Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week10:00 AM EST Fri. Jan. 25, 2013
AV-Test, an independent IT security institute based in Germany, is no longer certifying Microsoft's consumer and business antivirus products after its testing found them both unable to detect a significant amount of zero-day malware. Microsoft's Forefront Endpoint for businesses and Security Essentials suite for home users detected just 78 percent of malicious files used in AV-Test's trials. Though Microsoft said it plans to improve the detection in its products, it also noted that the majority of malware AV-Test used does not affect Windows users. This carried just a whiff of denial for a company that had just been shamed.
Apple's first quarter revenue jumped 18 percent, iPhone sales rose 20 percent and iPad sales grew 49 percent compared to last year, but that wasn't enough for Wall Street's perpetually insatiable maw. Flat year-over-year revenue and a second-quarter outlook that fell short of what Apple investors were expecting combined to trigger a sell-off in the wake of its earnings announcement. This was Apple's most closely-watched quarterly results in years, and the next one is sure to be even more closely scrutinized by the chorus of critics who doubt that Apple can sustain its growth under CEO Tim Cook.
A faulty software upgrade took down AT&T's U-Verse service -- a bundle of high speed Internet, digital television and digital phone -- for several days for customers in the Southeast and Southwest U.S., according to a report from the New York Times.
AT&T said the outage is affecting less than 1 percent of its U-Verse subscribers. A spokesperson for the carrier did not specify to the New York Times whether customers would be getting a refund, instead offering the cryptic reply: "We will take care of our customers."
Remember that emergency Java patchOracle rushed out earlier this month in response tocritical security vulnerabilities? Turns out it didn't work so good. The real security issues, according to some security experts, lie in the Java code itself and could necessitate a rewrite. If that weren't enough, turns out Oracle is bundling the Ask Toolbar and McAfee Security Scanner into its critical Java updates, and Oracle's actually making money by tricking people into downloading the software, as reported by Ed Bott of ZDnet.
Logitech is mulling a sale of its LifeSize Communications unit as a way to counteract the headwinds of the global PC slowdown. In Logitech's third quarter, revenue dipped 14 percent and the company swung to net loss of $195 million, compared to $55 million in profit in the year-ago quarter.
Logitech paid $405 million to acquire LifeSize in the heady days of 2009, when the videoconferencing market looked poised to pop. Instead, it has fizzled, so it's unclear how much Logitech will be able to recoup from its initial investment from a sale of the unit.
"I'm taking a hard look at whether we are the best owners of LifeSize given the evolving dynamics of the videoconferencing space as well as the other challenges we face in improving Logitech's performance," Logitech CEO Bracken Darrell said in the company's third-quarter earnings call.