Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

Cisco Swings And Misses With Cius Tablet

Cisco's decision to kill off the Cius tablet is another bit of evidence that enterprises are not longing for an enterprise-grade tablet and are fine with what the iPad delivers today.

OK, so Cisco isn't technically killing the Cius, but it is hard to imagine a scenario where demand for the device reaches a meaningful level. That is, unless Cisco launches a fire sale and starts selling the Android-powered tablet for $99.

RIM's Woes Continue With Layoffs, Q1 Loss Likely

Research In Motion warned investors that it is probably going to report a loss in its fiscal first quarter, the latest layer of misery for the struggling smartphone maker.

Once again, the company cited its dwindling U.S. subscriber base and ferocious competition from Apple and Google.

RIM is reportedly preparing to lay off 6,000 employees and has hired financial advisers to explore future options. One thing is certain: RIM, as we know it, is about to undergo some major changes.

Microsoft 'Furiously Ripping Out' Windows 8 Start Button Code

Microsoft's first rule of Windows 8 is that you do not talk about Windows 8. But details about the forthcoming OS are leaking out anyway, and some of the things Microsoft is said to be doing are puzzlingly obtuse.

To wit: Microsoft appears to be going to great lengths to ensure that users won't be able to restore the Start menu button in Windows 8, even with clever hacks.

"Microsoft has been furiously ripping out legacy code in Windows 8 that would have enabled third parties to bring back the Start button, Start Menu, and other software bits that could have made this new OS look and work like its predecessor," Microsoft blogger Paul Thurrott said in a blog post this week.

Facebook Shares Continue To Slide Southward

So much for the IPO of the century. Shares of Facebook slid even further this week, reaching a low of $26.83 per share on Thursday.

Meanwhile, angry investors are gearing up to sue Facebook and its advisers, and one analyst told that the company's premium ads "are not performing as well as advertisers would lead us to believe."

HP Reportedly Losing webOS Developers To Google

HP is developing an open-source version of webOS but amid reports that HP recently lost some of its top mobile developers to Google, it is fair to wonder how much momentum remains behind the project.

The biggest loss is Matthew McNulty, HP's senior director of frameworks and tools for webOS, who is starting a new position at Google "shortly," according to The Verge.

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