5 Companies That Dropped The Ball This Week

RIM, I Mean BlackBerry, Is Late To The Party

BlackBerry, the smartphone vendor formerly known as RIM, this week unveiled its very, very long-awaited BB10 operating system along with two new smartphone lines, the BlackBerry Q10, which boasts the distinctive QWERTY keyboard, and the BlackBerry Z10, the first BlackBerry with a touchpad.

Unfortunately, the release was a year late. And while the new OS and smart devices have many enterprise-class features, they lack the consumer-friendly features and the higher performance that many enterprise users of iOS and Android devices are bringing to their enterprise offices every day.

Plug And Play? No, Plug And Pray!

A big boo and hiss to the standards makers and manufacturers of Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) devices, including IP camera, network routers and other devices that easily connect together for the convenience of both the consumer and hackers.

The United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) this week warned that about 20 million UPnP-enabled devices from more than 1,500 vendors have protocol vulnerabilities and configuration errors that allow attacks on target systems behind the firewall. That translates to more than 16 million tiny exploitable network holes created by companies as large as Cisco, Huawei and Sony.

Wireless Security Spat Goes Public: AirTight vs. Aerohive

Patent litigation is a big drain on business resources and great news for lawyers, something wireless networking vendors and former partners AirTight Networks and Aerohive Networks will soon find out.

The two had a solid partnership in 2009 under which Aerohive customers had access to AirTight's wireless intrusion prevention system (WIPS) technology. However, AirTight this week slapped Aerohive with a lawsuit accusing the latter of willfully infringing on a patent covering a rogue detection technique.

VMware Realized It Bit Off More Than It Could Chew

VMware found it had 900 people too many working on projects not really that strategic to its mission after all, and this week decided it was time to let them go.

VMware, during its fiscal year 2012 quarterly financial analyst call, said it will lay off about 900 people in 2013 as it moves away from certain products such as its SlideRocket presentation software, which customers see as nonstrategic to their needs.

The company does also plan to add 1,000 people for its more strategic initiatives. But, that is cold comfort to those who will be stamped "nonstrategic" this year.

EMC Spooks Investors

How much good news can the industry stand?

EMC Tuesday reported record revenue and very strong profit for all of 2102, and it said it would do very well in 2013 with revenue growth for the year expected to double that of the IT industry as a whole.

Investors reacted to the positive results by dumping EMC shares, prices of which plummeted by more than 8 percent Tuesday. The reaction stemmed from word that EMC was planning layoffs, that its VMware business growth next year will not meet expectations, and that its core storage growth will not meet expectations thanks to macroeconomic challenges.