) signed a deal that further props Chromebooks while investors
failed to summon enthusiasm regarding
) future prospects.
Google-VMware In Interesting Deal
Call it a "brick," or "not a real laptop," or whatever else
you please. But the fact remains that Google's Chromebook is
going places. That's (at least partly) because Google has
recently signed an agreement with
) that greatly increases its functionality.
One of the major disadvantages of this cloud-based,
ridiculously cheap device was its inability to run legacy
software that is usually based on
) Windows platform. Now, using VMware's Blast HTML5 technology,
which is available as a Web-based app on Chromebooks, users can
access all this stuff.
The plan is to make this service ultimately available to all
as a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) solution. Google believes it
will enable companies to save $5,000 per computer (compared to
This basically means that the device that no one thought would
succeed beyond a very cost-conscious consumer has now become
extremely useful for cost-conscious corporates. Suddenly,
Microsoft's "Scroogled" ads targeting the Chromebook make
Investors Punish Cisco Shares
managed to beat
earnings and revenue expectations for their fiscal second quarter
and also provided earnings guidance above our expectations,
shares took a tumble following the announcement.
Cisco's challenges do make a big pile - broad-based move
toward cloud-computing that reduce demand for its hardware
(routers, switches), a transition to mobile devices that again
reduce demand for networking hardware, conservative enterprise
spending given the continued market uncertainties, emerging
market weakness stemming from distrust in government spying
tactics and strengthening competition from Huawei in Asia and
) in the U.S.
But Cisco does appear to have met its own expectations thus
far, so there is every chance it will remain on track to meet its
own expectations of a recovery in the fiscal fourth quarter
2014/first quarter 2015 timeframe. The company expects to have
its new products in the market by then.
Management is also very optimistic about the Internet of
Things, which is expected to be the next big wave bringing Cisco
back in the game. Considering the way it has tackled the market
in the past, the long-term story should play out.
To pacify investors in the meantime, Cisco raised the
quarterly dividend by a couple of cents.
Android Apps for Windows?
Some rumors do good things to share prices and some not so
good. Last week, there was a rumor reported by The Verge that
Microsoft, in a hurry to get its devices more popular with users,
could allow Android apps to run on the Windows platform.
Companies seeking to build their own eco systems have to make
solid hardware and give it time for adoption. Because usually,
users are not attracted to hardware that does not come with their
favorite apps. On the other hand, developers generally avoid
platforms that do not have a lot of users. Microsoft could have
given this some time if it wasn't for the fact that it's a very
late entrant into a fiercely competitive market. Microsoft could
definitely do with a spike in hardware sales (its tablet business
is yet to make a profit).
While too much should not be read into rumors, there is also
some conversation about an Android phone with the
) brand, which is expected to launch at the Mobile World
Congress. So maybe there is some truth to this.
Last 6 Months
Other stories you may have missed
Yahoo Partners With Yelp
) has struck a deal with business and product reviewing site
Yelp, according to which Yelp reviews will be added to Yahoo
Local search results. Yahoo Local has not done too well in the
past so this could be an opportunity. Mayer has the unenviable
job of turning around the core business (search and display) and
nothing seems to be going quite right at the moment. If this
agreement helps to increase traffic, ads could follow.
Google and comScore Sign Deal
Google's Robotics Plans Unfolding
: A couple of things happened last week that shed light on
Google's robotics plans. First, the company entered into an
agreement with Foxconn (or Hon Hai), which will increase
automation at its U.S. plant. The success of this venture could
hasten broader industrial adoption of Google robots. Separately,
a NASA spokesperson has confirmed that the recently-leased Hangar
One will now be used for building and testing new robots,
planetary rovers and other space or aviation technology.
Alibaba Wants AutoNavi
: Alibaba (23% owned by Yahoo) is offering to buy Chinese mapping
and navigation company AutoNavi Limited in a deal that values the
company at $1.58 billion. Since Alibaba already owns 28%, it
needs to fork out around $1.13-1.14 billion more, which it will
fund with its cash balance. The deal may be expected to
improve its share of mobile purchases, as customers close deals
sooner after physical examination of products.
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