Tag Archives: IDC

Samsung readies dual-mode 4G TDD/FDD LTE phones for China

Samsung Electronics is positioning itself to be one of the first handset vendors to tap into China’s upcoming market for 4G services by introducing new Galaxy S4 phones capable of operating on both FDD and TDD LTE networks. The South Korean company will bring FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode Galaxy S4 and Galaxy S4 mini phones to China once the country officially launches commercial 4G services, the company said on Thursday. Currently, most Western nations are deploying 4G networks using FDD LTE technology. But in China, the government has been heavily promoting the use of TDD LTE networks. The country’s largest carrier, China Mobile, with 740 million customers, has been building trial networks with the 4G standard.Local officials have said China will issue the 4G commercial licenses later this year. Research firm IDC expects that could be as soon as September. China is the world’s largest smartphone market, and Samsung reigns as the country’s top vendor with a 19 percent share, according to IDC. The research firm’s forecasts show that in 2014, a quarter of all smartphones shipped to China will be designed for 4G networks. By 2017, that figure will reach 50 percent Samsung’s dual mode phones will allow users to seamlessly roam over different LTE networks, the company said. The handset maker plans to launch other TDD-LTE devices in other markets in the third quarter.

Outside of China, TDD LTE networks are seeing growing adoption in certain nations in Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Oceania. 

In Australia, local carrier Optus will launch the FDD/TDD LTE dual-mode phones in a few weeks.

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Will New 300GB Optical Discs Be Good For Businesses?

Two of the leading names in DVD and Blu-ray technology announced a joint effort to develop a next-generation standard for optical discs. Sony and Panasonic will collaborate on a new standard, and plan to produce new super discs that can hold up to 300GB of data on a single disc by 2015.

The first question to ask is whether or not such technology will even be relevant in 2015. Is it even relevant today? Or, more importantly, what value or impact will it have for your business?

Archiving Data

Not too long ago, recordable optical discs were a primary means of storing and archiving data. Blank disc media is cheap, and burning data to disc is a relatively simple process that small and medium businesses can easily manage. Current Blu-ray discs can hold 25GB of data—or 50GB on a dual-layer disc. But, removable media often has trouble keeping up with the skyrocketing storage demands of newer technology.

There was 1.8 trillion gigabytes of data generated in 2011 alone. According to a study conducted by IDC, the explosion of mobile devices, embedded technologies, wearable computers, and sensors in clothing, medical devices, and building will result in the overall amount of data expanding by 50 times by 2020.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

IBM Throws Its Weight Behind Cloud Foundry

IBM and Pivotal announced at the O’Reilly Open Source Convention (OSCON) that the two would collaborate on development of the popular Cloud Foundry development platform. The partnership will be make it easier for developers to deploy and manage cloud applications, and will be great for businesses looking to take advantage of the cloud.

The Cloud Foundry website describes it as an open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that gives developers the freedom to choose the cloud services, developer frameworks, and application services that meet their needs. According to the Cloud Foundry About page, “Cloud Foundry makes it faster and easier to build, test, deploy and scale applications.”

IBM may not have the clout it once carried before the rise of Microsoft, but Big Blue is still a powerful name in IT, and recently it has been a driving force behind open source cloud projects. IBM has been a leading supporter of OpenStack, an open source cloud infrastructure initiative. By working with Pivotal to foster development of the Cloud Foundry platform, IBM is now expanding its support for both open source, and the cloud.

Al Hilwa, an IDC analyst focused on application development software, shared some thoughts on the Cloud Foundry news. “Given this announcement, I expect to see IBM invest in this project and help drive its governance forward to really achieve critical mass. Cloud Foundry has already garnered significant support from many players and has built up an ecosystem, but putting IBM’s imprimatur and resources behind it will be felt in the industry.”

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Growth in Smartphone Sales Belongs to Asia

By Reuters

smartphone sales asia mobile technology internet apple samsung telecom

Filed under: , , , ,

AFP/Getty Images

By Jeremy Wagstaff
and Lee Chyen Yee

SINGAPORE — After five years of explosive growth sales of high-end smartphones have hit a plateau and the $2 trillion industry — telecom carriers, handset makers and content providers — is buckling up for a bumpier ride as growth shifts to emerging markets, primarily in Asia.

While carrier subsidies have helped drive sales of high-end devices in mature markets, the next growth chapter will be in emerging markets where cost-conscious users demand cheaper gadgets and cheaper access to cheaper services.

This year, the number of mobile Internet users in the developing world will overtake those in the developed world for the first time — growing 27 times since 2007, compared to the developed world’s fourfold growth, according to estimates from the International Telecommunications Union.

“The center of gravity in the mobile ecosystem is likely to shift from the United States and Western Europe toward Asia,” Mary Ellen Gordon, director at mobile advertiser Flurry, said in an emailed interview.

That shift is a challenge to profit margins at the likes of Apple (AAPL) and Samsung Electronics, which together sell half of the world’s smartphones. Both companies announce quarterly results this week.

Samsung has indicated its second-quarter operating profit will fall short of estimates as demand for high-end smartphones slows. Apple is also exploring cheaper iPhone models that come in different colors to tap the mass segment, sources have said.

Neither faces any kind of crisis. But, industry experts say, many users in mature markets who want a smartphone already have one. European smartphone shipments grew 12 percent in January-March from a year ago, the slowest growth since IT research-firm IDC started tracking the mobile market in 2004.

Asia: A Driving Force

Many of the new mobile users will be in Asia Pacific. The region will this year have more mobile Internet users than Europe and the Americas combined, ITU predicts. And there’s plenty of room to grow: fewer than 23 in 100 in Asia are mobile Internet users, versus 67 in Europe and 48 in the Americas.

“Asia will be the driving force of global growth for the next two decades,” says Scott Lee, head of Asia at Appsnack, a division of U.S. based digital advertising company Exponential Interactive.

The catch: much of this growth will come from users of devices that are up to 10 times cheaper than those in the developed world. Cheaper components, easy and fast access to latest versions of Google’s (GOOG) Android operating system, reference designs from chipmakers and falling prices of the chipsets themselves are pushing this, says Frederick Wong, a portfolio manager at tech-focused eFusion Investment, who owns four smartphones.

China, the world’s biggest mobile market — where only about a fifth of …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

Microsoft strategy should take hint from Apple, analyst says

Microsoft must be ready to accept, as has Apple, that it’s better to cannibalize one’s own sales than to let others do it, a research analyst says.

“This is going to be a tough shift for Microsoft, to ask them to now accept that the world is a very different place than it used to be,” said Al Gillen of research firm IDC.

That shift is the corporate reorganization unveiled last week to support a radical strategy of retreating from decades of selling packaged software and advancing on sustainable services and potentially-lucrative devices.

Corporate reorganization

As part of the reorganization, Microsoft will consolidate all of its client operating systems, including Windows 8, Windows RT, Windows Phone 8, Windows Embedded, and Xbox, into a single engineering group led by Tony Myerson, head of Windows Phone, which was part of a soon-to-be-defunct Entertainment and Devices division.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at PCWorld

Microsoft Lost $900 Million on Surface RT in Q1

Today, as part of its Q4 earnings report, Microsoft announced that it has incurred a $900 million loss due to its struggling Surface RT tablet. While the company otherwise reported $4.97 billion in earnings from $19.9 billion in revenue, the Surface RT cost the company a significant sum as a result of “inventory adjustments.”

The news comes on the heels of Microsoft’s $150 price drop on the Surface RT, now carrying a $349 MSRP for the 32GB model and $449 for the 64GB version. While Microsoft has not released specific sales statistics, IDC figures for Q1 placed Surface sales at under a million, with the Surface Pro accounting for a majority of total units sold.

Continue reading…

…read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at IGN Tech

Why Apple's iPhone is unlikely to win India's smartphone war

By Saritha Rai, Contributor

As India’s smartphone market hovers on explosive growth comes the surprising news that Apple’s iPhone sales have tripped in the first quarter of 2013. In a market where the world’s biggest device makers are revving up their marketing machine, IDC reports that iPhone sales fell steeply to nearly half its previous quarter sales. …read more

Source: FULL ARTICLE at Forbes Latest

Netflix's Need Is Apple's Opportunity

By Tim Beyers, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Reed Hastings wants Netflix investing in more original series. And why not? House of Cards is already a success, and early signs point to a similarly strong showing for the horror series Hemlock Grove.

Trouble is, this sort of content doesn’t come cheap. In a manifesto posted to Netflix’s investor-relations site recently, Hastings confessed that original program development is “cash-intensive” and that producing more shows is likely to mean raising money from investors or partners:

As we expand Originals, they will consume cash. Since we are otherwise using domestic profits to fund international markets, we will raise capital as needed to fund the growth of Originals.

And that, Fool, is where Apple comes in. The Mac maker should be investing in Netflix original programming.

Source: Netflix.

How about an iPad with that?
It’s a rich opportunity. Netflix’s bulkier content portfolio led to hefty profits in Q1. Revenue rose 17.7% to $1.02 billion as the company turned an $0.08 per share loss into a $0.31 per share profit, after accounting for charges related to paying off debt. Wall Street was expecting just $0.18 a share. The stock promptly soared 20% on the news.

Why should Apple care? Math. Better TV apps means a better TV experience on the iPad, which means more reasons to buy an iPad, which means more iPad sales.

Or at least that’s how the market seems to be trending: iPad unit sales soared 65% and came in almost 1.5 million ahead of consensus estimates in fiscal Q2 versus a 7% year-over-year increase in iPhone sales. IDC is right — tablets are becoming an everyday item for American consumers, none more so than the iPad.

A natural partner
Apple and Netflix also share competitors. Consider Amazon.com and Google . Each sells individual tracks as iTunes does. They also offer music, books, and magazines in addition to streaming. Apple mutes their stores on its devices for this very reason.

Hulu isn’t a competitor, but management uncertainty makes partnering a risk. Redbox Instant would be an alternative as a development partner if executives had any interest in original programming. So far, they don’t.

Which brings us back to Netflix. Hastings needs Apple’s cash, and CEO Tim Cook has demonstrated a willingness to invest in ways the late Steve Jobs never would. Listen to how CFO Peter Oppenheimer described the company’s cash strategy in announcing fiscal Q2 earnings.

“We continue to generate cash in excess of our needs to operate the business, invest in our future, and maintain flexibility to take advantage of strategic opportunities,” Oppenheimer said in a press release. That, Fool, is how an investor talks when he’s searching for the next win.

Wait till Ringo hears about this
Starting a studio is probably out of the question given Apple’s litigious history with The Beatles. Any move to broaden the “Apple” brand in entertainment could get nasty in a hurry.

Yet Apple needn’t go that

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

8 Gut-Wrenching Months for Apple: The Downs

By Anders Bylund, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Apple shares have taken a beating lately, sinking 38% since the start of October. Here’s a look at the four darkest moments of this sustained bear attack.

AAPL data by YCharts

Let’s start at the beginning, with the entry marked “1” in the preceding chart.

Apple presented the iPad Mini on Oct. 23, as expected. But the company also introduced an updated iPad at the same time. The last iPad refresh was less than six months old at the time, and the accelerated product cycle raised eyebrows — and sent shares plunging 3.3% in a single day. As for the Mini, I was left wondering why the tablet was priced at such an awkward level. At $329 a pop, the iPad Mini cost 65% more than an Amazon.com Kindle Fire of the same size, and it was just an 18% discount to the much larger full-sized iPad.

In early December, market research firm IDC reported that Apple was losing market share in the tablet arena. Worries about the then-upcoming fiscal cliff already weighed on the world’s largest stock (in terms of market cap), and the sinking tablet share released it all as a 6.4% one-day price drop.

Apple’s first-quarter rolled around in January, and it confirmed the bearish arguments. iPhone sales turned out to be slower than analysts had expected, and there was a downright unhealthy shift from latest-and-greatest to older-and-cheaper handsets in this holiday quarter. Apple’s margins are under pressure, and its formerly unstoppable sales growth is slowing down. The iPad Mini undermined Apple’s average selling prices but didn’t appear to boost unit sales much. Shares fell a hair-raising 12.4% that day.

That brings us to the fourth and final stop on this whirlwind tour. The week before Apple’s next earnings report, audio-chip supplier Cirrus Logic scared the pants off many Cupertino investors with an earnings miss and very low top-line sales. Apple is Cirrus’ largest customer by far, and it was easy to connect the dots. Management blamed the miss on “a decreased forecast for a high volume product,” and Apple shares plunged another 5.5% overnight. When Apple’s report confirmed the bearish action again, the bad news had already been priced in. That’s why the stock didn’t sink even further this week.

Apple’s high-margin business model is falling apart at the seams, and I suddenly don’t feel particularly contrarian for having a thumbs-down CAPScall on Apple’s stock.

There is a debate raging as to whether Apple remains a buy. The Motley Fool’s senior technology analyst and managing bureau chief, Eric Bleeker, is prepared to fill you in on both reasons to buy and reasons to sell Apple and what opportunities are left for the company (and your portfolio) going forward. To get instant access to his latest thinking on Apple, simply click here now.

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

3 Ways Microsoft Can Save Windows 8

By Steve Heller, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

By now you should’ve heard that PC sales haven’t exactly been booming. In the first quarter, IDC estimated that PC shipments fell 13.9% year over year, marking the worst quarterly decline ever for the PC industry. Between tablets that are cannibalizing the low-end notebook and the lackluster reaction to Microsoft‘s Windows 8, it’s not surprising to hear that the PC has seen better days. Despite Microsoft‘s efforts to expand its reach in mobile, the health of the PC industry remains central to the company’s overall profitability and growth prospects.

With Windows 8, Microsoft attempted to reorient the PC experience to embrace an increasingly mobile and touch-friendly world. However, the sales pace of Windows 8 hasn’t exactly been stellar. Thus far, Windows 8 is shaping up to be one of Microsoft’s biggest flops, surpassing Windows Vista in the process. In other words, Microsoft needs to find a way to reverse the trend and get users to wholeheartedly embrace the modernized Windows experience.

Here’s how Microsoft could prevent Windows 8 from being an epic failure.

Kill Windows RT
Windows RT has been a nightmare since the beginning. It has utterly confused consumers since there are inherent differences between the full version of Windows 8 and Windows RT. For one, Windows RT devices are powered by ARM Holdings designs, which to the consumer means that legacy Windows applications are not compatible. However, devices powered by ARM offer the promise of smaller form factors and improved battery life over Intel -powered designs.

Microsoft has done a poor job relaying these and other subtleties between Windows 8 and Windows RT to consumers. The Verge investigated the topic and found that Microsoft failed to properly educate its employees, which naturally damaged consumer perceptions about the product. As a result of this confusion, Samsung decided not to launch any Windows RT devices in the U.S. and stopped RT sales in Germany. Acer has delayed introducing any Windows RT devices in the U.S. until it had a better sense of how Microsoft Surface RT sales fared. When major OEM partners don’t even want to embrace Windows RT, how can Microsoft really make it a success story?

If only Microsoft would have just stuck with Intel’s x86 architecture the whole time …

Introduce a $200 Windows 8 tablet
Not only would a $200 Windows 8-powered tablet do wonders for Microsoft’s mobile prospects, but it would also probably give Apple and Google a run for their money in the tablet space. Both Apple’s and Google’s tablet experience lack the level of productivity that that would be possible on a Windows 8 tablet powered by Intel’s upcoming Bay Trail processor. With a few added peripherals, such a device could become an impromptu, yet highly capable, PC in a pinch.

Speaking of Bay Trail, the future of the PC also hinges on Intel’s ability to introduce technology that enables a compelling

Source: FULL ARTICLE at DailyFinance

IBM's x86 exit may shake up market and rivals

IBM‘s reported interest in selling parts of its x86 server business to Lenovo may bring major changes to the global market.

IBM is the third-largest seller of x86 servers by factory revenue, with 15.7 percent of the global market in 2012, according to IDC. That represents $5.6 billion for a company that earned $104.5 billion in revenue last year.

IBM‘s share of the x86 server segment has declined over the last several years. In 2010, it had 17.4 percent of the market and $5.5 billion in revenue.

By divesting at least part of its x86 server line, IBM gains additional investment dollars that it can spend on its higher margin efforts, especially its analytics and business intelligence, putting more pressure on rivals in these areas.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.computerworld.com/s/article/9238537/What_IBM_s_x86_exit_may_mean_for_rivals_#tk.rss_all

Chromebooks vie to replace netbooks

The once-hot netbook may have been decimated by the arrival of tablets, but inexpensive, lightweight laptops are showing staying power. The latest iteration in that category is Chromebooks, laptops with Google’s Chrome OS, which is seen as a lightweight OS alternative to Windows for users who do most of their computing on the Web. There is substantial backing for Chromebooks with companies like Google, Lenovo, Samsung, Hewlett-Packard and Acer offering models with different screen sizes and hardware.

A first wave of Chromebooks released in 2011 from Samsung and Acer failed to catch on, but a new wave that went on sale late last year have better hardware and a more refined OS. Typical features include 100GB of Google Cloud storage, Wi-Fi, webcams, and in some models, 3G connectivity. However, IDC suggested that early sales of Chromebooks have been weak, and it remains to be seen if they will fill the void left by netbooks.

Acer’s Chromebook C7

The US$199.99 Acer Chromebook C7 is the cheapest Chrome OS laptop available. It has an 11.6-inch screen and a 320GB hard drive, while other models have 16GB of local solid-state storage. One disappointment is the three-and-a-half hours of battery life, while more expensive models offer up to six-and-a-half hours. The C7 has an Intel Celeron dual-core processor running at 1.1GHz, 2GB of memory and an HDMI port. Like a majority of other Chromebooks, the screen displays images at a resolution of 1366 by 768. Acer maintains the C7 has sold better than expected, and has said it will come out with more Chromebook models in the future.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035904/chromebooks-vie-to-replace-netbooks.html#tk.rss_all

IBM may sell x86 server business to Lenovo, reports say

IBM is in “advanced discussions” with Lenovo over a possible deal for it to purchase IBM‘s x86 server business, according to two news reports Thursday.

Any such deal would reshape the massive x86 server market, which was worth US$35.8 billion last year and accounted for two-thirds of all server spending, according to figures from IDC.

The sale price isn’t known, but the deal could be worth billions of dollars if it goes ahead, said The Wall Street Journal, which cited unnamed people familiar with the matter.

CRN reported the news earlier in the day, also citing unnamed sources. It said IBM wants $5 billion or $6 billion for the business.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035739/ibm-may-sell-x86-server-business-to-lenovo-reports-say.html#tk.rss_all

AMD's revenue drops 31 percent as CPU sales plummet

Advanced Micro Devices reported a 31 percent drop in revenue for the first quarter as it continues to battle a weak PC market and lackluster demand for its chips.

Sales in AMD‘s Computing Solutions group, which makes processors for PCs and servers, plummeted 38 percent from last year to US$751 million. Its graphics chip business did slightly better, with sales down 12 percent to $337 million, AMD announced Thursday.

Overall revenue for the quarter, ended March 30, was $1.09 billion, AMD said. It reported a net loss for the quarter of $146 million, or $0.19 per share, an improvement on its loss of $590 million, or $0.80 per share, a year earlier.

It’s a tough time for the PC industry as a whole, with the economy stumbling along and more people turning to smartphones and tablets for their computing. PC shipments were down almost 14 percent in the first quarter, research firm IDC said last week. That was the biggest year-on-year quarterly decline IDC has ever recorded.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

From: http://www.pcworld.com/article/2035727/amds-revenue-drops-31-percent-as-cpu-sales-plummet.html#tk.rss_all

The iPad Mini's Latest Challenger

By Doug Ehrman, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

When research firm IDC put out its latest numbers on global tablet sales, it noted that “[o]ne in every two tablets shipped this quarter was below 8 inches in screen size.” The firm believes that the shift to smaller devices will accelerate, making it little surprise that, according to The Wall Street Journal, Microsoft is developing a 7-inch Surface tablet to be released sometime this year. IDC expects Google‘s Android operating system to snatch the top market share position from Apple‘s iOS. At this size, Microsoft is competing with the Google Nexus 7, the iPad Mini, and Amazon.com‘s Kindle Fire HD. While this is stiff competition, getting in the fight is a critical step for Microsoft.

The tablet market
Not that there’s any doubt as to how important the tablet market is, but the numbers are compelling. IDC raised its forecast for worldwide tablet shipments from 172.4 million units in 2013 to 190.9 million and expects that by 2017, 350 million units will be shipping each year. Apple and Google may rule the sandbox, but it’s a big enough sandbox that carving out even a small corner can mean real and meaningful revenue for Microsoft. IDC expects that Microsoft, between its Windows OS and RT OS, account for a combined 10.1% by 2017. These projections don’t include a smaller Surface, so the addition could prove to be meaningful.

Shifting markets
Earlier this week, IDC reported a 14% drop in PC sales for the most recent quarter, mirrored by an 11% drop reported by research firm Gartner. Microsoft is not a PC-maker per se, but falling numbers in this arena are a real blow to sales of Windows. This will be a critical number to watch this week as the company reports earnings on Thursday. As PC sales continue to slide, Microsoft’s involvement in other areas continues to be of greater and greater importance.

What does a smaller Surface mean to the market?
Many will argue that the announcement of a smaller Surface tablet is a non-event because even the bigger Surface RT and Surface Pro have done little to disrupt the market. While this position is not without some merit, it misses the bigger picture of what I believe Microsoft is trying to achieve. As things currently stand, Apple makes the premium tablets on the market and uses this cachet to maintain its market share. Google makes the low-cost tablets on the market, using this appeal to drive its market share similarly to what it has achieved in smartphones.

Microsoft is not only trying to get its foot in the door but is also looking to change the very nature of the tablet market. Windows 8 has been widely criticized as being clunky and counterintuitive on a PC, even with a touchscreen. These reviews seem to assume that Microsoft is oblivious to this reality and failed to conduct any market research before launching the new

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/15/ipad-minis-latest-challenger/

"Game of Thrones" Will Never Beat "Mad Men" — Here's Why

By Tim Beyers, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

So far, Game of Thrones is beating Mad Men in the ratings war. The second episode of the fantasy epic based on author George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Fire and Ice” books drew in 4.3 million viewers, versus 3.4 million for the Mad Men premiere.

As far as I’m concerned, both shows are well written and worth watching. Yet if HBO were spun off from Time Warner as an independent company, I’d still rather own shares of Mad Men distributor AMC Networks .

Sources: HBO, YouTube.

Why? Accessibility. By bundling its content with cable providers, HBO makes it unnecessarily difficult to cater to the increasing number of viewers who are just as comfortable watching via tablet as they are on TV.

Consider how Comcast‘s obtuse Xfinity service handles streamed HBO content. Watching on my Mac requires a log-in to comcast.net and then navigating to a “watch TV” tab, where I can look up episodes and movies. Once I’ve done that, starting or picking up an episode works great — just so long as I haven’t changed devices. The Comcast Web experience is self-contained.

So is the iPad experience, where HBO GO is available. Logging in there with my Comcast credentials gets access to episodes but no viewing history, making it a poor substitute for Netflix and Apple‘s iTunes, both of which bookmark video content across devices.

But where Xfinity really fails is in the living room. Prior seasons of Game of Thrones simply aren’t available through Xfinity On Demand. Interested catch-up viewers are instead pushed to the Web to experience Comcast’s streaming weaknesses live and in living color.

Meanwhile, synchronized viewing is only going to get more important. According to IDC, tablets are on track to outsell desktop PCs this year and will outsell laptops come 2014. Hundreds of millions of mini-TVs are out in the wild, waiting to be fed. Hundreds of millions more are coming.

Separately, a recent survey conducted by Belkin and Harris Interactive found that roughly 30% of viewers surveyed said they were at least somewhat interested in replacing traditional cable with digital services such as Netflix. It’s a good bet a number of these rule-breaking TV fans already are, or are about to be, tablet owners.

Liberty Media‘s John Malone, a cable industry insider, may have said it best when he questioned the long-term veracity of cable network efforts to bundle content in order to preserve profits.

Cable network operators “have to face reality that maybe you need to segregate your market like everybody else,” Malone said in an interview with CNBC’s David Faber.

Malone is right: Bundling doesn’t make sense anymore. Time Warner is only limiting HBO‘s options — and devaluing its content — by sticking with the dinosaurs that insist upon it.

For further analysis of how Netflix is changing entertainment, tune into our newest premium research report, in which we take you inside Netflix’s entertainment empire and tell you

From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/14/game-of-thrones-will-never-beat-mad-men-heres-why/

Is the Google Stock Rally Over for Now?

By Tim Beyers, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Each week, I endeavor to report the results of the Big Idea Portfolio, a collection of five tech stocks that I believe will crush the market over a three-year period. I’ve done it before; my last tussle with Mr. Market ended with me beating the index’s average return by 13.35%.

Real money was on the line then as it is now, which means any one of the five stocks you see below could cause me a lot of public embarrassment. This time, Google fell slightly in a big week for the market indexes. Facebook and Microsoft deserve most of the blame.

Google stock retreated about 80 basis points last week as thousands awaited Friday’s official release of Facebook Home for Android. That appears to have been an overreaction. As of Sunday, more than 3,000 had downloaded and rated the app at Google’s Play Store. Of those, nearly 1,600 give the app 1 out of 5 stars. Overall, they give it 2.4 stars.

“No widgets, kinda clunky, and pretty much just Facebook with access to your apps drawer. Meh, an unimpressive launcher compared to most others,” wrote reviewer Jeremy Noah, who called the app “good for Facebook-ophiles” after trying the app on his Samsung Galaxy S3.

The message? Facebook has much work to do before Home becomes a suitable substitute for Google’s existing Android interface. In the meantime, Microsoft has allied itself with 16 others to urge European regulators to take action against the search king for what it deems “predatory” efforts to control the market for mobile software and devices.

We don’t yet know how EU officials will respond to Mr. Softy’s urging, or Google’s own efforts to settle existing grievances. The resulting uncertainty appears to be weighing on Google stock.

What’s the Big Idea this week?
Elsewhere, a small move in Apple shares fell short of the market‘s overall rally, costing me  another 135 basis points in my three-year battle with Mr. Market. All four indexes reported strong gains.

This time, the Nasdaq led the way with with a 2.84% surge, followed by the S&P 500’s 2.29% rally, the Russell 2000’s 2.12% jump, and the Dow’s 2.06% gain, according to data supplied by The Wall Street Journal. Here’s a closer look at where I stood through Friday’s close:
Company Starting Price* Recent Price Total Return









Rackspace Hosting




Riverbed Technology










S&P 500 SPDR






Source: Yahoo! Finance.
* Tracking began at market close on Jan. 6, 2012.
** Adjusted for dividends and other returns of capital.

Notable newsmakers
Among the other tech stocks making news last week:

Should Microsoft Shareholders Begin to Panic Over Falling PC Shipments?

By Matt Thalman, The Motley Fool

Filed under:

Shares of Microsoft took investors on quite the ride this week, but even though they plummeted more than 4.42% in just one day, they still managed to end the week higher than were they began. Do investors have anything to worry about? Let’s take a look.

So what happened?
On Monday, Microsoft dropped by 0.38%, after the company announced that it was selling its IPTV business to Ericsson. The terms and price of the deal weren’t disclosed, but it was estimated to sell for somewhere between $100 million and $234 million. The IPTV unit creates software that gives wireless device manufacturers the ability to deliver television signals over the Internet.  

Tuesday came along, and shares were flying high, up 3.57%, with a few analysts crediting Microsoft’s attacks on Google for the rise. Microsoft and a number of other technology companies are claiming Google’s open-source operating system gives it an unfair advantage over the competition. The main problem is that Google gives its operating system away, and Microsoft, which charges for its operating systems, can’t compete. The EU is looking into Microsoft’s allegations against Google, but we’ll have to wait and see who wins this battle. 

Also on Tuesday, the company announced that it’s teaming up with Cisco to help customers reduce complexity while enhancing IT productivity and business agility. The partnership is currently just focused on data centers and how to improve and grow operations in that area of business.  

On Thursday, the IDC released its PC shipment figures for the first quarter of 2013, and they were terrible. Sales dropped 14% in the quarter, while analysts were expecting a decline of only 7.7%. Microsoft tumbled 4.42% on the news and sent the PC manufacturers even further down than that.  

So what now?
Year to date, Microsoft is the sixth worst-performing component of the Dow Jones Industrial Average during 2013, but based on my colleague John Maxfield‘s calculations, it’s only the 14th most shorted Dow component, which would indicate that although the stock hasn’t performed fantastically so far this year, most market participants don’t think the stock is going to crash, either. (To see John’s full list and how much of each Dow component is sold short, click here.)

Although the current trend clearly indicates that PC sales will probably continue to decline over time, it’s clear that as a whole, the market hasn’t lost faith in the company yet, and individual shareholders also shouldn’t sell at this time.

While the company is best known for its Windows operating system, that’s now become just a small piece of the modern-day Microsoft. The company has a number of different revenue streams today:


From: http://www.dailyfinance.com/2013/04/14/wild-ride-for-microsoft-shareholders-this-past-w/



Operating Income (Loss)




Server and Tools



Online Services



Microsoft Business



Entertainment and Devices