5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending June 3

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Oracle, which was hit with a lawsuit by a former employee who alleged that the company inflated its cloud sales figures.

Also making the list were Dell, following a judge's ruling that it shortchanged investors when it went private in 2013; Apple, which was hit with a cloud outage that lasted about 12 hours; Microsoft, which came under fire over a Windows 10 upgrade option; and Nutanix, which disclosed that it borrowed $75 million from Goldman Sachs, a move seen as unusual for a company that's targeting an initial public offering of stock.

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 had good luck – check out this week's 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Lawsuit Targets Oracle Accounting Practices

Oracle's cloud accounting practices are under scrutiny after a former employee filed a civil lawsuit against the vendor, alleging that it inflated its cloud sales figures.

Svetlana Blackburn, who spent 13 months as a senior finance manager in Oracle's North America Software-as-a-Service business, alleges her superiors pressured her to bolster cloud services sales figures in financial reports, then fired her after she threatened to blow the whistle on the company.

An Oracle spokeswoman said in an emailed statement that the vendor is confident its cloud accounting is "proper and correct" despite Blackburn's allegations. The spokeswoman, Deborah Hellinger, said Oracle plans to countersue Blackburn for "malicious prosecution."

Court Rules Dell, Silver Lake Shortchanged Shareholders In 2013 Buyout

Dell and Silver Lake Partners may have to pony up as much as $15 million to investors after a Delaware judge ruled that Chairman and CEO Michael Dell and Silver Lake underpaid shareholders by more than 20 percent when they took the vendor private in 2013. The ruling comes as the expected closing date for Dell's pending acquisition of EMC approaches. The transaction -- the largest in the history of the IT industry -- is expected to close by the end of October.

Dell and Silver Lake spent nearly $25 billion to take the company private.

A Dell spokesman Tuesday declined to comment on the case.

Widespread Outage Strikes Apple Cloud

Apple's cloud experienced a widespread outage Thursday afternoon, bringing down some of the tech giant's widely used retail and backup services. Power was restored early Friday morning.

The cause and extent of the problem weren't immediately clear. The outage brought down, at least for some customers, multiple iCloud and App Store services, according to the status page of the Cupertino, Caif.-based vendor. App Store, Apple TV App Store and Mac App Store, iTunes and Apple's cloud-based photo service all had experienced disruptions, the page said.

As It Works On IPO, Nutanix Borrows $75M

Nutanix, the top-funded hyper-convergence startup, took a $75 million loan from investor Goldman Sachs in April as it continues to work on its long-awaited initial public offering. Under the terms, which Nutanix disclosed late last month in an updated S-1 filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the San Jose, Calif.-based startup is required to repay the loan once it stages its IPO. But if Nutanix decides not to do an IPO, it has three years to repay at a 10 percent annual interest rate, according to the filing.

Nutanix CFO Duston Williams told The Wall Street Journal the loan is "opportunistic insurance financing that was simple, quick" and less expensive than other financing alternatives.

But the loan -- a move seen as unusual for an IPO-bound startup -- may be a sign that Nutanix is having a tough time getting investors on board with its preferred IPO price range.

Microsoft Under Fire Over Windows 10 Upgrade Option

A published report alleged that Microsoft denied users an opportunity to reschedule an upgrade to Windows 10. The report, in The Register, said one a user agrees to an upgrade, Microsoft only allows the user to confirm a time to schedule it, but not reschedule it afterward.

’The Windows 10 upgrade is a choice -- designed to help people take advantage of the most secure, and most productive Windows,’ the Redmond, Wash., vendor said in an emailed statement to several media outlets. ’People receive multiple notifications to accept the upgrade, and can reschedule or cancel the upgrade if they wish.’