5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending July 17

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is the Microsoft Office 365 service outage and its awkward timing during the Worldwide Partner Conference. Also making the list is Intel's announced delay in shipping its 10-nanometer Cannonlake chip; AMD's second-quarter $181 million loss; a possible CVSPhoto security breach; and Avaya's loss of a key channel executive to videoconferencing rival Polycom.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves or just had good luck, check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Microsoft Experiences Office 365 Outage During WPC

Microsoft Office 365 users, including thousands of solution providers attending the vendor's Worldwide Partner Conference in Orlando, Fla., were hit by a service outage this week that made it impossible to access email for several hours.

The Exchange Online outage began around 5 p.m. ET/2 p.m. PT and lasted several hours, affecting email and calendar services. The outage appeared to span all of North America.

Microsoft customers have experienced Office 365 outages before, including one that lasted 9 hours in June 2014.

Intel Delays Delivery Of Next-Gen Microprocessors

Intel disclosed this week that the chip manufacturer is delaying the release of its Cannonlake 10-nanometer microprocessors until the second half of 2017. The next-generation chips had been slated for launch in 2016.

The news is especially significant in that it means Intel will fail to meet "Moore's Law," the idea Intel co-founder Gordon Moore put forward in 1965 that the number of transistors on advanced computer chips will double every two years.

The news of the Cannonlake delay came in an earnings call Wednesday. Intel plans to debut its Skylake 14-nanometer processors at the Intel Developer Forum next month.

AMD Reports $181 Million Q2 Loss

Earlier this month chipmaker AMD had warned that its second-quarter financial results wouldn't be pretty, in contrast to earlier guidance of flat sales. Sadly, the company was right.

For the quarter ended June 27, AMD reported a net loss of $181 million, more than five times bigger than the $36 million loss reported in the same quarter one year earlier and almost the same as the $180 million loss reported in this year's first quarter. The operating loss for the quarter was $137 million.

The top line wasn't much better. Sales plunged nearly 35 percent year over year to $942 million from $1.44 billion in the second quarter of 2014. AMD blamed an 8 percent sequential-quarterly revenue decline on "weaker than expected consumer PC demand" that impacted the company's OEM sales. The year-over-year sales decline was due to "decreased sales across client and graphics product lines."

Avaya Loses Channel Exec To Rival Polycom

Polycom this week hired channel industry veteran Chris Jones to be the videoconferencing technology vendor's new Americas channel chief, effective Aug. 3.

Jones has been working at Polycom rival Avaya for about two years, where he was responsible for leading the company's global midmarket and worldwide distribution sales team as vice president of global midmarket sales. Prior to Avaya, Jones served as U.S. channel chief at Juniper Networks and, before that, held channel management roles at Cisco.

Channel management experience is valuable today and Avaya's loss is Polycom's gain.

CVS Investigating Possible Security Breach Of Online Photo Site

CVS is warning customers of the retailer's online photo service that their credit card information may have been compromised by a security breach. The site was inactive Friday.

If a breach has occurred, it would make CVSPhoto the latest victim of a growing list of retailers like Target and Home Depot, among other companies and government agencies, that have been hacked.

"We have been made aware that customer credit card information collected by the independent vendor who manages and hosts CVSPhoto.com may have been compromised. As a precaution, as our investigation is underway we are temporarily shutting down access to online and related mobile photo services. We apologize for the inconvenience," says a notice on the CVSPhoto website.