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The FT’s John Gapper writes that Apple, which just released the new iPhone 3GS, has become the hub of a creative network that is helping it stay ahead of its rivals.
It seems odd that companies can gain an advantage by working with others and by sharing knowledge. Yet being part of a network not only can help a company to gain from others’ knowledge but also can reinforce its market position, as Apple’s contest with Palm shows.
- Intel paid $884m in cash for Wind River Systems, a software company that should help the chipmaker’s push into new markets. Wind River, based in the San Francisco Bay area, represents Intel’s biggest acquisition in the four-year tenure of Paul Otellini as chief executive.
- Data Domain said it would evaluate EMC‘s all cash $30 a share offer, a day after saying it had agreed to an offer of $30 in cash and stock from NetApp. The unusual reversal signaled potential discord within Data Domain’s management. EMC has significantly more free cash than NetApp, and is well-positioned to win the bidding war.
- “Google is one of those companies that we generally refer to as a frenemy,” New York Times executive editor Bill Keller said recently. Perhaps, but today Google proved it will be no saviour to the newspaper business, either. Google chief executive Eric Schmidt told the Financial Times that the company had previously considered buying a newspaper or using its charitable arm to support news businesses seeking non-profit status, but is now unlikely to pursue either option.
- Craigslist is on the offensive. The US-based classified-advertising website has taken legal action against the attorney-general of South Carolina, who had attacked the site over its erotic services category. The company, which came under pressure from law enforcement officials to take down the section, then did so, is seeking declaratory relief and a restraining order against Henry McMaster, who has repeatedly threatened the company and its executives with criminal charges unless it complied with the requests.
Palm and Sprint just announced a launch date for the much-anticipated Pre: Saturday 6th June. We got pretty excited about the device ourselves when it was first shown off at the start of the year, though a veiled threat of a lawsuit from Apple and a warning that early sales will fall well short of the hype are a reminder that this remains a high-risk proposition for the struggling Palm.
Perhaps not coincidentally, the launch has been set for two days before an Apple event at which the latest iteration of its iPhone is expected to be introduced – and, possibly, a larger touchscreen device that pushes the boundaries of this new category. Read more
- You would not be reading this techfile if Sir Tim Berners-Lee had not come up with the concept of the World Wide Web 20 years ago today. He has returned to CERN in Switzerland where it all began for a speech and celebrations and a demonstration of the original browser.
- Time Warner hopes that Tim Armstrong will do for AOL what he did for Google. In convincing Mr Armstrong, who has been head of Google’s North American sales, to take the reigns of AOL, Time Warner is betting that the ad-sales guru who helped grow Google will be able to turn around AOL, the dial-up service turned online media company for which Time Warner has so far failed to find a buyer.
- Ahead of the launch of its highly anticipated Pre, Palm is seeking to raise extra cash through the resale of shares recently acquired by Elevation Partners. Palm, which has no more than $220m in cash on hand, badly needs the cushion, and will use some of the capital to help finance the launch of the Pre.
- Livemocha, the social language-learning network we wrote about last year, has announced a partnership with education publisher Pearson (owner of the FT). The move should extend the reach of Pearson’s Longman languages teaching and strengthen Livemocha’s offering, which depends in large part on users helping each other with language learning.