According to a Fortune.com report, Oracle co-president Charles Phillips said during an onstage discussion at the Fortune Brainstorm Tech conference in Aspen, Colorado that his company is poised to spend some $70 billion gobbling up businesses within the next five years, a comment which quickly appears to have taken Oracle by surprise.
"While it is highly unlikely that we will spend anything approaching $70 billion in five years, we will be opportunistic and, if market conditions warrant, we will buy additional companies that further our strategic goals and address our customers' needs," spokesman Karen Tillman clarified in a statement.
Phillips may have been a little overambitious with his figures, but it's clear Oracle is looking to scoop up companies. Earlier this month, Oracle issued a $3.25 billion debt offering, part of which it earmarked for "future acquisitions."
If your place of business has a server running on a PowerEdge R410 motherboard, you might want to have a talk with Dell. According to the PC maker, a "small number" of these motherboards were shipped to customers with malicious code on them. The exact nature of the malware isn't clear, but disturbingly, it is embedded in the server management firmware.
Dell only commented on the situation after a customer wrote about being contacted by Dell support to schedule an appointment to remove the malware. There have been no reports of customer security breaches due to these motherboards. The code in question is only a danger to servers running a Windows OS.
Dell is doing the right thing now, and is contacting all customers that bought the boards. Though, we wish they'd have prevented this in the first place, or at the very least, fessed up faster. This is just one of the risks when your components are built in a factory half a world away.
A FAQ document on the site clearly states that “Service Pack 1 will be released within the first half of calendar year 2011.” Microsoft has been urging consumers, especially enterprise users, to not delay their upgrade plans until the release of SP1 as it will include “only minor updates.” Microsoft released a public beta of Service Pack 1 last week.
An unnamed tipster quoted by Foley revealed: “KittyHawk is targeting the corporate guy with some Excel/Access savvy. It is a drag and drop, template-driven, visual designer….It’s not code-based, but you can write code if you want to.” The report further suggests that it will produce Silverlight 4.0 and XAML code.
Seagate has come out with a new storage solution the company says is best suited for small businesses. It's the BlackArmor NAS 400, the newest addition to Seagate's BlackArmor line, and it comes with flexible storage options.
No big surprise that Seagate recommends pairing the device with their own low power Barracuda 3.5-inch drives, and the company says it also works with the new Barracuda XT hybrid drive. Either way, businesses have the option of running a RAID 0/1/5/10 or JBOD configuration, as well as hot-swapping HDDs.
Other features include Microsoft Active Directory 2003/2008 support, remote access, full system recovery software, event notifications, and four USB ports to add even more storage (or to share a USB printer).
The BlackArmor NAS 400 is available now starting at $400.
The Windows 7 juggernaut has little regard for impediments, but it does have a soft spot for an elderly cognate that refuses to die: Windows XP. Microsoft marked the availability of the public beta for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 (SP1) by extending the end-user downgrade rights to Windows XP until 2020, even though the previous deadline for their expiry was set at Windows 7 SP1.
End-user downgrade rights let businesses use a prior version of Windows on new machines until they are ready to transition to the latest version. Only OEM copies of Windows 7 Professional and Ultimate include downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista Professional. According to Microsoft, the move is meant to “provide customers and partners with more predictability around the lifecycle of Windows.”
Apparently, its business customers feared that removing end-user rights could lead to confusion. “Going forward, businesses can continue to purchase new PCs and utilize end user downgrade rights to Windows XP or Windows Vista until they are ready to use Windows 7. Enabling such rights throughout the Windows 7 lifecycle will make it easier for customers as they plan deployments to Windows 7,” Microsoft's Brandon LeBlanc wrote in a blog post yesterday.
Dell has inked an agreement to purchase Scalent, a privately held company specializing in server and data center virtualization management software, the OEM announced.
:Scalent provides a critical building block for our Virtual Integrated System, the most open, capable and affordable converged infrastructure solution available," said Brad Anderson, Dell senior vice president, Enterprise Product Group. "This acquisition will solidify an important component of our enterprise solution portfolio. We know that Scalent software, in combination with Dell servers, storage and network platforms, provide increased efficiency and value for our customers. Scalent’s open architecture is an example of Dell’s ongoing commitment to provide customers with solutions that don’t lock them into proprietary hardware or gateways."
Dell said it plans to complete the acquisition by the end of the month. Once that happens, the OEM will focus on integrating Scalent's infrastructure software into its existing Advanced Infrastructure Manager (AIM) data center software package.
Sometimes wars come down to alliances, and in the browser war, Mozilla now has IBM in its corner, says Bob Sutor, VP of Linux and Open Source at IBM.
"Some of the software we all use shouldn’t surprise you since we make it, such as Lotus Notes, Lotus Sametime, and Lotus Symphony," Sutor wrote in a blog post. "We’re officially adding a new piece of software to the list of default common applications we expect employees to use, and that’s the Mozilla Firefox browser.
"Firefox has been around for years, of course. Today we already have thousands of employees using it on Linux, Mac, and Windows laptops and desktops, but we’re going to be adding thousands more users to the rolls."
Sutor listed out several reasons why he himself prefers Firefox over the competition, chief among them that "Firefox is stunningly standards compliant, and interoperability via open standards is key to IBM's strategy." Sutor also praised Firefox for its security and extensible nature, or in other words the very same reasons why it's been such a hit on the consumer side.
Cisco surprised a good many people earlier this week when it announced plans to release a tablet of its own, but contrary to what you might think, the company's upcoming Cius tablet isn't just an iPad in Cisco trim.
"It's complementary to the iPad," said John Chambers, CEO, Cisco. "We do want to have an architectural play in consumer (but a tablet or netbook for the home) is where a number of our peers will lead."
According to Chambers, the Cius isn't a lame attempt at cashing in on the sudden rabid demand for tablets, but a product that has been in the making for the past 18 months.
Whereas the iPad is primarily an entertainment tool for the home user, Cisco says its Cius will target markets in technologically transitional stages, like education and healthcare. The Cius could, for example, foster collaboration between healthcare providers, patient, and insurance company and family to talk about different treatment options, Cisco says.
Equipped with a 5-megapixel rear facing camera and a 720p HD camera on the front, the 7-inch tablet is being touted as potent collaboration and communications platform by the company: “Cisco Cius offers HD video streaming and real-time video, multi-party conferencing, email, messaging, browsing, and the ability to produce, edit and share content stored locally or centrally in the cloud.”
As for connectivity, only 802.11 a/b/g/n and 3G will be supported at launch (first quarter of 2011), with a 4G variant set to follow later. Cisco has promised that the Cius would be priced below $1000.