Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

HP Deals With Fallout From PSG Uncertainty

Hewlett-Packard's waffling over selling or spinning off its PC business last year contributed to a 26 percent decline in PC market share last quarter. While HP still leads the global PC market, Dell is hot on its heels and Lenovo is coming on strong in the U.S. market. While the U.S. and global PC markets are in decline, HP's precipitous drop stems from the uncertainty caused by ex-HP CEO Leo Apotheker's plan to explore getting out of the PC business, according to Gartner analyst Mikako Kitagawa, who described the move as "suicidal," according to USA Today. Righting the ship and keeping HP on top of the heap will represent one of the biggest challenges HP CEO Meg Whitman faces in the coming year.

Korean Accessory Maker Jumps Gun On AT&T Samsung Galaxy Note

Anymode, a Korean company that makes mobile accessories, issued a CES press release this week heralding the arrival of its first products for the Samsung Galaxy Note smartphone on AT&T. "AT&T recently named Anymode as OEM vendor for many of its Galaxy Note accessories ... the Note is expected to be available in the United States in early 2012 through AT&T," Anymode said in a press release.Only problem was, Samsung and AT&T haven't yet announced that the Galaxy Note will be sold through the carrier. Oops!

A tersely worded press release followed. "The information was not provided by Anymode, AT&T or Samsung, nor did Anymode, AT&T or Samsung approve it," Anymode said in the release. "The issuing party apologizes for the publishing of the inaccurate information and any inconvenience it may have caused." OK then, that's settled. Just a misunderstanding. No reason to suspect that the Galaxy Note is coming to AT&T. Nothing to see here, folks.

Juniper Cuts Q4 Guidance On Weak Service Provider Sales

Juniper Networks this week lowered its fourth-quarter 2011 earnings outlook, citing weaker-than-expected router demand from service providers -- especially ones in the U.S.

Juniper derives about two-thirds of overall revenue from service providers and the rest from enterprise customers. So it's particularly exposed to the fickle winds of IT spending in this space. We'll see what happens Jan. 26 when Juniper is scheduled to report full fourth-quarter 2011 results.

Customers Upset Over Microsoft's Windows Phone Update Change

Guess what? Microsoft did something this week that made customers angry. Getting mad at Microsoft has become something of an international sport, but while the software giant doesn’t always deserve the criticism it gets, its decision to change the way it informs Windows Phone users about updates seems to have touched a nerve.

Microsoft will no longer post detailed Windows Phone update information, such as country, carrier and phone model, on the "Where's My Phone Update?" site.

"So we've now been thrust into the same update/non-update hell as Android users?" wrote Kevin Daly in one typical customer response posted to the Windows Phone blog. "Somebody actually thought this was a good idea?"

Intel Gets Caught Faking CES Ultrabook Gaming Demo

Intel this week endured some (well-deserved) embarrassment at CES when the company was found to have faked what was supposed to be a live demo showcasing the performance of Direct X 11 running on its new Ivy Bridge HD Graphics 2500 GPU.

Mooly Eden, vice president and general manager of Intel's PC Client group, pretended to be playing the driving game F1 2011, but when the game continued playing after he let go of the wheel, the ruse was up and the audience snickered in derision.

Intel later acknowledged that it was a prerecorded video and not a live demo. Intel also insisted that Direct X 11 runs quite well on Ivy Bridge, but the gaffe will take a while to fade, thanks to the magic of YouTube.