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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 62

Microsoft confirms Satya Nadella as new CEO

Last week I reported that Microsoft was very close to choosing Steve Ballmer's replacement, and that the search may have went no further than inside the company itself. This morning Microsoft confirmed that Satya Nadella, head of the company's Enterprise and Cloud business as the new CEO.

 

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"Microsoft is one of those rare companies to have truly revolutionized the world through technology, and I couldn't be more honored to have been chosen to lead the company," Nadella said in a statement this morning. "The opportunity ahead for Microsoft is vast, but to seize it, we must focus clearly, move faster and continue to transform. A big part of my job is to accelerate our ability to bring innovative products to our customers more quickly."

 

This announcement shows that Microsoft thinks that cloud services as well as the enterprise market will continue to play a major role in the future. One of the major reasons Nadella was chosen is his long past with Microsoft as he has held many jobs at the company, and is quite familiar with how things operate around Redmond. Additionally, along with the new CEO announcement, Microsoft says that Bill Gates will be stepping down as Chairman of the Board and will take on a new Technology Adviser role. John Thompson will fill Gates seat.

Apple's A7 processor comes under patent infringement lawsuit

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, or WARF, has launched a lawsuit against Apple. WARF's lawsuit alleges that the iPhone maker infringes on a patent held by the University of Wisconsin - Madison, US Patent No. 5,781,752.

 

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The patent in question was granted on July 14, 1998 to four university researchers specializing in microprocessor architecture. The patent is dubbed "Table Based Data Speculation Circuit for Parallel Processing Computer". The scientists' circuit, is a predictor which streamlines microprocessor performance by accurately forecasting dependencies of current instructions on previous instructions.

 

In non-scientist speak, it speeds up the processor, while lowing required system resources by accurately guessing which earlier instructions will match the new input, and start the desired action before the user has finished entering in the command. This is known as brand prediction in other circles. WARF is now alleging that the A7 chip uses this same specific technology that was developed in Madison.

 

Where the scientists have Apple, is that the company actually cites the patent itself. For Apple to defend itself, it will most likely have to reveal the inner workings of its A7 processor, which is a guarded secret to the company. WARF wants an unspecified sum of money, legal fees taken care of, an an injunction to see Apple obtain, or at least lease the license from the patent holders, or stop making A7-based devices - this includes the iPhone 5S, iPad mini and iPad Air.

Google faces fines over its mystery barge in San Francisco

Google's mystery, and most likely awesome barge in San Francisco is coming under fire, with the San Francisco Bay Conservation and Development Commission executive, Larry Goldzband, saying that the Treasure Island Development Authority could face fines if construction on Google's barge continues.

 

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TechCrunch spoke with Google, which said that the paper work is under review, but we still don't know what Google is, or will do with its barge. Google could move its barge to the permitted construction facilities in the Bay area in order to avoid fines, but it doesn't look like Google will do that just yet.

Take-Two pulls in $1.86 billion for Q3 2014, thanks to GTA 5

Take-Two has enjoyed a great start to the year, reporting its GAAP net revenue for Q3 2014 at $1.86 billion. This is up a massive $415.77 million from the same quarter of last year.

 

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The reason behind this is because of some big-selling titles such as Grand Theft Auto 5, NBA 2K14, and WWE 2K14. GTA 5 may have launched in Take-Two's Q2 2014, but it pushed its results to Q3, because of the launch of Grand Theft Auto Online. GTA 5 has shipped a massive 32.5 million copies, and NBA 2K14 has become 2K's most successful basketball game to date, with over 5 million units shipped.

 

Take-Two's digital content sales grew 42% year-over-year to $132.8 million, but we still have no word of GTA 5 for the PC or next-gen consoles, but Take-Two CEO Strauss Zeknick did tease: "Looking ahead, we have a robust pipeline of both new intellectual properties and offerings from our proven franchises in development, including more than 10 unique titles for the next-generation consoles".

ReportTT: Dell set to lay off 15,000 employees this week

Dell appears to be kicking its restructuring plan into high-gear if a new report from The Register is correct. The report states that as many as 1500 employees from the PC manufacturing and sales giant could be laid of before the week's end. The layoffs come as Dell settles down into private ownership again, and looks to return larger profits in a failing PC marketplace.

 

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The report goes on to say that the staff reductions will take place company wide in all global markets, and that this lay-off round will affect 15-percent of the company's workforce. Those laid off in US-based facilities of the company will receive a severance package that consist of two months salary as well as an extra week's pay per year of service to the company. Additionally, those laid off will receive a 75-percent bonus, COBRA health insurance for 18-months, and outplacement services. No word was given on what those from countries outside of the us may receive.

Lenovo rumored to take over Sony VAIO PC business

Lenovo only just whipped out its card to buy Motorola Mobility from Google for $2.91 billion last week, but now the Chinese giant is reportedly in talks with Sony about a possible joint venture to take over Sony's struggling VAIO PC business.

 

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Japanese broadcaster NHK is behind the juicy news, with Sony saying in a statement: "Sony continues to address various options for the PC business, but the press report on a possible PC business alliance between Sony and Lenovo is inaccurate". Sony says it has plans to revamp its VAIO line of devices, which has been slammed by the smartphone and tablet business.

 

But with Lenovo earning around 80% of its revenue from PCs, this rumor could turn out to be a very interesting one going into 2014.

GTA Online class-action lawsuit has been dismissed

The US District Court in California dismissed the class-action lawsuit that was filed against Rockstar Games and Take-Two, reports Game Politics.

 

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The class-action lawsuit had its plaintiffs arguing that Rockstar and Take-Two failed to deliver the full, promised Grand Theft Auto V experience into GTA Online. The lawsuit claimed that the state of GTA V at launch was "unlawful," "unfair" and "fraudulent" of Rockstar and Take-Two. Judge Virginia A. Phillips disagreed, pointing out the fact that there's no indication of the online side of GTA V stating it would be available "immediately".

 

Considering GTA V has sold over $1 billion worth of digital mayhem, it's a quick swift decision to have the class-action lawsuit dismissed.

Amazon posts massive sales for Q4 2013, but sees tiny profits

Amazon has revealed its Q4 2013 earnings, with a huge $25.59 billion in sales, which is up 20% compared to the same three-month period in 2012. The US retail giant posted just $510 million of that $25.59 billion in sales as operating income, which is up 26% year-over-year. As for its net income for the quarter, it saw $239 million.

 

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The company is also reporting a record-setting holiday season for its Amazon Prime shipping service, which the company says it now has "tens of millions of members".

Motorola reports $384 million operating loss for Q4 2013

Motorola is free from Google now, sliding into the warm embrace that is Lenovo, but for its last quarter under the search giant, Motorola reported $1.24 billion in revenues, ending in a operating loss of $384 million.

 

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Comparing its results to last year, revenues are down $270 million, and it lost $232 million more this year, compared to 2012. When Motorola came over to Google, it had over 20,000 employees - today, that number is just 3,894.

Google announces its Q4 2013 earnings, $16.86 billion in revenue

Google has released both its Q4 2013 and full year 2013 financial results, with the Mountain View-based search giant seeing increases in both revenue, and income.

 

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For Q4 2013, Google saw revenues of $16.86 billion, up 17% year-over-year. Operating income for the three-month period was $3.92 billion, or 23% of its total revenues. Net income reached $3.38 billion, up from $2.89 billion from the same time last year. Google owned-site revenue was up 22% year-over-year to $10.55 billion, representing 67% of Google's total revenues.

 

Paid clicks were up around 31% for the quarter, with an 11% year-over-year decrease on cost-per-click. Motorola Mobility, which Google just sold to Lenovo for $2.91 billion, saw a $384 million operating loss for Q4 2013.

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