Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Apple Poaches Microsoft Data Center Exec, Seeks Cloud Developers

Apple this week lured away Kevin Timmons, general manager of data center services at Microsoft, according to a report from Data Center Knowledge. During his two years at Microsoft, Timmons oversaw construction of Microsoft's massive data centers in Chicago and Dublin, where the software giant is housing its cloud services and Bing infrastructure.

Apple is building a big old data center of its own in North Carolina, reportedly to support its own growing cloud ambitions. And this week, Apple posted job listings that appeared to be geared toward cloud developers.

If Apple can duplicate its success in notebooks and mobile devices in the cloud, cloud pioneers are going to have even more to worry about.

Juniper Sinking Millions Into Coming Marketing Blitz

Juniper this week said it's pouring millions into an all-out marketing blitz designed to cement the company as a channel and technology marketing powerhouse.

The specific moves include everything from co-marketing plans tailored to individual partner needs to a greater overall allocation of market development funds (MDF), all with an eye toward turning Juniper partners into better marketers of Juniper solutions, and overcoming Juniper's long-held reputation as a marketing also-ran.

VMware Goes Open Source With New Platform-As-A-Service

VMware sees the cloud software development space as a minefield of proprietary offerings, where developers must tread carefully in order to avoid being locked into a particular stack. The answer to this problem came this week with the unveiling of VMware's Cloud Foundry, an open source platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that puts developer freedom of choice at the forefront.

Cloud Foundry represents "a genuinely open direction that can complement the work being done by developers around new frameworks," VMware CEO Paul Maritz said in a Webcast held at the company's Palo Alto, Calif.-based headquarters.

Acer's Dual Screen Iconia Tablet Hits The Market

Acer this week rolled out its Iconia tablet, one of the most impressive mobile computing devices to come along in recent memory, which features a 10 inch touch screen where the keyboard should be as a way of maximizing display space.

The Android version launched this week and a Windows 7 version is on the way. At $450, it's priced to compete with the iPad, and from a design standpoint at least, the Iconia at least has a chance of stealing some attention away from Apple.

Cloud Startup Appirio Makes Yet Another Acquisition

Appirio has been making a habit of augmenting its cloud technology portfolio via acquisition, and this week announced its intention to purchase cloud consultancy VMG for an undisclosed sum. San Francisco-based VMG is a consultancy specializing in structured, cloud-focused training and learning programs that increase cloud adoption and customer satisfaction.

It's Appirio's third acquisition in two months. In February, Apprio acquired TRE3 Group, an advisory group that helps sales, marketing and support teams work by better tying with collaborative selling solutions joining together CRM and the social Web. Last month, Appiro acquired Infowelders, a consulting and ISV player.