Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Quiet preparations for the stormy autumn in IT

Even the most dramatic events often end without any noise and even more so without too much sensationalism. Since early spring, we witnessed the confrontation Internet companies Yahoo and Google with one hand and Microsoft in the company's odioznym billionaire investor Carl ICANN - on the other. Microsoft wants to buy Yahoo, or at least its search engine to increase its ryvkom little to date market share of Internet advertising. Yahoo, through its top managers desperately resisted. Google with its rejection of the organic business model Microsoft has actively supported Yahoo. Karl Ikan, though, and was the largest shareholder of Yahoo, stood on the side of software giant, with its own business interests. Passions Kipelov and should have reached the highest point on 1 August, at a key meeting of shareholders of Yahoo.

Even in mid-May, Karl Ikan, representing a group of investors and controls nearly 5% Yahoo, promised change at the annual shareholders' meeting of the Board of Directors, which opposes negotiations for the sale of Internet companies corporation Microsoft. But in late July Ikan and guidance to all Yahoo unexpectedly reached an agreement. ICANN was allowed to enter the board of directors expanded to eleven members, and he, in turn, agreed not to vote against the current leadership of the company. Other major holders of shares of Yahoo also supported the chairman of the board of directors Roy Bostoka and Chief Executive Jerry Yang. The conflict ugas itself.

Overall, the meeting on 1 August came all one and a half, hundreds of shareholders, who together have voted for the current directors. Absolutely all the candidates have retained their posts, having received the support of at least 78% of the vote each. But the main result in another: Microsoft is simply "prokinuli", and under the loud cries of happy world of Internet community. For Redmond is, of course, a strong blow to the reputation - not by chance as Steve Ballmer has dismissed the top manager responsible for the deal with Yahoo.

And in China from 1 August this year, came into force first in the history of that country's Antimonopoly Act. And a number of Chinese IT companies have already thinks about the claims against Microsoft. Thus, the representative of Evermore Software announced the publication of First Financial Daily, that his company gathers evidence monopolistskih action Microsoft for further proceedings. In his view, these actions are harmful to the interests of Evermore Software and restrict the activities of Chinese software developers. Such a trial could be a signal to other global corporations that, in terms of antitrust law, behave in the Chinese market is mixed.

Other Chinese companies engaged in developing software, including Kingsoft, also stated intentions to use the new antitrust law to deal with Microsoft. However, some of these companies do not take into account that for years they receive grants from the Chinese government, which puts them in a more advantageous terms in relation to foreign competitors. But the most important thing is that a large part on Microsoft, used in China to buy illegally. So, it may turn out that the Chinese pirates, not Microsoft, are working on the creation of monopolies in China.

Now let's talk about semiconductors - "flesh" IT-infrastructure. According to the main trade unions Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), worldwide sales of semiconductors in the I half of this year rose to $ 127.5 billion, which is $ 6.5 billion or 5.4% more than during the same period of 2007. Nevertheless, the situation in the II quarter was far from perfect - sales growth of 3%, while that of semiconductors were sold at $ 64.7 billion In doing so, June 8-percent growth to $ 21.6 billion was higher in May, when sales grew by 7.5% to $ 21.5 billion

According to SIA President George Skalisa, two pillars of growth in sales of semiconductors - "acceleration" of technology in emerging markets and growth in output PCs and mobile devices. Quote: "The development of the middle class in China, India, Eastern Europe and Latin America blocked the effects of economic recession in the U.S.. The increase in sales of PCs in developing countries this year to draw up 19% - twice more than in developed markets. " Also, according to Skalisa, growth in output PCs, which accounted for 40% of the world's consumption of semiconductors and mobile phones (20%) was the key to increase the industry to grow sales in these areas no less than 10%. Incidentally, the mobile. According to ABI Research, in the II quarter of the world has sold 301 million mobile phones. At the end of the year, according to research company, the market will be 1 billion 300 million devices - 13% higher than a year earlier. The distribution market, according to ABI, happened to read. The company Nokia surpassed mark of 40% recorded in the share of 40.3%. In second place was Samsung c 15,2%. Motorola only a tenth of per cent ahead of LG (9,3% and 9.2% respectively). Sony Ericsson controls 8.3%. Easy to calculate that, having received only a few per cent of the market, the company Nokia will control a large segment than all four first-tier manufacturers combined. All other company took on the outcome II quarter of 17.7% of the market.

Qualcomm President Sanjay Jakarta will be the new general co-director of the production of cell phones Motorola. He will manage the unit together with the head of Motorola Greg Brown. 45-year-old Jakarta will lead the unit, whose losses since the beginning of 2007 amounted to $ 1.9 billion

Let me remind you that Motorola plans to allocate loss-making unit into a separate company in 2009. Earlier this sought one of the shareholders of the company, already mentioned in this article Karl Ikan, which filed for that even the leadership of Motorola in court. As expected, after the mobile unit will be an independent company, Greg Brown and Sanjay Jakarta will remain its general director.

Sales of mobile units of Motorola fell steadily over the past year and a half, and the company has ceded much of its market share of mobile phone competitors. In 2007, Motorola fell by sales of phones from second to third place. The second was the South Korean company Samsung.

A German group Siemens signed an agreement to sell his unit for the production of radios company Arques Industries. After completion of the transaction with Siemens will not remain a single asset in the telecommunications business. Under the terms of the agreement Arques Industries will acquire 80.2% stake in Siemens Home and Office Communication Devices (SHO), which produces wireless radiotelephones standard DECT. No other details of the transaction have not yet been reported. In 2100 unit working people and on the end of 2007 the sale of units amounted to 792 million euros. I recall that in 2005, Siemens has sold its production of cellular phones Taiwan competitor for BenQ 350 million euros. Under the terms of the deal, BenQ will produce mobile phones under the brand BenQ-Siemens until 2010.

The Corporation Alcatel-Lucent start searching for new leaders. Manufacturer of telecommunications equipment, lishivshiysya recently chairman of the board and CEO, has already received a first denial - the former director of BT Group Ben Vervaayena. Search leaders engaged hedhantingovaya company Korn / Ferry International. Rather, candidates will be looking at the side; also possible that the posts of director and chairman of the board of directors will be merged and placed one head.

Potential candidates for key positions in Alcatel-Lucent, people familiar with the situation, called Thierry Breton, former finance minister of France and former director as France Telecom, Philippe Germont, director of French company Atos Origin, specializing in information technology, and Stephen Burke, director Operating income U.S. cable operator Comcast. The company AOL announced the acquisition startups Socialthing, founded in late 2005. Financial terms of the transaction are not disclosed. Socialthing is agregatsionnym service and now works in beta. It is expected that the main competitor of the project will be popular FriendFeed.

But for most AOL occurred troubled times. The company Time Warner is ready to sell it to AOL, separate platform online advertising sites and the business of providing Internet access services. Leaders of Time Warner believed that if the sale of AOL in parts they will be able to help out the company for a large sum. It is expected that during the two entity AOL Time Warner will receive $ 10 billion, analysts also point out that the real price of units online service AOL, according to the price of shares of Time Warner, now is the amount of $ 3 billion to $ 4 billion Among the most likely buyers are called AOL and Yahoo Microsoft.

Google is leaving Richard Kimber, managing director of sales and operations in Southeast Asia. Kimber will be the new executive director of the social network Friendster. Earlier in March this year, the social network Facebook hired to work Sheril Sandberg, the former vice president of global online sales and operations of Google.

And Google itself will soon start advertising in games. The system, called AdSense for Games will be introduced in the video game world. What publishers will take advantage of the new system has not yet reported. It is anticipated that appropriate technology has developed an advertising firm Adscape, which Google bought for $ 23 million in February 2007 th.

According to analysts The Yankee Group, the market game advertising by 2011 will rise to $ 971.3 million It already operating companies such as Double Fusion, IGA Worldwide, MochiMedia, NeoEdge Networks and Massive Incorporated. The latter belongs to Microsoft. Google is not the first time trying to expand its ad network beyond the Internet. In December 2005, the company conducted an experiment on placing ads in American publications. By mid-2006, the experiment was deemed a failure by Google draft year. In addition, Google recently announced the acquisition startups Omnisio, which was launched in March this year. According to the publication of TechCrunch, Google paid for Omnisio worth about $ 15 million Omnisio allows users to create annotations to videos and clips as well as synchronize presentation of the service Slideshare video. It is expected that Omnisio technology will be integrated into popular Video YouTube.

The popular social network MySpace has appointed five new top managers. That Manu Tapar, senior vice president of engineering, Angela Cortina, senior vice president of marketing, Tish Vitkraft, senior vice president of Client Services, Jason Oberfest, Vice President of Business Development and Eyb Thomas, vice president of online Marketing.

In 2010, global market share videodiskov follows: 60% will be owned by DVD and 40% - Blu-ray. After another year of the sale of CDs format Blu-ray equal and will bypass sales drives the previous generation. These are the results of a study of Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.

By the end of 2007 th at BD (Blu-ray Disc) sold every tenth film. In the middle of this year - one in five, and by the end of 2008 for the first Blu-ray discs will be sold each quarter kinolenta. The increase in the popularity of Blu-ray-holders in connection with the output in this format more and more movies.

According to analysts, in 2007 the percentage of Blu-ray players in the market amounted to 7-10%, while the 2008-m share the format will grow by 15%. From January to June sales of a new generation of players has increased fourfold in the U.S. and six in Europe, compared with the same period last year. To date, Blu-ray more than 650 films.

Sony Corp. is investing in expanding production of lithium-ion batteries about $ 371 million goal of these investments - doubling the number of manufactured batteries. It is anticipated that the 2010 fiscal year, Sony will produce 74 million lithium-ion batteries every month. Now the company produces 41 million batteries a month.

Previously, the company Panasonic has also announced plans to build a new factory for the manufacture of batteries. Panasonic Investment in the project is $ 928 million as a result of the company intends to triple output of batteries, reached a mark of 75 million batteries a month. And in July this year, the company Sanyo announced its intention to invest in their businesses for the production of batteries $ 1.2 billion over three fiscal years. As a result, the company expects to increase the output of batteries from the current 70 million a month to $ 90 million

Microsoft Corporation will reduce the price of gaming console Xbox 360 in early September, reported online edition of Ars Technica, with reference to their source. According to new information, a model of Xbox 360 Arcade, which is sold without the HDD, podesheveet immediately at $ 80. Today, residents of North America, this version of the console costs $ 279.99, while next month the price drop to $ 199.

The new model Xbox 360 with hard drive for 60 GB, which should be available for sale in the U.S. and Canada in early August, will cost not $ 349.99 and $ 299. Now $ 299 is the standard version of the console with a 20 GB drive. Soon, she disappears from the counters of shops, but it will replace 60-gigabyte model.

The price of the most expensive version, Xbox 360 Elite, which completed the hard disk drive at 120 GB, will fall to $ 399. Now for the console Americans have to pay $ 449.99. It also reported that in the IV quarter of this year, close to the Christmas holidays, Microsoft will release several special packages, in which, in addition to most stations, will include one or more games.

Rumors that Microsoft is preparing a decline in prices for all models of Xbox 360, already has appeared in anticipation of the July E3 Media & Business Summit. However, only cheaper version with hard drive for 20 GB, whose production has been discontinued.

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IT-business in the genre of Apple

Fair amount of business news in recent times associated with Apple. Perhaps the main news was that the Taiwanese company Foxconn has accelerated the 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 the poor performance of the hull of certain models, in basic white.

Previously, industry media reported that Foxconn will supply only 24-25 million iPhone 3G. At the same time, analysts predicted, the market will need only 25 million of these smartphones for the whole of their life cycle. For comparison: Apple managed to sell only six million iPhone previous generation. Overall, in 2007, the world has sold 1 billion mobile phones and converged devices.

I recall that the iPhone 3G was introduced by consumers on June 9 this year. The unit entered the market in more than 20 countries around the world in July. It is expected that by the end of the year the device is sold in 70 countries. Russia and the CIS countries on the list yet, but these days the representatives of the exclusive distributor of Apple products in Russia, Apple IMC, said that the supply of smartphone could begin in 2009.

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

In early July this year, Apple sued the Psystar, accusing the latter of copyright infringement. For the presentation of its interest Psystar in court hired the law firm of Carr & Ferrell, who has previously won business from Apple. I recall that in April the company Psystar introduced Mac-compatible computer OpenMac. Later it was renamed the OpenComputer. The formal reason for the claim Apple was that OpenComputer running Mac OS X. Under the terms of the license agreement, the operating system can be installed only on computers manufactured by the very Apple.

The head of Apple, Steve Dzhobs in internal letter to staff the company said that the service was launched MobileMe premature and not in line with corporate standards. He proposed to remedy the situation before the end of the year. According Dzhobsa, Apple should start MobileMe gradually, rather than a monolithic service. For example, to start might be allowed to synchronize with the iPhone, then run web applications such as Mail and Calendar. Dzhobs also called a mistake to launch MobileMe 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 deferred.

Apple has not once had to apologize for the poor quality of service MobileMe and even reorganize the whole team working on the service. Group referred by the beginning of Eddie Kyu, who has since become the leader of all Internet services Apple, including iTunes and the App Store.

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