Five Companies That Came To Win This Week

The pattern of Microsoft announcing solid earnings and revenue and having Wall Street respond with a collective yawn was broken this week, as the software giant beat expectations and saw its stock rise nearly 3 percent. Investors were especially impressed by Microsoft cutting its operating expenses forecast for the year to $28.3 billion to $28.7 billion, where it had earlier forecast $28.5 billion to $28.9 billion. Perhaps all this talk about the "post-PC era" is a bit premature.

Speaking of the post-PC era, VMware is looking to tackle traditionally difficult virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) issues in its upcoming release of View 5.1.

Though it's an incremental release, View 5.1 will come with View Storage Accelerator, which deals with bottlenecks and cuts storage costs in VDI environments; View Composer Array Integration (VCAI), a feature that uses the native cloning capabilities in storage arrays to offload storage operations; and vCenter Operations for View, which gives admins insight into desktop performance.

VMware is making desktop virtualization more of a priority, and the new functionality in View 5.1 is evidence of its resolve.

Champagne corks are popping at Splunk, as the San Francisco-based big data start-up -- which has trademarked the term "Listen to your data" -- celebrates its successful IPO, in which shares more than doubled. Splunk shares opened trading at $17 and closed at $35.48, not bad for a company that lost $11 million in its most recent fiscal year and has yet to turn a profit.

Big data is one of the hottest sectors in the industry right now, and Splunk's IPO -- which The Wall Street Journal noted as being the most successful since LinkedIn in May 2011 -- certainly reaffirms that momentum.

Verizon's Q1 earnings rose from 51 to 59 cents per share year over year, and sales ticked up 4.6 percent. But the big news was that Verizon added 501,000 contract subscribers in a traditionally weak quarter. That, plus slowing iPhone sales -- a positive for Verizon since it sells the devices at a loss to entice customers -- also helped Verizon's results. Investors seemed to enjoy these developments, as shares ticked up 1.3 percent.

Intel jumped into the mobile market with the launch of the Lava XOLO X900, the first mobile device to include its Atom Z2460 Medfield mobile processor. The XOLO X900, made by Indian handset maker Lava International, will launch exclusively in India through a partnership between the two companies that was announced at the Mobile World Congress event in February.

The XOLO X900 also includes Intel's Hyper Threading Technology, which increases the processor’s throughout and overall performance; an 8-megapixel camera; 1,080p HD video; and a 400MHz graphics clock.

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