Daily Archives: April 23, 2009

Richard Waters

Wouldn’t you love to be a fly on the wall next time Oracle gets round to negotiating Java licences with IBM and Nokia?

Sun’s aim of countering Microsoft by getting the programming language and development tools widely adopted was a knock-out success, but its business model (make the profits on hardware) failed utterly. Oracle has been pretty clear that it won’t make that mistake.

But will Java licensees be willing to pay up to justify Larry Ellison’s claim that this is “the single most important software asset we have ever acquired”? 

Chris Nuttall

It’s an ears race rather than an arms race, but the contest for the coolest and quietest Bluetooth headset has just been stepped up another notch with new releases by Aliph and Plantronics.

San Francisco-based Aliph brought forward the launch of its Jawbone Prime to today, apparently to coincide with the release of the Plantronics Voyager Pro. 

  • MySpace CEO and co-founder Chris DeWolfe is stepping down, News Corp said. The move came as MySpace continues to lose ground to Facebook and prompted a wave of speculation about what the next CEO could – or should – do to put things right (like this blog post from the voluble Jason Calacanis.)
  • Tech’s impressive stock market rally looked like it should stay intact after the latest round of earnings news on Wednesday. Apple and eBay each posted surprisingly resilient numbers. VMWare was the outlier: shares in the maker of virtualisation software slumped in after-market trading as it issued a cautious outlook.

 

Richard Waters

For a symbol of the new, diminished expectations of the once swaggering US “greentech” industry, look no further than Ausra.

With blue-chip backers like Khosla Ventures and Kleiner Perkins, Ausra was one of those Silicon Valley companies that thought on a grand scale. Using a variety of techniques that included low-cost ways of producing and installing vast arrays of mirrors, it dreamt of building and operating utility-scale solar thermal power plants.

As we reported early on in the financial crisis (and the company went on to confirm earlier this year), Ausra changed course and decided its future lay in selling its technology to established utilities rather than becoming a power producer itself. As the project finance markets seized up, only a company with the balance sheet of a utility could hope to fund such ambitious projects, though Ausra said its decision reflected over strategic priorities as well.