Enterprise headlines and summaries, 2009-05-18

  • Inside Microsoft’s M&A Strategy
    Here’s what the CFO of Microsoft (NSDQ: MSFT) says the company is looking for in an acquisition target: Companies that could bolster Microsoft’s position in categories that it is already a player in but does not dominate. So don’t look for Microsoft to buy a company to get into the e-reader business since Microsoft doesn’t compete in that business?or at least that’s what the CFO, Chris Liddell (pictured, right), told Boston-area venture capitalists during a talk last week, according to Spark Capital general partner Bijan Sabet, who wrote about the meeting on his blog. Liddell’s criteria would also probably rule out an outright Twitter purchase, since Microsoft isn’t currently a player in the social-media space.
  • 10 Things Every Startup Should Know About Microsoft’s Acquisition Strategy (MSFT)
    # Acquisitions start at Microsoft when internal product teams alert corporate development to a need that acquiring a startup could fulfill. # Microsoft acquires companies in areas they are already in, but aren’t winning. “For example, they don’t acquire many companies that are client software related,” writes Bijan. “On the other hand, they have been acquiring plenty in search, online advertising, business solutions etc.” # Microsoft isn’t about to enter the e-Reader business. # Microsoft aims to acquire 15-20 companies each year. # It is “agnostic about stage or revenue.” # Microsoft isn’t interested in open source companies. # But it will buy companies with technology based on a competitive platforms. # Microsoft spends roughly $10 billion a year on R&D versus $2 billion per year on acquisitions. # Microsoft borrowed $3.75 billion at about 2.5% for up to 30 years “to have more liquidity in the US.” # Microsoft would have acquired 20 companies last year, but private valuations didn’t
  • Silicon Valley Girds for New Antitrust Regime
    Silicon Valley companies are bracing for a tough new phase of antitrust scrutiny, responding to signs of heavier enforcement by the Obama administration and continued pressure from abroad. A stricter stance against companies that dominate their sectors is likely to test government-relations strategies that technology giants adopted during the Bush administration.
  • Venture-Backed New Stocks Are Back
    The hopes of venture capitalists ride on two planned initial public offerings of stock this week, from software maker SolarWinds Inc. and online-reservation service OpenTable Inc. If they complete the share sales, the pair will be the first venture-backed IPOs in nine months, according to research firm VentureSource. The last such offering came from RackSpace Hosting Inc. in August 2008. It has been a long dry spell for the entire IPO market since then, but especially so for venture capital-backed deals, which are usually for earlier-stage companies that are more risky.
  • Is Memcached a Good or Bad Sign for MySQL?
    In its most basic form, memcached helps deter application requests from reaching the database by storing previous requests in memory, or cache. But if more memory and, in many cases, memcached are such a benefit to MySQL, what does that say about MySQL to begin with? Is the necessary addition of a caching tier to scale performance positive or negative for the database? Memcached is a tool to reduce the database load, extending the life of a single database server, and relieving pressure to scale the database across many machines. As the free and popular relational database of choice for web companies, MySQL is synonymous with relational database in Internet infrastructure.
  • Update: Microsoft delivers beta of Visual Studio 2010
    Among the features that have been planned for Visual Studio 2010 are a new editor based on Windows Presentation Foundation and a code-focused enhancement called “generate from usage,” in which code recognizes what a developer is trying to do and then writes the code. Capabilities for Windows 7 have been planned as well. Full support for the Silverlight 2 rich Internet presentation technology also has been expected, along with renovation of the C++ IDE to support parallel computing, cloud and Web services. Meanwhile, a triangle outline mode originally planned has been dropped from the beta, said Jason Zander, general manager for Visual Studio in Microsoft’s developer division, in a blog. The company also is working on performance for Visual Studio 2010, he said. “For Beta 1 we are making progress on performance but it is not yet where I want it to be,” Zander said. Microsoft also is offering a beta release of .Net Framework 4, said S. “Soma” Somasegar, vice president of the Microsof
  • Epicor ERP Project Sparks Customer Lawsuit
    One is an “entire agreement clause,” Wang said via e-mail. “You want to make sure that all demos, marketing materials, and assurances are put into the document.” Software customers are also entitled to “reasonable guarantees of quality” and “should retain the right to establish the severity of an incident or problem,” Wang’s 2006 report states. In addition, if a vendor suggests a use case scenario for its software but hasn’t actually implemented the use case successfully in the past, it should disclose that fact to customers, according to Wang.
  • May 19, 2009: IT Failures Town Hall: Aligning IT and Business
    Many projects get into trouble because business and IT seem to function like oil and water: co-existing without real communication or mutual understanding. As a direct result, misplaced expectations lead to cost overruns, late projects, and further deterioration of relations between the two groups. For the next IT failures town hall, former Ace Hardware CIO, Paul Ingevaldson, will lead a conversation on bridging the IT / business alignment gap. We’ll discuss why the gap exists and explore practical steps to bring these two critical groups together, thereby making your projects more successful. Please attend this interactive discussion and participate in a conversation about this fundamental driver of IT success and failure.
  • Flickr: SAPPHIRE09’s Photostream
  • SAPPHIRE 2009 Orlando Online
    Over 18,000 people registered for SAPPHIRE 2009 Orlando, making it the biggest SAPPHIRE ever. Here, you can watch and share keynotes and over 200 sessions and demos, plus download presentations and brochures from the event.
  • Register for OpenWorld 2009 Before August 14 to Save!!
    The dates have been set for Oracle OpenWorld 2009… October 11-15 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco, CA. Visit http://www.oracle.com/us/openworld/index.htm for all the details including EARLY BIRD RATES. You can save up to $500 on your registration if you register before August 14, 2009.
  • Sybase CEO: Call centers may become passe’
    Someone stealing your identity? Using your credit card to buy a flat screen TV…in Germany? Credit card companies often catch those shopping anomalies and quickly alert you. But Sybase CEO John Chen says that increasingly you may not get a phone call asking “are you in Germany right now?” That’s because companies are trying to save money by using new technology. So rather than staff a room full of people to call you when they detect a problem — they will automate the process. You’ll simply get a text message.
  • Sybase Reaches For The Clouds
    Sybase has launched an initiative to enable customers to use the company’s software, including its IQ Analytic Server, in cloud-computing environment, including Amazon’s Elastic Compute Cloud. The move will make it possible for developer to build, test and deploy applications in the cloud, starting with Amazon EC2, which is a commercial Web service in which companies rent Amazon servers to run their own applications. EC2 provides a Web services interface through which customers can create virtual machines, such as server instances, on which they can load software.
  • Sybase sees tech spending staying tepid
    Sybase Inc (SY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) foresees technology sector spending remaining tepid for at least a year and possibly until 2011, although it expects growth in its burgeoning mobile division to begin ratcheting up, Chief Executive Officer John Chen said on Monday. Chen said he expects annual revenue from Sybase’s faster-growing mobility services business to match its database division at $1 billion in four to five years. But he told the Reuters Global Technology Summit in New York that he remains cautious about the overall outlook for the economy despite mounting talk of a “green shoots” rebound and predictions that the IT sector had found a bottom. Chen also said he is not counting on a year-end business technology spending boost this year.
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