5 Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week10:00 AM EST Fri. Feb. 08, 2013
According to numerous reports, thousands of major websites -- including CNN, ESPN, The Washington Post and many more -- were taken down Thursday because of a Facebook error. Apparently, a glitch with Facebook Connect caused thousands of websites with Facebook Like buttons to redirect the Web traffic from the intended domains to a Facebook error page instead. The glitch was only temporary, and Facebook said the issue had been resolved in less than an hour. Still, an apology and an explanation would have been nice, since now everyone knows Facebook can basically crash the Internet.
Reviews for Microsoft's new Surface Pro with Windows 8 Professional began to emerge this week ahead of the new tablet's Saturday launch date, and the feedback hasn't been kind. Reviewers complained the Surface Pro is too thick and heavy compared to the original Windows RT-based Surface, and the device also runs extremely hot and loud (thanks to its high-powered Intel Core i5 processor) and has a short battery life. While the Surface Pro has a strong display and can run traditional Windows apps well, the device seems more like an ultrathin notebook than a touch-screen tablet.
After BlackBerry 10's high-profile launch event last week, BlackBerry disappointed some die-hard users with the news that the new QWERTY Q10 smartphone wouldn't be available until April. Now the release date for the BlackBerry Q10 has apparently slipped even farther, with BlackBerry CEO Thorsten Hein telling the Associated Press that the phone would launch in the U.S. eight to 10 weeks after the touch-screen-based BlackBerry Z10 (which is scheduled for a March release). With BlackBerry attempting to win back customers it's lost to Apple and Android, the excitement and interest generated by BlackBerry 10 may not last until late spring.
Sony has had a tough time in recent years, and it could get a lot tougher. The technology giant posted disappointing third-quarter results this week, capped by a loss of $115 million that sent Sony's stock down more than 5 percent. Sony's core businesses of HDTVs, Blu-ray players and digital cameras slowed significantly, and the company has struggled to get any kind of momentum with its smartphones and tablet offerings. Are Sony's best days behind it?
Oracle has had a tough run with Java lately. After taking heat from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security over a major browser vulnerability last month, Oracle this week was forced to issue an early, out-of-band security update for Java to fix a wide range of holes, including a zero-day flaw that had already been exploited by hackers. Despite Java's standing as one of the most widely used programming languages in the world, the software's reputation is taking a big hit -- as is Oracle's.