Saturday, April 25, 2009

IT-industry is not for the faint-hearted

Image representing Apple as depicted in CrunchBaseImage via CrunchBase

The economic crisis continues to have on the IT-industry pressure, and companies from a variety of areas continue to announce losses in IV quarter, pessimistic forecasts for 2009 and often - and major cuts. Even giants such as Cisco, indicate a weakening in the past quarter and adjust the forecast for the future. For example, Cisco recently announced that in the fiscal quarter ended January 24, profit fell by 7.5% compared with the previous year and amounted to $9.1 billion.

But most of the other crisis hits the manufacturers of hardware. Upgrade computers in the corporate sector - this is the first, on what companies are starting to save, when the hard times. With regard to specific companies, for example, Lenovo has announced that its quarterly profit fell by 20% - to $3.6 billion.

It must not bypass the crisis and the traditionally "hot" markets, as, for example, mobile communication. Many companies in this market report is not just about slowing growth and a decline in its volume below the level of 2008. For example, the Motorola announced that their company's profits fell by 26% compared to last year.

In addition, the company against the backdrop of the crisis began to spend less money on advertising, which, in turn, affected the online sector. Here, only Google has been able to show positive dynamics (growth - 24%), while other players have noted the reduction.

At the same time, shares of technology companies still hold good, in spite of the bad news. According to analysts, this may be related to the expectation of action, which not so long ago suggested that Barack Obama, not with a real strengthening of IT industry.

Chronicles of the crisis

IBM provided the company an opportunity to some of its employees came under the reduction, to preserve jobs. To do this, they will move into the offices of IBM in countries with lower wages. This offer is valid for employees of American offices IBM. They will be able within the framework of Project Match, which provides assistance with relocation and adaptation to the new location, go to work in the offices of IBM in a dozen countries, including Brazil, India and China. Use this proposal can not all sacked employees - primarily transferred to other offices of IBM will be able and promising young employees who have families and mortgages.

Experts believe that this move IBM helps companies to retain their skilled personnel while reducing the cost of their maintenance. The transition specialist from the United States, for example, to work in India to his salary at the new location would be comparable to the income of his Indian colleagues, and not with a salary in the U.S. office.

Let me remind you that the reduction in the company IBM started in January this year. A few days had been dismissed more than 4000 people. According to the site Alliance @ IBM, all of us can be fired up to 16 thousand people.

Representatives NEC announced that the company in 2010, dismiss the order of 20,000 employees. These measures relate to the deteriorating situation around the NEC. In the last quarter the company incurred a loss on $1.45 billion, while sales fell by 9.9%. Therefore, management decided to take aggressive steps in the reduction: of these 20,000 employees who are laid off, half will be in the regular staff, and the second half - on contract and temporary staff. Moreover, as the president of NEC, and more dismissals are possible if the situation deteriorates. The crisis hit, and AOL, which plans to guide in the near future, to dismiss about 700 employees, representing 10% of the total personnel. In a letter to staff guidance AOL explain these actions harsh economic conditions in the market, which forced customers to spend less and less money on advertising. At the very same reduction may require several quarters. In addition, for those who escape dismissal at AOL as they prepared is not very good news: this year the company is not planned to increase the standard of wages.

But the company Pioneer intends to completely abandon the release of televisions and sell its stake in the joint with the Sharp company for production of DVD-players. Caregivers with a TV Pioneer expects the market to prevent the losses incurred by the unit during the economic crisis.

Previously, the company said that waiting for the outcome of years of large financial losses. In addition, they announced the intention to dismiss 2000 persons in order to optimize costs. Pioneer representatives did not comment on refusal of issuance of televisions, but stressed that a restructuring of the company's business was announced in March last year.

I recall that Pioneer was one of the leading manufacturers of plasma panels. But in March 2008 it withdrew from the business and began to set their televisions plasma panel Panasonic. In mid-2008 were released on the first LCD televisions Pioneer based panels Sharp.


Corporation Nvidia, a leading manufacturer of graphics cards, began work on the Intel-compatible processor. Nvidia beginning professionals to develop a set of processors throughout Silicon Valley. According to insiders, the unit is almost fully formed from the newly hired employees.

Rumors about Nvidia plans to build a family of x86 processors run in 2006. The main obstacle to the implementation of these plans - the legal risks. Experts are not sure that Nvidia will be able to produce such a chip, Intel is not having a license, or AMD, which it will be difficult to obtain. Nvidia recently provided a platform Ion, for netbukov. The platform is not entirely composed of the components of Nvidia. In particular, it requires a processor Intel Atom, which the company could replace its own chip.

Company AMD has announced the start of deliveries of new models of 3 - and 4-nuclear processor Phenom II, produced by 45-nm production methods (code-named chip - Dragon). The cost of the new trehyadernogo processor Phenom II X3 720 Black Edition (2,8 GHz, 95 Watts) is $145 (direct competitor in this price range - Intel Core 2 Duo E8400, which, in contrast to the Phenom, has two nuclei and are sold at a price of $163 ). The new Quad-chip Phenom II X4 810 supplier put the price at $175. An alternative from Intel presents the Core 2 chip Quad Q8200. Processor from AMD is clocked at 2.6 GHz from Intel - at 2.3 GHz.

In addition X3 720 and X4 810, were submitted to X3 710 ($125), X4 805 and X4 910. The cost of the latter two are not reported. Processors are compatible with both the slot AM2 +, and with AM3, supports both DDR2 RAM and DDR3.

Corporation Intel, the largest manufacturer of processors, will in the next two years to invest in the construction of production facilities in the United States, using the processor, nanotechnology, and seven billion dollars. These factories will allow Intel to move to 32-nanometer manufacturing process, which will make the new chips faster, smaller and reduce their energy consumption. The first processors to appear in 2009-m or early 2010. Currently, Intel processors are manufactured on 45-nanometer production methods, and sales in the semiconductor market falls due to reduced demand from end users. Quarterly profit at Intel IV quarter of 2008 decreased ten times. In January it was reported that Intel will close five factories for the production of electronic components. This would reduce the approximately five thousand employees.

For Apple, as usual, is characterized by paradoxes. The unstable situation in the market and forced to leave Dzhobsa on health led to the cost share "apple company" exceeded the psychological mark of $100. His role in the raising and analytics company played FTN Capital Markets, which gave the Apple to the unexpected conclusion. "We re the situation and now believe that the absence of the head of the company less than a negative effect on the release of new products than previously thought. We also believe that Apple investors are well prepared for change in that position," - said in a letter in a leading specialist firm, Bill Firnli.

At the same time, Capital Markets raised the rating with a mark of Apple "neutral" to "purchase", raising the projected cost of the shares to $140. Investors reacted immediately - the psychological threshold of one hundred dollars was taken. Thus, last month the value of the company's shares went up by 13%.

According to research company IDC, the Taiwan notebook manufacturers have substantially improved their positions on the U.S. market in the IV quarter of 2008. For example, in IV quarter Acer supplied to the U.S. market 1,4-1,5 million laptops came out in third place on the presence in the market with shares of 16%. Asustek took eighth place with a share of 3%, by 300 thousand laptops. In doing so, the sale of Acer for the quarter increased by 57% compared to the same period in 2007, while market leader Dell deliveries decreased by 8%.

The absolute leader in sales of laptops in the United States in 2008 was the same all Dell, put 8.8 million units., Little of it left behind, and HP, sold 8.77 million laptops. Annual sales of reaching the third Acer accounted for more than 4 million laptops.

According to Taiwan media, Asustek intends to begin selling their laptops through the largest sales network USA Walmart in the second half of 2009. In this way Asustek plans to increase its annual U.S. sales of 650 thousand notebooks in 2008 to more than 1 million in 2009.

Mozilla and Opera to Microsoft

The company Mozilla, develops open the browser Firefox, supported the earlier filed a complaint with the European Commission, in which the company Opera accuses Microsoft Corporation in the use of uncompetitive practices in promoting its browser Internet Explorer. Executive Director, Mitchell Baker, Mozilla says that it "has neither the gram doubt" that the prior decision of Brussels against Microsoft was correct.

Recall that the European antitrust authorities have issued a preliminary conclusion that Microsoft "is trying to violate the conditions of competition between the browsers, denying consumers the choice of decision procedure." In his blog Baker writes that she would be personally and on behalf of Mozilla to support the actions of the European Commission, in addition, it intends to carefully monitor the antitrust case against Microsoft. "I would like to offer the experience of Mozilla as an expert resource for the Commission, as well as see it as sufficient and efficient," - she writes. Earlier, representatives of the European Commission reported that in the conduct of anti-monopoly investigation, they would like to connect several representatives engaged in similar developments. Interfered in the affairs of the company Mozilla may be very important to investigate, because Mozilla Firefox is the most successful competitor to Internet Explorer. Mozilla has already commented on the reaction and the Norwegian Opera, where Baker called the comments "timely and well articulated."

Game Industry

In 2008, the advertising and marketing of computer and videogames in the United States spent $823 million, said in a press release Nielsen, prepared jointly with the firm Electronic Entertainment Design and Research (EEDAR). This is less than 4% of the total gaming market, which is estimated at $22 billion, and Nielsen EEDAR submit a report on marketing of games at the summit of DICE, which is soon to take place in Las Vegas. They also integrate the advertising monitoring service Nielsen Monitor-Plus, and a database of video games Game DNA, created EEDAR.

Until now, the serious study of marketing budgets in the gaming industry have been conducted. EEDAR and Nielsen intend to regularly monitor changes in the market. According to the NPD Group, the market of video games, gaming prefixes and accessories in 2008 amounted to $21.33 billion in the year 2007 the figure was $18 billion

The Japanese unit of Sony Computer Entertainment has issued a list of publishers and developers have agreed to support the project PlayStation Home. Total to date with the SCE 24 companies agreed to cooperate. While not specifying what kind of content they expect to produce. Previously, it was reported that PlayStation Home would support such large publishers like Electronic Arts and Ubisoft. It is now known that the SCE will work with Activision and Konami, as well as the major independent Japanese developers, for example, Nippon Ichi Software, and Q Entertainment. Home is a free online service that allows users to travel on a small virtual space and communicate with each other. Gamers can create their own characters, change their appearance and clothing. Also, users can theme locations on certain games.

Open beta testing of this network service began on 11 December 2008. In January, Sony Computer Entertainment president Kaz Hira during his speech at the Consumer Electronics Show said that the Home had already downloaded the 3.4 million owners of PlayStation 3.

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