Microsoft have had a very first... er.. first quarter ending Sept. 30, 2011. Microsoft posted a quarter revenue of $17.37 billion, a 7-percent increase over the same period of last year and a tad higher than the expected $17.26 billion.
Office was the standout, though; Office accounted for $5.62 of that income, with Windows staying flat and actually falling below expectations. Microsoft's net income of $5.74 billion was a decent jump of 6-percent over the same time last year.
eBay have met expectations of analysts in Q3 with revenues increasing 32-percent to $3 billion compared to the same period last year. eBay's net income sat at $490.5 million, or 37 cents per share. Non-GAAP revenues, which eliminates the impact of several recent multi-million dollar acquisitions, totaled $682.2 million, or 48 cents per share, meeting analyst expectations perfectly.
Revenues estimates were high, with them ranging from $2.25 billion to $2.9 billion which is according to a poll of analysts by Thomson Reuters. Just before the earnings were released, eBay's stock was down 80 cents, or 2.4-percent to close at $33.07, and in after hours, the stock continued the downward motion dropping another 4.3-percent. Reasoning behind this isn't 100-percent, but it could be its revenue outlook for Q4, which should be its busiest because of the holidays.
Dropbox back in 2009, reportedly turned down a nine-digit, rumored to be $250 million, from Steve Jobs and Apple. Back in 2009, Dropbox was only two years old, but Steve Jobs could see the use in Dropbox before there was iCloud. Steve Jobs led the first and only meeting with the Dropbox founders, Arash Ferdowsi and Drew Houston, telling them they should sell to Apple because Apple would crush their company with a competing product.
That recently product is the recently launched iCloud service... the following quote is from the Forbes article (and cover story) written by Victoria Barrett:
In December 2009 Jobs beckoned Houston (pronounced like the New York City street, not the Texas city) and his partner, Arash Ferdowsi, for a meeting at his Cupertino office. "I mean, Steve friggin' Jobs," remembers Houston, now 28. "How do you even prepare for that?" When Houston whipped out his laptop for a demo, Jobs, in his signature jeans and black turtleneck, coolly waved him away: "I know what you do."
AMD's shares bulldozed by over 5-percent in the past week, over 50-percent in 6 months, thanks, Bulldozer?
Well, AMD's Bulldozer launched last week to much of the publics dismay. It did not really cause the ruckus that AMD probably expected, unable to trip up the current CPU champion, Intel's Core i7. AMD's shares have since seen quite the dip, with Friday, October 14 seeing their share price hovering at $4.90 per share, and now they've experienced a sharp decline of 5-percent down to the $4.70 or so per share mark.
Thought that was bad? Well, I clicked on the 12-month period for AMD's shares and on Feb 25th, 2011 they peaked (for the 12-month period) at $9.29 per share... quite the slump they've seen. The point of this complete decline in shares saw it starting on Sep 16th, 2011 where it was sitting at $7.20, and has declined virtually everyday until Bulldozer's lacklustre launch. Did the industry know what was going to happen?
"We had a great quarter" says Larry Page, CEO of Google. Google has made $9.72 billion in revenue, an increase of 33-percent from Q3 2010. GAAP net income is $2.73 billion versus $2.17 during the same period last year. Google also reported $9.02 billion in revenue last quarter, with $2.51 billion in net income. Not bad, Google.
Analysts were expecting Google to earn $8.74 per share this quarter on a revenue of $7.21 billion, representing a more than 30-percent growth from last year. With these estimates, Google have blown away those expectations on both revenue and EPS, as non-GAAP EPS this quarter weer $9.72. Google has had a very active quarter, the acquisition of Motorola, and the public launch of Google's social networking site, Google+.
Google presently employs 31,353 full-time employees and has $42.6 billion in cash. Google's sales and marketing costs doubled from $661 million in Q3 2010 to $1.2 billion this quarter. Research and development costs went from $994 million to $1.4 billion. One of the more interesting items on the ledger... a $500 million charge from the Justice Department regarding pharmaceutical ads. Wow, spare change considering they have $42.6 billion in cash - hey Google, can I have a loan?
A U.S. Judge has said that Samsung's Galaxy tablets infringe on Apple's iPad patents, but also that Apple might have a problem establishing the validity of its patents. These comments are from U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh, which came on Thursday in a court hearing on Apple's request to bar some Galaxy products from being sold in the US. Apple and Samsung are currently duking it out in 10 countries with more than 20 cases currently on-going.
Just yesterday, an Australian court barred the Galaxy Tab 10.1 from being sold in Australia. In April of this year, Apple sued Samsung in the US, saying that the South Korean-based company's Galaxy range of smartphones and tablets "slavishly" copies the iPhone and iPad. Fast-forward to July and Apple filed a request to bar some Samsung-branded products from sale in the US, including the Galaxy S 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1.
Sony have released a statement revealing they have been hacked again, with 93,000 accounts globally being accessed. Sony have temporarily locked these accounts and only a "small fraction" of these 93,000 accounts showed additional activity prior to being locked. Sony are currently reviewing the accounts for unauthorised accessed and will provide more updates as they have them. Sony have also used some number play to seemingly down play the event by saying "less than one tenth of one percent (0.1%) of their PSN, SEN and SOE audience may have been affected".
Sony have used this as an opportunity to remind people of the importance of a strong password and having a username/password combination that is not associated with other online services or sites. They suggest you use a hard-to-guess password and always look out for unusual activity in your account. I've provided the full press release below:
Due to "Government restrictions", Google's Android Market has been blocked, again. This is not the first time Google's app store has been rejected, as it happened back in 2009. Android users now only have the chance to use China's local app stores. The move could possibly have been to funnel money into Chinese Government's own app store, rather than Google. China's local app stores offer most of the content for free and Android devices are often not synced with the Android Market, so users usually use them.
Google is facing fierce competition in China as they have their local search engine butting heads with them, Baidu. There are reports floating around that Baidu is also planning an OS of their own, Quishi, which funnily enough is meant to be similar to Android. The Android Market is not the only big thing China blocks right now, the Great Firewall black list also includes Google+, Twitter and Facebook.
HTC are enjoying the fruits of their labor, with weekend reports showing revenue at US$4.43 billion for Q3 2011. This is up 9.2% from Q2 and wait for it, almost 80% from this time last year! 2011 has been a massive year for HTC with revenues of NT$364.38 billion, an increase of 108.5% from last year. HTC did of course set themselves a target of 10% growth for the quarter, but they fell short of their own targets by a bit.
But, with these kinds of numbers, I doubt anyone would be getting raked across the coals over it. HTC have also been in a legal battle with Apple lately, with Google stepping in to intervene by handing over some of their patent ownerships.
Following the passing of Steve Jobs last week we've seen an absolute mass of news come out about the man who undeniably changed the face of one of the largest industries in the world. But if I asked the majority of you what brand/model of car he drove, I'd be surprised if 5% of you knew (prior to a frantic google search for the answer, that is). Don't worry, I was in the 95% that didn't until today as well.
One thing I can now say, while he might not have always had good taste in the way he went about running the show at Apple, he certainly did when it came to cars :-
While I hear many of you shouting out "But I really couldn't give a rats bum what he drove", there is something else in the picture above that is the main point of interest here. Notice anything that stands out? (Or perhaps I should say, doesn't in this case).
That's right, Steve has been driving his flashy new Merc for four years (since he purchased it new) without a license plate. And guess what? Running over Steve's driving records and the VIN on his car, he was never ticketed for the infraction either.
Anonymous have posted another YouTube video, this time declaring an imminent attack on the New York Stock Exchange website. In support of the on-going Occupy Wall Street protests, which began nearly a month ago on September 17, and in direct response to the large scale arrests carried out by the New York City Police Department, Anonymous have issued a two minute video rallying its members to "DDoS attack" the NYSE website at 3:30pm ET on 10th October.
This is the same tactic used to bring down Visa.com, where they flooded the servers and crashed them. it is believed that if the attack is successful, it won't halt or affect trading on Wall St, as it runs through a separate data center. The website does however, host other important information such as trading notices and market activity.
Google has just opened the doors to its first retail store, dubbed the "Chrome Zone" store which is situated in London. To make this possible, Google has partnered with the Dixons Group comprising Currys and PC World, and as such, the first outlet is located inside the Tottenham Court Road branch of PC Worlds.
With similiar eye catching, flashy interior designs like what we're all used to with Apple, Google is making a push with retail stores primarily at this time to help people get hands on with its Chromebook to see exactly what it's all about, as well as making a more informed decision on their potential purchase with the help of experts at the store to give any advice they may seek.
Google said in a statement, "The Chrome Zone is designed to be as open, colourful and user-friendly as possible, and there are seating areas for shoppers to enable them to try out Chromebooks in comfort."
A few days ago, Microsoft signed a major licensing agreement with Samsung over the use of some its patents on Android-based smartphones and tablets. The deal is similar to what other manufacturers have agreed to, which avoid a court battle. But, there's a requirement of a fixed fee to be paid to Microsoft for every Android device sold. Goldman Sach's tech analyst team think that this number is around $444 million per year.
Goldman estimates that Microsoft receives roughly $3 - $6 per Android device, and calculated the multi-million dollar figure based on the number of Android devices expected to be sold by Microsoft's licensees between July 1, 2011 and June 30, 2012. The companies that Microsoft receive the (virtually free) dollars from are HTC, Acer, U.S. defense contractor General Dynamics Itronix, Onkyo, Velocity Micro, ViewSonic and Wistron, and Samsung, which yesterday became the latest licensee.
Microsoft claims that certain Android features contain technologies over which it owns patents. Considering that two of the largest Android device makers have agreed to pay royalties which puts some concrete into this claim. The only one in the US without a license from Microsoft is Motorola Mobility, in which the two are in court battling it out.
Intel and IBM have announced a $4.4 billion investment which is being put into a manufacturing plant to create the next-generation of cutting-edge computer chip technology. It's all being done in New York, with a five-year investment expected to generated and retain 6,900 jobs paying an average of $100,000. Gov. Cuomo who was previously suing Intel, where he filed an anti-trust lawsuit against them, has done a 180-degree turn and has now called this new move "a really, really big deal" and part of his effort to "create a more confident environment for doing business in New York".
The aforementioned lawsuit included Cuomo - as attorney general - trying to sue Intel for trying to monopolize the computer chip industry. He charged Intel with violated state and federal anti-trust laws by trying to keep a monopoly over the market for microprocessors, which as most people know are the heart of computers and servers alike. The suit charged Intel with paying computer makers billions of dollars in exchange for using the company's microprocessors instead of competing products from AMD.
The suit is currently pending with Intel back in May filing three motions seeking to have the suit dismissed.
AMD, the second largest PC chip manufacturer, has lowered their third quarter revenue projections citing issues with the 32nm chip production at its German Foundry. AMD now expects its revenue to increase by 4 - 6% on top of their second quarter earnings, down from the 10% that they originally forecasted earlier in the year. In response to this news, AMD shares fell by 7.8% to $5.88 during extended trading yesterday.
AMD have not only been having issues with their 32nm chips, but they have also commented that its 45nm chip supply was also experiencing issues as the two processes share some common toold in manufacturing. The Dresden-based manufacturing firm, GlobalFoundries, which AMD have an 11% stake in, is uses for their manufacturing operations. Poor yields of chips due to production problems seem to be AMD's biggest issue right now.
In a survey taken last month, 43% of all smartphone owners have an Android-based device. But over the last three months, more than half (56%) chose an Android-powered smartphone. The preferences of these so-called "recent acquirers" are important as they are often a leading indicator of where the market is headed. Of course, Apple's iOS remains popular sitting firmly in second place with 28% of all smartphone users and the same percentage among those who recently acquired a new device.
Apple is about to launch their iPhone 5, so things could change. But over in the Android-laden camp, things are also changing. Google are about to launch Ice Cream Sandwich, their next-gen Android OS which is meant to blend their smartphone and tablets OS into a single, dominating OS. Things could swing either way, but right now it seems as though Google are Apple's only competition right now. And while it's "competition", it seems Apple are the ones chasing the tail of Google and they're further down the path than they let you believe.
Were HP lurking eBay looking for a new CEO? It could be a possibility. Former eBay CEO, Meg Whitman, is now the CEO and President of Hewlett-Packard. Current non-executive, Ray Lane, will become executive chairman. Whitman is a well-known executive, will replace HP's current Leo Apotheker, who was prodded out of the company just recently. Whitman is an experienced digital executive, has a large task ahead of her.
HP wants to re-direct itself after numerous strategic gaffes, disappointing financial results and probably the biggest issue, stock that has dropped 47-percent in 11 months since Apotheker was head of the ship. The board of HP is hoping Whitman can turn this all around, with ever-increasing pressure from the competition.
Check out the official press release from HP.
It was the HP CEO yesterday, now Rick Bergman, head of AMD's Products Group has left the company. CEO Rory Read will take over in the meantime. Bergman joined AMD from ATI after the 2006 merger, where he went from Senior VP of AMD's Graphics Product Group to head of the Products Group for AMD when they combined their graphics and microprocessor businesses in May 2009.
Bergman is leaving to "pursue a new opportunity", which shows this is an actual resignation rather than "here's the door". AMD has also announced that Paul Struhsaker, who was Comcast's former Senior VP of Engineering has joined AMD's freshly formed Commercial Business Division. Struhsaker has the task to "oversee product management and roadmap planning for AMD's server, high performance computing and embedded products".
Looks like it's VIA's turn to take a stab at the big Apple with Bloomberg reporting VIA's manoeuvre to have filed a patent lawsuit against them over the processors used in Apple's mobile devices.
More specifically, the patent lawsuit targets Apple's custom ARM-based A4 and A5 processors used in recent iOS devices. Namely, these are the iPad, iPad 2, iPhone 4, iPhone 4 CDMA, iPod touch 4th generation and Apple TV 2nd generation.
Somehow I don't see the outcome being that Apple will be forced to have all iOS devices in the U.S. pulled. I'm sure many competitors are desperate enough that they would have found a way to make that happen long by now if a clear and strong enough basis for it existed.
In any case, this should prove to be an interesting outcome nonetheless.
In a not so surprising move, Sony have released a mandatory update for the PlayStation 3 which includes changes to the terms of service for the PlayStation Network. The changes make it so users who accept it give up the rights to take part in a class-action lawsuit against them.
The new clauses, termed "Binding Individual Arbitration", mandate that any Dispute Resolution Proceedings, whether in arbitration or court, will be conducted on an individual basis only.
Of course, any outstanding class-action lawsuits filed against Sony still stand, inclusive of the class-action suit filed in April over the PSN security breach. But with this new move, it seems Sony is going further to protect themselves from further litigation should they be hacked in the future. According to some analysts, they are within their legal right to pull this move.
AMD has finally done it! They've found a CEO. AMD today named Rory P. Read as their President and CEO. His previous gigs include previously being President and COO for Lenovo and also 23 years with various roles at IBM. He replaces AMD CFO Thomas Seifert, who will return to his previous role) who had been sitting in the throne after the departure of Dirk Meyer. Read says that he's:
Very pleased to be joining AMD at this important time in its history. AMD is a true innovator and is uniquely positioned to lead the industry forward, delivering the next big thing both within the PC ecosystem and beyond.