In other items: Continental Airlines identifies $99 million in cuts; Adobe Systems promotes VP to COO; and Google releases software for photo organizing.

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SÃO PAULO, Brazil — Microsoft is lobbying Brazil’s government to agree to a meeting between the company’s chairman, Bill Gates, and President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva at the World Economic Forum next week, a Brazilian official said.

The country has taken a prominent role in the so-called free-software movement, an effort that champions free computer-operating systems like Linux as an alternative to Microsoft’s Windows program.

Tired of paying costly licensing fees to companies like Microsoft, Brazil, the world’s eighth-most-wired nation, has told agencies in its sprawling federal bureaucracy to move to Linux and free software programs that run on it.

Lula’s press office said a meeting between Lula and Microsoft officials has not been put on the president’s appointment book for his visit to the meetings with business and economic leaders in Davos, Switzerland, Jan. 26-30.

Microsoft officials in Brazil declined to comment.

Continental Airlines

Air carrier identifies $99 million in cuts

Continental Airlines has finalized $99 million in wage and benefit cuts for domestic airport ticket, gate, ramp, operations and cargo-agent workers, the carrier announced yesterday.

The cuts are part of $500 million in annual savings the airline says it needs from employee groups by Feb. 28 to fend off a potential liquidity crisis, layoffs and deeper payroll cuts in light of soaring jet-fuel costs.

Continental said the $99 million in reductions announced yesterday involve changes to wages, holidays, 401(k) retirement accounts, overtime and other work rules. The carrier said the work-rule changes allowed for smaller reductions in hourly pay, and details of the changes would be communicated to the affected workers, who are not part of a union.

Adobe Systems

Software maker promotes VP to COO

Adobe Systems, the world’s biggest maker of graphic-design software, promoted Shantanu Narayen to president and chief operating officer to take over some tasks from Chief Executive Officer Bruce Chizen.

Narayen, 41, had been executive vice president for worldwide product marketing and development since 2001. He continues to report to Chizen, 49, who also was president, Adobe said yesterday.

In his new position, Narayen will oversee engineering, sales and marketing and seek to boost revenue after a forecast last month disappointed investors.

Chizen said he gave up the role of president to focus on long-term growth.


Software is released for photo organizing

Search-engine leader Google released free software yesterday for organizing and finding the hundreds or thousands of digital photos often stored on a computer’s hard drive.

Rather than requiring users to import individual photos from their drives, the Picasa software automatically detects them as they are added — whether sent via e-mail or transferred from a digital camera.

Picasa 2 is available only for Windows computer and requires Microsoft’s Internet Explorer browser, version 5.01 or higher, or Mozilla Firefox.

Compiled from The Associated Press and Bloomberg News