't think he was working hard enough. After leaving Microsoft, Allen lost billions of dollars on ill-conceived or mistimed technology investments.
He invested in low-tech sectors, sports teams, commercial real estate. Despite having begun jointly developing a new operating system, OS/2, with IBM in
The M5 is a motorway in England linking the Midlands and the South West. It runs from Junction 8 of the M6 at West Bromwich near Birmingham to Exeter in Devon. Heading south-west, the M5 runs east of West Bromwich and west of Birmingham through Sandwell Valley, it continues past Bromsgrove, Droitwich Spa, Tewkesbury, Gloucester, Weston-super-Mare and Taunton on its way to Exeter, ending at Junction 31. It is the primary gateway to South West England. Congestion is common during the summer holidays, on Friday afternoons, school and bank holidays on the section south of the M4; the M5 follows the route of the A38 road quite closely. The two deviate around Bristol and the area south of Bristol from Junctions 16 to the Sedgemoor services north of Junction 22; the A38 goes straight through the centre of Bristol and passes by Bristol Airport, while the M5 skirts both, with access to the airport from Junctions 18, 19 or 22. The A38 continues south into Devon from the motorway's terminus near Exminster.
Between Junction 21, Weston-super-Mare and Junction 22, Burnham-on-Sea, the M5 passes by an isolated landmark hill called Brent Knoll. The Willow Man sculpture is visible from both carriageways, acts as a landmark just to the south of Junction 23. Junction 15 of the M5 is a large four level stack interchange, called the Almondsbury Interchange, where the M5 meets the busy M4; the Avonmouth Bridge, between Junctions 18 and 19, is a bottleneck during heavy traffic periods, due to lane drops at either ends of the bridge for the respective junctions, the sharp angle in the centre of the bridge, which causes larger vehicles to slow considerably. There are split-level carriageways where the M5 ascends the hill sides above the Gordano Valley, between Portishead, Junction 19 and Clevedon, Junction 20. Junction 1 surrounds a surviving gatehouse from the former Sandwell Hall; the first 26 miles of the M5 motorway to be built were constructed as a dual two-lane motorway, with Worcestershire County Council acting as engineer.
This section, from Junction 4 in the north to a trumpet junction with the M50 in the south, opened in July 1962. The southern end was called a trumpet junction because of its shape: a 270 degree curved bend. There were no other exits from this trumpet junction though room was left for an extension to the south. Worcestershire County Council, the Police and the County Surveyor of Worcestershire made repeated representations that a dual 3-lane standard motorway was appropriate, however the Ministry of Transport insisted that a dual 2-lane motorway would be built at a cost of around £8 million; the Motorways archive records that the carriageways were built to a lower overall width of 88 feet rather than 100 to reduce the loss of agricultural land. When the decision became necessary to widen the Worcestershire section of M5, it cost £123 million; the 2 miles dual two-lane section between Junctions 16 and 17 built at Filton, near Bristol, was opened in 1962, was intended to replace the pre-war Filton bypass.
Gloucestershire County Council acted as engineer for this section, widened to a dual three-lane motorway in 1969. North of Junction 4 the M5 was constructed in sections, from 1967 to 1970, together with the Frankley services. Much of the northern section beyond Junction 3, from about Quinton to the junction with the M6 motorway, was constructed as an elevated dual 3-lane motorway using concrete pillars; the M5 was extended southwards, in sections, from 1967 to 1977, through Gloucestershire & Somerset, to Exeter in Devon as a dual three-lane motorway, together with the Strensham services. The short section between Junctions 27 and 29 was built between 1967 and 1969, by Devon County Council, as the A38 Cullompton Bypass, with the intention that it should become part of the M5; the termini for this section have since been removed, although part of the southern terminal roundabout is now used as an emergency access. The section was developed to motorway standards, incorporated into the M5 in 1975.
The section from Junctions 16 and 18 was illuminated in about 1973 as part or a wider policy announced by UK Minister for Transport Industries in 1972 to illuminate the 86 miles of UK motorway prone to fog. In the late 1980s Junction 4a was built as part of the M42 motorway construction project; the route of the M42 was decided as early as 1972 but, owing to planning delays, the short section of the M42 north of Bromsgrove did not open until 1989. As the M5 traffic increased in the 1980’s Junction 11, the main Gloucester & Cheltenham access became congested. At the same time there were plans for large scale business & housing developments at Brockworth, near Gloucester. To relieve Junction 11 of some of the new traffic generated, & avoid more congestion around both Cheltenham & Gloucester, a new junction, Junction 11A, some 3.5 miles south of Junction 11, was constructed & opened in the mid 1990’s. The first-built section of the M5, from Junctions 4 to 8, was widened to provide six lanes in the early 1990s.
During this work the northbound Strensham services was rebuilt further away from the new junction. Junctions 7 and 8 were remodelled into a roundabout junction; the Avonmouth Bridge was converted to eight lanes in the early 2000s. In 2005–2006, parts of the M5 between Junctions 17 and 20 were widened to 7 lanes.
Novell, Inc. was a software and services company headquartered in Provo, Utah. Its most significant product was the multi-platform network operating system known as Novell NetWare, which became the dominant form of personal computer networking during the second half of the 1980s and first half of the 1990s. Novell technology contributed to the emergence of local area networks, which displaced the dominant mainframe computing model and changed computing worldwide. Novell became instrumental in making Utah Valley a focus for software development. Under the leadership of founder Ray Noorda, during the early- to mid-1990s Novell attempted to compete directly with Microsoft by acquiring Digital Research, Unix System Laboratories, WordPerfect, the Quattro Pro division of Borland; these moves did not work out, NetWare began losing market share once Microsoft bundled network services with the Windows NT operating system and its successors. Despite new products such as Novell Directory Services and GroupWise, Novell entered a long period of decline.
Novell acquired SUSE Linux and attempted to refocus its technology base. The company was an independent corporate entity until it was acquired as a wholly owned subsidiary by The Attachmate Group in 2011, which in turn was acquired in 2014 by Micro Focus International. Novell products and technologies are now integrated within various Micro Focus divisions; the company began in 1979 in Orem, Utah as Novell Data Systems Inc. a hardware manufacturer producing CP/M-based systems. Former Eyring Research Institute employee Dennis Fairclough was a member of the original team, it was co-founded by George Canova, Darin Field, Jack Davis. Victor V. Vurpillat brought the deal to Pete Musser, chairman of the board of Safeguard Scientifics, Inc. who provided the seed funding. The company did not do well; the microcomputer produced by the company was comparatively weak against performance by competitors. In order to compete on systems sales Novell Data Systems planned a program to link more than one microcomputer to operate together.
The former ERI employees Drew Major, Dale Neibaur and Kyle Powell, known as the SuperSet Software group, were hired to this task. At ERI, Major and Powell had worked on government contracts for the Intelligent Systems Technology Project, thereby gained an important insight into the ARPANET and related technologies, ideas which would become crucial to the foundation of Novell; the Safeguard board ordered Musser to shut Novell down. Musser contacted two Safeguard investors and investment bankers, Barry Rubenstein and Fred Dolin, who guaranteed to raise the necessary funds to continue the business as a software company as Novell Data Systems' networking program could work on computers from other companies. Davis left Novell Data Systems in November 1981, followed by Canova in March 1982. Rubinstein and Dolin, along with Jack Messman and hired Raymond Noorda; the required funding was obtained through a rights offering to Safeguard shareholders, managed by the Cleveland brokerage house, Prescott and Turben, guaranteed by Rubenstein and Dolin.
Major and Powell continued to support Novell through their SuperSet Software Group. In January 1983, the company's name was shortened to "Novell, Inc.", Noorda became the head of the firm. That same year, the company introduced its most significant product, the multi-platform network operating system, Novell NetWare; the first Novell product was a proprietary hardware server based on the Motorola 68000 CPU supporting six MUX ports per board for a maximum of four boards per server using a star topology with twisted pair cabling. A network interface card was developed for the IBM PC industry standard architecture bus; the server was using the first network operating system called ShareNet. ShareNet was ported to run on the Intel platform and renamed NetWare; the first commercial release of NetWare was version 1.5. Novell based its network protocol on Xerox Network Systems, created its own standards from IDP and SPP, which it named Internetwork Packet Exchange and Sequenced Packet Exchange. File and print services ran on the NetWare Core Protocol over IPX, as did Routing Information Protocol and Service Advertising Protocol.
Novell had acquired Kanwal Rekhi's company Excelan in 1989, which manufactured smart Ethernet cards and commercialized the Internet protocol TCP/IP, solidifying Novell's presence in these niche areas. Novell did well throughout the 1980s, it aggressively expanded its market share by selling its expensive Ethernet cards at cost. By 1990, Novell had an monopolistic position in NOS for any business requiring a network. With this market leadership, Novell began to acquire and build services on top of its NetWare operating platform; these services extended NetWare's capabilities with such products as NetWare for SAA, Novell multi-protocol router, GroupWise and BorderManager. However, Novell was diversifying, moving away from its smaller users to target large corporations, although the company attempted to refocus with NetWare for Small Business, it reduced investment in research and was slow to improve the product administration tools, although it was helped by the fact its products needed little "tweaking" — they just ran.
Under Noorda, Novell made a series of acquisitions interpreted by many to be a challenge to Microsoft. Novell acquired Digital Research in June 1991. NetWare used DR DOS as a boot loader and maintenance platform, Novell intended to extend its desktop presence by integrating networking into DR DOS and providing an alternative to Microsoft's Windows. At first, the idea was to provide a graphical environment based on
The ING Group is a Dutch multinational banking and financial services corporation headquartered in Amsterdam. Its primary businesses are retail banking, direct banking, commercial banking, investment banking, asset management, insurance services. ING is an abbreviation for Internationale Nederlanden Groep; the orange lion on ING's logo alludes to the Group's Dutch origins. ING is the Dutch member of the Inter-Alpha Group of Banks, a cooperative consortium of 11 prominent European banks. ING Bank was included in a list of global systemically important banks in 2012. In 2017, ING served 37.4 million clients in more than 40 countries. The company is a component of the Euro Stoxx 50 stock market index. ING Group traces its roots to two major insurance companies in the Netherlands and the banking services of the Dutch government. In 1845, fire insurance company the Assurantie Maatschappij tegen Brandschade de Nederlanden van 1845 was founded, it grew to be the leading Dutch insurance company with branches outside the Netherlands.
It changed its name to "De Nederlanden van 1845". Two decades in 1863, the life insurance company Nationale Levensverzekerings Bank was founded in Rotterdam; these two insurance companies made multiple acquisitions, in 1963 merged to form the Nationale-Nederlanden insurance company. Nationale-Nederlanden expanded during the 1970s and 1980s. In 1881, the Dutch government created the Rijkspostspaarbank, a postal savings system to encourage workers to start saving. Four decades they added the Postcheque and Girodienst services allowing working families to make payments via post offices. Separately in 1927, the Dutch government initiated a re-organisation of Dutch banks which resulted in the creation of the Nederlandsche Middenstands Bank. NMB's focus was retail banking in the Netherlands and abroad. In 1986, post office banking services were privatised as Postbank N. V. and three years it would merge with NMB bank to form NMB Postbank Groep. In 1991, the banking business of NMB Postbank Groep and the insurance business of Nationale-Nederlanden were merged to create ING Group, after changes in regulation that allowed banks and insurance businesses to work together.
Since the ING Group was founded, it has made several acquisitions: ING Group expanded its international business through several acquisitions through the 1990s including Belgian bank Banque Bruxelles Lambert in 1998, US-based insurance company Equitable of Iowa and the commercial bank Furman Selz. It acquired Frankfurt based BHF-Bank in 1999, although disposed of this later, it increased its Latin American and Asia Pacific's insurance businesses with the acquisition of ReliaStar and Aetna's Financial Services unit. It acquired the Polish Bank Śląski and Mexican insurance company Seguros Comercial América; the 1995 purchase of Barings Bank after its dramatic failure led to a boost in the company's investment banking business. Expanding its retail banking business overseas, ING used the direct banking business model it had developed with NMB Postbank to launch direct banking in other countries; the first of these was set up in Canada in 1997, was soon followed in several other countries including the US, UK, Spain, Italy and Australia.
In 2008, as part of the late-2000s financial crisis ING Group, together with many other major banks in the Netherlands, took a capital injection from the Dutch Government. This support increased ING's capital ratio above eight-percent, however as a condition of Dutch state aid, the EU demanded a number of changes to the company structure; this resulted in the sale of a number of businesses around the world, which included insurance businesses in Latin America, Canada and New Zealand and ING Direct units in the US, Canada and the UK. This included the sale of the ING Direct US operations to Capital One and the ING Direct UK operations to Barclays bank in 2012; the spun-off insurance businesses in North America were renamed Voya Financial in 2014. In November 2003, ING Groep N. V. appointed Michel Tilmant, Vice-Chairman of the executive board, as its new chairman and successor to Ewald Kist. ING has offices in: Following the separation of ING Group into ING Bank and ING Insurance, the head office of ING Bank and ING Group is the Amsterdamse Poort building as of September 2012.
Building works are underway to build a new campus-style headquarters close by with completion expected in late 2019. ING House was the head office of NN Group and located in the business district of Zuidas in Amsterdam, Netherlands from 2012 to 2014, it was designed by Roberto Meyer and Jeroen van Schooten and was opened on 16 September 2002 by Prince Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands. The light-infused building features a 250-seat auditorium, restaurants, library and an extensive art collection. In July 2011, ING sold all its Latin American insurance operations to the Colombian insurance company Grupo Sura for US$3.85 billion, excluding ING's 36 percent holding in Brazilian insurer SulAmérica Seguros which will be sold at a date. SulAmérica Seguros started operating the ING Investment Management, Wealth Management, Retire Funds and Pension businesses in Latin America on February 13, 2012. ING Commercial Bank will keep its operations in Mexico; the actions are in line with EU demands to split the Group's banking and insurance operations as a condition of Dutch state aid.
In October 2008, in a move to increase its core Tier 1 capital ratio above 8%, ING Group accepted a capital injection plan from the
Berkshire is one of the home counties in England. It was recognised by the Queen as the Royal County of Berkshire in 1957 because of the presence of Windsor Castle, letters patent were issued in 1974. Berkshire is a county of historic origin, a ceremonial county and a non-metropolitan county without a county council; the county town is Reading. The River Thames formed the historic northern boundary, from Buscot in the west to Old Windsor in the east; the historic county therefore includes territory, now administered by the Vale of White Horse and parts of South Oxfordshire in Oxfordshire, but excludes Caversham and five less populous settlements in the east of the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead. All the changes mentioned, apart from the change to Caversham, took place in 1974; the towns of Abingdon, Faringdon and Wantage were transferred to Oxfordshire, the six places joining came from Buckinghamshire. Berkshire County Council was the main local government of most areas from 1889 to 1998 and was based in Reading, the county town which had its own County Borough administration.
Since 1998, Berkshire has been governed by the six unitary authorities of Bracknell Forest, Slough, West Berkshire and Maidenhead and Wokingham. The ceremonial county borders Oxfordshire, Greater London, Surrey and Hampshire. No part of the county is more than 8.5 miles from the M4 motorway. According to Asser's biography of King Alfred, written in 893 AD, its old name Bearrocscir takes its name from a wood of box trees, called Bearroc; this wood no longer extant, was west of Frilsham, near Abingdon. Berkshire has been the scene of some notable battles through its history. Alfred the Great's campaign against the Danes included the Battles of Englefield and Reading. Newbury was the site of two English Civil War battles: the First Battle of Newbury in 1643 and the Second Battle of Newbury in 1644; the nearby Donnington Castle was reduced to a ruin in the aftermath of the second battle. Another Battle of Reading took place on 9 December 1688, it was the only substantial military action in England during the Glorious Revolution and ended in a decisive victory for forces loyal to William of Orange.
Reading became the new county town in 1867. Under the Local Government Act 1888, Berkshire County Council took over functions of the Berkshire Quarter Sessions, covering the administrative county of Berkshire, which excluded the county borough of Reading. Boundary alterations in the early part of the 20th century were minor, with Caversham from Oxfordshire becoming part of the Reading county borough, cessions in the Oxford area. On 1 April 1974, Berkshire's boundaries changed under the Local Government Act 1972. Berkshire took over administration of Slough and Eton and part of the former Eton Rural District from Buckinghamshire; the northern part of the county became part of Oxfordshire, with Faringdon and Abingdon and their hinterland becoming the Vale of White Horse district, Didcot and Wallingford added to South Oxfordshire district. 94 Signal Squadron still keep the Uffington White Horse in their insignia though the White Horse is now in Oxfordshire. The original Local Government White Paper would have transferred Henley-on-Thames from Oxfordshire to Berkshire: this proposal did not make it into the Bill as introduced.
On 1 April 1998 Berkshire County Council was abolished under a recommendation of the Banham Commission, the districts became unitary authorities. Unlike similar reforms elsewhere at the same time, the non-metropolitan county was not abolished. Signs saying "Welcome to the Royal County of Berkshire" exist on borders of West Berkshire, on the east side of Virginia Water, on the M4 motorway, on the south side of Sonning Bridge, on the A404 southbound by Marlow, northbound on the A33 past Stratfield Saye. A flag for the historic county of Berkshire was registered with the Flag Institute in 2017. All of the county is drained by the Thames. Berkshire divides into two topological sections: west of Reading. North-east Berkshire has the low calciferous m-shaped bends of the Thames south of, a broader, gravelly former watery plain or belt from Earley to Windsor and beyond, are parcels and belts of uneroded higher sands, flints and acid soil and in north of the Bagshot Formation, north of Surrey and Hampshire.
Swinley Forest known as Bracknell Forest, Windsor Great Park and Stratfield Saye Woods have many pine, silver birch and other acid-soil trees. East of the grassy and wooded bends a large minority of East Berkshire's land mirrors the clay belt being of low elevation and on the left bank of the Thames: Slough, Eton Wick, Wraysbury and Datchet. In the heart of the county Reading's northern suburb Caversham is on that bank but rises steeply into the Chiltern Hills. Two main tributaries skirt past Reading, the Loddon and its sub-tributary the Blackwater draining parts of two counties south and the Kennet draining part of upland Wiltshire in the west. Heading west the reduced, but large, part of county becomes further from the Thames which flows from the north-north-west before the Goring Gap. To the south, the land crests along the bo
Slough is a large town in Berkshire, within the Greater London Urban Area, 20 miles west of Charing Cross, central London and 17 miles north-east of the county town of Reading. It is at the intersection of the M4, M40 and M25 motorways; the A4 and the Great Western Main Line pass through the town, part of neighbouring Buckinghamshire. From 2019 the Elizabeth line is expected to allow faster journeys to central London; as of 2011 Slough's population was one of the most ethnically diverse in the United Kingdom, with the highest proportion of religious adherents in England. The town has attracted people from across the country and the world for labour since the 1920s, which has helped shape it into a major trading centre; as of 2017 unemployment stood at 1.4%, circa one-third the UK average of 4.5%. Slough has the highest concentration of global corporate HQs outside London; the Slough Trading Estate is the largest industrial estate in single private ownership in Europe. Blackberry, McAfee, Burger King and Lego have head offices in the town.
The Slough Trading Estate provides over 17,000 jobs in 400 businesses. Slough has the second highest gross value added per worker of cities in UK; the name, which means "soil", was first recorded in 1195 as Slo. It first seems to have applied to a hamlet between Upton to the east and Chalvey to the west around the "Crown Crossroads" where the road to Windsor met the Great West Road; the Domesday Survey of 1086 refers to Upton, a wood for 200 pigs, worth £15. During the 13th century, King Henry III had a palace at Cippenham. Parts of Upton Court were built in 1325, while St Mary the Virgin Church in Langley was built in the late 11th or early 12th century, though it has been rebuilt and enlarged several times. From the mid-17th century, stagecoaches began to pass through Slough and Salt Hill, which became locations for the second stage to change horses on the journey out from London. By 1838 and the opening of the Great Western Railway, Upton-cum-Chalvey's parish population had reached 1,502. In 1849, a branch line was completed from Slough to Windsor & Eton Central, opposite Windsor Castle, for the Queen Victoria's convenience.
Slough has 96 listed buildings. There are Four Grade I: St Laurence's Church, St Mary the Virgin Church, Baylis House and Godolphin Court Seven Grade II: St Mary's Church, Upton Court, the Kederminster and Seymour Almshouses in Langley, St Peter's Church, Ostrich Inn and King John's Palace Grade II listed structures include four milestones: Beech and Linden Houses at Upton Hospital and Slough railway station1918 saw a large area of agricultural land to the west of Slough developed as an army motor repair depot, used to store and repair huge numbers of motor vehicles coming back from the battlefields of the First World War in Flanders. In April 1920, the Government sold its contents to the Slough Trading Co. Ltd.. Repair of ex-army vehicles continued until 1925, when the Slough Trading Company Act was passed allowing the company to establish an industrial estate. Spectacular growth and employment ensued, with Slough attracting workers from many parts of the UK and abroad. During the Second World War, Slough experienced a series of air raids in October 1940, an emergency hospital treating casualties from London was set up in Slough.
Local air raid deaths and deaths at the hospital account for the 23 civilian lives recorded lost in the borough area. After the war, several further large housing developments arose to take large numbers of people migrating from war-damaged London. In the 21st century, Slough has seen major redevelopment of the town centre. Old buildings are being replaced with new offices and shopping complexes. Tesco has replaced an existing superstore with a larger Tesco Extra; the Heart of Slough Project is a plan for the large-scale redevelopment of the town centre as a focus and cultural quarter for the creative media and communications industries. It will create a mixed-use complex, multi-functional buildings, visual landmarks and a public space in the Thames Valley. Recommendations for the £400 million project have been approved, planning approval was given by Slough Borough Council's planning committee on 9 July 2009. Work began in 2010 for completion in 2018. In December 2009, two key components of the project were signed: the Homes and Communities Agency signed its agreement to provide £11m of funding for infrastructure and Thames Valley University courses which are due to remain in the town have found a new home at the Centre in Farnham Road, Slough.
In parallel to the town centre redevelopment plan, Segro plans to spend £600 million over the next 20 years on the trading estate. This is intended to create environmentally sustainable buildings, open green spaces, two hotels, a conference centre, cafés, restaurants and better transport facilities to improve links to Slough town centre and the surrounding residential areas, it is claimed that the plan will create more than 4,100 new jobs and contribute around £100m a year to Slough's economy. If both plans go ahead in their current forms, nearly £1 billion will be spent on redeveloping Slough over the next 20 years. Herschel Park, named for astronomer William Herschel, is being relandscaped in a multimillion-pound effort to bring it back to its former Victorian era glory; the park was featured in an episode of the documentary programme Who Do You Think You Are? Focusing on the TV presenter Davina McCall. In 2010, £2 milli