Sure, as of last week, HP
might be looking a little brighter than a few months ago. Their destructive leader, Leo Apotheker, has been thrown out and replaced by former eBay CEO Meg Whitman. After a few weeks of uncertainty, she was able to regain some control and she may even bring HP back from the brink of total disaster.
However, for about a month now, top level execs have been fleeing the company. First, HP's
CTO Shane Robison took off, shortly followed by his understudy, VP of Worldwide Developer Relations, Richard Kerris. These departures happened before Whitman announced her plan to spin around 180 degrees and take HP back to what they know.
Unfortunately, whether this exec got that memo or if he's tired of all the crazy decisions as of late, another one bites the dust. More details on who and why are after the break.
Hulu went up for sale, it seemed that Yahoo, among other companies, was at the top of the running list to acquire the video streaming service. However, we learned a couple of weeks ago that Hulu was backing out of its proposed sale, partly due to Disney not agreeing with anyone. Yahoo pulled out shortly before the end of the sale, citing controversial and internal problems within the company.
This week, after rumors were flying for several days, we have learned that Yahoo has been shopping around for possible buyers. Not only that, we discovered that Google has contacted several private equity firms in order to aid them in the purchase of Yahoo.
Will Google be able to take out one of its top competitors with this move? What happens now? Details are after the break.
Sony looks like they might be doing something right here for once. This week, they will be acquiring full ownership of Sony Ericsson, removing Swedish company L.M. Ericsson Telephone from the picture. This will allow Sony to further their mission to put more music, games and videos on their devices.
This move will cost Sony $1.46 billion in exchange for the 50% share that Ericsson currently has. This also involved a patent and licensing agreement between the two companies, where Sony will now be in control of five important patents from Ericsson.
The acquisition will be another page in the "patent war" chapter of the book of mobile devices as of late. We talk about that after the break.
Samsung's last quarter produced results so successful that it has allowed them to beat out Apple for the largest smartphone manufacturer in the world. This adds a new level of interest into their legal issues, among them the distribution of the Galaxy Tab in Germany and other places.
Here's the numbers that gave Samsung the much-deserved top spot. Reports are in that last quarter, Samsung shipped 27.8 million devices, which makes up 23.8% of the smartphone market. Apple came in second last quarter, shipping only 17.1 million, which is 14.6% of the market. In third was Nokia, who stayed in third place, but that should change once numbers come in about their recently launched Lumia.
Last week we discussed Microsoft
expiramenting with augmented reality in an effort to create ad hoc surfaces to interact with touchscreens that work in conjunction with mobile devices. Making Virtual Solid is another company that is familiar with the concept of AR and they want to trick out your windshield with some GPS navigation.
Their goal is for the system to be simple and affordable. Current navigation systems are loaded with icons and symbols that take the drivers attention off of the road and focus it on deciphering the screen. Not to mention they are rarely placed at eye level on or around the windshield. Anyone who remembers fiddling around with suction cup mounts will understand why. Today, practically every smartphone has navigation built-in and if they aren't in your pants they are usually hanging around the center console where the cup holders and car charger plugs in.
The "Virtual Cable" that appears on your windshield to guide you is MVS's version of "follow the yellow brick road," except in this case it's a simple red line. The line can be projected onto the windshield from any built in or external navigation system and is easily seen in daylight and at night. MVS is constantly making improvements to the line with
True-3D Technology and is focused on staying cost effective. If they keep this up it might actually start making it into some vehicles but while we wait to see it in real life, enjoy their demo video.
This week Groupon kicked off their roadshow in hopes of winning over investors for a successful IPO (initial public offering) which they need to help smooth out the turbulent waters they've been sailing through. So far they've been battling a plethora of negative publicity in the media,
class action lawsuits and now they're pushing for a successful IPO at a time when the markets are in bad shape.
The presentation focuses on the untapped potential there is in local markets, how Groupon will take advantage and the financial rewards for the company in the future. CEO Andrew Mason asserted that their new platform's potential is in the trillions of dollars and that it provides consumers with twice the buying power and increased profits for merchants.
The driving force behind those claims is their "Triforce: The Foundation of Groupon" (yes, it is an intentional
The Legend of Zelda reference). The basis for which is their proprietary Smart Deals system which they refer to as "the deal factory." Smart Deals is how they get the right deals in front of the correct consumers and how they tailor the type of deals in accordance to the preferences of their merchants' customers. They also claim this allows them to drive up conversion rates which translates into happier customers and increased loyalty. The Smart Deals system is fed by their lead optimizer which fuels the sales team to keep the deal factory growing. The final part of the trifecta is a new service called Groupon Now. It focuses on allowing Groupon users to get real time Groupon deals from merchants on their mobile devices as they are out and about in a particular area. Mason summarizes all this as follows, Daily Deals (customer acquisition), Groupon rewards (loyalty and retention) and Groupon Now (yield management).
Their CFO, Jason Child, tried to communicate a bright financial future despite some difficult circumstances surrounding them in the present. Find out more and watch a video of their roadshow presentation after the break.