Archive for January, 2010

IBM said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire privately held National Interest Security Company, LLC. NISC, which operates out of Fairfax, Virginia, specializes in services for defense, healthcare, energy, logistics, and security.

"IBM’s analytic and innovation prowess, combined with NISC’s industry knowledge and depth of experience in defense, healthcare, energy, and infrastructure management services, will allow us to deliver an unprecedented level of service and support to our growing list of government clients," said Chuck Prow, managing partner, public sector, IBM Global Business Services.

Some of the areas NISC has been focused on includes systems engineering, biometrics, documents and media exploitation, systems integration, software development, enterprise architecture, and more.

The agreement includes the acquisition of NISC affiliate Technology and Management Services, and is subject to closing conditions and regulatory reviews. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Seagate this week reported financial results for the quarter ended January 1, 2010, noting an impressive 49.9 million disk drive unit shipments, $3.03 billion in revenue, net income of $533 million, and $1.03 in diluted earnings per share.

"Our strong financial performance in the December quarter was the result of our ongoing progress in driving operational efficiencies, our leadership position in high capacity, high performance products, an improved product mix, and the overall strength of demand for digital storage," said Steve Luczo, Seagate CEO.

On that last note, Seagate said it shipped some 96.2 million disk drives for the six months ended January 1, 2010, which accounted for revenue of $5.69 million and a net income of $712 million.

Image Credit: Seagate

It’s finally over, at least as far as the European Union is concerned. The big news in the IT industry today is that Oracle has officially been given the green light by EU regulators to proceed with its $7.4 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems.

"I am now satisfied that competition and innovation will be preserved on all the markets concerned," said EU competition commissioner Neelie Kroes, in a statement. "Oracle’s acquisition of Sun has the potential to revitalize important assets and create new and innovative products."

It wasn’t that long ago that EU regulators were singing a different tune. The major stumbling block had been Oracle’s impending control of the free MySQL, which drew concern over what Oracle would do with the database software in light of selling its own database product. But those concerns were put to rest when Oracle agreed to a series of concessions, some of which included promising to pay $72 million over the next three years in R&D to improve MySQL, and extending MySQL’s existing commercial licenses for up to five years.

"The Commission’s in-depth investigation showed that although MySQL and Oracle compete in certain parts of the database market, they are not close competitors in others, such as the high-end segment," the EU said in a statement.

There’s still work to be done, and before Oracle can pop the cork on the champagne bottles, it will need to convince regulators in Russia and China to jump on board. Protesters from the MySQL community recently turned their attention to these very markets in hopes of blocking the deal, but Oracle still says it expects "unconditional approval" to come soon.

Acer certainly talks the talk, and the problem for its competitors is that, for the most part, the company also walks the walk. Take note HP, because Acer’s gunning for your top spot in the global PC market, a place the company thinks it will reach by 2012.

Or so says Acer’s outspoken Chairman Wang Jeng-tang and President Gianfranco Lanci. In fact, it seems like everyone over at Acer likes to beat their chest, as evidenced by the company’s founder earlier this week saying that US-brand PCs will be extinct in 20 years, "just like what happened to US television brands."

HP is one of those US brands, and also happens to be the largest maker of PCs on the planet with a 19.3 percent share. Acer, who jumped ahead of Dell not that long ago for the No. 2 spot, holds 13 percent of the global PC market, and it’s not unrealistic that Acer would become the top dog in two years.

This will especially be true if the notebook market continues to grow, which is a sector where Acer thrives. The company said it shipped about 33-34 million notebooks last year, and thinks it it will ship 40 million in 2010.

We’re not sure if the same holds true in the U.S. market, but in Taiwan, Asus-branded LCD monitors are flying off the shelves, and at a rate faster than all the competition, DigiTimes’ "industry sources" say.

More specifically, Asus nabbed 20 percent of the LCD monitor market in Taiwan in 2009. It was a tie for second place between Chimei and Acer, each of which nipped at Asus’ heels with 18-19 percent of the market. Viewsonic came in third with 14-15 percent, and BenQ controlled 10 percent of the LCD monitor market.

Despite falling prices for larger screen monitors, 19-inch widescreen models continued to be the most popular in Asus’ lineup. It probably helped that Asus slashed prices on 19-inch models before everyone else, marking them down to about $125.

Image Credit: Asus

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