Wednesday, November 26, 2008

IT-industry: bright, but ghostly future

ghostly futureAgainst the backdrop of crisis

Intel will continue to invest in new products and technology, despite a potential slowdown in emerging markets because of the financial crisis in the United States. The company chairman of the company's Craig Barrett. According to him, when financial markets crashing, it has some impact on everything else, but nobody can get and to predict how serious it is. In particular, Barrett said: «We have always thought that must be sustained investment - whether in good or bad times. And, as a blind greyhound, we just continue to move in that direction ». Barrett also expressed the view that it is impossible in advance to protect themselves from the global crisis, but you can proinvestirovat their salvation. «We have always had a plan for the rainy day», - figuratively put chairman of Intel, backed its words with information that the company has Stabfund of about $ 10 billion in the event of a crisis. In doing so, Barrett made it clear that the financial crisis will not prevent Intel absorb the interest of the company.

But rather unexpected news. U.S. policy for the Union to take Google and Yahoo!. Eleven prominent political figures of California appealed to the government antitrust regulators had requested not to hinder the intended partnership Google and Yahoo! in the field of Internet advertising. All signatories of the treatment are from California, where, indeed, and both are based Internet company. In his letter, policy, cautioned U.S. Attorney General Michael Makeysi attempt to hinder cooperation from Google and Yahoo!. In their view, such steps could lead to containing the growth and development of business on the Internet. The authors of expressed deep concern that the U.S. Department of Justice may nominate a preventive legal action to prevent an agreement Yahoo! and Google. Politicians stressed that such actions could adversely affect the entire market of online advertising and e-commerce. The head of analytical company Future Horizons Malcolm Penn believes that the semiconductor industry should turn its attention to what is happening with the financial industry. A global financial crisis, which is now shaking the financial industry, explains Malcolm Penn, was the result of the race for the easy money that satisfies all the major players of this market, and the semiconductor industry should learn from the mistakes of financiers. In the meantime, as Penn adds, in the semiconductor industry is still fairly well-known companies looking for simple and quick solutions that will help them lasted for some time, but eventually could obrushit market, as it was in his time with dotkomami and as happens to the financial sector today.


Apple trouble

On the last day of September, the most serious in the last eight months of falling U.S. stocks Apple. The value of its securities on Nasdaq fell by 18% - to $ 105.2 per share. After the fall Analyst Firm RBC Capital lowered target price of Apple shares from $ 200 to $ 140, and Morgan Stanley - from $ 178 to $ 115. According to analysts of these companies, Apple expects sales decline because of falling purchasing activity (from Apple no proposals in the lower price categories, analysts point), caused by the economic crisis. RBC Capital predicts the overall decline in the productivity of IT-sector and, consequently, the collapse of securities of major IT-companies. Shares of Google also dropped by nearly 12% - up to $ 381 per paper. The last time less than $ 400 shares of the largest search engine worth more than two years ago - in early 2006 th. Analysts Susquehanna Financial Group lowered its forecast profit Google by 1% in 2008 (up to $ 16.1 billion) and 2% in 2009 (up to $ 20.6 billion). Since the beginning of the year the value of shares of Google fell by an average of 40%. It is also linked to a slowdown in the economy: demand for contextual advertising has decreased, as it has up to 99% of the proceeds Google. However, the company Piper Jaffray analysts are inclined to believe that such a large decline in shares of Apple does not have enough good objective reasons, and raised fears of investors. In Piper notes that, despite the fact that statistics clearly show an annual decline in Mac sales growth from July to August from 43% to 23% if the figures seen out of context, they portray a distorted picture. Analysts us recall that in August last year, was presented «Aluminum» iMac, which had deferred demand, while now, on the contrary, users are still waiting for updating rulers MacBook and MacBook Pro. However, Piper Jaffray forecasts for the next quarter is still not too optimistic: according to analysts, the increase in Mac sales will be about 19%. The company also notes that while the issuance of a cheap Mac and new models of iPhone next year Apple and profitability to decline, it still remains quite good - 30% in the 2009 calendar year.

In fact, shares of other IT-companies also fell in late September and early October. Here are some examples: Cisco - -8,5% (up to $ 21,7), Intel - -10% (up to $ 17,27), AMD - -16,8% (up to $ 4,29), Yahoo! - -10.7% (Up to $ 16,8), Baidu - -11,3% (up to $ 231,2), Oracle - -8,9% (up to $ 18,7), IBM - -4,1% (before $ 114.4).


Mobile Market

Already for some time on the network gulyala information that Sony Ericsson is going to abolish up to 2000 jobs. But so far remained unknown, where it will be a reduction in the state. The restructuring, which is very telling, began with North American offices in North Carolina, which will soon be reduced by 450 employees. The fact that such unpopular measures will be carried out, the leadership of Sony Ericsson reported as early as mid-summer this year. This decision relates to the large losses suffered by the company for the first half of 2008 th. To exit the difficult situation the company has developed a new development scheme, under which 2,000 jobs will be eliminated. It should be noted that staff reductions beginning of the name in North America, where the company has the weakest position. Apparently, SE yet acknowledged its inability to win the massive U.S. market - which, in turn, is good news for the company LG.

Chairman of the Chinese company ZTE Veygui Hu said in an interview with Dow Jones that his company was not interested in acquiring mobile units Motorola. Quote: «This acquisition is senseless for us - as formed joint company will not be so large to offset the costs. We bought small companies in the past, but we do not have the financial capacity to buy such companies as Motorola ». It should be noted that against the backdrop of the prevailing crisis, the company now Motorola - if all the same concept to sell the unit - will face difficulties: «financial capacity» can not be none.
Nokia, according to industry sources close to the sale of its units to computer security. It is expected that the Finnish manufacturer of mobile phones will enter into a transaction for the sale with a major financial investor, but his name has not been disclosed yet. In addition, Nokia reported that the company goes to market in developing software for corporate clients. On Monday, it was announced that Nokia will no longer develop and sell their solutions «behind-the-firewall» for business. All such orders will now be redirected to partner companies - Microsoft, IBM and Cisco.


News IT-companies

There is information that the company Microsoft has resumed negotiations on the acquisition of Yahoo. It is expected that the transaction will take place after Yahoo, in turn, buy online division of AOL, which is now owned concern Time Warner. Representatives of all three companies declined official comment about the information. Analysts point out that such a transaction is possible, as Yahoo shares continue to fall, and the board of directors should look for a way out of this situation. In addition, the proceeds Yahoo could negatively affect the economic crisis, which has dropped the cost to companies online banner advertising.

In the latest round of financing social news site Digg has been estimated at approximately $ 175 million earlier in this phase of funding Digg has attracted investments of nearly $ 29 million In addition, CEO Jay Adelson and Digg founder Kevin Rose service sold some of their shares. Each received two million dollars. Digg sought investors after the end of July, foiled the deal to sell the resource Google. It was expected that over the Digg Internet company will pay about $ 200 million Social news site Digg, which any user can add their news, was launched in 2004. In August this year, 15.7 million visited the resource persons. The main source of income Digg is a three-year advertising contract with Microsoft, signed in 2007.

The American corporation HP intends to cut more than 9 thousand jobs in Europe. This is reported to French media citing sources in the European union company. To a greater degree of reduction will affect the company Electronic Data Systems, which HP has completed the acquisition in August of this year. As noted, up to 90% of all the layoffs it will have on staff EDS. I recall that HP previously announced its plans to reduce state, which for three years will be laid off 7.5% of employees (representing 24.6 thousand jobs) companies worldwide.

Top managers of Microsoft in the 2009 fiscal year (beginning 1 July 2008) can receive no more than $ 20 million in bonuses. It is a common fund, which will be paid the money, ranging from $ 92.1 million to $ 94.2 million Under the financial plan for 2009, 11 top managers of Microsoft including Steve Balmera director general and chief software architect Ray Ozzy will be available in the form of Rewards 0.35% of the company's operating profit. It is possible that limiting fees associated with the program Microsoft to buy shares. 22 Sept, 2008 Board of Directors approved a plan under which the company vykupit their shares at $ 40 billion Redemption must be held before 2013. In addition, Microsoft announced the raising of quarterly dividends to 18%.

16 leading telecommunications and IT-companies, which include Vodafone, Microsoft and Asustek, have decided to pool their efforts in promoting high-speed Internet access for mobile devices. The project involves investment of over one billion dollars and will be held under the patronage of the consortium GSM Association. Companies include built-equipped computers access to high-speed cellular networks, as well as next generation networks, maintaining standards of HSPA and LTE. According to research conducted by Pyramid Research, supported by GSM Association and Microsoft, market demand for such machines is about $ 50 million a year. «With the emergence of new opportunities need for Wi-Fi networks will not change, but we want to liberate the user from having to constantly look for wireless access point», - said head of research company IDC Shiv Bahshi. Reported that a new consortium, apart from already mentioned, included the company Hutchison Whampoa Ltd, Dell, ECS, Ericsson, Gemalto, Lenovo, Orange, a unit France Telecom SA, Qualcomm, Telefonica Europe, T-Mobile and Toshiba. The emergence of new laptops, marked a trademark of Mobile Broadband, is expected by Christmas this year.

Cheapest music online store in the USA.

The method of Munchausen

The financial crisis forced shake world markets, dramatically changed the behavior of the leading IT-corporations. Those that have only recently boasted popularity of its shares to investors now enjoy the moment and quickly buy up their own podeshevevshie securities. And these actions are not devoid of meaning: in a situation of instability and the lack of interesting investment projects profitable companies to invest in themselves.

Microsoft has announced that it is ready to redeem their shares at U.S. $40 billion over five years (the stand about 17% of securities companies at their current price). In addition, the company increased its quarterly dividend of one share at 18% - up to 13 cents. According to the experts, all this shows that the direction Microsoft wants to return funds to shareholders, lost from the failed deal with Yahoo. Another, much more obvious goal - to increase the value of their assets during the financial crisis. After Announcement of new stock repurchase program analysts Standard & Poor's changed the rating on the shares of Microsoft AAA - the highest rating on the scale of S & P. Over the past 10 years, the company has not received such a rating. According to analysts, the paper software giant rated so highly in connection with the «strong competitive position» company and its «financial conservatism». However, not all start now. Back in 2004, Microsoft announced four years to spend up to $30 billion to purchase its own shares. Later, this amount increased to $40 billion Given the current size of the capitalization of Microsoft, it becomes clear that for $40 billion corporation may skupit approximately 17.4% of its shares. In total, over the past five years, Microsoft by redemption of shares and payment of dividends paid to shareholders of approximately $115 billion, but it now turns out, it was just the beginning. In a press release about the redemption of shares Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell said: «The last of the company demonstrated confidence in the long-term growth and our commitment to return capital to our shareholders». Indeed, before the NASDAQ trading session of September 22, Microsoft shares went up by 4.81% - to $26.37. Note, however, that since a year ago, Microsoft announced its proposal to acquire Internet company Yahoo for $47.5 billion, a software corporation has lost 22% of its value.

The world's largest manufacturer of personal computers - the company Hewlett-Packard - also agreed to add to your portfolio shares. For additional redemption board of directors of Hewlett-Packard has allocated $8 billion This will be the biggest purchase in the company's history. By the way, about $3 billion of that amount left from last year, when the plan for redemption was missed. Apparently, HP at $8 billion could buy 166 million of its shares. According to analysts, the time for redemption chosen well: market value of securities PC manufacturers (all) fell to a minimum.

The example Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard in the last two-three weeks, followed by many residents of Silicon Valley. Specialists attribute: Purchase of treasury shares, the company actually pays dividends to its shareholders. The fact is that in the U.S. buying shares taxed at a lower rate than the payment of dividends. It turns out that it is advantageous to shareholders to sell its corporate securities. Generally same diligence IT-companies to support their stock quotes using the procedure to reverse repurchase (buy back), until recently, determined the stability of the stock market in a crisis. NASDAQ Stock Exchange because more confident and kept others in the «black» days of September that the IT-companies to invest spare cash in shares. Theoretically buy back must show that managers believe the securities of the company undervalued. In fact, the company attempts to raise the stock market on their own are very similar to the actions of Baron Munchausen, vytaskivayuschego themselves from the swamp by the hair. While difficult to say happened or not. Nevertheless, it is reasonable behavior during the crisis. Another case - that the time «after the crisis» could not be less like the crisis itself. Rather, it was then purchased shares previously will gradually return to the market. And here they will meet stiff competition from those IT-companies that have previously expressed the desire to become public (that is to issue its own shares), but postponed the IPO indefinitely.

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Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Fujitsu Siemens to part with

Fujitsu SiemensFor the first time the news came as early as August, but only at the end of September, it seems, have begun to take seriously. The company Siemens is going to go out of business for the production of computers, sold its share in the joint venture Fujitsu Siemens Computers. One of the buyers may be China's Lenovo. As a result, the market will disappear one of the last European computer brands.

German group Siemens plans to exit the business of manufacturing computers, sold its share in the joint with a Japanese company Fujitsu enterprise. In doing so, it is a company Fujitsu has a preferential right to purchase shares in Fujitsu Siemens Computers (FSC), which was founded 9 years ago. But, interestingly, Fujitsu does not burning desire to buy share of Siemens. According to the President Fujitsu Kuniaki Nodzoe, production of mobile phones his company is now considering a more profitable business. In his view, using the phone company can reach in overseas markets better than engaging in sales of personal computers. (Note that in addition to personal computers - laptops and desktops - Fujitsu Siemens Computers makes servers and meynfreymy.) Agree, of course, quite controversial. It seems that China's IT-industry behave more foresight. According to several media, in buying shares of Siemens might be interested company Lenovo - the largest in China and the fourth largest worldwide manufacturer of computers. According to analysts, the market value of FSC (capitalization) may be about 2.6 billion euros. Accordingly, Lenovo in the case of buying shares of Siemens will have to pay for it from 1.3 billion euros. It is significant that, despite the financial crisis, shares Fujitsu Siemens Computers little fell in price. This is due to the fact that the American market accounts for a very small percentage of sales companies (mostly servers).

In 2007, sales of Fujitsu Siemens Computers was 6.6 billion euros. Nevertheless, the company is under severe competitive pressure from giants such as HP and Dell. According to Gartner, to date, Fujitsu Siemens holds 5.5% of the world market of servers, and according to DisplaySearch, - 5,2% market notebooks. Figures for «classic» desktop much more modest. It is worth recalling that a month ago, the concern Siemens announced sale of its units to produce wireless phones, receivers and other devices - Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices. According to the official version of a German corporation this step was taken in the Siemens strategy to focus on three areas of work: production equipment for energy, industry and medicine. According to the same independent observers, everything that happens - echoes of the huge corruption scandal that has shaken the group Siemens at the end of last - earlier this year. In turn, Fujitsu is interested in maintaining the unit Fujitsu Siemens Computers, who works at the corporate market. After the dissolution of the alliance with Fujitsu Siemens company will try to sell the unit responsible for the supply of PCs to end users.

Help IT SECTOR:

Fujitsu Siemens Computers BV - the largest German-Japanese company - a manufacturer of computers and IT company with headquarters in the town of Maarssen, Netherlands. Founded October 1, 1999 by merging computer unit Siemens Nixdorf Informationssysteme AG group Siemens AG and Fujitsu ICL Computers - European unit Fujitsu Limited. At 50% stake in the company owned by Siemens AG and Fujitsu Limited. The company has businesses in the cities of Augsburg, Munich, Paderborn, Zemmerda (Germany) and Sanniveyl, California (USA). The direction of the company - development and implementation of critical business applications and the development of mobile solutions. Proposals presented to companies in various sectors of the market - from handheld and desktop computers to corporate-level server solutions. Fujitsu Siemens Computers is a leader in all key markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa. According to the results of 2007 fiscal year, the company turnover reached 6.614 trillion euros. This was the highest level in the history of the company. Profit before tax also reached a record size - 105.6 million euros. Nevertheless, the company lags behind its closest competitor, Dell and HP.

Now, apparently, is gambling. Siemens concern is actually intended to sell its 50 percent stake in their joint enterprise with Fujitsu, but the Japanese company believes that the price required by its German partner, is too high. In doing so, according to insider information, the share of German companies in the Fujitsu Siemens there are enough applicants, so in case of refusal to buy back half of Fujitsu business on the desired price package Siemens will take the party (for example, the same Lenovo). In this version of events, for which Siemens vykupit share and Fujitsu will sell the entire company, analysts called unlikely. In this case, Fujitsu will have to pay a heavy price, after which the company clearly oboznachivshaya intention to get rid of this business will be under pressure from potential buyers. These buyers will start openly undercut, arguing that the global financial crisis and the consequent drop in demand for the computer industry.

Interestingly, just shortly before news of the «divorce» Siemens and Fujitsu company Fujitsu Siemens Computers introduced a large number of new models of its products. This, for example, a laptop Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pa 3515, designed based on the AMD Puma platform and belongs to a class of consumer notebooks. It also was recently presented new server, Fujitsu Siemens Primergy RX600 S4, designed to solve complex computational problems. It is designed for the largest companies of medium-sized business segment, as well as for large enterprises. Primergy RX600 S4 is designed to provide the best platform to consolidate multiple systems and workloads on fewer but more powerful servers. These servers can easily cope with the demanding resources systems, ERP (enterprise resource planning) and CRM (customer relationship management), as well as suitable for a database large volume, which requires extremely high levels of system resources. And, of course, Fujitsu Siemens could not ignore the rapidly formed netbukov market. In late September, the company presented its first netbuk - Amilo Mini Ui 3520. The computer is equipped with a 8.9-inch LCD display with a standard for netbukov resolution 1024x600 pixels and a processor Intel Atom N270 with a clock speed of 1.6 GHz. Home sales of new items scheduled for October. Suggested retail price is about $ 585. Interestingly, the earlier the representatives of Fujitsu Siemens said that netbuki not a profitable business, and they are not going to produce. In general, new products in short supply. This is the only question is: What will all these product lines, if a company Fujitsu Siemens Computers will cease to exist?

All this, of course, very sad. Directly in front of crashing one of the most successful alliances in the computer industry. It may disappear trademark long to win the trust and respect for consumers. And what a wicked irony is that the article I wrote on my notebook Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Pro, which is the true faith and I have one and a half years. Encouraging one: the corporation Siemens and Fujitsu are continuing negotiations on future co-organized by the company. If the contract between them will not be broken until 2009, it will automatically extend for the next five years.

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Artificial intelligence. Time is running, things change ...

Artificial IntelligenceIn a regular talk show parents resent her son, who in his spare time immersed in the virtual world they chose. But when it advised to read Gogol, Dumas, Pushkin ... Eventually, the son does not stand and said that the same book - it also initially by worlds than dumbfound present. Resisting generations? No, ordinary society. In this case, is worth recalling that the «techno-» translation from Greek means nothing as «skill». Many are serious or very wary of advances in artificial intelligence, and some nedoponimayut the importance of what is happening in this segment now, to the extent necessary training of our society to introduce a computer as integral participants.

In fact, nothing so often scold young people for the excessive enthusiasm for computer technology. The fact is that at the games, advanced training programs, mathematical simulations otkatyvayutsya new levels and mechanisms of interaction, and one can say how intimidating it may sound, the emergence of «digital», or «technical», a society in which computers and People will speak on equal terms. No, this is not fiction, and observation. And this is not about the community and society. Even now, all the selected strategy and tactics in any of the branches can be qualitatively evaluate both tangible and position, and instead of intuitive behavior is almost always welcomed precise mathematical calculation. For example, today most standard task in the study of artificial intelligence is to find the optimal route to the selected card. Where once (20-40 years) in this regard were serious scientific research, it is such an operation is typical. A methodology of some standard search strategies, a search trees, etc. But, in fact, it is the most trivial case - if you want such calculations can make ordinary people do not have high intellectual ability. While many have relied solely on computer programs. But there are challenges and much more difficult. Furthermore, their solutions clearly indicate the existence of human intellectual limit, which is better not to count the number of neurons in our brains, comparing with the transistor did ...

***

For example, we know that the master of sport of chess can get the situation on several moves ahead. Initially, it seems, everything is easy, but let's think: what does it mean mathematically? Each course includes the possibility of a change of position by an average of 40 options. On this basis, the calculation of the two moves in advance, we mean 40 square options for the development of the situation, that is 1600. If the account is five moves ahead, we get 40 in the fifth degree options, and that if record numbers, 102,400,000. What is so interesting to decide exactly chess challenge? In fact, even if we read the program and choose the best course, actually look at the influence of unknown program interface player to achieve the necessary results - a victory. To trim branches wasted searching, and hence reduce the number of calculations as part of this software provides special units evaluation functions. And they not only calculate economic assessment on the number of pieces on the board, because the balance of power largely depends on the position. Therefore, with each course guided by a multitude of options. Moreover, for a qualitative assessment of a computer program (or a professional player) must think not only for ourselves but for the opponent, that is, expect the best options and with his hand. Then the evaluation will be the best quality. The most interesting in this regard are the competition of various programs. It is not a secret that most of them involves its own structure and organization of embedded algorithms, though sometimes made on the same methodology. And interestingly, in this case one thing: playing the program ... does not know how set up another, not even suspects in what programming language is written and based on a computer running. All the interaction takes place only within the chessboard - the playing field, or, more technical language, a common interface interactions. Yes, many professionals are now remembered new technologies in programming - for example, komponentorientirovannoe or interfeysnoorientirovannoe. Practically this is at stake. But interfeysnoorientirovannoe programming (the same technology COM) implies the existence of statements, and the leading elements of the system. In the case of chess challenge II program is the subordination of the opponent, making it known element of its scheme (wins strong), although initially they were in equal positions. All the most part depends on the quality of embedded algorithms and - most importantly - the implementation of the evaluation function.

A bit unclear, with the same here chess against our home? OK. Let's say we expect a complex economic model, which is to predict the occurrence of crises as well as opportunities to exit from them. In the recording you want to take a huge number of different parameters are often tightly intertwined, and in some cases, these relationships can be implicitly, but there. For example: to improve the standard of living> fertility> demand for foreign labor> activity of a new culture> changing political situation. And this is only one possible chain relationship. Thus, in the simple words, if a particular course has a direct impact on the system. Profitable or not? This requires a comprehensive assessment system, not only material, to estimate what we are accustomed, but also position. Moreover, the calculation should include not only current but also future. Interaction between the modules through a common interface to the positions of equal (rather than lead or led) also deserves separate attention. For example, we have a program that calculates the best action to the above conversation. But there is another program, which is responsible for any segment of agriculture. For example, Calculates the efficiency of fertilizers, the dependence of the impact of this action on the environment, etc. And the main task of their interaction is respect for balance and develop solutions. Using the lead and statement of the team will be «top-down», and this old method, almost implying absence II itself. If they communicate on an equal footing, the decision is produced jointly about the way it happens in the chess game. For example, if the first system warns such a course, it verifies that behaves like the other, and how this action, in the end, will affect its own parameters, their condition. After all, in fact, not without such discipline, such as artificial intelligence, takes a lot of mathematical statistics and analysis. This is its strong structural blocks. And why are we actively remember the chess? The point is that a decision in this situation very much like search algorithm better progress with the choice of the best branches, forming stacks LIFO, etc.


In conclusion

Trivial question of whether to transfer management control now? This is more of the teleprogrammam sensations. The transfer happening naturally, for example, the automation of many individual specialization and production processes. With the transfer of full control ... In order to beat the best players of the World Chess (people with uncommon intelligence), developers of programs will take about 50-60 years. And how, for example, for your contemporaries, would read such a question: DeepBlue computer can replace world champion chess? Most answer that could, despite the fundamental difference and the car. Therefore, the most important moment in the formation of new generations is the realization of full and mutual communication between human society and computer systems, which have become an integral part of our contemporaries.

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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

IT-industry: the new style of the old mode

world financial crisisThe world financial crisis continues, though, seems to have passed its peak. But while the number of jobs is declining, and in Silicon Valley top managers think: What generally mean a financial crisis for the IT sector?

One of the main expectations due to the reduction in IT-budgets of large companies would ensure that these companies rather prefer to have a universal model. There will shift to computing clouds and programs taken from the network, because in this case, you have to pay only the cost of services, rather than the work of an entire IT commands. Also, corporations will be more willing to use software with open source. The crisis has opened new areas of IT-development. Due to the fact that the same U.S. companies close their offices or out of business real estate, it is expected that many adapted from a distance model. And with the changes, which are expected to occur after the adoption of a law on flexible working hours, the companies may have additional reason to allow their employees to work remotely. The increase proposals on the introduction of broadband and various secure virtual private networks make such a working model even more attractive in comparison with those costs, which are at the management office.


Perspective

In 2008, Microsoft released Windows Server 2008 and SQL Server 2008, wishing to expand their presence in the market of corporate data-centers, but companies have to constantly compete with rival VMware and Oracle. Rob Kelly, vice president of Microsoft, in an interview with IDG News Service noted several interesting points concerning the situation in the market of corporate data-center. For example, he said, Windows Server 2008 has been very well received by industry, and Microsoft had never seen such a quick adaptation of the product on the market. In addition, Kelly commented on the deal between Amazon and Oracle, under which a number of products Oracle has appeared in the service of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud. According to him, Microsoft is not afraid «computing cloud» and believe this approach is simply a slightly different mechanism, so do not worry for the company that other players fill formed blank space, no. At Microsoft, adds Kelly, believe in the platform, so any decisions company in this area will platformoorientirovannymi. Surrounding the news about developments in the Microsoft «computing cloud» will rasskazany the Conference of professional developers, which will take place in late October.


EU tariffs and cellular communications

In the European Union in 2009 could be enacted a law by which users of mobile phones will be able to pay less for shipping and SMS roaming. It is expected that as a result of the enactment of a law proposed by the European Commission, tariffs on sending text messages when roaming reduced by 60% - from 46 to 18 cents. Cost minute dropped from 72 to 54 cents. The European Commission, introduced the bill, has repeatedly expressed its dissatisfaction with the high prices of cellular companies. In September 2007, they were set limits for roaming: outgoing calls of no more than 68 cents, to incoming - no more than 34 cents. According to estimates of analysts, revenues of European mobile operators from abroad is about 8-15% of their total income.


Corporate news


The new Board of Directors of Yahoo on Sept. 23 approved a further round of negotiations on a deal with a corporation owned by Time Warner and her company AOL. Details of a possible deal between Time Warner and Yahoo are not known. To date, active negotiations between the companies is not. According to the newspaper Financial Times, director of Yahoo generally held the first joint meeting with election day. Yahoo representatives did not give official comments on the matter.
The popular news portal Digg announced that received investments of $ 28.7 million Funds provided investment fund Highland Capital Partners. Earlier Digg invest Greylock Partners, Omidyar Network and SVB Capital, a total investment of about $ 40 million Using this money Digg plans to double the number of its staff to 150 within the next year, to move to new headquarters, as well as start your site in international markets. In addition, the portal will be launched several new features.

California company Transmeta, previously engaged in the production of processors that are compatible with the architecture x86, announced that it is looking for a buyer. In February this year, Transmeta disclose that it intends to buy Riley Investment Management, owns 6.6% of its shares. Then, for each share Transmeta was requested $ 15.5. But Transmeta proposal does not satisfy, and the deal did not materialize. According to officials of the investment firm Riley, the future of Transmeta in question. In addition to ads on the search for a buyer, Transmeta announced the signing of two new agreements with the corporation Intel, relating to the use of intellectual property products in the latter. Under one agreement, Intel acquired the right to use any technology Transmeta, as well as its future technology, which has not yet been patented. The cooperation will last until December 31, 2017 According to the conditions over the next five years, Intel is committed to pay Transmeta $ 20 million in royalties.


Surprise from Oracle

On 24 September, the head of Larry Ellison at Oracle OpenWorld conference in San Francisco, unexpectedly announced the release of the company to market hardware. For the first time in more than 30 years of Oracle will offer customers server hardware under its own brand. The first hardware solutions company Oracle have a server data storage HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers and integrated HP Oracle Database Machine, created in conjunction with Hewlett-Packard. In fact, the new products represent HP ProLiant servers with pre-configured software and Oracle. Supplied products, as has been said to be under the brand Oracle. In doing so, the company Larry Ellison will assume the support base of software, while Hewlett-Packard will be responsible for the technical side. The system HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers implemented based server HP ProLiant DL180 G5, equipped with two quad processors, Intel. In the maximum configuration of the server can be equipped with nakopitelyami total capacity of 12 TB. With regard to the platform HP Oracle Database Machine, it is a complete solution that connects 8 database servers and 14 Oracle servers, HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers. The total capacity storage subsystem HP Oracle Database Machine may be as high as 168 TB. New products targeted at corporate customers and, according to the developers are able to provide high performance with significant loads. The server HP Oracle Exadata Storage Servers can be purchased separately for integration into existing information repository. The cost is $ 4,000 per terabyte of disk space. The system HP Oracle Database Machine will cost the buyer of $ 650 thousand plus the cost of licensing software.


RuNet and figures

Revenue «Rambler» in the I-half increased 2.5 times, and profitability - almost 6 times compared with the I half of 2007, however, the company finished the half with a loss. The most rapidly growing unit «Rambler» service was «Begun», which will soon be sold to Google, but analysts were still believed that getting rid of him would benefit the company. The company «Rambler Media», owns a portal and search engine Rambler.ru, showed growth in revenue in the I half of 2008 compared with the I half of last year, more than 2.5 times. Revenue was $ 51.7 million vs. $ 20.5 million a year ago. Profitability reached 17.3% (last year was 3%). This company reported in its today's report. Despite the improvement, the company was unable to get out of loss. According to the report a loss after tax of $ 0.5 million to $ 6.7 million profit for the I half of 2007, sharp deterioration in financial performance is not related to core activities «Rambler». Last year's growth outcome is due to the sale of television business in January 2007 the first - a deal brought holding $ 7.1 million for the declared amount of consolidated revenue and earnings came «Begun» - owned «Rambler Media» service contextual advertising. In July it was announced that its upcoming sale of the corporation Google, and the report «Rambler» «Begun» now is how «asset held for sale». As the report, contextual advertising - the fastest growing area «Rambler Media» - proceeds from it for the year rose to 5.4 times, and I was in half $ 23.2 million, almost three-quarters of it ($ 16.3 million) are directly to share «Begun». In the consolidated revenue «Rambler» «Begun» is 31.5%. Despite the important role «Begun» in the economy of the company, analysts believe that Google has been selling his appropriate decision. Without «Begun» growth rate of revenues from the company dropped, but the company sells the asset at a high price ($ 140 million, of which half get the company «Finam», owns 49,9% «Begun»). This will help her in a liquidity crisis to carry out capital investment more at their own expense. Moreover, sales of «Begun» money - not the main point. Index - that «Rambler» managed to forge a partnership with Google. For «Begun», besides money, he will receive a portion of revenue from Google for contextual advertising. A finding search engine Google, «Rambler», constantly losing share of the search market will be spared the costly investment in support of its own search service. We know that home page «Rambler» in early October, will receive the new design and «shortly thereafter, but not immediately» existing «Rambler» own vertical search engine will be integrated with guglovskim search engine for the traditional. As told in «Rambler», work on the combination of search engines will be at the stage of technical training until the sale «Begun» does not receive the approval of competition authorities. Their approval «Rambler» expected in the near future.

But the company «Yandex» may postpone initial public offering on the stock exchange NASDAQ, which was scheduled for III quarter of 2008, prior to the stabilization of world financial markets. IPO would be postponed indefinitely if the situation stabilizes in the world until October. However, while representatives of «Yandex» did not officially confirm this information.

The French company Packard Bell joined the corporation, and Acer will soon introduce their products to markets in Russia and CIS countries. Trademark Packard Bell in Europe enjoys a reputation premium brand. Already in Russia Packard Bell offers a wide range of notebooks equipped with the latest processors and graphics cards. In the near future, Packard Bell also plans to launch in Russia sales of desktop PCs. Guide Acer is confident that gained recognition in Europe, the French manufacturer's products will enjoy a huge demand and the post-Soviet space.

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IT-Industry: elephants and moski eve of a fight

street fights caught on tapeFurther financial crisis that shake the planet and, above all, the USA, yet not too seriously addressed the IT-industry. But, of course, its consequences have seriously reduce the pace of development and computer and telecommunications industry. For example, revenues fall manufacturers of thin clients - their main clients just been bankrupt financial giants. But there is another, very serious and not all measured, the consequences. At the place collapsed «elephants» IT-business will present «moski», that is, those who are the current giants of competitors, actually, and do not believe. However, this is the future of the case, even quite close.


Google first and foremost

Andy Rubin - creator of a mysterious OS Android and director of the mobile unit Google - said that the first smartphone based on Android is in the final stages of development and will soon be presented to the public. In addition, Rubin said that the income earned from the sale of applications for the platform Android, will be shared among developers and operators, and the Google will not get anything from this. Incidentally, for smartphone Android Google has developed a special mobile version of your browser Chrome. By the way, Apple in the same system takes 30% of the proceeds from the sale of applications for the iPhone and iPod touch. Previously, Google announced the establishment of a virtually identical scheme of sale applications. But another major transaction involving Google: the company is negotiating the acquisition of Valve - a major developer of computer games Half-Life and the owner of a popular digital content distribution Steam. As already noted specialists, buying Valve and Steam will allow Google to take a large share of the market digital distribution of content. In addition, it gives the Internet giant market entry and development of traditional publishers of computer and video games. Negotiations are already in the final stage, and a deal could be announced before the end of September. However, representatives of Google and Valve have not yet made official comments on the matter. As of February 2008-first, in the Steam there were more than 15 million registered users, and sales for the year increased by 158%. Using Steam users can purchase and download various computer games and other digital content. Previously, Google has already made moves in the market of interactive entertainment. More recently - in July - the company launched a beta version of Lively - a virtual world like Second Life, where users can create characters and then they communicate with other project participants through animated gestures or text messages. After registration, Lively in user is invited to create their own character (avatar), which may be a man, woman or any substance. Next project member receive the opportunity to build virtual stores. This could be at home, coffee shop or even exotic island. Built housing can beat the variety of furniture, the walls hang paintings, as well as TV set, the image which will be broadcast from the Video YouTube.

Executive Director of Google, Eric Schmidt September 17, said that the Internet giant will not delay the start of the advertising cooperation with Yahoo, even if representatives of competition authorities need more time to review the transaction. Previously, Google postponed the start of work with Yahoo three months to give antimonopolschikam time to verify transactions, but after October 11, it did come into force. «In our business, time - is money. I am no longer going to wait », - said Schmidt. He declined to comment on the possibility of blocking the transaction competition authorities. Let me remind you that Yahoo and Google have entered into a partnership agreement to market Internet advertising in mid-June 2008-th. Under the agreement, Yahoo will use Google AdSense advertising technology and advertising content from Google by displaying the results of queries to search engine Yahoo, as well as on websites Yahoo. Affiliate program will apply to the operations of Yahoo in the U.S. and Canada. The agreement - up to 10 years. Google will receive payment directly from advertisers to appeal to its advertising content posted on the Yahoo search engine generated pages. Part of the proceeds Google will share with Yahoo.


Electronics

The American producer of memory chips SanDisk rejected the proposal of the world's largest manufacturer of microchips - the company Samsung Electronics - on the acquisition for $ 5.85 billion as reported in the press release, SanDisk, board of directors unanimously found the offer to purchase shares of SanDisk each in cash for $ 26 «lack of many ways ». In addition, the proposal from Samsung significantly underestimates the long-term prospects for the development of SanDisk, stated in a press release. Information that Samsung intends to buy SanDisk, appeared in South Korean media in early September 2008 th. The American corporation SanDisk, founded in 1988, is the development and manufacture of media-based flash memory used in consumer and industrial electronics. The company holds about a third of the world market for memory cards and is the most sold brand in this market. In their memory cards SanDisk is using the chips Nand Flash Mlc. and Nand Flash Slc., manufactured by Toshiba, together with two plants in Japan. South Korean Samsung Electronics is the world's largest producer of microchips Dram and Nand, LCD monitors, mobile communication systems. Net profit at Samsung II quarter of this year grew by 51% and amounted to $ 2.12 billion Revenues increased by 24% and amounted to $ 18 billion

A company NXP Semiconductors (formerly known as Philips Semiconductors) announced restructuring program, designed to ensure a company's stable financial situation and create conditions for growth in the future. Restructuring program involves a significant decrease in the production base of NXP, central R & D, as well as support functions. It is anticipated that the program will affect approximately 4,500 employees worldwide and lead to annual savings $ 550 million in the future, NXP will focus on the development directions of automotive electronics, identification systems, consumer electronics and components widely used, in which the company has a large number of innovative products and is a leader in the market. Steps to restructure NXP will provide a strong foundation for achieving the goals of increasing profitability and positive cash balance. NXP plans to merge most of its production facilities in the two biggest European factories in Naymengene and Hamburg as well as SSMC in Singapore. As a result of these changes are planned sale or closure of four factories. The plan involves loading the remaining factories to a level above 90%, which is expected to save $ 300 million by the end of 2010. The translation program for the restructuring of production is planned until 2010, but major changes will take place mainly during 2009.


PC Market

The company Lenovo intends to enter the world market for servers. In late September, the company will begin delivery systems ThinkServer, targeted at small and medium businesses. The new servers will be released in five different configurations as uninuclear, and with dual-core processors. Models TS100 and RS110 will be equipped with processors Intel Core 2 Duo or Xeon in one of two options: 3000 or 3200. In servers, TD100, TD100x and RD120 establish Xeon 3000 chips or 5000. Previously, Lenovo issued servers under the brand name SureServer, which were sold in China. Now the company decided to expand its geography. In April this year, Lenovo has formed a new division, whose purpose is to sell servers and workstations ThinkServer ThinkStation corporate customers. Now the department, headed by Mark Godinho, operates 200 employees. The starting price for servers ThinkServer is $ 749. Systems will be supplied with the necessary software, which will facilitate users to configure and monitor servers.

According to a research analysis company ChangeWave, Apple is one of the few manufacturers of PCs, is not experiencing a significant deterioration in sales because of the economic crisis. Of the 4,416 Americans polled in August, only 15% reported that they would increase their spending on electronic goods over the next three months, while 34% are going to spend less. 8% of respondents are planning for the next three months to buy a laptop, another 5% - a desktop computer. The share of Apple in those not yet sold computers quite high: 34% of potential buyers plan to purchase laptops MacBook, while 30% want to buy a desktop computer look toward your iMac or Mac mini. 17% of those surveyed responded that the iPhone 3G has become a cause for more loyal to Apple.


Internet Business

The company Best Buy - the owner of a large network of computer stores in the United States - has entered into an agreement to purchase the music service Napster. I recall that Napster service was set up as file sharing (first in the world) in 1999, but under pressure from the recording industry has been forced to close. In 2003, the Service reopened and now offers music in a fully lawful manner. Under the terms of the signed contract, Best Buy will pay for each share Napster $ 2,65. The total transaction is $ 121 million, almost twice the market value of the music service. True, from $ 121 million 67 million will come to invest. The net purchase price Napster is $ 54 million is expected that after completion of the transaction Best Buy have a web site Napster, mobile services and access to the 700-thousandth audience of music service subscribers. Best Buy expects to use the assets of Napster to increase its customer base and expanding list of services offered to consumers. The deal between Best Buy and Napster should be completed during the IV quarter - after obtaining permission from regulatory authorities. It is anticipated that the current Napster CEO Chris Gorog and other senior managers will retain their posts. Best Buy still has no plans to change the location of the headquarters of Napster, based in Los Angeles, and carry out serious human reshuffling. The state of Napster currently has about 140 people. It added that while Napster continues to incur financial losses. Net losses of service in the I quarter of 2009 fiscal year (ended on 30 June) amounted to $ 4.4 million, equivalent to 10 cents per share. In the first and fourth quarters of 2008 fiscal year music store suffered a loss of $ 4.2 million and $ 4.3 million, respectively.

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Venture and the startups of our time

startupsRecently there was news: Google is planning to open its own venture fund that will invest in promising startups. It is expected that the Fund will lead the new David Dryummond, the chief lawyer company and Senior Vice President of Corporate Development, and Bill Maris, a former business partner and friend of Anna Voysitski, the wife of one of the founders of Google, Sergey Brin.


Google scheme

According to analysts, Google will invest primarily aimed at supporting those startups, which can be regarded as the main candidates to buy the search giant. By investing their own funds - even at the initial stage of relatively minor - Google will be competition to traditional venture capital companies and investment funds. In addition, it will be possible to avoid a sharp rise in prices startups in a situation where the company Brin and Page decided to acquire technology or the development of young companies. Of course, such a tactic in the IT-industry - does not know how Google. Own venture unit has companies Intel, HP, Motorola and other market leaders. Yes, and Google even before the establishment of their own investfonda invested over $ 500 thousand in a number of promising startups. Some good irony of fate is that in 1999 itself, Google has been seen as support for venture capital investors. Include in the 1999-meters $ 12.5 million and received 10% share of Google after the initial allocation of shares of Internet companies, the fund Sequoia Capital has received about $ 4.7 billion Similarly, investing approximately $ 11.5 million in YouTube, after buying the latest Google Sequoia Capital received about $ 480 million

In general, venture funds and company startups are again fashionable. Almost forgotten crisis of 1999-2000, when obankrotilos myriad companies startups, but the lessons learned at that time well. The time has come to a new understanding of the multifaceted notion of startups. Core elements of a young IT-company applying for investment are: the creation of a new company, the withdrawal of the original product on the market, sales of new or innovative projects. Rush into the eyes of novelty - these are the distinguishing feature, which can be startups in the general line of IT-projects.


The American monopoly over

During the first «boom DOT-Komov» in the late 1990's, America was the absolute unquestioned leader in IT-innovation. Now, everything changes: the development of IT-industry in Europe and Asia may soon put an end to the monopoly of the United States in the global high-tech startups. This view of most experts on venture capital investments, which is consulting firm Deloitte. While the U.S. continues to dominate in all six major areas of technological innovation, Europe and Asia quickly strengthen its position in the field of alternative energy (clean tech) and software development. In one day, researchers believe, the Europeans are able to Asian peretyanut «Investment blanket» on its side. And this is already happening. And most of the investment comes just from America. Here is a map of the largest investments alone corporation Cisco:

- Direct investment: China Communications Services ($ 100 million), VMware ($ 150 million), Nimbus Communications ($ 20 million), Alibaba ($ 17,5 million) - venture capital funds: Softbank Asia Infrastructure Funds I, II and III, Bodhi (China and India), 3TS-Cisco Growth Fund III (Central and Eastern Europe), CXC (China), Almaz Capital Partners (Russia).

But interest in the countries of Southeast Asia as time is understandable. Fewer than expected have been developments in Europe. Thus, the new study, Deloitte and the U.S. National Venture Capital Association (National Venture Capital Association - NVCA) new leader in alternative energy is called Germany. U.S. to continue to attract more venture capital funding in clean tech, but at least 43% of respondents reported experiences of German researchers fotogalvanike and other «green» technology. It should be noted, however, that the Deloitte study is not based on real investment, and the views of venture capitalists. In the field of telecommunications, the second region for investment attractiveness (in the opinion of those surveyed) suddenly became Japan. It is a little behind in this regard from the United States. In the production of semiconductors second investor named Taiwan (31%), in third place - again, Japan (26%). USA was given 70% of the vote. As for software development, the leaders are here, too, USA (87%). Second place - India (35%), followed by Britain (13%), Israel (11%) and Germany (9%). Russia and the CIS countries made no mention of any of the main areas of investment. In general, more than half of venture capitalists in the world (57%) invested outside the United States. That figure rose slightly compared with last year. While the U.S. still do not lose their positions, innovations are distributed around the world: the rest of the world is looking for what he has advantages.

There is a good time to remember history. Indeed, the U.S. became a pioneer venture business: venture capital as an alternative source of financing for private business there is in 50 States in the mid-nineties. «Votchinoy» venture business has become Silicon Valley. A European Venture Business emerged in the late 70-ies. Britain was the pioneer. Nevertheless, venture business in the Old and New World are still different. The European venture capital is invested primarily in the business «core sector» economy, and American - in new technologies. The main investors of European venture capital funds are banks and the U.S. - pension funds, insurance companies and private individuals.


Venture in English

In Russia there is now creating a wave of venture funds, directly initiated by the state. These funds appear with the participation of «Russian Venture Company» (MER), whose capital is provided by the State. Last year, the State has invested in MERs 15 billion rubles, and this has pledged to give twice as much. Investment MERs are aimed at IT and telecommunications, nanotechnology, electronics, biotechnology, medicine and alternative energy. While the money created by the state of Russian venture capital firms and startups are beginning to enter into the process of development is difficult to call a success. According to Angel Investor, under the concept of MERs in 2007 with the participation of the company should have been a 8-12 venture funds with combined capital of about 30 billion rubles. In fact, in 2007-m formed only two funds management companies: «Bioprotsess Capital Partners» and «VTB Venture Fund». According to the MER, these funds should provide venture capital (ie risk) capital to 200 innovative companies and become an indirect catalyst for the creation of some 1,000 enterprises sector, hi-tech. But so far only six startups received money from investors. Another 15 projects from the sphere of information technologies should be available in September at an average of 100 to 150 million rubles from «VTB Venture Fund». However, their names in the fund has not yet been called. It is, however, that one of the projects associated with software development in the field of information security. This, however, is not to create a company that would have competed with «Kaspersky Labs» or Symantec, and the introduction of a new technology for detecting computer viruses. Also, venture fund VTB intends to invest in the team that developed software for mobile phones. Another project is creating technologies for the production of 3D-video - it will be used to create combined to shoot films and advertisements. Other startups implementing a project in distributed computing (Grid Computing).

Formally, the Russian Venture Company distributes money for a transparent competitive basis, the experts say. But the process is not as fast as originally promised the framers of the fund of funds, and mostly due to the fact that MERs actually works within the existing administrative system in Russia. And in many decisions «vylezhivayutsya», long-term negotiated with all stakeholders, often long delayed due to administrative reshuffling, etc.


Finam as flagship

In the face of rapid development of the Russian IT industry more and more independent (private) investfondov declares its plans to invest in young and promising computer company. One of the absolute leader of this market - an investment holding company «Finam». In the I half of 2008 holding company invested in a number of major projects and intends to significantly increase their number in the near future.


Help IT SECTOR:

Investment holding company «Finam» provides a full range of investment services and operates in more than 80 cities in Russia. «Finam» is among the leading Russian IT-investors, overseeing the company «Mamba», E-generator, MoneyMail and others, owning stakes in companies «Ashmanov and Partners», «Astrostar», «Alavar», the social network Badoo. com and several others. Holding the first Russian mutual funds, specializing in investments in high-tech - «Finam - Information technology». To date, under the management of «Finama» has 11 funds. Assets of all mutual fund companies at the end I quarter 2008 amounted to 2918.33 million rubles (95% of total assets). The increase in assets of mutual funds over the past four quarters totaled more than 90% mainly due to growth in assets closed unit investment fund «Finam - Information technology».

The first Russian fund for investment in IT projects was formed «Finamom» in 2006. Then, have been identified priority areas for investment: they have become IT-stock companies engaged in software development, as well as create, maintain and manage various online projects. However, investment company as IT-investor has started much earlier - in 2003 - when «Finam» acquired company «Begun» (system of placing ads on sites in Runet), which at that time worked in the market just a year. Now «Begun» (recently sold the corporation Google) provides approximately 2.8 billion impressions a week, a network service coverage was 18 million Internet users.

Another major investment fund subsidiary «Finama» is the project «Mamba» - now this is one of the largest dating service and communication in runet (about 8 thousand separate sites of acquaintances and friends of large sections of portals). Now the system «Mamba» registered about 9.9 million questionnaires and daily «Mamba» visit 1,5-2 million users. Projections of revenue growth for the full year 2008 represented approximately 50% but now «Mamba» overcome this bar, earned in the first half-year 222 million rubles (on the basis of 2007 th company received 300 million rubles). In «Finame» for the search and selection of investment projects in the field of IT special department responsible IT-investment that works for the benefit of an investment holding company «Finam», and the fund «Finam - Information technology». Every month, the Department is considering about 30 projects. For investment by the sector of information and communication technologies, Internet technologies (online services, online media, video, audio, social networks, e-commerce, etc.), software, infrastructure (ISP, hosting), mobile technologies and services . As they say analysts «Finama», among many startups proposed by the majority of clones, some other ideas difficult monetized or they are not mature sponsors. In this arrangement, the applicant company's participation in the selection of IT-department «Finama» simplified - to consider are not only ready business plans, but also made good business ideas. The time interval of one investment project ranges from three to five years.

According to many experts, today Russia's IT market - one of the fastest growing in the world, and some of its segments already growing at 50% per year - for example, the market introduction of ERP. With regard to market investment proposals, in Russia it is working as a local specialized funds like «Finam-IT», and overseas. In early July this year investment initiative put forward Corporation Cisco - together with the Almaz Capital Partners, it has formed a core capital fund Almaz Capital Russia 1, LP, which amounts to $ 60 million initial investment in Russian startups expected in the coming months. The experts do not exclude that in the future, Cisco will buy the company, proinvestirovannye Fund.

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