Tech News: Following Amazon, Lockheed, and HP, Dell Inc. Enters the $20 Billion Government Cloud Business

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SoftBank Wins a Battle Against DISH, but the War for Sprint Is Not Over

With growing pressure from DISH Network Corp ( DISH ), the Japanese telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank Corp (OTCMKTS:SFTBF) increased its offer to buy out Sprint Nextel Corporation ( S ) to $21.6 billion, which is still lower than DISH Network's offers of $25.5 billion. Sprint's new bid does increase the amount of case shareholders would receive, from $4.02 to $5.50 (the DISH deal would offer shareholders $7 per share with $4.76 in cash and $2.24 in DISH stock). For the new SoftBank deal, $3 billion of that increase in cash to shareholders will be subtracted from the $4.9 billion direct investment SoftBank was already planning to put into Sprint.

SoftBank began negotiations in October 2012 to acquire the troubled telecom company, with the original plan being that SoftBank would acquire Sprint. Additionally, Sprint would acquire the wireless broadband services company Clearwire Corporation ( CLWR ) in order to expand its LTE network. However, those original plans were muddled when DISH entered the scene, making offers to buy both Sprint and Clearwire.

Sprint's board has accepted the newly revised offer from SoftBank, but has also moved its upcoming shareholders meeting from tomorrow until June 25, giving DISH until June 18 to submit its "best and final" proposal.

Dell Building a New Government Cloud Foundation to Enter the Fiercely Competitive Sector

With the market research and analysis firm International Data Corporation estimating that a quarter of the US government's $80 billion IT budget is moving to cloud infrastructure and services, Dell Inc. ( DELL ) is looking to capitalize in that sector, along with a veritable slew of competitors. The company has a new reference architecture of building a full array of cloud computers that could be used across various government agencies. The Dell government cloud is developed from Red Hat Inc's ( RHT ) OpenStack implementation, and Dell's platform-as-a-service (PaaS) for the project will be developed from Red Hat's OpenShift, which went into commercial use yesterday.

For the Dell government cloud to work, the company must attain Federal Risk and Authorization Management Program (FedRAMP) accreditation. Last month, Amazon.com, Inc.'s (AMZN) GovCloud platform was qualified, and both Hewlett-Packard Company (HPQ) and Lockheed Martin Corporation (LMT) qualified last week. Obviously competition is heightening, with about $20 billion of government spending going to cloud technology. Amazon and International Business Machine Corp. (IBM) are currently vying to develop what would have been a secret CIA cloud until the Government Accountability Office stepped in to attempt to settle the dispute (read more about that debacle here ).

Google's DoubleClick Finds Video Ads Are Growing in Volume and Diversity

The ad service DoubleClick, which is owned by Google Inc (GOOG), published new statistics today on the video ad market, revealing growth in volume, but also in diversity. The report compares the three-month period from January to March in 2012 and 2013.

Entertainment sites ran over two-thirds of video ads, but other categories like sports, electronics, and news are quickly increasing their share in online video advertisement. In fact, the report found that new publishers ran three times as many video ads as they did the year before.

A full 40% of video ads that ran during the period this year were from sites that were using video advertising for the first time. Though a seemingly obvious finding, 80% of viewers preferred skippable video ads, and were 75% more engaged with skippable content, meaning they were much less likely to close the window and abandon the advertisement.

A crucial figure the survey doesn't mention is CPM, or cost per mille, which is the cost per thousand hits. TV ads still have a much lower CPM, in general. As more and more sites and content providers employ video ads, the question will become: when will online ad spending become as or more efficient than televisions advertisements? For all the strides online ads have made, CPM figures suggest it will be many years yet.

Sony's PS4 Will Sell for $100 Less Than Microsoft's Xbox One

Yesterday was the first day of the video game industry's biggest trade show, the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), and Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) led things off with its keynote address, hyping its new console, the Xbox One, and announcing its $500 price tag and year-end launch. Later in the day, Sony Corporation (SNE) announced its PlayStation 4, which will also come out later this year, and will run for $400.

Further setting Sony's new console apart, the company announced, to cheers and applause, that the PS4 will not have any limitations on used games and would not require a constant Internet connection (both of these features have been announced for the Xbox One).

The new consoles will join Nintendo Co., Ltd's (OTCMKTS:NTDOY) struggling Wii-U in the next generation of home video gaming. PS4, Xbox One, and Wii-U will experience increased competition from smartphone and other mobile games that their predecessors had only begun to feel.

(See also: Occupy PlayStation Meets the Xbox One Percent .)

Follow me on Twitter: @JoshWolonick and @Minyanville



The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of The NASDAQ OMX Group, Inc.



This article appears in: Investing , Technology

Referenced Stocks: CLWR , DELL , DISH , RHT , S

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