Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Google Hits 300,000 Mark On Daily Android Activations

Vendors often cite outlandish figures to show how fast a product is selling, and they sometimes get a bit creative when it comes to framing these numbers, but Google's latest estimates for Android activations is enough to make your head spin. "There are over 300,000 Android phones activated each day," said Andy Rubin, vice president of engineering at Google, said in a Twitter update this week.

It's a figure that's just as mind-boggling as Microsoft's claim earlier this year that it was selling Windows 7 at a rate of 7 copies every second. Best of all, Google is almost certain to elicit a response from Apple CEO Steve Jobs, who back in September accused Google of counting upgrades in its estimate, which at the time as only 200,000 activations daily. Expect to hear some sort of snarky retort from Jobs in the near future.

Samsung Sneaks Up Closer To Dell In Chip Market Share

Chip market leader Intel is facing a growing challenge from the global number two, Samsung, whose growth rate more than doubled Intel's in the first half of the year, according to Gartner figures released this week. Samsung's market share grew 60 percent year-over-year compared to 24.6 percent for Intel.

Intel got a boost from recovering PC sales in the first half, but Samsung is well established in the DRAM and NAND flash markets and is riding surging interest in the memory market. More importantly, Samsung has established a foothold in the tablet space with the Galaxy Tab, which runs on a Samsung designed chip, while Intel snoozed during the mobile revolution and now finds itself playing catch-up.

Salesforce's Benioff Shows Off Microsoft CRM Convert

At Dreamforce this week, CEO Marc Benioff highlighted a new Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online ad campaign featuring the slogan "I Didn't Get Forced. I got cloud-based CRM that works the way I do." The campaign features an image of a fed-up looking Microsoft customer with crossed arms and furrowed brow, who has left Salesforce in favor of Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online.

Benioff brought the customer -- named "Bernard" -- onstage during his keynote and expressed his regret for Salesforce letting him down. "We don't want you to go back to software," Benioff told Bernard. "We were there too. We know what it's like. The constant updates and upgrades … We don't want you to go back to the evil empire." Apparently this was enough to sway Bernard, who agreed to stick with Salesforce and high-fived Benioff to seal the deal. It may seem silly, but at the very least Benioff managed to send Microsoft's CRM marketing teams back to the drawing board.

Microsoft Wins Key Government Cloud Software Deal

In a development that was roughly as surprising as the sun rising in the east, Microsoft this week chalked up a major cloud win in the hotly contested government market. Microsoft's 120,000-seat deal with the U.S. Department of Agriculture, under which the agency will use Microsoft's Online Services, came just a week after Google beat out Microsoft to become the cloud computing e-mail provider for the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA).

Government cloud is an increasingly fierce battleground for the bitter rivals, and we can expect to see more of these tit-for-tat pronouncements of cloud computing supremacy in the coming months.

Dell Maintains Number Two Spot In PC Market

Dell held onto the number two spot in global PC shipments during the third quarter after wresting it away from Acer during the second quarter, according to figures released this week by market research firm iSuppli.

Dell in Q3 accounted for 12.8 percent of PC unit shipments and sold 11.3 million PCs during the quarter, an increase of 7.2 percent from the previous quarter, according to iSuppli. Dell's market share also grew 9.3 percent year-over-year while number one HP and number three Acer both declined. Acer is just a fraction behind Dell at 12.4 percent, so next quarter's results should be very interesting.