Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

Microsoft To Manage Citrix, VMware In Forthcoming System Center

Microsoft's still trailing VMware by a wide margin in server virtualization, but no company in the IT industry has historically been more dogged in pursuit of its chosen prey. This week, Microsoft showed how it intends to narrow the gap, announcing that the next version of its server management platform will be able to manage not just Hyper-V-based guest systems, but those running hypervisors on Citrix XenServer and VMware vSphere.

"The data center is like the Wild West; there are no standards and no consistency," said Brad Anderson, corporate vice president of the Management and Security Division of Microsoft, in a recent briefing for reporters and analysts. "We know companies will have a hybrid of systems... They might have [compute resources] from Amazon here, and [something else] there."

Samsung Reportedly Planning To Invest $41.6 Billion This Year

Samsung is planning to increase investment this year by 12 percent to $41.6 billion, including a 13 percent boost in R&D spending, The Wall Street Journal reported this week.

Samsung is hoping that a bigger budget will help it more effectively target "new growth areas" in the global market. Last week at CES, Samsung unveiled a fusillade of new products, including notebooks and ultrabooks, appliances, flat panel LED televisions, cameras and mobile devices, all tied together with software designed for sharing content wirelessly.

Intel Beats Wall Street's Expectations Despite Hard Drive Shortage

Despite the ongoing PC supply chain issues stemming from last year's disastrous floods in Thailand, Intel is still doing well in PC sales to the enterprise and emerging markets.

In its Q4 earnings this week, Intel reported record annual revenue of $54 billion, up 24 percent year-over-year compared to the $43.6 billion it reported in 2010. Intel's profit for fiscal 2011 was $12.9 billion, up 19 percent year over year, while operating income was $17.5 billion, up 12 percent year-over-year.

Intel is also bullish on its prospects for the coming year, and expects growth to be driven by the coming wave of ultrabooks and by its upcoming release of Atom "Medfield" processors, which are optimized for smartphones and tablets.

Software, Services Growth Has IBM Riding High In Saddle

Software and services growth helped IBM offset a significant dip in hardware revenue and report overall revenue growth of 2 percent for its fourth fiscal 2011 quarter.

IBM's fiscal 2011 revenue and profit both grew just 7 percent as a result of the hardware sluggishness, but IBM indicated an optimistic outlook for the coming year. IBM expects full-year 2012 earnings of $14.16 per share, compared to $11.52 per share in 2010 and $13.06 per share this year.

Cloud Storage Vendor Code 42 Lands $52.5 Million In VC Funding

Code 42 Software, maker of the CrashPlan line of consumer, SMB, and enterprise cloud storage offerings, this week scored $52.5 million in venture capital funding led by Accel Partners.

Code 42, which has been profitable since its founding in 2001, plans to use the funding to continue its global expansion. The company currently manages over 100 petabytes of data globally, and backs up about 250 million new and unique files daily.

"You don't see too many companies raise this much capital in their first round," Matthew Dornquast, co-founder and CEO of Code 42 Software, told CRN this week.