Five IT Vendors That Dropped The Ball This Week

Microsoft Still Mum On Windows Phone 7 Sales

Microsoft's Windows Phone 7 was at one point selling at a rate of seven licenses every second. And Microsoft shouted this from the rooftops on numerous occasions. But it's been nearly a month since Windows Phone arrived in the U.S. and we still haven't seen any sales figures from Microsoft.

What gives? Clearly, Windows Phone 7 hasn't been generating enough interest to warrant eye-popping claims from Microsoft, but is it as much of a debacle as Microsoft Kin?

Microsoft, in a statement sent to media outlets this week, said it's "pleased" with the market response to Windows Phone 7 thus far. Was this said through clenched teeth? Hard to say, but Microsoft needs Windows Phone 7 to succeed in a big way to revive its mobile business, and that doesn't appear to be happening yet.

Yahoo Loses Another Key Executive

Another week, another report of a top Yahoo executive jumping ship. This time, it's Andrew Siegel, Yahoo's head of corporate development, who's leaving the company, according to a report this week from Kara Swisher of The Wall Street Journal's D: All Things Digital.

Siegel, an ex-GE executive and overseer of Yahoo's M&A strategy, led efforts to help Yahoo to acquire Yelp, Groupon and Foursquare but ultimately saw all three fizzle, Swisher reported.

For Yahoo, Siegel's departure is another gut-punch at a time when it's been steadily shedding executive talent. In October, Executive Vice President Hilary Schneider, U.S. Audience head David Ko and Vice President of Media Jimmy Pitaro all headed for the exits. The only question now is whether more Yahoo executives will decide to leave before the end of the year.

Consumers Swoon For iPad, Not So Much For Galaxy Tab

Samsung's Android-powered Galaxy Tab has had a tepid debut in the U.S. despite being hailed in some circles as Steve Jobs' biggest nightmare. But after a month on the market, it doesn't look like the Galaxy Tab is giving the iPad much of a challenge.

According to a probably-way-too-tiny-to-matter survey of 65 consumers, conducted recently by Piper Jaffray and reported by AppleInsider, 85 percent of U.S. consumers believe the iPad offers better value than the Galaxy Tab.

Apple has sold in the neighborhood of 8 million iPads since launching the product in April, while the Galaxy Tab has sold around 600,000 units in the month since its arrival to the market. Samsung may still have a hit on its hands, but it still has a lot to prove with the Galaxy Tab.

SAP Gets $1.3 Billion Smackdown In Oracle Copyright Case

Looks like Larry Ellison's obsession with going after SAP had plenty of merit. A U.S. District Court in Oakland, Calif., recently hit SAP with $1.3 billion in damages for stealing software and copyrighted material from Oracle support Web sites.

SAP had admitted before the trial that its TomorrowNow subsidiary had unlawfully downloaded millions of Oracle's files, but SAP had been trying to make the case that damages shouldn't exceed $40 million. The $1.3 billion figure was way higher than expected, and amounted to a punch in the gut for SAP's damage control efforts.

Oracle lawyers crowed about this being the largest judgment ever issued in a copyright infringement case. In addition to being a major blow to SAP's reputation, industry analysts believe the ruling could negatively affect SAP's sales and profitability.

Talk about a nightmare scenario for SAP. Put another one in the win column for Ellison.

Verizon Photoshops iPhone Screen Onto Droid X

Motorola, which loves Android and has poked fun in the past at the iPhone 4's antenna issues, now finds itself wide open for ridicule due to some erroneous Photoshop work from its carrier partner Verizon Wireless.

Verizon, in a Cyber Monday ad displayed on its Web site, unveiled a hot new promotion for its marquee Droid X smartphone alongside an image of the device. But as reported by Engadget, eagle-eyed visitors to Verizon's Web site soon realized that the maps application displayed on the Droid X screen was actually from the iPhone's Google Maps app. Oops!

Not a huge deal in the grand scheme of things, but Verizon's iPhone envy really shined through on this one -- not that it hasn't been blatantly evident for the past year or so.