Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Microsoft Slaps iPad-, Android-Using Customers With De Facto VDI Tax

Microsoft once again finds itself facing the wrath of figurative pitchfork-wielding mobs after revealing its plan to charge customers more for accessing Windows on iPads and Android tablets using virtualization.

What really has folks in a froth is the fact that customers that use Windows 8 tablets for the same purposes won't have to pay extra.

Hey, it's capitalism, and Microsoft naturally has every right to squeeze as much as it can from the Windows cash cow. But these types of hardball tactics aren't winning Microsoft any fans, and they show a lack of regard for the libertarian undertones of the bring-your-own-device trend. Such tactics also make people think about how Windows came to be so prevalent in the first place.

Google Drive Privacy Fears

Euphoria over the launch of Google Drive this week was dampened by widespread chatter about the search giant's terms for the cloud storage service. Here's what had some people freaked: "When you upload or otherwise submit content to our Services, you give Google (and those we work with) a worldwide license to use, host, store, reproduce, modify, create derivative works (such as those resulting from translations, adaptations or other changes we make so that your content works better with our Services), communicate, publish, publicly perform, publicly display and distribute such content."

However, Google's terms also include this rather unambiguous language about the content users choose to upload to Google Drive and other services: "You retain ownership of any intellectual property rights that you hold in that content. In short, what belongs to you stays yours."

It's surprising the launch of a free online storage service would trigger suspicion, and it's a clear sign Google's corporate image isn't as shiny as it used to be.

Avaya's Executive Exodus

This week, news emerged that several high-ranking Avaya executives have left the company, including Dr. Alan Baratz, senior vice president for corporate development and strategy; Mohamad Ali, senior vice president and president of Avaya Client Services; and David Downing, vice president of worldwide technical operations.

Avaya has been rife with executive turnover for months now, which has to be somewhat of a concern considering that the company is preparing for an IPO. "They just can't seem to calm this down," one executive at a national Avaya partner told CRN.

Acer's Q1 Profit Plummets, But CEO Says Windows 8 Will Help

Acer's first-quarter profit plummeted 72 percent year-over-year, revenue dipped 11 percent and the company sold 60,000 fewer Ultrabooks than it did the previous quarter. That is a trifecta of gloomy developments for a company that has now slipped to the No. 4 position in the global PC market and is having its notebook business devoured by the iPad.

Acer still thinks its second half will be better due to the arrival of Windows 8 PCs, however .

"Overall, our competitiveness is coming back. Our market share in the first quarter was 10.9 percent; Dell was 11 percent. In not so long a time we will be back to No. 3," Acer CEO J.T. Wang said in a press conference.

Juniper Beats Street In Q2, But Offers Weak Guidance

Juniper exceeded Wall Street's second-quarter profit and revenue expectations, but uncertainty in some of its emerging businesses -- including its year-old QFabric data center architecture -- combined with cautious guidance, did not play well with investors.

Juniper is forecasting second-quarter revenue of between $1.03 billion and $1.06 billion, compared to Wall Street's expectations of $1.05 billion on average. These expectations reflect "continued caution," according to Juniper executives.

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