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Fifty years ago, after dabbling in computing at the birth of the mainframe industry, General Electric missed the chance to add leadership in information technology to its industrial heritage.

But with the shift towards cloud computing that is now taking place, it might just get another chance – although, this time around, it sees itself more as an industrial version of Facebook than the next IBM.

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  • According to reports, IBM is set to acquire Sun Microsystems, a prominent rival in the server and software markets, for $7bn. The purchase is the largest in Big Blue’s history, and breaks a long dry spell in the M&A arena. The deal could also cement IBM’s hold on some core hardware and software technologies, bringing a sea change in the world of corporate and government datacentres.
  • Research in Motion reported better than expected fourth quarter earnings thanks to strong BlackBerry sales and a healthy jump in new subscribers, sending its share price soaring in late trading. RIM this week launched a BlackBerry application store to rival the popularity of Apple‘s App Store.

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