Monthly Archives: July 2009

Richard Waters

After seeing gains for 12 trading days in a row, Nasdaq investors were due for a wake-up call. The news from the tech sector during this earnings season has been less dire than feared, but that doesn’t mean the recovery is here yet.

Microsoft duly brought things down to earth on Thursday. What was most striking in its weak second quarter results was a 29 per cent slump in revenues from the Windows client business. Didn’t Intel just report a snap-back in the PC business as manufacturers corrected for their earlier aggressive inventory reductions – and didn’t Microsoft itself say that sales of PCs to end-customers only fell by 5-7 per cent in the latest quarter? Read more

David Gelles

PayPal said in March that it planned to double revenues in two years, growing from $2.4bn to $5bn by 2011. It was an audacious goal, but today PayPal gave some indication of how it hopes to achieve as much.

With the official introduction of its platform on Thursday, PayPal invited third-party developers to tap into the PayPal experience and weave it into their own applications and websites. Called Adaptive Payments, the platform should expand PayPal’s reach, bringing it to iPhone, Facebook and Twitter applications, and perhaps into the physical retail world. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Qualcomm’s lengthy legal battles mean no rest for the leading wireless chipmaker’s general counsel Don Rosenberg (pictured).

After a sleepless night dealing with the Korean Fair Trade Commission’s decision to fine it a record $207m for its “unfair” business practices, he told me about the remaining outstanding complaints facing the San Diego-based company. Read more

Richard Waters

It’s still very early days for the “Googlephone”, but there are already signs that the strategy is working.

Google’s aim was to create a mobile platform for its services and, eventually, to drive more advertising. Data from Admob (which serves up 8bn mobile adverts a month and so has as good a view as anyone of where those ads are going) show the plan is unfolding on schedule.

The HTC Dream – the first Google phone, launched by T-Mobile late last year – first appeared in March on Admob’s list of top-20 handsets, based on the volume of advertising they consume. By last month, it had risen all the way to the number six slot. Read more

David Gelles

The fog is finally starting to lift. That was the message from storage maker EMC as it reported second quarter earnings and for the first time this year offered guidance. Until now, EMC had declined to issue a formal outlook, saying the economic picture was too murky and tech spending remained unpredictable.

But in projecting full year earnings that beat analyst expectations, EMC signalled that the worst of the downturn was over for it, and perhaps the tech sector. “We now have better visibility and more confidence in the second half of 2009,” said chief financial officer David Goulden. Read more

Richard Waters

It’s official. The final Windows 7 bits have been set in stone. With today’s Release to Manufacturing, Microsoft can finally close its sorry Windows Vista chapter. Along with the global consumer launch on 22nd October, Microsoft is planning a business launch for the new versions of both the Windows client and server operating systems on 9th November.

This will be the first time the new server software is launched at the same time as a new client, says Bill Laing, head of the Windows server division. Expect some heavy “better together” marketing later this year as Microsoft tries to convince IT departments of the cost savings and greater manageability from upgrading both client and server at the same time. Read more

Chris Nuttall

An increase in prices for Nand Flash memory and deep cost-cutting have helped memory-chip maker SanDisk to a surprising profit.

Analysts had expected a loss of 17 cents a share, according to Reuters Estimates, but the leading flash memory card maker reported a second-quarter profit of 36 cents. Sales of $731m beat Wall Street expectations of $711m. Read more

Paul Taylor

Is Brett Brewer, president of Adknowledge and co-founder of Intermix Media, MySpace’s parent before it was sold for $673m to Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp in October 2005, onto something else big?

Adknowledge, which claims to be the largest independent advertising network, has acquired KITN Media, owner of Super Rewards which provides the virtual currency platform for casual games on social networks such as Facebook and yes, MySpace.

 Read more

Paul Taylor

The pace of announcements surrounding next generation e-book readers and competition for Amazon’s Kindle family of devices is quickening.

Earlier this week Barnes & Noble announced that it was opening an online e-book store with 700,000 titles and had struck a strategic partnership with Britain’s Plastic Logic which is planning to launch a new reader aimed at the business market next year. (The Financial Times has also announced a partnership with Plastic Logic.) Read more

Richard Waters

There aren’t many companies that could challenge Amazon.com. Now there’s one less.

From its early days, Zappos was built to become the next Amazon. It picked one category – shoes – to hone a  relentless focus on customer service and create enough scale to become an online category killer. From there, like Amazon, it hoped to use its low-cost fulfillment system to move relentlessly across the ecommerce waterfront.

Not many pure ecommerce companies have made it to the $1bn revenue mark, so getting this far is quite a feat (our earlier coverage is here and here.) Read more