Monthly Archives: March 2011

Gianfranco Lanci’s departure from Acer was as harsh as it was abrupt. The (now former) chief executive was effectively told to leave after two bad quarters. Prior to that, he delivered stellar growth for six years as president and three as chief executive.

There is already talk that Mr Lanci was being made a scapegoat. Read more

Ingram Pinn illustration

In Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, the Victorian writer Charles Mackay describes a company formed during the South Sea Bubble in 1720 which declared in its prospectus that it was “for carrying on an undertaking of great advantage, but nobody to know what it is”. After investors hurried to buy shares, the founder “set off the same evening for the Continent” and was never heard of again. Read more

More than two decades ago, soon after starting out in the mobile phone business, Nokia found itself on the receiving end of a massive patent infringement lawsuit from the company that had pioneered cellular communications: Motorola.

The Finnish group was in a vulnerable position. As a newcomer, it lacked enough patents of its own to counter-sue Motorola and fight it to a standstill. Read more

Microsoft has filed a formal complaint with European Union competition regulators over Google’s dominance of the internet search market, escalating a debate that has already placed the online search group at the centre of an EU probe. Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Amazon.com is courting the world’s big  music companies as it seeks licensing deals that would help improve the online music service it launched Tuesday, according to the Wall Street Journal. The moves are also an attempt to calm the music groups’ concerns over the lack of notice of the online retailer’s plans, the WSJ says.

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Richard Waters

The details of Paul Allen’s testy personal relationship with Bill Gates have been the most eye-catching part of his forthcoming memoir. But it is the Microsoft co-founder’s damning critique of the company’s current problems that could well prove more telling.

In a draft of the forthcoming book, seen by the FT, Mr Allen writes: “How did a company once at the forefront of technology and change fall so far behind? It’s a thorny question, with roots that go back decades, but I believe it boils down to three broad factors: scale, culture and leadership.” Read more

Tech news from around the web:

  • Microsoft is working on a version of its Windows Phone software that will let customers use their handsets at a checkout counter to buy merchandise, according to Bloomberg. The move to include mobile-payment technology is part of the software group’s efforts to narrow Google’s lead in handset software.

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Tech news from around the web:

  • James Gosling, the programmer who founded Java at Sun Microsystems, has joined Google, Cnet reports. The online search giant is currently suing Oracle, which bought Sun Microsystems last year, over how the Java technology is used in Android.

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Chris Nuttall

Amazon – not Apple nor Google – is the big new player in cloud music services, launching its offering on Tuesday while those of its rivals are still the subject of speculation. The online retailer announced Amazon Cloud Drive and Amazon Cloud Player – the first service gives users 5Gb of free data storage online and the second allows them to play, in a web browser or smartphone app, music they have uploaded to the cloud drive. Read more

Chris Nuttall

Parts for the Nintendo 3DS, which went on sale on Sunday at $250 in the US, cost the Japanese console maker just $100, according to analysts. A “teardown analysis” by IHS iSuppli prices the bill of materials for the handheld at $100.71, with the 3D upper screen and lower touchscreen accounting for a third of the bill. Read more