Stories by Marc Ferranti

Top 10 technology stories of 2009

The Great Recession cast a shadow on all sectors of the economy in 2009. IT fared better than most, however, and the slump did not curb the dynamic nature of the industry. Acquisitions among big vendors continued to reshape the market, operating-system wars extended to mobile battlefields, microblogging became a powerful source of real-time information, and the take-up of small, 'Net-connected devices was stronger than ever. Here, in no particular order, is the IDG News Service's pick of the top 10 technology stories of 2009.

Wall Street Beat: After yearly high, doubts remain for tech

In a tumultuous week on the market, the attention of IT investors was captured by a mixed bag of acquisition activity and earnings news from the hardware and chip arena -- a sector that is supposed to help lead tech out of the recession.

Wall Street Beat: Cisco, market reports cheer tech

Good news about the economy along with upbeat statements from industry leaders and market researchers are helping to instill confidence in the tech sector after a rollercoaster ride on U.S. exchanges over the past few weeks.

Ballmer headlines global Windows 7 launch events

Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer took the stage in New York Thursday, playing the role of chief salesman in a day of worldwide launch events, executive speechmaking and sales promotions meant to persuade consumers and businesses to migrate to Windows 7.

Wall Street Beat: IT vendors see return to growth

With quarterly IT sales results pouring in, vendors including IBM, Google, Advanced Micro Devices and Intel appear more confident than ever that the global recession's depressing effects on the tech market are lifting.

Brin, Schmidt eye further Google expansion

Despite Google's phenomenal growth, the Internet search giant does not appear to be worried about taking on too many projects, judging from comments made at a media roundtable Wednesday with company cofounder Sergey Brin and CEO Eric Schmidt.

Wall Street Beat: Tech leads market optimism

Optimism about IT helped boost stock exchanges to 2009 highs this week as tech-sector mergers and acquisitions and news about improving demand for hardware buoyed investor confidence.

EBay reaches deal to sell Skype

EBay Tuesday announced it has signed an agreement to sell its Skype voice-over-IP service to a group of private investors in a deal that values the business at US$2.75 billion.

Publicis Groupe buys Razorfish from Microsoft

The French media and advertising company Publicis Groupe will acquire the digital marketing agency Razorfish from Microsoft in a deal valued at about $US530 million, the companies announced Sunday.

Ericsson wins auction to buy Nortel wireless business

Sweden's LM Ericsson has won the bidding war over the wireless assets of Nortel Networks, agreeing to pay US$1.13 billion for the financially beleaguered Canadian company's CDMA business and LTE Access technology.

Comcast e-mail outage sparks Twitter updates galore e-mail went down for potentially millions of subscribers the better part of the day Saturday as users and observers got running commentary on the service provider's efforts to manage the situation via Twitter updates from Frank Eliason, the company's director of Digital Care.

Wall Street Beat: M&A, Oracle stress the positive

Some positive macroeconomic news, Oracle's plan to pay out a dividend, and mergers and acquisition news from Cisco, IBM and Sun this week stoked hopes for a sustained recovery in tech vendor shares even though companies like Palm, Nokia and Sony continue to brace for a poor sales outlook for the remainder of the year.

Wall Street Beat: Tech investor mood stays dark

A compromise on the U.S. stimulus package, an upbeat subscriber forecast from Research In Motion and news of a big investment plan by Intel this week did little to cheer IT investors about prospects for the tech sector, as vendors and analysts continue to curb expectations for sales.