Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Dell And IBM Bang The Cloud Drum, Loudly

Cloud computing hype spiked this week as Dell and IBM both unveiled ambitious plans to increase their presence in the data center virtualization and cloud computing markets. Dell is planning to spend $1 billion in the next two years on 10 new data centers and is also investing internally in sales training and technical expertise around virtualization and private cloud solutions. Dell also plans to open 22 so-called Global Solution Centers over the next 18 months.

IBM, meanwhile, tooks the wraps off IBM SmartCloud, a new cloud service delivery platform consisting of hardware, software and services for deploying private, public and hybrid cloud systems. The SmartCloud platform is a shot across the bow of Rackspace, Amazon Web Services and other cloud computing service providers.

Apple Shoves Way To Front Of Industry Queue For Components

Apple has been "aggressively attacking" the component market in Japan in the wake of last month's devastating earthquake and has been offering upfront cash payments to suppliers, Analyst Brian White with Ticonderoga Securities said in a note to investors this week, as reported by the blog AppleInsider.

There has even been talk that Apple's string-pulling may have led to shortages that caused Research In Motion to delay the release of its PlayBook tablet. If all of this is accurate, it's the kind of stuff that shows why Apple is able to consistently establish markets and then maintain its dominance even after the flood of me-too devices hit the market.

Microsoft Gets Rave Reviews For Bing iPad App

Microsoft is trailing Google by a wide margin in search, but you've got to hand it to Microsoft for putting a lot of time and effort into making its Bing app for the iPad as good as it could be. Microsoft designed the app from the ground up for touch functionality, and it has managed to add some aesthetically pleasing elements as well.

CRN sister site InformationWeek said Bing for iPad "beats the pants off of Google's iOS search application" and praised the usefulness of having a dedicated browser within the app's search window.

Given the wild popularity of the iPad, the updated Bing app amounts to an important close-up for Microsoft and its search ambitions. So far, it looks like a flattering one for the software giant.

Aprigo Ditches On-Premise Products, Dives Headlong Into Cloud

Talk about going all-in with cloud computing: Security software vendor Aprigo this week ditched its on-premise products and changed its name to CloudLock. In note to customers, CloudLock CEO and co-founder Gil Zimmerman said the Waltham, Mass.-based company's decision to cut its on-premise product called NINJA is not a sign that CloudLock's on-prem offerings were floundering.

" might think this move is a result of our on-premise product not being successful," Zimmermann wrote. "This could not be further from the truth. In fact, it was painful telling our on-premise customers that the pivot was taking place and we would no longer be offering the on-premise version of our product. They weren't mad at us -- in fact, they were impressed by the professional manner in which we approached it -- but they were upset to lose a product that had in fact been working very well for them in helping maintain a secure data environment while keeping IT costs down."

HTC Profit Triples, Smartphone Business Booming

Taiwan-based mobile device maker HTC's net income was $513 million during its fiscal first quarter, nearly triple that of last year's quarter and a sign that the marketplace just can't get enough of devices like the EVO 4G and Thunderbolt. Revenue more than doubled, too. It's a bright future for a company that has emerged fairly quickly as a major force in the smartphone space.