Thursday, August 7, 2008

Oil trap for IT-industry

World oil prices since the beginning of the year, growing rapidly. Barrel time after time beats own record, "oil" topic is not similar to the first strips of newspapers and screens. But few people still thought about how energy situation may affect the IT-industry. Meanwhile, the impact could be quite strong. According to most experts, as soon as the price of oil reaches $ 200 mark per barrel, is a global recession. Of course, straight towards the IT-industry oil prices affect poor. The chain of relationships in this area looks much more difficult. But can be traced two main ways.

The road first. The increase in oil prices directly leads to an increase in food prices - that we are witnessing today. According to the laws of economics, where expensive food basket, falling levels of consumption items are not necessities. In this case all kinds of gadgets - digital cameras, mp3-players, etc. Relationship simple: went products - means fewer people will replace their cell phone to the new model. For example, the consulting company Gartner lowered growth forecast of the global market of mobile phones in 2008 to 10-11%. Back in late May, the company forecast that it will be 10-15%. "In June, the economic environment began to have a negative impact not only on developing markets, but also to mature - Milanezi said Carolina, head of research unit mobile market. -- We register the warnings of a weaker second quarter from Sony Ericsson and some manufacturers of components ", - she says. Home PC will be updated less frequently, too - but it does not have a significant segment of the computer market. But sales, for example, digital dictaphones not fall - is working tools, not buy them for fun.

The way the second. Rising oil prices oppressed the entire corporate sector - and especially industry. And it is a huge market for computer plus market "heavy" software - like DBMS or CRM-decisions. Plus network solutions. That is, industry, reducing the share of expenditure in non-production costs, adhere to upgrade computer park, software updates, etc. Accordingly, manufacturers suffered major computer hardware and software developers. Here's a fresh example: Sun Microsystems Corporation has reduced 1000 employees in the U.S. and Canada. In total, the company plans to dismiss from 1500 to 2500 employees in offices around the world. Further reductions will affect countries in the Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and Africa. The dismissal of 2500 employees means the loss of 7% of the workforce. Sun Microsystems said that the layoffs have caused economic hardship as a result of which the corporation lost $ 34 million for the most recent financial quarter. The Director-General Sun, Jonathan Schwartz reported that profit company in the U.S. declined by 10%. It identified the major problems in the region, which is the source of 40% of income corporation. As for the "original" semiconductor market, the Gartner analysts foresee a general reduction in spending on basic semiconductor production equipment in 2008. According to specialists, the cost of creating flash drives will not exceed $ 49.2 billion, which means lowering at 22.4% compared with last year. The cause of cuts in funding Gartner sees in the protracted economic instability without visibility improvements in the future. Reducing the world's total production costs of memory devices will be 32.1%. And for dynamic RAM reduction rate exceeds 40%, and for NAND-Flash is 19%.

Manufacturing semiconductor materials remains the most popular market segment. Gartner predicts decline in this area no more than 21.5%. The cost of equipment for assembling and stocking presumably reduced to 15.2%. The market for automated testing equipment products will show a negative deviation at 20.2%. In 2009, Gartner predicts slight increase in all segments of the world market for semiconductor memory devices in connection with the removal of surplus offers dynamic RAM. Overall growth expected to reach 7.6%. We need to remember that the overall decline in business activity directly affects the telecommunications market. But in this case make any specific projections rather difficult: the business for several years reduces costs for communications, actively implementing IP-telephony, and the cost of access to the Internet all the time falls.

A separate issue - oil and Asia. In fact, nowadays the vast majority of computer (and in general electronic) industries are concentrated in Southeast Asia. So: the Asian Development Bank forecast, the economy of developing countries on the continent in 2008 will grow only 7%. Previously, Asia thanks to low production costs supplied cheap goods worldwide. It is thanks to her in recent years markedly cheaper computers, and indeed the entire electronics in general. But now a long period in which Asia has been a source of declining world prices for many categories of products, is over. And consequently, the cost of production of computer components will inevitably begin to grow (in fact, already begun). The findings, I think, lie on the surface. But, by the way, an interesting opinion. "The increase in oil prices on world markets is useful for the development of the Internet, despite the fact that damages the world economy as a whole". This is the word Google vice president Vint Cerf said at a meeting in Seoul, South Korean devoted to the development of the Internet economy. According to Cerf, more people will work through the Internet to improve the efficiency of doing business. In particular, business people are increasingly using video, because travel became much more costly. In addition, new opportunities for search engines relating to selection of the best routes for savings. Cerf said that South Korea has the best opportunities for such development, because this country has the highest concentration of high-speed Internet and mobile communications. In particular, 94% of households in Korea have access to the Internet, while the average for countries - participants in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the figure is 58%. Difficult to say how human Vint Cerf. But do not wish to see a worldwide recession because of excessive oil prices stopped a rapid growth of IT-industry, which we have seen the last half-dozen years.

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IT-SECTOR: the middle of summer fun

Venture to suggest that news about the relationship between Yahoo and Microsoft will soon be published in the press exclusively in the sections "Humor". Because a case, without humor, understood this long-standing history has been difficult. It all started when some weeks ago scandalous millionaire Carl Ikan Microsoft and Yahoo have given leadership 24 hours to the proposal, which was as follows: Microsoft buys search Yahoo, and Ikanu get the rest of the company. The latest subjected to restructuring. More deals were unknown, but judging by the reaction, they were offensive. Authors ultimatum given to understand that the negotiations did not go, and soon received a sharp denial. In fact in the corporate correspondence is not obscene phrases. But there are their equivalents, which were fully utilized in reply Yahoo. Chairman of the Board of Directors Yahoo Roy Bostok Ikana called the Alliance and Microsoft "strange and unprincipled". And now brilliant quote: "This sumasbrodnogo and unpredictable conduct, we, in principle, from Microsoft and expected". Bostok added that the proposal put forward by Yahoo has any purpose other than the interests of shareholders portal. The Board of Directors, according to Bostoka, will do everything to prevent a transaction to which it forced Microsoft and "the only short-term investor" (ie Karl Ikan). Bostok also announced that in case the ultimatum would be dismissed all the top managers of Yahoo, which means at least a year of instability for the company, as well as new directors knew nothing about business search engine. But all very complicated: Microsoft announced the proposal made by the company about buying Yahoo search initiative… Yahoo chairman of the board of directors Roy Bostoka. Bostok, according to representatives of corporations, the head of Microsoft Steve telephoned Balmeru. He said that the search was ready to discuss the sale with a solid guarantees and the increase in the cost of purchased traffic. I recall at 1 August meeting of shareholders with Yahoo. That was when Karl Ikan try to shift the board of directors search engine, people put their assets and begin section with Microsoft on its own terms. Although the divide, in fact, more likely to be search advertising market, which now dominates the alliance is inseparably Google and Yahoo. Recently, Karl Ikan said that if he will get control of Yahoo, then sell the Microsoft search for a billion dollars. In addition, the plan Ikana, Microsoft will provide its own Yahoo search on an exclusive basis for five years. Microsoft Yahoo must also guarantee payment of $ 2.3 billion a year as compensation for queries generated from the pages of resources Yahoo, if the company will provide a certain amount of traffic. A July 14 to shareholders Ikan sent Yahoo a letter in which they called "NOT TO ASSUME ODURACHIT" and asked, "NEUZHELI ONI, THESE Owners YAHOO, HOTYAT VZYAT ASSUME TOT SAME RISK?" (Allocation of capital letters - Carl Ikana).

Yes, by the way: U.S. senators began consideration of the partnership transactions in the market of Internet advertising companies between Yahoo and Google for breach of anti-monopoly legislation. Chairman of the Committee on antitrust issues U.S. Senate Herb Kohl, opening the hearing, emphasized that Google and Yahoo together would control 90% of the market of Internet search. Michael Callahan and David Drummond, representing the Senate in Yahoo and Google, respectively, stated that cooperation between their companies will favourably influence the competition, stressing that such transactions are not unusual. Money received from the Yahoo partnership will be invested in further development of the company. Callahan said that Yahoo, despite the partnership with Google, does not intend to abandon the struggle for leadership in the market of Internet search. Drummond supported him, saying that Google sees and will see a competitor in the person of Yahoo. It seems Microsoft Bred Smith stated that approval of the deal between Yahoo and Google by the antimonopoly authorities would ensure that this tandem will control the bulk of the market. As a consequence, prices for Internet advertising will grow because of a lack of competition. In addition, Smith said that гендиректор Yahoo Jerry Yang during talks with the leadership of Microsoft said that if approval of the deal between Yahoo and Google led by the company "will become part of the pool Google", and Microsoft will be unable to compete with the new structure. Michael Callahan did not recall such words Yang, though present at the meeting. Let me remind you that the transaction between Yahoo and Google became aware on June 12. The agreement concluded between the search engine, involves placement in the search extradition Yahoo Google contextual advertising in the U.S. and Canada. The agreement - 10 years. Earlier гендиректор Google Eric Schmidt said that the transaction does not violate antitrust laws. He stressed that partnership between competing companies is becoming increasingly common phenomenon, and received the endorsement Federal Trade Commission USA. Uf-f…

Now the mobile. July 13 million was sold iPhone 3G. Sales smartphone began July 11. Last year during the first two days of sales only bought 270 thousand first-generation smartphones iPhone. To sell a million iPhone first generation of Apple took 74 days. In selling Apple iPhone 3G smartphone received simultaneously in 20 countries. Among them, besides the U.S., Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Germany, Hong Kong, Ireland, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and Britain. By the end of the year smartphone will be available in more than 70 countries. Someone lucky, and someone - no. Gartner Consulting Company lowered the forecast for growth in the global market of mobile phones in 2008 to 10-11%. Back in late May, the company forecast that growth would be 10-15%. Milanezi Carolina, head of mobile market research unit, said: "In June, the economic environment began to have a negative impact not only on developing markets, but also to mature. We register the warnings of a weaker second quarter from Sony Ericsson and some manufacturers of components ". Despite the expected slowdown in the mobile industry, Google intends to bring in 3.2 billion Internet users of mobile phones. PC Users currently numbering billion. At the briefing in Singapore mobile unit leader Google Andy Rubin stressed that the market for mobile phones three times more "classic" Internet market, so access to Google it is quite natural. For the Internet-based applications among mobile phone users Google intends to use its platform Android, which is drafted by the final stage. Rubin recalled that Google has earmarked $ 10 million to conduct the bidding for a better application for Android. Total take part in the 1700 developers from 75 countries. Moreover, was demonstrated unnamed mobile phone, running Google Android. It was predustanovleny various applications, as well as weather forecasting service and games. The work to attract mobile internetchikov leads and portal Yahoo. In particular, a month ago an agreement was concluded between Yahoo and the five Asian telecommunications companies to provide their subscribers access to mobile search engine Yahoo! OneSearch. Since then, the total number of cellular subscribers with access to mobile search service Yahoo, reached 600 million people. Vice-president of Yahoo mobile units David Ko said that by increasing the number of users of mobile services Yahoo intends to gain significant market share of mobile advertising. The volume of the latter, projected Ko, in 2011 will reach $ 16.2 billion in 2006, the mobile advertising market volume was equal to a half billion dollars.

Now, semiconductor news. By March 2011, the company NEC will take more than half the market for chips drives Blu-ray. In March 2009, NEC expects to take 40% of the market. Representatives of NEC said that in the next 24 months will redouble their sales of chips for Blu-ray-drives. They stressed that the fall in prices of these devices must strike as customers NEC, and producers of DVD. Now NEC main competitors in the market for chips Blu-ray drives are companies Matsushita, Renesas and Hitachi. His advantage NEC called representatives that they have created the first chip, to unite on a single crystal nucleus, an integrated memory controller and a set of accelerators to work with audio and video. But the company AMD announced the cost for the II quarter of almost a billion dollars. To be precise, an amount equal to $ 948 million It includes expenditures of $ 32 million related to the decision to dismiss the end of the year 10% of staff. Part of the cost could be offset selling outdated production equipment to work with 200 mm plates for $ 190 million in $ 880 million estimated loss on decline in the value of company assets associated with low rates of units producing products for digital TV-receivers and handheld devices. This business was acquired in the composition of ATI Technologies, but has fallen short of expectations placed on him. Reducing AMD investments in securities and a subsidiary of Spansion (according to last year, 13,6% Spansion owned by Fujitsu, 10,4% - AMD) resulted in additional losses of $ 36 million, however, costs, despite their impressive size, AMD is not linked to any actual payments. This year, AMD had managed to increase market share, partly by issuing quad desktop processors. However, there is no clarity whether the company will be able to reach a positive balance.

The company IBM plans to invest half a billion dollars in the development and production of processors. The money will be divided between two major projects. A billion dollars IBM will send to the modernization of its plant in the town of East Fishkill, New York. This decision, the company confirmed the intention to stay on the market processors, oprovergnuv rumors of his resignation. Half a billion dollars IBM plans to invest in research programs the college of science and technology nanomasshtabov at the University of Albany. These funds will be directed towards research in the field of nanotechnology and semiconductors. The leadership of New York State, feared that in case of closure of the plant in East IBM Fishkille without work would remain a thousand people, also decided to allocate funds for the development of semiconductor industry. Total state administration will be allocated $ 140 million, of which 50 will go to construction of a research centre for the study of semiconductors. 90 million will be directed to the payment of grants.

Now on the other. According to unofficial data, the world's largest media companies Time Warner intends to sell its Internet unit of AOL or Microsoft, or Yahoo. According to an anonymous source, negotiations for the sale of units markedly intensified in recent days because of an approaching 1 August, when Yahoo will hold the annual meeting of shareholders. In doing so, the possible structure of the transaction have not yet clear, and, as previously reported by sources, in the event of a merger with AOL Yahoo Time Warner may get stake in search engine, while in the case of signing deals with Microsoft AOL will be sold for money. Earlier this month, has information that Yahoo and AOL for several months negotiating to merge its Internet operations, but after mid-June 2008 with Google was concluded a partnership agreement to market Internet advertising, interest in the possibility of merging AOL with the leadership of Yahoo fell slightly. Seagate Company, summarized its work in the IV quarter and 2008 fiscal year as a whole (ended on June 27). Reported from April to June inclusive Seagate has received $ 2.9 billion revenue. This is 6% above that of IV quarter of fiscal year 2007, when Seagate revenue totaled slightly more than $ 2.7 billion company's Quarterly profit for the year decreased by 70% - from 541 million to 160 million dollars. In such a situation Seagate attributed the delays in the issuance of new drives for notebooks and suspended shipments of drives for large corporate customers, which include Google and Yahoo. According to the results of 2008 fiscal year as a whole Seagate revenue reached $ 12.7 billion For comparison: in the 2007 fiscal year, the company received income of $ 11.4 billion net profit for the reporting period amounted to $ 1.3 billion in 2007 Seagate had received $ 913 million profits. Former Chairman of the Board of Directors of the South Korean company Samsung Lee Hee-Gon was conditionally sentenced to three years on charges of tax evasion. He also was fined $ 109 million previously demanded Zeynalov for 66 - year Gon Lee Hee, who worked in the Samsung more than 20 years, 7 years' imprisonment and a fine manager asked the court for $ 350 million we already wrote that in April this year, Li Gon Hi resigned after the South Korean authorities accused him of tax evasion. Lee Hong-hee has been arrested and remained at large. In the prosecutor's office explained that the fact that the arrest will cause substantial damage businessman Samsung, that affect on the country's economy as a whole. C Court over the former top managers began June 12. Earlier, Lee Hee-Gon was released from suspicion of giving bribes in the company and creating a special fund for bribes amounting to $ 215 million

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