Archive for May, 2010

Like two heavyweights dancing around the ring, Western Digital and Seagate have been fighting each other for the No. 1 spot in global hard drive shipments, a position Seagate has held onto (barely) until the first quarter of 2010. That’s when WD finally moved ahead of Seagate with 51.1 million shipments compared to 50.3 million for Seagate, according to The Information Network.

"The mobile HDD market, which is WD’s strength, will outperform the desktop market, which is Seagate’s strength, in 2010," said Robert Castellano, president of The Information Network. "That’s one of the factors in our forecast that WD will move ahead of Seagate in 2010."

Throughout 2009, WD managed to ship a total of 165.2 million hard drives, up from 146 million units in 2008. That was enough to narrow the gap with Seagate to only about 10 million units. In the mobile sector — where The Information Network claims WD has an advantage — WD led the way with a 28 percent share of the market, though it was a tight race with Toshiba/Fujitsu, HGST, and Seagate close behind with a 2 percent share difference among the three companies, The Information Network said.

SAP, a multinational software development and consulting corporation, said it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Sybase for an all cash tender offer for all of the outstanding shares of Sybase common stock at $65 per share. The deal represents an enterprise value of about $5.8 billion.

"With this transaction, SAP will dramatically expand its addressable market by making available its market-leading solutions to hundreds of millions of mobile users, combining the world’s best business software with the world’s most powerful mobile infrastructure platform," said Bill McDermott, co-CEO of SAP and member of the SAP Executive Board. "This is a game-changing transaction for SAP and Sybase customers, who will be better able to connect their employees with key functionality and information from anywhere and make it easier for companies to make faster, more informed business decisions in real time. With SAP’s customer-centric approach, we are resolute in our commitment to support Sybase customers to be best-run businesses."

SAP said the deal will allow it to accelerate the reach of its solutions across mobile platforms, while its own in-memory technology would boost the capabilities of Sybase’s data platform. SAP also said it will continue to support each organization’s product roadmap.

According to reports, the board of directors of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company (TSMC) has green lighted the company’s request to allocate $1.65 billion to expand capacity in 2010.

Some $210 million of that budget will be used to construct a new chip plant, while $385 million will go towards expanding and upgrading eight-inch wafer fab capacity. The rest will be used to expand advanced process capacity at Fab 12 and Fab 14, TSMC says.

TSMC is the world’s largest dedicated semiconductor foundry and operates a 150mm wafer fab, five 200mm wafer fabs, and two 300mm wafer "gigafabs," which produce 130nm and smaller chips. With the massive budget approval, TSMC is obviously confident about the semiconductor market and economic outlook.

John Lilly, the Chief Executive Officer of Mozilla, announced plans to step down from his position and head to Greylock Partners as a venture partner.

"This is a tough note for me to write — I feel so incredibly lucky and humbled to have worked on such an amazing project, with such spectacular people, for the last few years," Lilly wrote in an email to employees. "But I’ve always been a startup guy at heart — Mozilla was originally going to be a quick volunteer effort for me, but quickly turned into a full time job, and at the beginning of 2008 turned into the CEO job that I have now. I’ve really been missing working with startups."

Mozilla, of course, makes the Firefox browser, and under John Lilly’s leadership, the open-source browser has continued to put a dent into Internet Explorer’s market share and now claims about 25 percent of the browser population.

Though Lilly has only served as CEO since 2008, this is certainly an end of a era, of sorts, but not the end of the line for Firefox by any stretch. Firefox 4 is expected to be ready by October or November of this year, bringing with it a renewed focus towards all around speed.

In the meantime, Lilly said he is staying with Mozilla until a replacement is found, at which point he will continue to serve on the company’s board of directors.

Image Credit: Flickr Poi

During Intel’s 2010 investor meeting today, company CEO Paul Otellini said PC shipments are now over a million each day, and growing rapidly.

"In 2010, for the first time, PCs cross a million a day. A million PCs a day — built, shipped, and sold in the industry," Otellini said. "By 2014, that number basically doubles, it approaches 700 million units (annually) as the near-addressable market for our company."

Five years from now, Otellni said he expects Intel to be shipping about a billion processors per year in all device markets, including desktops, notebooks, tablets, handhelds, and everywhere else. In particular, Intel is confident that its Atom processor — and netbooks in general — will remain relevant for a long time to come, even as tablets become more popular.

"This market (Netbooks) that we created will grow north of 20 percent year-on-year this year," Otellini said. "It’s got a 15 percent CAGR (compound annual growth rate). Still no sign of material cannibalization of the notebook market by Netbooks. (Netbooks are) in the range of 40 million units (annual) and nicely growing."

Don’t take that to mean Intel doesn’t recognize the potential market for tablets. Otellini went on to acknowledge that the "tablet estimates are big numbers, 73 to 88 percent CAGR."

Image Credit: Intel

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