5 Vendors That Came To Win This Week7:31 PM EST Fri. Apr. 23, 2010
iPhone and Mac sales combined to propel Apple to another insanely profitable quarter. Apple also managed to add a couple billion to its nearly $42 billion cash hoard. And Apple hasn't even started to report revenue from the iPad, although it did say its aggressive iPad pricing will impact gross margin next quarter.
What's especially amazing about the iPhone's continued success -- 8.57 million units shipped in Q2 -- is that the device continues to sell like hotcakes despite a wealth of high quality competitors. With a new iPhone coming in June, Apple could be getting ready to leave foes in the dust, again. Oh, and Apple is going to dip its toes into mobile advertising later this year, a move that could lead to yet another lucrative revenue stream.
This week, Office 2010, along with SharePoint 2010, Visio 2010 and Project 2010, were all released to manufacturing. The latest versions of the Office and Sharepoint cash cows add deeper integration, but the most daring part of this announcement is Office Web Apps, Web-based versions of Word, Excel, Powerpoint and OneNote that Microsoft will offer free of charge.
Office has been a steady performer for Microsoft, but Office Web Apps show that Microsoft isn't just going to sit around and watch Google Docs eat its lunch.
Google this week acquired Agnilux, a shadowy San Jose, Calif.-based startup that includes former employees from chip startup P.A. Semi, which Apple bought for $278 million two years ago and whose technology is believed to power the iPad. With all the talk about a Google tablet, the logical conclusion is that Agnilux will bring Google chip expertise and reduce its reliance on third party chipmakers.
Agnilux has reportedly held strategic investment talks with Cisco, Microsoft and Texas Instruments, and that's only adding to the mystery around this particular deal. Hey Google, Apple has already cornered the market on mystery buzz, are you sure you want to do this? It'd be silly to just buy a company and not do anything with It -- we're talking to you, eBay/Skype.
In case you haven't heard, HP and Cisco aren't buds anymore. And even after the breakup, the acrimony continues to grow. This week, while HP was talking about how it plans to integrate 3Com's product portfolio, HP couldn't help but mention that its new internal data centers includes 3Com, HP ProCurve and TippingPoint gear -- but no Cisco products of any kind.
"We're not locked into proprietary protocols that many in the IT industry are familiar with and this gives us more flexibility to change as our business grows," said Ken Gray, vice president, Infrastructure, Global Information Technology Organization, HP, in a statement.
Where we come from, them's fightin' words!
Appirio is giving solution providers an offer they might find difficult to refuse.
Appirio, a rising cloud computing star and a key partner of both Google and Salesforce, this week guaranteed that businesses that outsource their entire IT infrastructure to Appirio will save at least $1 million a year. And if they don't, Appirio will make up the difference. "It's something we're very confident in offering. This is about [us] putting some skin in the game to help customers make that move to the cloud," Ryan Nichols, head of cloud strategy and sourcing at Appirio, told Channelweb this week.
As a satellite in Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's orbit, Appirio's attention grabbing claim isn't all that unusual, but given Appirio's size, you have to give the company credit for going all-in with such an offer.