Monday, August 25, 2008

IT-industry: willingness to everything

Are held last summer days. That's about to come autumn, and with it - and the long-awaited revitalization of the global IT-business. But then, perhaps, is caution against excessive optimism. Analysts company Gartner noted that the weakening world economy soon may force consumers to buy fewer electronics. In the coming months is expected to reduce the widespread sales of computer equipment that will affect the rapidly producing microchips. Until this year, sales of PCs and mobile phones kept at a high level thanks to developing markets (China, India, Russia, South America), which is heated by industry. But at Gartner believe that soon, and in these countries will be felt the impact of global economic crisis.

In March this year, experts forecast by Gartner changed the overall production of chips, taking into account the decline in the prices of memory and the deterioration of the global economy. Thus, if the previously expected annual profit growth in IT-industry stood at 6.2%, but now it dropped to 3.4% ($ 278.4 billion). According to forecasts Gartner, improvements in the industry should not wait before the second half of next year.

Microprocessor passions

One of the most notable events this summer was the intensification of the two largest producers of processors - AMD and Intel. Both companies have sought to strengthen their market position. In doing so, a number of miscalculations, admitted the authority of AMD, led to a weakening market position of the manufacturer. One of those mistakes proved acquisition of ATI, eventually obernuvsheesya big loss for AMD. Nevertheless, the company does not intend to give up: now AMD has taken serious steps, trying to stay competitive. In July the company was headed by Dirk Meyer, who succeeded as general director Hector Ruiz.

Now leaders of the company has plans to reorganize production, which, however, still kept secret. Do not forget AMD and their "direct responsibility", while continuing to replenish its range of new products: last month were released three new quad processor Phenom X4. For such activity AMD followed by significant growth in the ranking positions the company: from 20 - the first place, she moved to fifth. AMD competitor Intel, in the person also does not waste time. In the rating of proposals corporation was able to deprive the company Apple second place which is occupied for several months. After 40 years after the founding of affairs at Intel are excellent. To verify this, just look at the financial performance of the corporation for the II quarter of this year. In July Intel introduced the Intel Centrino platform 2, which immediately interested in leading notebook manufacturers. Moreover, in the near future Corporation intends to release onto the market a number of promising products, among them - dual-core processor Intel Atom, microarchitecture chips on Nehalem, as well as video Larrabee. According to Steysi Smith, financial director of Intel, earnings for the quarter ranged from $ 10 to $ 10.6 billion (In doing so, according to Reuters Estimates, analysts forecast earnings in Intel III quarter at around $ 10.3 billion) Commenting on its forecast, Smith noted that Intel has shown good performance during the year even though the slowdown in economic growth has affected not only the U.S. but also Western Europe. The main reason for good performance Intel, according to Smith - the timely entry into the market for mobile processors - in particular, Issue chip Atom, to be used in inexpensive gadgets and laptops. Now sales Atom development becomes a priority objective in the face of slowing growth in world PC market. Quote: "Atom become very good acceleration at the start, exceeding our expectations at the beginning of the year. The product fits perfectly into a modern prosperous state is not the American economy in which consumers pay more attention to low-cost devices.

However, according to findirektora Intel, the company intends to establish exactly how and in what areas need Market Atom, only in the next six months. In the meantime, it is anticipated that the processor is very well suited for use in mobile devices, in emerging markets, as well as for people who want to be second inexpensive PCs, in addition to the core. Along with AMD and Intel demonstrated the positive dynamics and other manufacturers of computer equipment. Thus, the company closed the first ten Dell, Toshiba and Nvidia divided among themselves 13 - yu line, and Lenovo took 17 - first place.

Incidentally, on Lenovo

According to quarterly reports company Lenovo, net profit in II quarter of this year reached $ 110 million - a 65% increase over the same period last year, when profit was $ 66.84 million These figures exceeded expectations of most analysts predict earnings of $ 107 , 47 million Nevertheless, the general revenues in II quarter increased only by 10%, to $ 4.2 billion According to the company on quarterly financial performance crisis has affected the American economy and an earthquake in China. In the structure of sales of Lenovo can be identified, on the one hand, the slowdown in sales of desktops, which amounted to only 3% (up to $ 1.7 billion), and strengthening the positions of laptops, sales growth which reached 17% (up to $ 2.4 billion). Now the share of portable PCs accounted for 57% of sales. In the regional division of China showed the best performance, in which sales growth was 22% (up to $ 1.7 billion). In the U.S. products were sold at $ 1.1 billion, in Europe, Africa and the Middle East - at $ 904 million, while in Asia (excluding China) - at $ 497 million as stated by representatives of Lenovo, in commenting on the results of the II quarter, the company emphasis on the Olympics in Beijing, where she is an official sponsor. According to plans, the fourth PC manufacturer in the world, Olympic marketing activity should make it globally recognizable brand.

Via changes specialization

One of the few producers of alternative chipsets - the company Via - will no longer produce a platform for third-party processors and plans to concentrate instead on issuing its own platform for processors x86. Via Vice President Richard Brown said about this: "One of the main reasons why we decided to fully engage x86, is that, according to our estimates, the business of producing chipsets for third-party processors is futile". As examples, Brown led the company Intel and AMD, which themselves produce chipsets for its processors. Intel has achieved that now almost all of its processors provided with its own chipsets. With the acquisition of ATI Technologies in 2006, the company AMD is approaching a similar scenario.

Rumours that Via is considering withdrawal from the business to produce chipsets, yet emerged last autumn, when the publication DigiTimes reported the resignation of President and Chief Executive Via unit to develop platforms Cheveya Lin, who along with the company, left the team of 40 specialists. Later they joined the ASMedia Technology - the Taiwan branch of Asustek Computer. Among the reasons cited the departure of heated competition from Intel and AMD, as well as the uncertain future ruler chipsets company. Relations between Via and the world's largest producer Intel processor always leaves much to be desired. Thus, in 2001 issued a Via chipset Apollo P4X266, which had the support of DDR memory and Pentium 4 processors. However, the necessary license from Intel for the development of this chipset has been received. I am afraid to get out of favor Intel, manufacturers of motherboards to produce steel products based Apollo is not under your name, but under the name Via. Today the company includes Via the five largest producers of the Organization's website, which also includes Intel, AMD, Nvidia and SiS. When asked whether the company was able to improve relations with Intel, Richard Brown replied as follows: "Our company and Intel are direct competitors in the very difficult market. Nevertheless, we respect the Intel as to our opponent and as a company, has made an enormous contribution to the development of personal computer industry ". I recall that in early August there were rumours that goes out of business chipsets company Nvidia. However, this information was immediately overcome its official representatives, who said they had to withdraw from this segment does not make sense, as it positions Nvidia strong as ever.

Cadres who decide everything

Working at IBM plants in the state of Vermont expects 10 - lowering the percentage of salaries early next year. Jeff Kutyur, a representative of IBM in Vermont, said that the company will cease to pay 20 - Prize working interest 12 - hour shifts. These measures affect about 3500 workers assembly line. To compensate for the abolition of bonuses, IBM plans to implement a one-10 - percentage increase basic rates. IBM plants in the state of Vermont produce processors for cellular phones, DVD-players and other consumer electronics, as well as special Processors game console. The company also is going to lower wages at some $ 120 administrative employees. Working night shifts will continue to receive bonuses of 12.5%. Thus, the measures taken by the leadership of the company, a different impact on individual employees. According to the representative of IBM, competing companies do not pay premiums for their workers. Jeff Kutyur also reported that IBM planned measures aim is to reduce costs and maintaining competitiveness.

Sanjay Dja, the new head of the mobile unit Motorola, intends to take a key strategy for the company's solutions for just 90 days. According to him, for three months will be profound rethinking Motorola mobile platforms and plans for the production of cellular phones. Dja also intend to invite to the work of new top managers to oversee areas of responsibility in which he personally lacks experience. I recall that until recently worked Sanjay Dja administrative director of the company Qualcomm. Observers suggest that many top managers will peremaneny it from there.

This amazing Russian IT-market

According to data analysis company IDC, in 2007 the volume of Russian market of integrated systems management (ISUP) grew by 58.7% to $ 579 million This figure is almost double the average growth rate of Russian IT-market. According to IDC analyst Peter Gorodetskogo software, end users fully appreciated the significance ISUP as a key tool for optimizing business processes and enhancing the competitiveness of enterprises. "A suppliers and their partners were able to offer customers the best choice including solutions for individual business segments and industries", - the expert explained. It seems that the needs of enterprises expressed not only in acquiring the tools to get information - for them relevant and consistent financial reporting requirements of domestic legislation. That is why the market share of budgetary and regularly updated products "1 S" has been steadily increasing. And if growth in 2005-2006 market presence "C 1" took place at the expense of reducing the proportion of Microsoft, then in 2007, "the victim" was a corporation Oracle. He explains what is happening relatively small number of potential customers "heavy" ERP-systems. It's no secret that many Russian enterprises, including large industrial, in the absence of free funds have to be satisfied with the products easier class. "Rich heavyweights" are still companies with continuous production cycle, specializing in the processing of raw materials, including oil, as well as retailers, "energy". Since the introduction of "C 1" is not a heavy burden on the corporate budget, have begun to automate the company SME. This is truly a "golden bottom". According to Deputy Director of corporate management systems company IBS Alexander Saksina, the success of SAP primarily attributable to a corporation that is sensitive to a segment of small and medium businesses. According to IDC, the market SMB SAP in Russia has received more than 30% of their income. It seems that Oracle policies in this direction is not enough active. Specialists IDC believes that the Russian market ERP-systems in the next five years will grow by an average of 35% annually. The cost of automated systems in the retail and wholesale trade, energy, health, education and government will grow, ahead of market dynamics.

Shares of major suppliers of ERP-systems in the Russian market (%)


Source: IDC.

Apple Mac vs. Windows PC

An interesting statistics published by NPD Group. According to her figures, the average price of your Mac twice higher than the average Windows PC. While the average price of Windows-notebook fell from $ 877 in June 2006 to $ 700 now, the average price of mobile PCs Apple is still about $ 1500, falling over the past two years at $ 59. Desktops Mac now sold in an average of $ 1000, while the typical Windows PC costs about $ 550. Of course, all these prices without taking into account the specifications of computers represent only a statistical interest, a typical configuration Mac and PC differed so much that they try to compare quite difficult. What is remarkable: despite the much greater difference in price, Apple market share is still growing and, according to Gartner, currently at 8.5%. The main reason for the growth analysts believe Vista problems and lack of proper marketing response from Microsoft, which prompted buyers to part with large sums of money in order to avoid meeting with the new Windows. Nevertheless, Apple should not sit idly by, experts believe. The new marketing initiative corporation Microsoft, Apple decides to respond to a series of rollers Get A Mac, could bring slower growth of sales of products with symbolism nadkushennogo apple. However, in Cupertino, it seems, this has long been ready: can talk about it announced in July by reducing percent gross margin from 35% to 30% - unchanged at a cost that can speak only to lower retail prices. Calculations show that if Apple is going to continue to increase its market share, or at least freeze it at the level of 8.5%, prices would have to go down.

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Any competent PR Specialist you will say: if the information needed an excuse, any intrigue could unleash literally on level ground. That's what seems to have been the company "RosBusinessConsulting" (RBC), seeking to make public the fact that among its assets added popular among Russian Internet users pager QIP.

Let me remind you that QIP considered one of the most common in post-Soviet space programs for instant messaging. QIP 100% compatible with ICQ, as passed on a protocol Oscar - a proprietary protocol, developed by Israeli company Mirabilis - creator program ICQ. QIP main difference between the official ICQ-client is the lack of advertising - is an advantage and believes most users program. Plus, of course, given the absolute "bezglyuchnost" and stability coupled with the ease of use. Here you need to recall that the developer of ICQ (and at the same time and the ideology of Internet pagers) company Mirabilis few years ago was acquired by telecommunications giant AOL and converted into a company ICQ Ltd. Since then, it was AOL owns all rights to technology Mirabilis, its commercial development and protocol Oscar, which enjoys a majority of the 66 known instant messaging. According to several sources, QIP regularly uses about half the users рунета. However, rating services offer slightly different figures. According to data analysis company ComScore, earlier this year enjoyed the service QIP 26.6% рунета audience. This figure has messenger ninth place in the ranking of ComScore. Nevertheless, analyst investment company "Finam" Leonid Delitsyn confident that the QIP - still the most popular ICQ-client in Russia. In his view, this program uses 40% of Russian Internet users, and the placement of advertising could bring a year of not less than $1 million a matter of fact, until recently exclusive partner ICQ Ltd. Russia was in the company Rambler, but in May deadline for a treaty on partnership. According to Leonid Delitsyn, RBC media could become - or at least try to become - a partner AOL. Possession of one of the most popular in runet Internet pagers would significantly increase the chances of success RBC. As for the market value of QIP, it evaluates its Delitsyn in $3 - $5 million, and most other experts - in "several million dollars".

And so began preparations for the PR-monetization QIP. In late July, the famous Russian "Vedomosti" newspaper published the first information on the Internet connection, pager companies and QIP RBC. I note only that the soil for the dissemination of such information even born at the beginning of last year, when it became clear that a domain name registered in the company Valento Commerce, and she, in turn, tightly linked to the RBC. Moreover, according to the organization ICANN, the company Valento Commerce belongs entertaining resource The publication "Vebplaneta" then quite dramatically the past about this, saying that QIP, in fact, is a "parasite ICQ", as it enjoys the protocol and subscriber base. Meanwhile, the protocol remains officially closed (proprietary). And consequently, for a serious business owner QIP required to conclude an agreement with AOL - just such an agreement would provide an opportunity to enjoy Protocol Oscar for commercial purposes. It turns out that direct purchase QIP RBC provided a disadvantage because of high licensing fees to AOL. Then the mechanism was implemented "incubator" in the form of third-party offshore company - the very Valento Commerce, and reported as "Vedomosti". However, verifies this information to journalists found no mention of any Valento in describing the structure of the holding company, or in presentations to investors. It turns out that the fact that the purchase "Rosbizneskonsaltingom" company Valento Commerce, which was discussed as early as last year, or eventually failed, or simply is not confirmed. However, owners of the QIP any comments about its relationship with RBC still holding refuse.

OAO "RBC Information systems" - the Russian media. He speaks the same Internet portal, news, magazines, newspapers, TV and other assets. Financial indicators (2007): revenues - $193 million, EBITDA - $24 - $26 million Capitalization (on July 28, 2008) - $1.05 billion principal shareholders (on January 1, 2008): German Kaplun (9, 22%), Alexander Morgulchik (8.9%), Dmitry Belik (8.8%). For the first time Valento Commerce joined the list of companies affiliated with RBC in April 2007. Of the reports should RBC: Valento was acquired on October 27, 2006 - On the Cyprus company RBC Investments, RBC owned by the owners. But in May 2007 RBC general director Yury Rovensky said that the deal on the acquisition Valento did not take place, although planned - "was signed a contract of intent to acquire". Of the subsequent lists companies affiliated with RBC Valento disappeared and appeared only in July this year already.

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The market of mobile phones transmission formats.

The research company Gartner released its medium-term forecast of market development of mobile phones. According to analysts Gartner, before the end of 2009 ringtones will appear on the market a number of new players, while the market will take only a few frank outsiders. New manufacturers will increasingly move data transmission services and additional services, and the devices become easier to handle when former functionality. In doing so, the greatest sales growth will occur in developing countries, while in Western Europe and Japan will begin declining, and in the United States - a long period of stagnation. Gartner experts have identified five major trends of the industry of mobile phones before the end of 2009 - go.

First of all, the market of cellular devices will new players - for example, a manufacturer of GPS-navigators Garmin - the company postponed the release of its first phone with the IV quarter of 2008 - go for next year. The emergence of new producers in the face of fierce competition sufficiently stimulated by the expansion of the market and the variety of ready platforms. Secondly, pressure from operators seeking to lower prices for mobile phones, will force manufacturers to seek new sources of revenue, for example, from the sale of content and other services. On this path have already made Nokia with its service Ovi, Sony Ericsson with PlayNow and Apple with iTunes. Similar projects are preparing to launch a number of manufacturing companies - for example, Motorola. In the future, according to experts, business links between producers phones and smartphones, cellular operators and content providers will be much stronger and diverse in their points of contact will be new business models. Another important trend in 2009 - cellular phones (unless, of course, the word "phone" still could be applied to these devices) will become less complicated to use. All will play a more important design and style mobile, while differences in functionality will become less noticeable. Companies producing development and implementation will primarily those new technologies that will enable cheaper design variations. For example, is expected to conclude new agreements with global brands of elite sports accessories and clothing - and, what traits do not jokes, and can reach up to use food and car brands. Pepsi-phone and phone-style Jaguar today still may raise a smile, but do not forget how quickly changing world around us. Issue joint products, manufacturers ringtones will be able to improve the attractiveness of their vehicles in the eyes of consumers. Finally, the life cycle of high-tech phones will increase: it will be possible to download software updates, new copyright management systems (DRM), applications and services, multimedia files - all for the appliance to remain contemporary as long as possible.

With regard to statistical projections of Gartner, then, on the basis of 2008 in the world to be sold 1.28 billion cell phones that the 11% increase compared to 1.15 billion vehicles sold last year. In I quarter of this year in the world was sold 294.3 million mobile phones. According to preliminary calculations, in II quarter (April-June) in retail sales and in offices operators sent 300 - 305 million mobile phone. Leading Gartner analyst Carolina Milanezi said: "In III quarter sales growth to continue, but would be immaterial, since the company Motorola and LG have already warned of lower quarterly sales. In addition, remains complex and the economic situation. All hope rests at the end of the year when producers phones will be provided to most of the novelties. In addition, the increase in sales in the quarter IV should affect seasonal factor ". In doing so, sales growth will be achieved primarily by developing countries, countries in Eastern Europe, Russia (CIS) and Latin America. At the same time, in regions such as Western Europe, Japan and North America, the market has reached saturation point. According to analysts' forecasts, in the Asia-Pacific region in 2008 will be realized 472.5 million mobile devices that will be at 17.9% more than last year. In Western Europe, will be sold approximately 188 million phones - a 1.5% lower than in 2007 - m. Sales in North America amount to 185.7 million units, which will give 5.3 - percentage growth for the year. At the same time, Japan will be sold 47.7 million sets, a country that is the rising sun from last year will show 9.1 - the percentage decline in sales of mobile phone.

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IT-business in the genre Apple

Rather the number of business news recently linked with Apple. Perhaps the main news was that the Taiwanese company Foxconn has accelerated production of smartphone iPhone 3G, which it produces to order Apple, to 800 thousand units per week. Such rate for the year will be 40 million such devices. According to the blog TechCrunch, the current rate exceeds the capacity of factories Foxconn, which raises concerns about quality control. Last week, already poslyshalis complaints about poor performance of the shell of certain models, mainly white versions.

Earlier, industry media reported that Foxconn will deliver only 24-25 million iPhone 3G. In doing so, analysts predicted, the market will need only 25 million of these smartphones for their entire life cycle. For comparison: Apple managed to sell only six million iPhone previous generation. Overall, in 2007 the world was sold 1 billion mobile phones and converged devices.

Let me remind you that iPhone 3G customers was introduced on June 9 this year. Staff put on sale in more than 20 countries around the world in July. It is expected that before the end of the year the device is sold in 70 countries. Russia and the CIS countries on the list not yet, but the other day representatives of Apple products exclusive distributor in Russia, Apple IMC, said that the smartphone can begin deliveries in 2009.

Do not rage and court battles around the "fruit company". Lawyers for the company Psystar, a graduating computer clones Mac, intend to use to combat Apple antitrust laws, said attorney Colby Springer. According to him, in court protection Psystar will insist that Apple violates antitrust laws. Other details of its strategy lawyer, however, are not reported.

In early July this year, Apple filed in court on Psystar, accusing the latter of copyright infringement. For the presentation of their interests in court Psystar hired a law firm of Carr & Ferrell, who has previously won the case at Apple. I recall that in April the company submitted a Psystar Mac-compatible computer OpenMac. Later it was renamed in OpenComputer. Formally rise to the claim Apple was that OpenComputer runs under Mac OS X. Under the terms of the license agreement this operating system can be installed only on computers produced very Apple.

The head of Apple Steve Jobs in internal company staff letter said that the service was launched MobileMe premature and not in accordance with standards of the corporation. He proposed to remedy the situation before the end of the year. According Dzhobsa, Apple should run MobileMe gradually, and not as a monolithic service. For example, to start could be given an opportunity to synchronize with the iPhone, then run web applications such as Mail and Calendar. Jobs also called MobileMe mistake to launch simultaneously with the iPhone 3G, firmware iPhone 2.0 and store applications App Store. According to him, the staff was what to do at this time and MobileMe could be safely postponed.

Apple has not once had to apologize for poor quality service MobileMe and even reorganize the entire team working on the service. Group transferred under the beginning Eddie Kyu, who then became head of all Internet services Apple, including iTunes and App Store.

For reference: MobileMe - service fee Apple, which should replace a similar Mac. MobileMe allows computers to synchronize information between users and servers use Apple as a repository for mail, images and other files. MobileMe was presented on June 9.

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