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.
Stories by Marc Ferranti
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.
With market observers further slashing forecasts this week, Nortel Networks declaring bankruptcy and a range of vendors including Intel, Nvidia, and Motorola issuing dour financial reports or cutting staff, it appears all but certain that the IT sector faces a global decline this year.
Microsoft made the Windows 7 beta available for public download Saturday after its servers were overwhelmed by users trying to download the operating system.
What started out as a banking crisis became, in 2008, a story for everyone: retailers, consumers, auto workers -- and tech professionals. Though it wasn't business as usual, some big mergers -- like HP buying EDS -- were executed. Long-awaited products like the Android-based G1 "Google phone" were launched. Standards wars involving file formats like OOXML and hardware technology like Blu-Ray concluded. The battle against spam purveyors like McColo went on ... and on. Microsoft, moving into middle age and struggling to gain ascendance on the Web, was involved in many of the biggest stories of the year. The most influential entrepreneur of our time, Bill Gates, moved on to focus on philanthropy. Here, not necessarily in order of importance, is the IDG News Service's pick for top 10 technology stories of the year.
SAP will bring a unified interface across its suite of business applications over the next few quarters as part of an ongoing effort to make its software easier to implement, according to company co-CEO Leo Apotheker.
The US financial crisis is taking a toll on mergers and acquisitions and share prices in the technology sector, causing the tech-heavy Nasdaq to slump to a new 52-week low Thursday, but industry watchers have an underlying confidence in the midterm scenario for IT vendor revenue.
Even though a smattering of IT vendors including Dell and Nortel issued earnings warnings this week, industry insiders remain hopeful that tech companies won't be dragged down as Wall Street giants collapse.
Despite turmoil on Wall Street, U.S. spending on IT will increase more than previously expected, though the outlook for 2009 is dimming, Forrester Research said Wednesday.
Salesforce.com gave IT investors cause for concern this week, even though it <a href="http://www.salesforce.com/company/news-press/press-releases/2008/08/080820-1.jsp">announced</a> record second-quarter results, while Hewlett-Packard's star shone again despite <a href="http://h30261.www3.hp.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=71087&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1188713&highlight=">reporting</a> a slowdown in its printing business.