Five Companies That Dropped The Ball this Week

AT&T Admits To Crippling 4G In Motorola Atrix ,HTC Aspire

AT&T says its proposed $39 billion acquisition of rival carrier T-Mobile will be good for consumers because it'll quicken the pace of 4G. But that claim is ringing hollow this week in the wake of AT&T's admission that it capped 4G upload speeds on two of its popular smartphones.

As reported by Wired this week, AT&T copped to shutting off HSUPA, a feature that boosts upload speeds, in a response to a customer complaint. So instead of the 5.5 Mbps upload speeds HSUPA can deliver, AT&T's Atrix and Aspire subscribers are limited to 300 Kps.

The most galling part is that AT&T only acknowledged this after someone complained. Something to keep in mind next time you hear AT&T crow about its 4G capabilities and how the T-Mobile acquisition is a win-win for the carrier and its customers.

Microsoft Exec Suggests Tablet Craze Might Not Last

Craig Mundie, Microsoft's chief research and strategy officer, is one of the software giant's most respected figures. So when Mundie suggested this week that the tablet PC market might not always burn with the same incandescence it currently has, the comment triggered more head scratching than a Head & Shoulders commercial.

Mundie's comment was strange given than Microsoft, which unveiled its intention to build support for ARM chips in the next version of Windows, is rolling out a bunch of new Windows 7 tablets with OEM partners, including Samsung's Sliding PC 7, Asus' Eee Slate EP121 and Acer's Iconia.

It's actually the second time this year that a Microsoft executive has suggested that tablets may be a fad. In January, Jean-Philippe Courtois, president of Microsoft International, said "Devices are going to go and come" when asked if Apple had cornered the tablet space.

Dell Exec Says iPad Won't Win In the Enterprise

Andy Lark, Dell’s global marketing chief, caused the stir this week when he suggested that Apple's iPad won't succeed in the enterprise.

"Apple is great if you’ve got a lot of money and live on an island,’ Lark told CIO Australia. ’It’s not so great if you have to exist in a diverse, open, connected enterprise; simple things become quite complex."

That's not all: Lark also said the iPad, when equipped with a keyboard, mouse and carrying case, would cost between $1500 and $1600. Unless he's talking about diamond encrusted peripherals, it's hard to imagine how he arrived at this figure.

Dell's Streak tablet has yet to generate much interest. Lark's comments also contradict reports from solution providers of the iPad becoming a catalyst for desktop virtualization. Apple does have some catching up to do in the enterprise, but it's reportedly been poaching sales talent from RIM. In light of how well the iPhone has been adopted by enterprises, it's hard to see the iPad failing in this segment.

Intuit's Hosted Services For SMBs Hit With Outage, Customers Fume

Intuit’s hosted services for SMBs, including QuickBooks Online, QuickBooks Online Payroll and Intuit Payments Solutions, suffered a series of recent outages that led to higher than normal blood pressure readings for customers and partners.

Kiran Patel, executive vice president and general manager for Intuit’s Small Business Group, apologized for the outage. "This was a disappointing week, both for you and for Intuit," Patel said in the statement, posted at 8:53 p.m. PDT Friday. "And yes, that may be an understatement."

Outages are a fact of life for SaaS and cloud services, but customers would likely be more forgiving if Inuit hadn't been hit with a multi-day outage last June.

GFI Security Gets Duped By False Positive, Apologizes To Samsung

A false positive in GFI Security's VIPRE antimalware software triggered startling allegations that Samsung had installed a keylogger on two of its laptop models. Security researcher Mohamed Hassan sounded the alarm after discovering a program called StarLogger on Samsung R525 and R540 laptops he purchased.

However, GFI fessed up and apologized after it discovered the false positive, calling the error "incredibly embarrassing". Kudos to GFI for admitting to its mistake, but Samsung probably isn't in much of a mood to forgive and forget just yet.