Oracle didn't exactly stick it to Wall Street, but the world's No. 2 software maker did manage to post a quarterly profit above what analysts were expecting, eWeek reports. Not by a wide margin, mind you, but still 3 cents higher than the average Wall Street forecast of 36 cents per share.
The better-than-expected performance can be attributed to an unexpected increase in sales of new software licenses, which rose 2 percent from a year earlier in the second quarter ended Nov. 30. And it was just 3 months ago that Oracle said sales would probably be down 10 percent, or at best, fall flat.
Oracle wasn't the only one with reason to celebrate. The company's numbers has analysts and other vendors optimistic that technology spending is on the rebound after suffering through a rough year. Because of its size, Oracle reports earnings a month before most of its peers.
According to a new report from research firm Research and Markets, netbook shipments will end the year with a bang, shipping twice as many units as 2008. That's pretty impressive, and with prices continuing to fall, it seems netbooks are destined to keep selling like hot cakes. Or are they?
The research firm predicts that the market will slow somewhat in 2010 as manufacturers cope with increasingly slimmer profit margins.
"In order to expand netbook PC market coverage, other than increasing product differentiation to stimulate demand in the existing mature consumer markets," states the report, "PC companies also aim to seek new market opportunities in the education, commercial, and emerging market segments, as well as new distribution channels and new offerings."
The report went on to say that competition from Nokia and Apple could heat things up in 2010, including the release of the rumored Apple Tablet sometime next year.
Psystar had big plans, unfortunately, their plans were pretty much the only thing that fit that description. Now that Apple has effectively won its copyright infringement case against the company, not only is it all but sure to close, but it will likely have to pay a fine for each and every Hackintosh that went out the door.
Just how many machines is that you ask? Turns out even though the company planned to sell as many as 12 million units by 2011, they only managed to pump out around 768 Mac clones so far. Either the Psystar machines were far less popular than the company (and media) let on, or they are fudging the numbers to try and dodge some of the fine. The numbers were revealed as part of a court ordered release to be used against them at upcoming injunction proceedings. Even if Psystar does manage to pay the fine, they will still be a company without a product, not exactly an ideal situation.
It seems as though Apple has done a pretty good job of nipping these guys off in the bud before they had a chance to cost them any customers, but do you actually think the Hackintosh crowd will actually buy genuine Apple OEM goods now that the hammer has come down against Psystar? I also can't help but wonder how many of those 768 machines were sold to the press.
In a few more days, Black Friday will be here, and if you plan on braving the crowds, that means getting up early (or staying up late) and making a mad dash for the electronics section among a frenzy of shoppers with no qualms about pushing, shoving, and trampling anyone who gets in their way. But should your reach your destination unscathed, you may find that the deals are nothing to get excited over considering stores have already had to mark prices down in the current economic climate, or that quantities are so low that if you're not near the front of the line donning a pair of running shoes, you're going to miss out.
CNNMoney.com reveals that in some cases, stores may stock as little as 3 units of those enticing low-priced electronics advertised in your local flier. Sale items could also be "derivatives" of the real deal, such as a large screen HDTV with lower image quality or a less desirable image contrast.
"It's a sleazy practice," said Craig Johnson, retailing expert and president of retail consulting group Customer Growth Partners. "I am old school. If a retailer is advertising a juicy deal and they are not prepared to have in sufficient quantity, don't advertise it. Or give consumers a raincheck."
Its latest operating system has helped the company obscure the spectre of Vista's failure. A couple of NPD reports published during the past fortnight indicate that Windows 7 has so far surpassed Vista in terms of sales, revenue, and adoption rate.
One shareholder apparently became the face of moderation for a bit during the meeting when he questioned Ballmer about Apple's huge popularity with the younger generation. Ballmer admitted that there is some room for improvement. But on the whole, he seemed satisfied with the fact that Windows is by far the most popular OS in the world.
It's been a little while since anyone has pronounced the PC a dead platform for gaming, and the next time someone does, you can help that person remove their cranium from their hind quarters with some hard figures. Not only is the PC doing well, it's doing exceptionally well, suggests data put together by Jon Peddie Research (JPR).
JPR's latest report predicts that PC gaming hardware sales will reach $21.26 billion by the end of the year, which is an increase of nearly $1.2 billion over 2008. But that's nothing compared to how much hardware the research firm predicts will fly off the shelves in 2010. According to JPR, PC gamers will spend $27.62 billion next year investing in gaming systems, accessories, and upgrades.
"The largest influence on the high forecasted growth rate is due to purchasing delays for systems and upgrades in 2008/2009 as consumers circled the wagons and took a conservative position on discretionary spending. A recovering economy, processing advancements, and higher quality gaming offerings will all contribute to a healthy year for PC gaming hardware in 2010."
What's even more remarkable about the increased spending is that PC hardware has never been cheaper. For the most part, gone are the days where a high-end videocard commanded $600, and it's now possible to piece together a respectable gaming rig for well under a grand.
Going forward, JPR says hardware sales will continue to climb, reaching $32.75 billion in 2010, and $34.76 billion in 2012.
Like everyone else, we're chomping at the bit to see what Nvidia's next-gen Fermi graphics chipset (GT300) brings to the table, so we're a little bummed it's been pushed back until Q1 2010. The delayed launch, however, isn't expected to negatively impact Nvidia's sales for the remainder of 2009, DigiTimes reports.
When Fermi does ship, Nvidia will position the GPU into three different product lines, including the GeForce brand, Quadro, and Tesla, according to company CEO Jen-Husn Huang.
While the delay is unlikely to hurt Nvidia's bottom line, that could change if Fermi gets pushed back a second time, some analysts warn. They say Nvidia could start to lose some of its market share should Fermi arrive in April 2010, as AMD will in all likelihood have already started shipping its entry-level Radeon HD 5600 and 5300 GPUs.
Windows 7’s launch may have turned in an impressive 234% growth in sales over Vista, but at least one industry analyst report is suggesting it may not be enough to bring Microsoft out of the red. Boxed copies of the software enjoyed strong pre-orders, but as many of you know, the vast majority of these were sold at a significant discount with an average selling price of only $76 in the week ending October 24th. Sales of PCs through the OEM sales channel also grew by 95% during the launch week, but it has since settled down considerably.
According to the report, Microsoft’s fortunes in 2010 will largely depend on whether the global economic conditions improve, and if IT budgets increase along with it. Strong sales to consumers is one thing, but getting businesses to embrace a tech refresh is the real trick to Microsoft’s recovery. Microsoft Chief Financial Officer Chris Liddell suggested that his company is planning for the worst, and is being “reasonably cautious” about the prospect of enterprises adopting Windows 7.
"It looks like the Win7 inspired upgrade cycle can start in late 2010 and run through early 2013," Katherine Egbert, an analyst with Jefferies & Co., wrote in an Oct. 12 report. "We expect new hardware purchases to precede the software upgrades by about 6 months." Either way, business will need to replace aging hardware and software eventually, but the big question for Microsoft is “when”.
"It has been quite amazing to watch the global excitement build around Windows 7, especially during a tough economic climate. It was just a few short weeks ago that we learned about Windows 7 outselling the UK's "own" Harry Potter. In Japan, anxious PC users waited in line to be one of the first to get their hands on Windows 7," a clearly ecstatic Le Blanc wrote on the official Windows Team Blog.
According to NPD's weekly tracking service, Windows 7 software unit sales in the US surpassed VIstas by 234 percent during the first few days. However, revenue generated by Windows 7 sales was only 82 percent higher than Vista's during the tracking period. NPD imputed the rather lackluster revenue growth to the discounts offered on pre-sales and Microsoft's failure to plug the Ultimate version in a manner its due. Windows 7 Home Premium Upgrade with an average selling price of $76 was the top-selling Windows 7 SKU during the week ending October 24, 2009.
The recession may or may not be over for the general public, but as far as D-Link is concerned, the high times are here again. The maker of network solutions has posted solid growth in the third quarter of the year. Net profits were up to $7.98 million in Q3 2009. This is an abrupt turnaround after the first half of the year when the company actually lost several million.
A whopping 54% of D-Link’s profits were from the Asia Pacific and emerging markets. Management expects that to rise over 60% in the next few quarters. D-Link expects growth to continue in the fourth quarter, but not at an increased rate over the third quarter.