The tech headlines this week have certainly been eye-catching.
Cisco, which in this downturn is still making a 60 per cent gross profit margin and operating profits of more than 20 per cent of revenues, is risking upsetting long-time allies like HP to get into servers – a business in rapid retreat where profits have collapsed.
Now comes news that IBM is in advanced talks to buy Sun, reversing its steady march away from the hardware business into more consistent and profitable software and services. This amounts to a big change in course: after focussing on small software acquisitions, Big Blue looks like it’s about to become a consolidator in Unix servers.
What is going on here?
Another sign that Google is growing up: the new head of advertising in the Americas (replacing Tim Armstrong, who is leaving to run AOL) is a rising star who first proved himself on the international circuit.
The career progression of Dennis Woodside is the sort of thing you’d expect to see in a far more established company. An American who started at HQ, Woodside was sent to Europe four years ago, first to establish new sales operations in Eastern Europe and Dublin and later to head sales in the UK, Ireland and Benelux countries.
Which Silicon Valley phone to buy this summer? The new Palm Pre with its scintillating operating system and clever design, or the old iPhone with an updated OS containing features it should have had in the first place?
That may be too simple a comparison. How about making it a choice between a phone with few exciting applications from third-party developers to one with more than 25,000 apps and games to choose from, many enabled with a new sophistication?