5 Companies That Came To Win This Week

The Week Ending May 30

This week's roundup of companies that came to win includes Hewlett-Packard's holding on to the No. 1 position in the server market, a Microsoft-Salesforce.com alliance, new support for solution providers in the K-12 market from a leading distributor, new cross-platform development tools from a high-flying startup, and Apple's acquisition of Beats Electronics and Beats Music.

HP Remains The Server Market Leader

Hewlett-Packard retained its No. 1 spot in the worldwide server market with a 26.5 percent share of factory revenue in the first quarter, according to numbers released by IDC this week.

HP held its lead despite a 2 percent decline in its server revenue, due to continued weak sales of its Itanium-based Integrity servers, compared with the first quarter last year. But demand remained steady for HP's x86-based ProLiant servers.

Earlier in the week Gartner released server market numbers that also showed HP with a big lead over rivals IBM and Dell.

Microsoft And Salesforce Strike Integration Alliance

Longtime rivals Microsoft and Salesforce.com unveiled a partnership this week under which the two companies will integrate the Salesforce CRM cloud applications with Microsoft's Windows operating systems and Office personal productivity application suite.

Both companies are winners here. But for Microsoft, the announcement is another sign that CEO Satya Nadella is taking less of an "us against the world" approach to business, accepting interoperability with other vendors. One caveat: Microsoft's own Dynamics CRM applications compete with Salesforce, however, and some Microsoft channel partners who resell that product might not be so sanguine about this alliance.

D&H Expands Resources For VARs In Growing K-12 Market

The K-12 education market is booming for solution providers, thanks to government initiatives such as ConnectED to promote wireless connectivity in schools and the Common Core State Standards.

This week distributor D&H expanded the range of resources it offers VARs that will help them take advantage of expanding demand for connectivity and technology solutions in K-12 markets. D&H is bolstering its education program with competitively priced hardware inventory, Webcast training, sales and marketing support, and contract bid assistance. Solution providers, schools and students are all winners.

Xamarin Steps Up Strategic Game With New Development Tools, Acquisition

Xamarin, the mobile application development startup Microsoft was rumored to be eyeing for acquisition, continues to make itself more strategically indispensable to Microsoft developers.

This week the company launched Xamarin 3, tools the company said will make it easier for its 625,000-plus developers to build native apps for Windows, iOS and Android. Xamarin also acquired the Visual Studio division of Clarius Consulting, a Buenos Aires, Argentina-based .Net develop company whose expertise is building Visual Studio extensions.

Apple Confirms $3 Billion Acquisition Of Beats Electronics

It had been rumored for weeks, but Apple this week finally confirmed that it's buying Beats Electronics and Beats Music for $3 billion.

This is a big win for Apple for multiple reasons. The move could rejuvenate iTunes, which suffered a 24 percent revenue decline last quarter. Beats' products could add to the line of wearables Apple is reportedly developing. And Beats co-founders Dr. Dre and Jimmy lovine bring to Apple an understanding of what young generations want – and something Apple needs.