Last week, big tech traded more or less in line with the
market, some exceptions being
) pulling well ahead and
Facebook: What's Not to "Like"?
A Facebook "like" attained the status of free speech as
protected by the First Amendment to the Constitution when an
appeals court overturned a decision of a lower court, which had
ruled that a "like" did not constitute speech in the first place.
The case was initiated by employees in a Virginia sheriff's
department who lost their jobs as a result of "liking" the
sheriff's opponent's campaign page. They filed a suit asking to
On the face of it, the ruling makes sense, but exposes the
vulnerability of people who connect on social media
On the heels of the judgment, a Cowen analyst upgraded the
shares based on lofty revenue growth expectations, sending FB to
its all-time high. The company has been exceptionally successful
generating advertising dollars on the mobile platform, not only
because of the high usage but also the high ROI for advertisers.
Microsoft: How Deep the Surface?
Last week, Microsoft hosted its analyst day, but did not
provide much granularity on its future growth and prospects.
Management said that new segment details would be available this
week and guidance would be available when it reported results in
October. The new Surface will launch later today.
One thing is clear though: Microsoft is going all out to
become a "devices and services" company. What this basically
means is huge investments, such as the
) handset business, hardware development efforts to provide
initial business mass in the mobile computing segment, and
additional data centers and servers to support its cloud services
Microsoft will also continue to invest in the desktop in the
hopes that it will return to growth at some point in the future.
As a result, Microsoft has increased its capex target to $6.5
One encouraging sign was Microsoft's willingness to take
Office to iOS and Android platforms and the company said it was
working on a better touch experience. Office 365 adoption rates
are high and some
) defectors have returned to it. Microsoft is also expected to
earn higher profits from the subscription model.
In the near term, revenues will be sluggish, with margins and
cash flow under pressure. In the long run, the company hopes to
make the cloud, mobility, big data and social technology its
pillars of success.
Yahoo Gains Android Executive
The Android open source project tech lead, Jean-Baptiste Queru
) as a senior principal engineer on its mobile team. Queru has
made public his dissatisfaction with Google's hardware partners
and had earlier announced his intention to leave the company.
Early this year, Android developer Andy Rubin stepped down as the
head of Android, making way for Sundar Pichai, who had headed
Chrome until then.
Although the Android OS has helped get Google on the majority
of mobile devices, it has resulted in multiple lawsuits from
companies like Microsoft and
), wasting a lot of time and money. The company has also had
problems working with hardware partners, some of which (like
Samsung), ignored Google's advice on design issues and also
started demanding a higher share of its revenue.
The Chrome browser has been growing in popularity on both
Android and iOS devices. Additionally, the Chrome OS, which runs
chromebooks, have started creeping up on the low end of the
market. Even chromecast, which has been stripped of Android code,
became a sold-out item at retailers. It's possible that Google is
gradually distancing itself from Android.
Last 6 Months
Other stories you may have missed:
Massive Job Cuts at Blackberry (
: The company has announced that it will reduce its headcount by
4,500 or 40% after efforts to turn around the company failed. As
a result, it now expects to report losses of $950-$995 million as
it continues to look for a buyer of the company.
Will Apple (
) Destroy Pandora?
Internet radio service
) could be in for a shock. The company has been doing very well
this year and just increased its secondary offering by 30%.
However, with iTunes Radio launching last week and available for
free with iOS7, there is likely to be a drain of its 72 million
Google acquires Bump
iPhone Subsidy Cut
: This year, China Telecom reduced its subsidy on iPhones, but
die-hard fans can get the iPhones free for significantly longer
data plans. iPhone sales were strong in China, indicating that
many die-hard fans still exist.
iPhone Has Great Launch Weekend
: Apple said it sold 9 million iPhone 5s and and 5c phones
in the launch weekend, with sales of the 5s (the higher-end
model) exceeding expectations. This compares with 5 million
pieces sold last year in the launch weekend. The 9 million figure
includes China (unlike last year).
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