5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Oct. 27

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Google, which faced mounting criticism through the week about possible problems with the display screen on its much-ballyhooed Pixel 2 XL smartphone.

Also making the list this week are Apple, for losing the latest legal round in its years-long patent infringement claim against Samsung; Dell, for losing control of a customer support domain for several weeks and potentially exposing customers to malware; collaboration service Slack for having to quickly fix a security vulnerability in its user authentication system; and data platform vendor Commvault, whose stock took a significant hit after its second-quarter results missed Wall Street expectations.

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 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Google Faces Complaints Over Pixel 2 XL Display Problems

Google introduced its new Pixel 2 XL smartphone to rave reviews earlier this month. But this week Google found itself scrambling to respond to reports of image retention (or burn-in) and color accuracy issues with the device's OLED display screens.

As the number of complaints grew during the week, Google promised to investigate. On Friday Mario Queiroz, Google vice president and Pixel product manager, said the reported burn-in in the screen's navigation bar was not a widespread issue. He said the "differential ageing" was in line with other premium smartphones, according to a story on The Guardian's website.

Google did say it will address color saturation issues in a future software update and will offer a two-year warranty on devices instead of one year.

But some product reviewers were rethinking their earlier praise for the Pixel 2 XL with The Verge actually withdrawing its earlier recommendation that consumers buy the product.

Apple Loses Latest Round In Never-Ending Patent Battle With Samsung

Samsung this week won its bid for a new damages trial in the company's long-running patent infringement legal battle with Apple. The two will face off for the third time in May in a courtroom in San Jose, Calif., according to a CNET story.

The dispute has dragged on for more than five years. Samsung has paid Apple U.S.$399 million for allegedly infringing three patents related to the Apple iPhone. But last year a U.S. Supreme Court ruling changed the way damages can be determined and Samsung sought a new trial on the damages.

This week Judge Lucy Koh of the U.S. Federal Court for the Northern District of California ruled in Samsung's favor and granted its request for a damages retrial.

Dell Loses Control Of Customer Support Domain, Opening Customers To Malware

Dell and one of its service contractors found themselves in an embarrassing spot this week when news got out that the contractor failed to renew a Dell customer support domain in June and a reputed malware purveyor hijacked the site for several weeks.

The DellBackupandRecoveryCloudStorage.com site was set up by Dell to help customers recover their PCs from attacks and other major failures. The site connects to the "Dell Backup and Recovery Application" loaded onto all Dell PCs. Austin, Texas-based contractor SoftThinks.com has controlled the DellBackupandRecoveryCloudStorage.com domain since 2013, according to the Krebs on Security site.

But the contractor apparently failed to renew the domain in June and for several weeks the domain fell into the hands of Dmitri Vassilev of TeamInternet.com, an alleged "typosquatter" that can redirect visitors to sites with malware, according to Krebs on Security.

Krebs on Security reported that there is no evidence that actually happened during the several weeks TeamInternet.com owned the URL before SoftThinks.com was able to regain control of the domain.

Slack Scrambles To Fix Security Hole In Its User Authentication System

Slack, developer of the popular cloud-based collaboration platform, scrambled this week to fix a serious security vulnerability in its platform's user authentication system, according to the ThreatPost website.

The security hole, which was described as "severe," was in the platform's implementation of the Security Assertion Markup Language standard that provides user authentication capabilities.

Slack finished patching the vulnerability Thursday, according to the ThreatPost story.

A senior software engineer at Adobe identified the security hole. ThreatPost said Slack awarded him $3,000 through its bug bounty program for the discovery.

Commvault Shares Skid 12 Percent After Q2 Results Miss Expectations

Commvault Systems' stock took a serious hit this week after the company announced its fiscal 2018 second-quarter results that missed Wall Street's expectations.

Commvault shares plunged more than 12 percent Tuesday morning, from nearly $58 per share to $50.65. After a brief rebound later Tuesday, the company's shares have since fluctuated between $51 and $52 a share.

Monday the data management platform maker reported both revenue and earnings that fell below what financial analysts had been forecasting. The company said it was unable to close a number of large enterprise deals before the end of the quarter, adversely impacting the quarter's financial results.