Five Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

HP Partners Grumbling Over Slow Autonomy Rollout

Hewlett-Packard is still not selling Autonomy products through its channel partners, and as the one-year anniversary of the $10.3 billion acquisition announcement nears, it's fueling frustration among the company's partner ranks.

Some HP partners have obtained authorization to sell Autonomy, but they claim HP has dropped the ball on sales, support and implementation training. Without enablement, partners say they're stuck in a holding pattern with Autonomy, which is odd since there is significant interest from customers in the company's technology.

HP says it is working to bring Autonomy to the channel, but it's not clear when that will happen. Meanwhile, the clock is ticking for HP to get technology that many partners believe could be game changing into the hands of partners.

Microsoft Showing No Love To Channel With Surface Tablet

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer made it clear this week in an exclusive interview with CRN: The Surface tablet is not a channel product. Partners won't be able to order Surface through distribution, but hey, if they want to head out to their nearest Microsoft store, or order it online, they're welcome to do so, Ballmer said.

On one hand, partners can appreciate Ballmer's candor. On the other, they could be forgiven for being a bit peeved by not being given at least some advantage with what could be Microsoft's most conversation-starting product in years. With Surface, Microsoft is marching forward into new territory, but it is also clear that partners are not going to enjoy all of the benefits they've had in the past.

Apple Removes 'Green' EPEAT Label From Mac Desktops, Notebooks

Apple has asked the Electronic Product Environment Assessment Tool, an organization backed by the federal government that sets standards for environmentally friendly electronics, to remove 39 of its products from its list of approved devices, including Mac desktops and notebooks, according to a report this week from CIO Journal.

Robert Frisbee, CEO of EPEAT, expressed disappointment with Apple’s decision. "They said their design direction was no longer consistent with the EPEAT requirements," Frisbee said in the CIO Journal report. "They were important supporters and we are disappointed that they don’t want their products measured by this standard anymore."

As a result of Apple's request, the City of San Francisco said it would no longer purchase Apple's desktop and notebook PCs. Apple later changed its mind and is back in the EPEAT program, but it’s still kind of baffling why it considered dropping out in the first place.

Yahoo Confirms Theft Of 450,000 User Emails, Passwords

Yahoo confirmed this week that hackers broke into one of its services and made off with around 450,000 usernames and passwords, in what amounts to the latest bit of bad news for the struggling search firm. The hackers, part of a group called the D33ds Company, helpfully published all of the credentials online.

The miscreants also called Yahoo's security measures into question, posting the following jeering message: "We hope that the parties responsible for managing the security of this subdomain will take this as a wake-up call, and not as a threat."

’In addition to changing their Yahoo passwords, people should change the passwords on any accounts for other sites or applications where they reused the same password," Marcus Carey, security researcher at Rapid7, told CRN.

LG Slapped With $380 Million Penalty In LCD Price Fixing Case

The Chicago Tribune reported Thursday that LG has agreed to pay a $380 million fine -- the largest penalty yet meted out in an LCD price fixing case that has also brought comeuppance to Toshiba, Samsung and several other manufacturers.

The class action suit was filed in the U.S. in 2007 by direct consumers of products containing LCD panels as well as manufacturers who purchased the panels to use in their own products.