Top Ten IT News Stories of the Week: Sun Looks for a Turnaround

1. "All Eyes on Schwartz to Turn Sun Around," 

CIO.com, 4/25. Rumors that Sun’s Chief Executive Officer Scott McNealy was about to step down from that role in favor of his right-hand man, Jonathan Schwartz, proved on the money this week. McNealy, one of the four founders of Sun, had been the company’s CEO for the past 22 years. He’d been unable to reverse the vendor’s decline in fortunes in the wake of the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2001. McNealy will remain on board as Sun’s chairman.

2. "Intel to Undergo Broad Restructuring,"InfoWorld, 4/27. The chip giant is set to "restructure, repurpose and resize" for the future, according to Intel CEO Paul Otellini. The vendor is predicting a 3 percent drop in revenue for 2006 as a whole and could be handing out pink slips to some of its 100,000 staffers over the next 90 days. Intel’s being hit by a slump in the growth rate of PC sales, excess inventory of microprocessors at retailers and a loss of share in the server, desktop and mobile PC chip markets to arch-rival Advanced Micro Devices.

3. "EU Attorneys Slam Microsoft’s IP Arguments,"CIO.com, 4/27. Lawyers from Gates Inc. and the European Commission faced off this week in the courtroom. While Microsoft contended that the commission’s 2004 antitrust ruling trampled on its intellectual property rights (IPR), the commission defended the decision arguing that trade secrets aren’t the same thing as IPR. The 2004 ruling ordered Microsoft to supply the necessary interoperability information to its competitors in the workgroup server market so they could build server software that works as well with Windows as Microsoft’s own offerings.

4. "Net Neutrality Provision Rejected,"

PC World, 4/27. Internet companies and consumer groups lost a major battle this week. The U.S. House of Representatives voted down calls for a new U.S. law that would prohibit broadband providers from blocking or degrading customers’ connections to websites or services competing with those offered by the providers themselves. The bill now goes to the full House for a vote.

5. "Kumar Pleads Guilty in CA Fraud Case,"Computerworld, 4/24. In a surprise move, Sanjay Kumar, the ex-CEO of software vendor Computer Associates, pleaded guilty to financial fraud charges. Kumar and codefendant Stephen Richards, CA’s former head of worldwide sales, had been expected to go to trial May 8. Richards also pleaded guilty. U.S. government prosecutors charged the duo with fraudulent accounting practices, including falsely reporting hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for licensing agreements during fiscal quarters in which those deals had not yet been finalized.

6. "Microsoft Developing Next Mobile OS,"CIO.com, 4/24. Gates Inc. is hard at work on its next mobile operating system, which is currently codenamed Crossbow. Set to replace Windows Mobile 5.0, which debuted in May 2005, Crossbow will include instant messaging and strong links with the next releases of Microsoft’s Office and Exchange software, according to company executives. The new operating system will take on competitors including market leader Symbian as well as smaller OS players BlackBerry and PalmSource. Microsoft has yet to determine a release date for Crossbow.

7. "EMC’s Tucci Promises Better Security, More Automation,"Computerworld, 4/24. As well as reiterating its commitment to sprinkle security and automation throughout its product portfolio, the storage giant stressed the importance of virtualization. EMC, which owns virtualization player VMware, believes the bulk of all computer hardware will be virtualized over the next three years, according to company CEO Joe Tucci. EMC intends to release more software to help the collective management of server, storage and network resources, he added.

8. "Microsoft Adds Asset Management Service to System Center Lineup," NetworkWorld, 4/26. The software giant acquired AssetMetrix this week and plans to add the hosted asset management capabilities it has gained through the purchase into Systems Management Server, over the next nine months. AssetMetrix runs a hosted service that inventories more than 250 hardware features including CPU and RAM, and catalogs more than 300,000 applications including version numbers and licensing information.

9. "Phishers Dial Into VoIP,"InfoWorld, 4/26. Thieves have now begun luring victims to fake automated call centers via the latest kind of phishing attack. This new spin on phishing encourages recipients of e-mail messages to verify their account information via a phony customer support number for voice-over IP (VoIP) services instead of the usual fake websites. Part of the danger in this latest attack is its novelty, according to security experts. VoIP services are cheap, and it can be easy to set up a professional-sounding line.

10. "Trojan Freezes Computer, Requests Ransom,"

CIO.com, 4/27. Yet another new kind of malware is making the rounds on the Internet. This Trojan horse virus freezes a computer and then asks for a US$10.99 ransom to be paid through the Western Union money transfer service before the computer is freed up. Security analysts have come up with a new category for the malware, dubbing it "ransomware." The virus writer apparently is quite willing to help out if a victim’s computer doesn’t unlock once the ransom has been paid, not only promising to research the problem, but even supplying an e-mail contact address.

— China Martens, IDG News Service

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Copyright © 2006 IDG Communications, Inc.

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